Welcome to an
The right to trial by a jury of our fellow citizens is one of our most
important rights and is guaranteed by the Washington State and Unites States
constitutions. By serving on a jury you are helping to preserve this freedom.
Your job as a juror is to listen to all the evidence presented at the trial and
to "decide the fact" – that is, to decide what really happened. The
judge, on the other hand, "decides the law" – that is, makes
decisions on legal issues that come up during the trial. Most of the trials
County District Court last only one day and at most two days. Lunch
breaks are usually from noon to 1:30 PM.
How was I chosen?
Your name was selected at random from voter and/or drivers
license registration records. Next, the completed Questionnaire for Jurors was
evaluated to make sure you are eligible for jury service. To be eligible, you
must be 18 years of age, a United States citizen, a resident of Stevens County,
and able to communicate in English. If you have been convicted of a felony, you
must have had your civil rights restored.
What kind of case
will I hear?
In Stevens County District Court you will be hearing
testimony and receiving evidence from misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases
such as DUI, theft, assault, driving while license suspended, disorderly conduct
etc. and civil cases.
How is a six person
The judge will tell you about the case and will introduce the
lawyers. Following explanation and the taking of the oath, the judge and the
lawyers will question you and other members of the panel to determine if you are
impartial. This process is called "VOIR DIRE", a phrase meaning to
"speak the truth." Some of the questions may seem very personal; the
lawyers are not trying to embarrass you but are trying to make sure you do not
have opinions or past experience which might prevent you from making an
At the conclusion of the questioning, the lawyers will
challenge jurors in order to reach the final six persons. Once selected the jury
will be provided with an opportunity to call their homes or office prior to the
start of the
Why are some
Jurors are excused for numerous reasons and the lawyers
rarely tell you why. Don’t be upset if you are excused or challenged, it is
nothing against you personally. Just enjoy the freedom to leave when excused.
during the trial?
The usual order of events in District Court is as follows:
- Selection of the
- Opening statements by lawyers;
- Plaintiff presents their evidence;
- Defendant may, but is not required to present
- The judge’s instructions;
- Closing arguments;
- Jury deliberation;
- Announcement of the verdict
Do’s & Don’ts
- Do pay close attention to witnesses. Concentrate both on what witnesses
say and on their manner while testifying. If you cannot hear what is being
said, raise your hand and let the judge know.
- Do keep an open mind all through the trial. Don’t form an opinion on the
case until you and the other jurors have conducted your deliberation.
- Do listen carefully to the instructions read by the judge.
- Don’t try to guess what the judge thinks about the case.
- Don’t talk about the case with anyone while the trial is going on, not
even with the other jurors.
- Don’t talk to the lawyers, parties, or witnesses about anything.
- Don’t try to discover evidence on your own.
- Don’t express your opinion about the case to other jurors until
- Do consult with the other jurors before making up your mind about a
- Do reason out differences of opinion between jurors by means of a complete
and fair discussion of the evidence and of the Judge’s instructions.
- Do reconsider your views in light of your deliberations, and change them
if you have become convinced they are wrong. DON’T change
your convictions about the importance or effect of evidence, just
because other jurors disagree with you or so that the jury can decide on a
Payment of juror
After your jury service is completed. Stevens County will pay you $10 for each day you serve and .565 cents per mile for your traveling to and from the courthouse. You should expect payment within 30 days of your jury service. Again thank you for your participation.