Jury Services

  

WELCOME TO JURY SERVICE

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.

Remember: Don’t 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.

Kitsap County thanks you for your willingness to serve!



Click to Watch a 30 sec. Public Service Announcement for Jury Duty.

ANNOUNCEMENTS


STATUS OF THE COURTS:
Note that while some courts may be conducting hearings via Zoom, all trials are in person.








PANDEMIC PROTOCOLS:
Jurors will be required to wear a mask in all court rooms and the jury assembly room regardless of vaccination status. There are sanitation stations throughout the jury assembly room and courthouse. The Kitsap County Courthouse has four (4) air purifiers for the jury assembly room. We also offer KN95 masks to all jurors who would like to receive one. When you report, please bring a sack lunch. A microwave and refrigerator are available for use. Due to pandemic protocols, we are not allowing their use in the jury rooms.

**Scam Alert**
Jury staff will not attempt, nor authorize anyone else, to collect money for missed jury service. If you have been asked to pay for missed jury service and/or are threatened with arrest, please do not pay and report this to your local police or Sheriff’s office.

JURY DUTY INSTRUCTIONS


Please respond to your Jury Summons as soon as possible either via eResponse or mail. If you received a new Summons you will also need to respond to it as you will have received a new group number. Note that you will be unable to confirm via eResponse 3 (three) days prior to your service date. See below "About Your Jury Summons" for additional information.

Juror Call-In Procedure:
  • Call each evening beginning the weekend of your term of service. The recorded message plays 24 hours per day beginning at 6:00 p.m. the Friday before your term of service.
  • Listen for your group number listed on your jury badge attached to the parking permit. It can also be found at the top portion of your summons on the right below your summons date.  Only if your group number is listed on the recorded message will you be required to report.
  • If you are required to report the following court day, the time and location will be provided on the recorded message line.
  • In case of inclement weather, call the message line for possible changes in reporting time.

​Juror Call In Recording: (360) 337-7072
​Toll Free: (800) 562-5953

About Your Jury Summons:
Please read the following information prior to calling the office with your question. If you still need assistance, our staff is happy to help you over the phone. Please note that there are five (5) possible reporting locations for jury trials.

Before you begin completing your profile, we would ask that you not use light-colored or fluorescent ink pens. Black ink is best.

When returning your profile, please use a small portion of standard tape on the outside for sealing. Do not use Duct tape or glue as it is difficult to remove and often destroys the document.

Front Page:
The top portion is your name, service date and group number. The top portion below your name contains the qualifications necessary to serve as a juror. If you answer yes to questions 1-4, you are qualified to serve. 

If you no longer reside in Kitsap County, please indicate the county you currently reside in the space provided along with your new address. Your new address can also be provided in the return address in the lines provided on the return label contained on the summons.

If you qualify for jury service, you may complete the middle box marked “Claim of Exemption – Optional to Answer.”

Please sign the Certification and provide a current phone number and email address. Please write clearly. 
Note, if you are requesting an excusal, deferral, or exemption, you must still complete the qualification section of the summons.

When you have completed your summons, tear off and retain the bottom portion. You will need it for information as well as for your parking permit. The back of the parking permit and jury badge includes phone numbers, call-in procedures, and court locations. Mail the remainder of the summons. If we receive your confirmed summons after your service date (and you did not notify us in another manner ahead of time), or you do not respond to it, you will be automatically deferred to a new date. 

Please note that if you do not receive confirmation by mail or email changing your original summons term, then you must call in as instructed.

eResponse
You can choose instead of mailing back your summons to submit your response online via eResponse. You can click this website address or type it into your web browser: https://jury.kitsapgov.com. Your candidate ID number is required to access your jury summons profile. 

You may also reprint your summons from this site if you lose it. The jury clerk cannot reprint it for you. Go to the Home screen (house button on the top left hand corner of the webpage) and select "Letters." 

Note you will be unable to confirm or make additional requests three (3) days prior to your service date

If you are having trouble using eResponse, please double check that your internet browser's pop-up blocker is disabled. If you make an error or need further assistance please call the jury clerk at (360) 337-7166, or email at jury@co.kitsap.wa.us. 



