Jury Service - Frequently Asked Questions
The United States Constitution and the Washington State Constitution guarantee the right to trial by jury. Failure to attend as directed may subject you to penalties provided by law. All King County residents are obligated by state law to serve as a juror unless they:
- Are not a United States citizen;
- Are under 18 years of age; or
- Are unable to communicate in the English language.
Only those requests viewed as undue hardships will be granted an exemption from reporting for jury selection. Undue hardship means more than inconvenience or difficulty serving. It means circumstances that make it truly unfair for you to serve, such that someone else should serve in your place.
Students and the self-employed are not exempt from jury service. There are no occupational or professional exemptions from this obligation of citizenship.
Jury duty is a one-day minimum obligation. If you are not selected to a trial or otherwise assigned to a courtroom by the close of business on the day you begin your jury service you will be discharged.
The average trial lasts about two weeks. You will have an opportunity to express any undue hardship directly to the trial court judge on the first or second day of service.
If your physician feels that you are medically unfit for jury duty, please ask her/him to submit a letter to the address on your summons, noting your juror badge number.
All requests for exemption due to medical, psychiatric, or sensory limitations need to be accompanied with a letter from a physician supporting exemption.
The letter should be sent to:
King County Courthouse
516 Third Ave, First Floor Jury Assembly Room
Seattle, WA 98104
Maleng Regional Justice Center
401 4th Ave N, Room 2E
Kent, WA 98032
An e-copy can be sent to JuryDutySEA@KingCounty.gov
You will receive a confirmation of your excusal from jury duty once we process the letter from your physician.
The compensation you receive for reporting as a prospective juror or serving on a jury must be reported and deducted from your unemployment benefits. For more information, visit the Washington State Employment Security Division webpage.
All jurors need to be at least 18 years of age. No citizen over 18 is excluded from consideration due to age. If your physician feels you are physically unable to perform the duties of a juror or are unable to travel to the courthouse, please ask her/him to submit a letter to the court supporting an exemption.
Superior Court tries civil and criminal cases, both of which require juries. The random selection process prevents you from knowing in advance what trial or even what type of trial you will be selected for. When you get to a courtroom, the judge may excuse you from a specific case. Jury Service staff cannot excuse you as a potential juror because of what you do for a living, your family makeup, or events in your past.
State law does not currently require employers to continue paying the salary of employees while they are serving as jurors. However, many employers, including state and local government agencies, have a policy which compensates employees for at least part, if not all, the time spent for jury service.
All employers must provide a leave of absence, pursuant to RCW 2.36.165 - Leave of absence from employment to be provided - Denial of promotional opportunities prohibited - Penalty - Civil action. This statute includes the following provisions:
An employer shall provide an employee with a sufficient leave of absence from employment to serve as a juror when that employee is summoned pursuant to Chapter 2.36 RCW.
An employer shall not deprive an employee of employment or threaten, coerce, or harass an employee, or deny an employee promotional opportunities because the employee receives a summons, responds to the summons, serves as a juror, or attends court for prospective jury service.
An employer who intentionally violates subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
If an employer commits an act in violation of subsection (2) of this section the employee may bring a civil action for damages as a result of the violation and for an order requiring the reinstatement of the employee. If the employee prevails, the employee shall be allowed a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court.
For purposes of this section employer means any person, association, partnership, or private or public corporation who employs or exercises control over wages, hours, or working conditions of one or more employees.
If you have a disability and believe you may need an accommodation to serve as a juror, please contact the Jury Services Supervisor at 206-477-1319 or by email to jurydutySEA@kingcounty.gov
If you are calling to be excused from the summons for physical/medical reasons please ask your physician to send a letter to the court using court’s address on your summons, specifically noting that you are unable to serve due to a chronic condition. The physician’s letter can also be faxed to 206-296-0986 or sent in an attachment to jurydutySEA@kingcounty.gov
We are unable to excuse candidates on the basis of a telephone call.
If the weather conditions are bad and the court determines that it will not require jurors to appear for court services, we will post this information on our website, or you can call (206) 477-1400, which is the court's primary information line.
Current law makes no provision for volunteer jurors. The court relies on a process that assures a random selection from the entire county. This means that some will be called often and some citizens will never be summonsed. If you have served in the past year (12 months) King County Superior Court is happy to excuse you from your current summons.
If your service was with Superior Court, just contact us and request exemption. If you served with a different jurisdiction, please ask that court for a letter confirming your service and send that to us along with the lower portion of your summons, and we will process the exemption. Thank you for serving…wherever you served!
Yes. Jurors currently earn $10.00 per day of service. You also will receive compensation for your transportation costs to and from the courthouse, based on your transportation method. The court will fully reimburse you for your train, light rail, bus, ferry, or water taxi fare. If you drive to the courthouse and park, you will be given a mileage allowance; however, we cannot compensate you for parking costs.
Checks are sent out every two weeks, so your check may not reflect your entire compensation. Please wait at least two weeks after your last day of service for your final check.
Your name was selected at random from a list of names generated from voter registration, driver’s license, and "identicard" records. Every year the Administrative Office for the Courts in Olympia creates a new list of names for every court in King County. It is possible that you will be summoned by one or more courts in the same year or over the course of several years.
If you have reported for jury duty in Superior Court within the past 12 months, we are happy to excuse you from your current summons. Log onto our new juror scheduling system and request to be excused, noting that you have served recently with Superior Court.
If you have lost your King County Superior Court summons, send an email to JuryDutySEA@kingcounty.gov and include your full name, address and date of birth.
If your summons was from another court please visit this webpage: https://www.kingcounty.gov/how-do-i/jury-duty.aspx.
Please note “deceased” on the addressee portion of the summons, and return the item to the mailbox. The Post Office will return it to the court.
You are welcome to bring reading material and laptops since our locations have wireless internet access. All persons and packages will be subject to security screening.
If you have served with any other jurisdiction, please contact that court and request written verification of your service. Forward that to us, along with the lower portion of the Superior Court summons, and an exemption will be processed.