Go to https://jury.clark.wa.gov, and use our online service to complete the questionnaire, postpone your service or request to be excused. If responding online, do not return the paper questionnaire. If you prefer to respond in writing, please mail the questionnaire back within five days. If the website is down, please send the questionnaire via US Mail.
Jury Duty FAQ
How do I respond to my summons?
How to get to Court
The Clark County Courts are located in the Clark County Courthouse at 1200 Franklin Street in downtown Vancouver.
Driving Directions to the Courthouse
From I-5 North or South, exit the freeway at the Mill Plain exit. Proceed west on Mill Plain to Franklin, and then south on Franklin Street to the Courthouse located at the intersection of 12th Street and Franklin Street.
Jurors are encouraged to take public transportation to the Courthouse. Parking is limited. C-Tran provides bus service to downtown Vancouver. Routes can be found at www.c-tran.com.
Three parking lots are available for juror parking:
11th and Grant (south of Sherriff’s Office-West Entrance)
13th and Harney (a fenced parking lot)
Jury Overflow Lot: The entrance is on 13th Street, between Franklin and Harney Streets, and is located behind the Public Service Center. It is marked “Juror Overflow Parking.” Park in numbered spots within the parking area for jurors. Do not park in metered spots at the lot’s entrance or in any parking spot marked “reserved.”
Place your parking permit on your dashboard if parking in a juror lot. If you do not have a parking permit, any postcard you received from the office of Jury Administration can be used as a substitute, or we can issue a new permit upon check-in.
If choosing on-street parking, please park at long term (5-10 hour) parking meters. (Do not park at any meter that is 3 hours or less.) Remember, you must pay to park at all metered parking. Your juror parking permit does not allow free parking at metered spots.
Currently, the City of Vancouver is transitioning its metered parking. Some metered spots are paid using a kiosk pay station with a debit card or coin. These long-term spots are designated with a grey/silver sign above the pay station. Other spots are traditional meters that are coin-operated only. These long-term spots are marked with a white strip across the top of the meter. Parking in downtown Vancouver is either $.50 or $1.25 per hour. Parking fees can be reimbursed through the jury service payment process.
Reporting for Duty
Where to go:
The Jury Information Line (564) 397-2400, will instruct jurors about where to report.
When to Report:
The Jury Information Line (564) 397-2400, will instruct jurors as to what time to report. Please be prompt. One late juror can waste the time of the many persons involved in a trial.
State law prohibits smoking in all parts of the Courthouse. Smoking is permitted outside the building, however, because of time limitations there will not always be opportunities to go outside.
Why is jury duty important?
The United States Constitution and the Washington State Constitution guarantees all people the right to trial by an impartial jury. Justice ultimately depends in large measure on the jurors who serve in our courts.
Selection of a Jury
After you have reported for jury duty, you may be selected for a jury panel along with other jurors. The jury panel is sent to the courtroom in which the case will be heard. A jury of 6 or 12 people will be selected in the courtroom. The judge in the courtroom will explain the case and introduce the lawyers and other participants. As part of jury selection, the judge and the lawyers will then question the jury panel members to determine if anyone has knowledge of the case, a personal interest in it, or feelings that might make it hard to be impartial. This process is called "voir dire", a phrase meaning "to speak the truth".
Questions asked during voir dire may seem personal but should be answered completely and honestly. The questions are not intended to embarrass anyone but are used to make sure that members of the jury do not have opinions or past experiences which might prevent reaching an impartial decision.
During voir dire the lawyers may ask the judge to excuse a juror from sitting on the case. This is called "challenging a juror". There are two types of challenges: a challenge for cause and a peremptory challenge.
A challenge for cause means the lawyer has a specific reason for thinking that a juror would not be able to be impartial. For example, the case may involve driving under the influence of alcohol. If a juror had been in an accident with a drunk driver and was still upset about it, the defense attorney could ask that the juror be excused for that reason. There is no limit to the number of jurors who may be excused for challenge for cause.