Using the Parking Permit attached to your jury summons allows jurors to park in any public space, even time limited, all day without penalty during the assigned service week. Detach the juror badge (with your name and barcode) from the parking permit. Place the permit on your dashboard in plain sight. Bring the juror badge into the building for check in.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What if I no longer live in Kitsap County?
What if I have served within the past 12 months?
What if I suffer from chronic ill health?
What if I am going out of town during my term of service?
What if my loved one receives a summons and they have passed away?
What if I just simply do not have the time to serve or cannot afford it?
What if I lose my summons?
Why do I get summoned more than once a year?
How was I chosen?
How long will I serve?
Can I go home during the trial?
Might I be called but not sit on a jury?
At what age may I have a permanent exemption from jury duty?
What should I wear?
What can I bring with me to jury duty?
Will I be searched when I come to the courthouse?
What if I'm physically challenged?
What about my job?
Will I be compensated for jury service?
What if I have an emergency?
What type of cases might I hear?
What happens during a trial?
Some do's and dont's

What if I no longer live in Kitsap County?

Indicate that information in the top boxed portion of your summons labeled "Qualifications - Required to Answer."  Please provide your current address in the space provided and on the blank spaced provided on the return address label on the summons. At the bottom in the box labeled "Certification - Signature Required," please sign it where indicated and provide your current phone number and email address. Return your summons by mail. You need not fill out any further information. You may also submit the information via eResponse. You will receive a written confirmation by mail and email that you have been excused.

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What if I have served within the past 12 months?

Complete the information in the middle boxed portion of your summons labeled "Claim of Exemption - Optional to Answer.” Write in the space provided that you have served within the past year along with the court name and location. You may also submit this information via eResponse. This information will be verified in our office and you will be notified by mail and email that either a) you did in fact serve recently and you will be excused or b) we find no record of recent service and you must report on the date indicated on your summons.

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What if I suffer from chronic ill health?

Complete the information in the middle boxed portion of your summons labeled “Claim of Exemption – Optional to Answer.” In the space provided indicate your health concerns and mark if you are employed or not employed. You may instead submit this request via eResponse. You will be notified in writing, via mail and email, as to whether you are excused. If you are employed, you may be required to submit a doctor’s note.

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What if I am going out of town during my term of service?

Complete the information in the middle boxed portion of your summons labeled “Claim of Exemption – Optional to Answer.” Check the box that asks that your term of service be rescheduled to another week between five (5) weeks and six (6) months from your current term of service. Main in your summons, retaining the parking permit and juror badge. You may also submit your request via eResponse. You will be notified in writing via email and mail that your term of service has been changed and what the date is. If we do not select the date you requested it will be because the date is not available. We will then select the next available date closest to your request. You will then receive a new summons in the mail about a month prior to the new date and you will be randomly provided with a new group number. You will need to respond to this new summons.

Please note that each juror can receive a maximum of two (2) deferrals. We assume that when you select a new date that you will make it a priority on your calendar. We do understand that emergencies do occur and should that be the case, please call our office for assistance at (360) 337-7166. Please also note that we cannot extend you beyond six (6) months and if you request the maximum deferral in your first request, any second request will be limited.

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What if my loved one receives a summons and they have passed away?

We are very sorry for the loss of your loved one. Please write the information somewhere on the summons and return the summons by mail. You do not need to provide a copy of the death certificate or complete any other information on the summons. Should you have any questions or prefer to take care of your loved one over the phone, please call (360) 337-7166.

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What if I just simply do not have the time to serve or cannot afford it?

The jury clerks are limited as to what conditions under the law that they may excuse a juror. If you feel that you have financial or work-related hardship cases, you must report for jury duty if called and ask the judge to excuse you at the time of jury selection. Do not send to the court or the jury clerk ahead of time an employment excusal letter. Any employment letters sent ahead of time will not be considered or held for review.

Important Information for Employers Regarding Jury Service: RCW 2.36.165

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What if I lose my summons?

You may log into eResponse and print another copy. Or you may call the jury clerk for assistance at (360) 337-7166 or send an email request at jury@co.kitsap.wa.us.

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Why do I get summoned more than once a year?

Jurors are randomly selected from a pool of voter registration records and Department of Licensing records. Though every effort has been made to avoid selecting individuals more than once per year, it sometimes does occur. The main reason is that your name may appear differently on your voter’s registration card than it does on your driver’s license. For example: Johnny Smith and John Smith. The computer selects these as two different people. Another example would be when someone changes their name after marriage and changes their driver’s license but not their voter’s registration card. The best help you could give us it to ensure that your names are the same on both records. You are entitled to be excused if this occurs. Simply complete your profile and check the appropriate box in the middle section labeled “Claim of Exemption – Optional to Answer.” Please list the approximate date of your prior service. Mail in your summons and wait for written confirmation via mail or email from the Clerk’s office. If you suspect you may have a duplicate in our system, please do call, (360) 337-7166, or email, jury@co.kitsap.wa.us the jury office so we take care of it.

