Juror Qualification Questionnaire

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Juror Qualification Form Questions

With which question on the form do you have a question?

 

 

What should I do if the person is away at school?
You may do one of the following:

  • Please forward the questionnaire to the person for completion.  
  • If you intend on seeing the person within three months, you may hold the form until that time. Disregard the 10 day timeframe required to return the form.
  • Complete the Juror Qualification Questionnaire on the person's behalf and explain why you are doing so in the remark's section on the back side of the form.
  • Return the blank form to the court and also provide the mailing address for the person.

 

What should I do if the person no longer lives at this address?
Please forward the form to that person, if possible.  Otherwise, mark "no longer at this address" on the envelope and return it to the court.

 

What should I do if I moved or am moving out of state?
If you already moved, cross out your old address on the form and write your new address next to it.

If you have yet to move, explain the circumstances on the back of the form and include your new address, if known, and when you are moving. Since you may still be eligible to serve in our court, it is important that you complete the entire form, including signature.

 

What should I do if the person is deceased?
All we ask is that you indicate this fact on the back of the form, sign your name, and return it to the court.  A copy of a death certificate is not necessary.
 
 

What should I do if I'm not able to return the form within 10 days?
We understand that circumstances may prevent you from returing the form within 10 days. Please return the form as soon as you can.  You do not need to contact the court to explain your circumstances.

 
What should I do if I don't live in King or Pierce county?
You still need to complete the entire form.  We are a federal court and we summon jurors from the 19 Washington counties within our district.  By comparison, state, county and municipal government courts typically only calls jurors from within a specific county or city.
 
 

What should I do if I lost my Qualification Questionnaire?
Contact the court
 so that we can mail you another questionnaire.
 
 

Where did you get my name and why did I receive a questionnaire?
Every two years, our court randomly selects jurors from a combined listing of active registered voters, and holders of drivers' licenses, and I.D. cards obtained from the state of Washington.  Our Local Jury Plan (PDF) establishes how we select grand and petit juries at random from a fair cross section of the community in the district wherein the court convenes.

This selection creates the court’s "master jury wheel" (a term which originated in the days when names were placed into a large barrel-type wheel and turned around to mix them up; today, however, we use computers to randomly select names).  Each person selected is mailed a qualification questionnaire to be completed and returned.  Receiving a qualification questionnaire does not mean that you have been summoned for jury duty.  Its purpose is only to develop a large selection of qualified citizens from which future juries will be summoned.  Those citizens who are deemed to be qualified to serve as jurors based upon their answers to the questionnaire are then placed into the "qualified jury wheel"  From this pool the court will randomly select groups of prospective jurors and summon them for service over the course of a two-year period.  Every two years the court discards its old "wheels" and creates new ones.
 

 
Is there a penalty for not completing and returning the form?
Yes.  You could be ordered to appear before the court to complete the questionnaire at your own expense.

 

How can I be permanently excused from serving?
The court may deem that you are disqualified from serving based upon your answers to the questionnaire.  However, if not, you would have to be eligible for one of the two excuse categories under question number 14.   Otherwise, if you are deemed qualified to serve and you have a hardship, you will have the opportunity to address your concerns if you are summoned sometime in the future.
 

 

Juror Qualification Fields

Are you a citizen of the United States?  - (Question #1)
You must be a U.S. Citizen to be eligible to serve.  

 

Are you 18 years of age or older? - (Question #2)
You must be at least 18 years or older to serve.

 

Has your primary residence for the past year been in the same county and state? - (Question #3)
If your answer is no to either or both questions, indicate on the back of the form names and dates of other primary residences.

 

Do you read, write, speak, and understand the English Language? - (Question #4)
If another person helps fill out the form for you, please explain why and indicate the name of the person on the back of the form.

 

Are any charges now pending against you for a violation of state or federal law punishable by imprisonment for more than one year? - (Question #5)
If so, please explain on the back of the form: The date and nature of the offense, the potential sentence imposed if convicted, and the name of the court.  A person is disqualified from jury service only for criminal offenses punishable for more than one year, but it is the maximum penalty, and not the actual sentence, which is the determining factor.

 

Have you ever been convicted of a state or federal crime for which punishment could have been more than one year in prison? - (Question #6)
If so, please explain on the back of the form: The date and nature of the offense, the sentence imposed, and the name of the court.  Unless your civil rights have since been restored, a person is disqualified from jury service for criminal offenses punishable for more than one year, but it is the maximum penalty, and not the actual sentence, which is the determining factor.  

 

Were your civil rights restored? - (Question #7)
If you indicate yes, the court requires official documentation, such as a discharge order.  You may find either of these PDF brochures for those convicted in Washington State -  Restoring Your Right to Vote in Washington and How Ex-Felons Can Restore Their Right to Vote in Washington.  Otherwise, if your answer to question #6 was "no", you do not have to answer this question.

 

Do you have a physical or mental disability that would interfere with or prevent you from serving as a juror? - (Question #8)

  • Please explain on the back of the form why you are unable to serve and provide medical documentation, if easily attainable.  Do not ask the court to contact your doctor for verification.
  • Since you may be called over the course of a two-year period, it is important that the court know whether your medical condition is permanent or temporary.  Therefore, any information you can provide would be helpful to the court.
  • If you wish to serve, but require some sort of accommodation by the court, please indicate the accommodation required on the back of the form.

 

Exempt Occupations - (Question #9)
Only the following three full-time occupational categories are considered exemptions from serving:  

  • Public official of the United States, state, or local government who is elected to public office or directly appointed by one elected to office;
  • Member of any governmental police or regular fire department;
  • Member in active service of the armed forces of the United States.

If you have a question on whether you fall under one of these three categories, it is best to make a note of your concerns in the "Remarks" section on the back of the questionnaire.

 

Race/Ethnicity - (Question #10)
Your answer to this question is required solely to avoid discrimination in juror selection and has absolutely no bearing on qualifications for jury service.  In this way, the federal court can fulfill the policy of the United States, which is to provide jurors who are randomly selected from a fair cross section of the community.  

 

Sex - (Question #11)
Your answer to this question has no bearing on qualification for jury service.  However, this information is helpful to the court for statistical reporting purposes and your response is appreciated.

 

Occupation - (Question #12)
Federal law requires that you answer this question about your occupation so that we may determine whether you fall within an exemption category.

 

Education - (Question #13)
Your answer to this question has no bearing on qualification for jury service.  However, your response is appreciated.

 

Grounds for requesting excuse - (Question #14)
If one of the following categories applies to you and you wish to be excused for that reason, fill in completely the circle for your category at question 14 on the form:  
 

  • (1) A person having served as grand or petit juror in federal court within the last two years;
  • (2) A person who serves without compensation as a volunteer firefighter or member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew for a federal, state, or local government agency.
     

Please note that although there are ten bubbles to choose from on the form, only the first two apply to this question and the rest should be disregarded.

 

Marital Status - (Question #15)
Your answer to this question has no bearing on qualification for jury service.  However, your response is appreciated.

 

Signature - (Question #16)
Be sure that you sign the form.  If another person had to fill out the questionnaire for you, that person must indicate his or her name, and the reason why under the "Remarks" section on the back of the form.