Peremptory challenges do not require the lawyers to state any reason for excusing a juror. Peremptory challenges are intended to allow lawyers, both prosecution and defense, to do their best to assure that the trial is fair. Peremptory challenges are limited to three per side in most cases
What is my duty as a juror?
As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. You must apply the law given by the judge to the facts given during the trial to make a decision in a case.
How was I selected for jury duty?
You were selected at random from lists of voter registrations, driver registrations, and Washington State identification cards for residents of Clark County.
Order of Events in the Trial
After the jury is selected, the trial will generally follow this order of events:
The lawyers for each side may explain the case, the evidence they will present, and the issues for the jury to decide.
Presentation of Evidence:
The evidence consists of the testimony of witnesses and the exhibits allowed by the judge. Exhibits admitted into evidence will be available to the jury for examination during deliberations. The jury will be asked to make decisions regarding disputed facts; therefore, jurors attention at all times is critically important.
Juror note-taking or the use of any notes will be determined by the judge.
Rulings by the Judge:
The judge may be asked to decide questions of law during the trial. Occasionally, the judge may ask jurors to leave the courtroom while the lawyers make their legal arguments. The jurors should understand that such interruptions are needed to make sure that their verdict is based upon proper evidence, as determined by the judge under the Rules of Evidence. Jurors may give the evidence whatever weight they consider appropriate.
Instructions to the Jury:
At the close of all the evidence, the judge will read the instructions to the the jury, explaining the law and other considerations in the case.
After instructions, the lawyers have the opportunity to summarize the evidence in their closing arguments.
After closing arguments, the jury is isolated to decide the verdict in the case.
In the vicinity of the Courthouse
Downtown Vancouver has a number of fine restaurants, within a short walk from the courthouse. If you are selected to serve on a jury, adequate time for lunch will be allowed. During deliberations, jurors are usually fed in the courthouse as a group.
The Court is located near other city, county, state, and federal government buildings. You can renew vehicle license tabs, pay property taxes or utility bills (or ask questions about property taxes or utility bills), apply for a marriage license or a passport, submit building permit plans, or sit in on a County Commissioners meeting, all within a few blocks of the Court.
Who is eligible for jury duty?
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Reside in Clark County.
- Be able to communicate in the English language.
You cannot serve on a jury if you have been convicted of a felony and your civil rights have not been restored. If you are in doubt about your eligibility for jury service, you may contact the Jury Coordinator by mail or telephone:
Mail: Jury Coordinator
Clark County Superior Court
PO Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Phone: (564) 397-2049
How long does jury duty last?
Jury duty in Clark County can vary from less than one day to more than one week; however, your call-in obligation is one week only. If selected, jurors are required to serve for the duration of a trial.
Who can be excused from jury service?
You can make a request to be excused using our online service: go to https://jury.clark.wa.gov/. If you prefer, you may make a written request by completing the paper questionnaire and returning it within five days.
Can jury duty be rescheduled?
Yes. If you wish to postpone your jury duty to a more convenient date, you must state the reason you cannot serve during the scheduled time. You must also identify a one-week period, within six months of the scheduled week, when you can serve. Use our online service to postpone your service term: go to https://jury.clark.wa.gov/. Reschedule requests can also be made in writing by returning your questionnaire via US mail.
What type of cases are heard by jurors?
Jurors may be selected for District or Superior Court cases ranging from misdemeanors, such as, driving under the influence of alcohol to felonies such as First Degree Murder. Civil matters are heard in both Courts.
Are jurors paid for jury service?
Jurors are paid for each day they report for service in addition to round-trip mileage from their residence to the courthouse. Checks are usually mailed 2 weeks after the completion of jury service.
Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?
Your employer is not required to pay you while you are on jury duty, however, employers are prohibited by law from firing an employee for serving as a juror.
What about Courthouse security?
No aerosols, weapons or sharp objects (for example: scissors, metal silverware, knitting needles, pocket knives, nail clippers, etc.) are permitted in the Courthouse. You will proceed through metal detectors upon entering the building. If you have an item which is not allowed, you will need to take the item back to your vehicle; otherwise, it will be confiscated upon entry. Confiscated items are not returned.