Jury Clerk: (360) 337-7166
Jury Fax: (360) 337-7167
Kitsap County Juror Call In
Or Toll Free: 1-800-562-5953
Superior Court &
District Court South
614 Division Street
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Poulsbo Municipal Court
200 Moe Street
Poulsbo, WA 98370
216 Prospect Street
Port Orchard, WA 98366
550 Park Ave.
Bremerton, WA 98337
Island Municipal Court
10255 NE Valley Rd.
Rolling Bay, WA 98061
Your job as
a juror is to listen to all the evidence presented at trial,
then "decide the facts" – decide what really happened. The
judge's job is to "decide the law" – make decisions on legal
issues that come up during the trial. All must do their job
well if our system of trial by jury is to work.
You do not need special knowledge or
ability to do your job. It is enough that you keep an open
mind, use common sense, concentrate on the evidence
presented, and be fair and honest in your deliberations.
be influenced by sympathy or prejudice. It is vital that
you be impartial with regard to all testimony and ideas
presented at the trial.
We hope you find
your experience as a juror interesting and satisfying.
Thank you for your willingness to serve!
Your name was selected at random from
voter registration and driver’s license and “identicard”
records. Your answers to the juror questionnaire were
evaluated to ensure you were eligible for jury service.
Occasionally you may be summoned for jury duty more than
once in any given year. This is because your name may
appear differently on your voter registration than it does
on your driver's license. The system then reads you as two
people. You are entitled to be excused if this occurs.
Simply complete your profile and check the appropriate box
on the back of the summons, which asks for the approximate
date of your prior service. Mail in your summons and wait
for written confirmation from the Clerk's office.
To be eligible, you
must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United
States, a resident of Kitsap County, and be able to
communicate in English or American Sign Language*. If you
have ever been convicted of a felony, you must have had your
civil rights restored. Those eligible may be excused from
jury service if they have illnesses that would interfere
with their ability to do a good job, would suffer great
hardship if required to serve, or are unable to serve for
other legitimate reasons.
Some requests to be
excused from jury duty may be handled by court staff;
however, in some instances, this decision must be made by
the Judge. If you feel you would suffer undue hardship by
serving, please complete and return your summons, report at
your scheduled time, and you will have the opportunity to
ask the Judge to excuse you if you are selected to serve.
In short, you were
chosen because you are eligible and able to serve. You are
now part of the “jury pool”—a group of citizens from which
trial juries are chosen.
*Accommodations are available for hard of hearing and deaf jurors
through interpreters and use of assistive technology.
In the courtroom,
your judge will tell you about the case and then introduce
the lawyers and others who are involved in it. You will
also take an oath, in which you will promise to answer all
After you’re sworn
in, the judge and the lawyers will ask you and other members
of the panel questions to find out if you have any knowledge
about the case, personal interest in it, or feelings that
might make it hard for you to be impartial. This
questioning process is called voir dire, which means,
“to speak the truth.”
Though some of the
questions may seem personal, you should answer them
completely and honestly. If you are uncomfortable answering
them, tell the judge and he/she may ask them privately.
Remember: Questions are not asked to embarrass you. They
are intended to make sure members of the jury have no
opinions or past experiences which might prevent them from
making an impartial decision.
In Kitsap County,
jurors are summoned for a one-week term. However, that does
not mean you will spend the entire week at the courthouse;
jurors are “on-call” for jury duty for any trial starting
during their term of service. Once selected for a jury
panel, a trial may extend beyond this term. If you are not
selected for a panel after reporting, your obligation is
You may be struck by
how much waiting you have to do. For example, you may have
to wait before you are placed on a jury. During trial, you
may have to wait in the jury room while the judge and the
lawyers settle questions of law. Judges and other courtroom
personnel will do everything they can to minimize the
waiting both before and during trial. Your understanding is
Usually. But, in extremely rare cases,
you may be “sequestered” during the trial or during jury
deliberations. This is done to ensure that jurors don’t
hear or see something about the case that wasn’t mentioned
parties in a case settle their differences only moments
before the trial is scheduled to begin. In such instances,
you will be excused.
