As COVID restrictions ease across Oregon, the state’s circuit courts are resuming in-person trials. We have been getting questions about serving on a jury. Each county circuit court has their own procedures and rules, so it is always a good idea to contact the circuit court directly to get answers to your questions. Here are some sources that I found online that answered some of those questions.
The Oregon State Bar has a Juror handbook which answers in plain language many questions a prospective juror may have.
On the Oregon courts webpage they have posted a Juror Orientation video. It has comments from judges, attorneys, and former jurors about jury duty and re-enactments of parts of jury selection and a trial. There is also a FAQ section on the site about jury duty in general (not county-specific information) and a section on court etiquette.
Since each county has different procedures and rules it is important to check the website for the county where you will serve for specifics about the process. You can find your court’s website here. Most counties have a specific webpage for juror information and most have online juror response sections as well as a phone number to check to see if you must report to the court.
The Washington County page has a general information page that gives information about the security screening process as well as a link for the online Juror Response Form. They also have a FAQ page dedicated to the rules and procedures that apply to the county. Information includes where to park, how to request an accommodation and how to request a deferral.
The federal district courts also have a jury system and their webpage has information that applies to federal trials. The U.S. District Court for Oregon has a juror information page. At the U.S. District Court level prospective jurors are sent a letter asking them to fill out a Juror Qualification Questionnaire online. This letter doesn’t require you to serve as a juror immediately but if you are found to be eligible for jury service after you fill out the questionnaire you may be called to service in the future.
One theme is common among all the sites: jury duty is one of the most important civic duties you can perform.
Post Script: The court sites that I visited have warnings about juror scams and how to spot them. Be sure to read this section on your court’s website. If you think you have been scammed, contact the police as well as the court.