Frustrated by the poor response to jury duty, Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Jack Burchard has decided to start prosecuting potential jurors who do not respond to the jury summons.
In September, of 240 notices sent to residents in OkanoganCounty asking them to show up for Superior Court jury duty, more than 100 people failed to return the questionnaire or show up in court.
This week, Judge Burchard issued a court summons to about 100 people who failed to show up in September, requiring them to appear before him on Nov. 5 to explain their failure to comply. Those who do not show up will receive a criminal summons served by the sheriff, and then subject to arrest.
The court summons sent to noncompliant jurors’ points to a state law that makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally fail to appear for jury service, and notes that a misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.