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How was I chosen?

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.

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 questions truthfully.

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 they 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.

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How long will I serve?

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 fulfilled.

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 appreciated.

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Can I go home during the trial?

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 during court.

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Might I be called but not sit on a jury?

Yes. Sometimes parties in a case settle their differences only moments before the trial is scheduled to begin. In such instances, you will be excused.

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At what age may I have a permanent exemption from jury duty?

75 years old, at your request.

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What should I wear?

Dress comfortably. Suits, ties, and formal wear are not necessary; however, don’t be too informal. Beach wear, shorts, halter or tank tops are not appropriate for court. Hats may not be allowed unless worn for religious or medical purposes. Uniformed personnel, please report in civilian clothing.

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What can I bring with me to jury duty?

The ideal item to bring with you is a book or magazine, although sometimes the court will restrict newspapers or magazines containing information that may relate to an upcoming trial. Many courts will allow you to bring a laptop computer, but not allow a pager or cell phone. Because security is taken very seriously, you will pass through a metal detector. Leave heavy metal objects, knives (including plastic), or weapons of any kind at home or in your vehicle. You may find that everyday items like penknives, knitting needles, scissors or metal nail files cannot be brought into the court facility. If you choose to bring a lunch or snack that requires use of utensils, please bring a plastic spoon or fork. Check with your assigned court to confirm what you may bring with you.

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Will I be searched when I come to the courthouse?

Most court facilities have security measures in place. Please do not be offended if you are searched – remember that this is to ensure your safety.

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What if I’m physically challenged?

Judges and 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.

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What about my job?

Washington law 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.

Military: Persons serving in the military can serve jury duty to the extent that it is practicable and consistent with their military duties. If a military excusal is required, this must be submitted by the service person’s command. Navy personnel, please refer to Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5822.2.

The jury clerks are limited as to what conditions under the law that they may excuse a juror. If you feel that you have financial or work-related hardship cases, you must report for jury duty if called and ask the judge to excuse you at the time of jury selection. Do not send to the court or the jury clerk ahead of time an employment excusal letter. (The only exception is letters from military service members’ command.) Any employment letters sent ahead of time will not be considered or held for review.

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Will I be compensated for jury service?

RCW 2.36.150 specifies that jurors may receive up to twenty-five dollars but in no case less than ten dollars for each day’s attendance. Most Washington State counties pay $10 per day, as does Kitsap County. Jurors are also eligible for round trip mileage from their residence to the courthouse. Mileage rates are based upon the rates calculated by the IRS each year.

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What if I have an emergency?

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.

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What type of cases might I hear?

Jury cases are either civil or criminal.

Civil Cases

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 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.

Criminal Cases

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.

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What happens during a trial?

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 jury
Step 2: Opening statements
Step 3: Presentation of evidence
Step 4: Jury Instructions
Step 5: Closing arguments
Step 6: Jury deliberations
Step 7: Announcement of the verdict

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Some do’s and don’ts

During Trial

  • Arrive on time and return promptly after breaks and lunch. The trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present.
  • Pay close 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.
  • Listen carefully 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 personal views.
  • 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 others 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 going on.
  • 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.
  • Don’t 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 private.

During Deliberation

  • Work out 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 jurors.
  • 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 instructions
  • Don’t draw 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 juror.
  • 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. Don’t feel obligated to do so, however, no juror can be forced to talk without a court order.

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Court Locations and Contact Info

Superior & District Court
614 Division Street
Port Orchard, WA 98366
​Poulsbo Municipal Court
200 Moe Street
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Port Orchard Municipal Court
216 Prospect Street
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Bremerton Municipal Court
550 Park Ave
Bremerton, WA 98337
Bainbridge Municipal Court
10255 NE Valley Rd
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

 

Contact Information

 Juror Call-In Recording:
360-337-7072
or Toll Free
1-800-562-5953

Jury Clerk:
360-337-7166
jury@co.kitsap.wa.us
Jury Fax:
360-337-7167

 

Additional Jury Duty Links
eResponse