Dress comfortably. Suits, ties, and
formal wear are not necessary; however don’t get too
informal. Beachwear, shorts, halter or tank tops are not
appropriate in court. Hats may not be allowed unless worn
for religious purposes.
employees of Kitsap County courts are committed to making
jury service accessible to everyone. Accommodations in
compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act will be
made to assist jurors with special needs. If you have a
hearing, sight, or mobility problem, ask a member of the
court staff for assistance.
states that an employer "shall provide an employee with
sufficient leave when the employee is summoned for jury
duty". It also states that employers "shall not deprive an
employee of employment; shall not threaten, coerce, or
harass an employee; and shall not deny promotional
opportunities" to an employee for serving as a juror.
Note: The law does
not state, however, that your employer must pay you
while you serve.
Because your absence
could delay a trial, it is important that you report each
day you are required to.
If a real emergency
occurs—a sudden illness, accident, or death in the
family—inform the court staff immediately.
Jury cases are either civil or
Civil cases are disputes between private
citizens, corporations, government, government agencies, or
other organizations. Usually, the party that brings the
suit is asking for compensation for an alleged wrong. For
example, a homeowner may sue a contractor for failure to fix
a leaky roof. People who have been injured may sue the
person or company they feel is responsible for the injury.
The party that brings the suit is called
the plaintiff; the party being sued is called the
defendant. There may be a number of plaintiffs or
defendants in the same case.
A criminal case is brought by the state,
a city or a county, against one or more persons accused of
committing a crime. In these cases, the state, city, or
county is the plaintiff; the accused person is the
defendant. The defendant is informed of the charge
through a complaint or information.
Events in a trial usually happen in a
particular order, though the judge may change the order.
The usual order of events are:
Step 1: Selection of
the juryStep 7: Announcement of the verdict
Step 2: Opening statements
Step 3: Presentation of evidence
Step 4: Jury instructions
Step 5: Closing arguments
Step 6: Jury deliberations
Arrive on time
and return promptly after breaks and lunch. The trial
cannot proceed until all jurors are present.
attention. If you cannot hear what is being said, raise
your hand and let the judge know.
Keep an open
mind all through the trial.
to the instructions read by the judge. Remember, it is
your duty to accept what the judge says about the law to
be applied to the case.
Don't try to
guess what the judge thinks about the case. Remember
that rulings from the bench do not reflect the judge's
Don't talk about
the case, or issued raised by the case with anyone,
including other jurors, while the trial is going on.
Don't let other talk about the case in your presence,
even family members. If someone insists on talking to
you or another juror about the case, please report the
matter to a court employee. These rules are designed to
help you keep an open mind during the trial.
Don't talk to
the lawyers, parties, or witnesses about anything.
This will avoid the impression that something unfair is
Don't try to
uncover evidence on your own. Never, for example, go
to the scene of an event that was part of the case you are
hearing. You must decide the case only on the
basis of evidence admitted in court.
let yourself get information about the case from the
news media or any other outside source. Even if news
reports are accurate and complete, they cannot
substitute for your own impressions about the case. If
you accidentally hear outside information about the case
during trial, tell a member of the court staff in
differences between yourself and other jurors through
complete and fair discussions of the evidence and of the
judge’s instructions. Don't lose your temper, try to
bully, or refuse to listen to the opinions of other
Don't mark or
write on exhibits or otherwise change or injure them.
Don't try to
guess what might happen if the case you have heard is
appealed. Appellate courts deal only with legal
questions—they will not change your verdict if
you decided the facts based on proper evidence and
straws, flip coins, or otherwise arrive at your verdict
by chance, or the decision will be illegal. It is also
improper for a jury to determine damage awards by
averaging the amounts calculated by each individual
Don't talk to
anyone about your deliberations or about the verdict
until the judge discharges the jury. After discharge,
you may discuss the verdict and the deliberations with
anyone, including the media, the lawyers, or your
family. Don't feel obligated to do so, however, no juror
can be forced to talk without a court order.