SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2394






                        52nd Legislature

                      1992 Regular Session

Passed by the House February 13, 1992

  Yeas 96   Nays 0




Speaker of the

       House of Representatives


Passed by the Senate March 5, 1992

  Yeas 46   Nays 0



I, Alan Thompson, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2394 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.




President of the Senate

                               Chief Clerk



Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below.





Governor of the State of Washington

                        Secretary of State

                       State of Washington



                            SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 2394



                     Passed Legislature - 1992 Regular Session



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1992 Regular Session


By House Committee on Judiciary (originally sponsored by Representatives Appelwick, Padden and Orr)


Read first time 02/07/92.  Establishing limitations for jurors.

     AN ACT Relating to jurors; and amending RCW 2.36.010, 2.36.080, 2.36.093, 2.36.095, 2.36.100, and 4.44.160.




     Sec. 1.  RCW 2.36.010 and 1988 c 188 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

     Unless the context clearly requires otherwise the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

     (1) A jury is a body of persons temporarily selected from the qualified inhabitants of a particular district, and invested with power‑-

     (a) To present or indict a person for a public offense.

     (b) To try a question of fact.

     (2) "Court" when used without further qualification means any superior court or court of limited jurisdiction in the state of Washington.

     (3) "Judge" means every judicial officer authorized to hold or preside over a court.  For purposes of this chapter "judge" does not include court commissioners or referees.

     (4) "Juror" means any person summoned for service on a petit jury, grand jury, or jury of inquest as defined in this chapter.

     (5) "Grand jury" means those twelve persons impaneled by a superior court to hear, examine, and investigate evidence concerning criminal activity and corruption.

     (6) "Petit jury" means a body of persons twelve or less in number in the superior court and six in number in courts of limited jurisdiction, drawn by lot from the jurors in attendance upon the court at a particular session, and sworn to try and determine a question of fact.

     (7) "Jury of inquest" means a body of persons six or fewer in number, but not fewer than four persons, summoned before the coroner or other ministerial officer, to inquire of particular facts.

     (8) "Jury source list" means the list of all registered voters for any county, as compiled by each county auditor pursuant to the provisions of chapter 29.07 RCW.  The list shall specify each voter's name, residence address, and precinct as shown on the original registration card of each qualified voter.  The list shall be filed with the superior court by the county auditor.

     (9) "Master jury list" means the list of prospective jurors from which jurors summoned to serve will be randomly selected.  The master jury list shall be either randomly selected from the jury source list or may be an exact duplicate of the jury source list.

     (10) "Jury term" means ((the period of time a person is required to serve as a juror.  A jury term shall begin on the first Monday of each month and shall end on the Saturday immediately preceding the first Monday of each month, unless changed by the court.  A jury term may be extended by the court if necessary for the administration of justice)) a period of time of one or more days, not exceeding one month, during which summoned jurors must be available to report for juror service.

     (11) "Juror service" means the period of time a juror is required to be present at the court facility.  This period of time may not extend beyond the end of the jury term, and may not exceed two weeks, except to complete a trial to which the juror was assigned during the two-week period.

     (((11))) (12) "Jury panel" means those persons randomly selected for jury service for a particular jury term.


     Sec. 2.  RCW 2.36.080 and 1979 ex.s. c 135 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

     (1) It is the policy of this state that all persons selected for jury service be selected at random from a fair cross section of the population of the area served by the court, and that all qualified citizens have the opportunity in accordance with this 1979 act to be considered for jury service in this state and have an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose.

     (2) It is the policy of this state to maximize the availability of residents of the state for jury service.  It also is the policy of this state to minimize the burden on the prospective jurors, their families, and employers resulting from jury service.  The jury term and jury service should be set at as brief an interval as is practical given the size of the jury source list for the judicial district.  The optimal jury term is two weeks or less.  Optimal juror service is one day or one trial, whichever is longer.

     (3) A citizen shall not be excluded from jury service in this state on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status.

     (((3))) (4) This section does not affect the right to peremptory challenges under RCW 4.44.130.


     Sec. 3.  RCW 2.36.093 and 1988 c 188 s 8 are each amended to read as follows:

     (1) At such time as the judge or judges of any court of any county shall deem that the public business requires a jury term to be held, the judge or judges shall direct that a jury panel be selected and summoned to serve for the ensuing jury term or terms.

     (2) The court shall establish the length and number of jury terms in a consecutive twelve-month period, and shall establish the time of juror service consistent with the provisions of RCW 2.36.010.


     Sec. 4.  RCW 2.36.095 and 1990 c 140 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

     (1) Persons selected to serve on a petit jury, grand jury, or jury of inquest shall be summoned by mail or personal service.  The county clerk shall issue summons and thereby notify persons selected for jury duty.  The clerk may issue summons for any jury term, in any consecutive twelve-month period, at any time thirty days or more before the beginning of the jury term for which the summons are issued.  However, when applicable, the provisions of RCW 2.36.130 apply.

     (2) In courts of limited jurisdiction summons shall be issued by the court.  Upon  the agreement of the courts, the county clerk may summon jurors for any and all courts in the county or judicial district.


     Sec. 5.  RCW 2.36.100 and 1988 c 188 s 10 are each amended to read as follows:

     (1) Except for a person who is not qualified for jury service under RCW 2.36.070, no person may be excused from jury service by the court except upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, public necessity, ((prior jury service once in the last two years,)) or any reason deemed sufficient by the court for a period of time the court deems necessary.

     (2) At the discretion of the court's designee, after a request by a prospective juror to be excused, a prospective juror excused from juror service for a particular time may be assigned to another jury term within the twelve-month period.  If the assignment to another jury term is made at the time a juror is excused from the jury term for which he or she was summoned, a second summons under RCW 2.36.095 need not be issued.

     (3) When the jury source list has been fully summoned within a consecutive twelve-month period and additional jurors are needed, jurors who have already served during the consecutive twelve-month period may be summoned again for service.  A juror who has previously served may only be excused if he or she served at least two weeks of juror service within the preceding twelve months.  An excuse for prior service shall be granted only upon the written request of the prospective juror, which request shall certify the terms of prior service.  Prior jury service may include service in superior court, in a court of limited jurisdiction, in the United States District Court, or on a jury of inquest.


     Sec. 6.  RCW 4.44.160 and 1975 1st ex.s. c 203 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

     General causes of challenge are:

     (1) ((A conviction for a felony.

     (2))) A want of any of the qualifications prescribed ((by law)) for a juror, as set out in RCW 2.36.070.

     (((3))) (2) Unsoundness of mind, or such defect in the faculties of the mind, or organs of the body, as renders him or her incapable of performing the duties of a juror in any action.