Announcement & Alerts
The Court will be closed the following days:
Jury Trial March 23, 2020:
The Jury trial scheduled to begin on Monday, March 23rd for Columbia County Superior Court has been cancelled. If you received a written summons to appear that day for jury selection you do not need to appear.
Judge Libey, our presiding judge, has cancelled jury trials scheduled for the period of 03/16 to 04/06.
If you have any questions, please contact the Clerk's office at 382-4321.
Monday, January 20th for Martin Luther King Day
Monday, February 17th for President's Day
Monday, May 25th for Memorial Day
Friday, July 3rd for Independence Day
Monday, September 7th for Labor Day
Wednesday, November 11th for Veteran's Day
Thursday and Friday, November 26th and 27th for Thanksgiving
Friday, December 24th and 25th for Christmas Day
Jury Duty Scams
About Jury Duty
Jury duty is an essential element of our judicial system in America. Trial by jury is provided as a constitutional right. Jury duty is one of the privileges of citizenship in the United States. By state law, jurors are selected at random from a Master List generated in Olympia, Washington.
The Columbia County Clerk’s Office is responsible for the management of juror services for the Superior Court. The Clerk’s Office responds to judges' requests for jury panels, as well as the coordination and direction of the jurors. In addition, the Clerk’s Office updates records, calculates juror fees, responds to telephone inquiries, reschedules juror's term, excuses disqualified jurors, and oversees the general comfort of jurors.
Jury fees are set by the County Commissioners of each county. Columbia County’s current fee is $10 per day of service. Mileage is paid at the State’s current rate per mile. Jury checks are issued by the County Auditor and should be received within four weeks of the service date.
Sometimes there are complications with receiving jury pay, such as incorrect address, inability to deliver mail, or lost checks. If jury payment has not been received within four weeks from the date of service, the juror should call the County Clerk’s Office and let the Jury Coordinator know.
Juror information is considered confidential, and will not be released unless by order of the court in which the juror has served on a trial. Information is for court use only, as stated on the summons.
Court sessions generally run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There are daily breaks for lunch, and usually a break each morning and afternoon.
Disqualification from Jury Duty
A juror is not qualified to serve if any of the following is true:
The individual is less than 18 years of age.
The individual is not a citizen of the United States.
The individual is not a resident of Columbia County.
The individual is not able to communicate in the English language.
The individual is in custody of Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) or on DOC community custody.
If any of these reasons applies to you, please note your disqualification on your juror questionnaire.
Jury Service Informational Videos
The following information is available for viewing in order to acquaint you with jury service procedures and processes.
A Juror's Guide
A Citizens Guide to Washington State Courts
Without you, there is no justice
Length of Service
The term of service is one month; however, most jurors serve
only 2 to 5 days.
No Smoking Allowed
The courthouse campus area is a non-smoking facility, and
jurors are required to exit the building for smoking breaks.
Requesting an Excuse
from Jury Duty
If you have a hardship that prevents you from serving on
jury duty, the court prefers to reschedule you for a different month. However,
the court recognizes that sometimes the hardships are more complicated, and
jury duty is sometimes excused. Typical reasons for jurors to request to be
excused are based upon medical, financial, or educational hardships. A written
note detailing the "undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public
necessity" is required for all hardship requests. For example:
Medical hardships require a brief note from your physician.
Financial hardships require a statement in writing from the
employer regarding their policy to pay (or not pay) regular wages during jury
Educational hardships require a copy of the class schedule
showing the time of day conflicts.
Another common hardship involves residency - when the
prospective juror has moved or plans to move outside of Columbia County prior
to the scheduled jury duty. In this instance, the Court requires verification
of the current physical address and county of residence.
Please do not call the Clerk's Office asking to be excused
over the phone as phone requests cannot be considered.
The Court realizes that occasionally jurors may have
scheduling conflicts occur during the time frame for which they have been
summoned. In these cases, the jury duty
can sometimes be rescheduled. If you
have a conflict complete the information on your juror questionnaire. You can reschedule the date one time only, within 6 months of the original date of service.
The Master List is a combination of eligible Columbia County
residents ages 18 and over from the driver's license list, voter registration
list, and State Identicard holder's list. The law affecting eligible jurors in
Washington State was changed in 1994 to include all three lists. Columbia
County's eligible resident population is presently estimated at 2,193. Jury
service is discussed in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 2.36. Summons are
mailed under the authority of the Columbia County Clerk.
The courts request that, both before and during jury duty,
prospective jurors refrain from reading or communicating about court cases.
This includes social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Once jury duty is
completed, these cases may be discussed.
Summons are sent to prospective jurors approximately six
weeks prior to the month of service. The prospective juror is requested to
complete the Juror Information Form and return it immediately to:
Columbia County Clerk
341 East Main Street, Ste. 2
Dayton, WA 99328
Answers to questions on the Juror Information Form will
assist in making the voir dire portion of the selection process more efficient.
Verification for Work
Employment verification for days served is available upon
request through the Clerk's Office. Verification will include the times
of arrival and departure for each day of service. Please check with your
business in the event that they require you to report back to work when your
jury duty is completed early in the day.
For additional information please call the Clerk's Office at (509) 382-4321.