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AGO 1955 No. 19 - February 07, 1955
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

JURY ‑- WITNESSES ‑- MILEAGE FEES. 

Jurors and witnesses are entitled to mileage compensation each way for each day of attendance upon superior court that mileage is actually incurred therefor.

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                                                                  February 7, 1955

Honorable John Hancock
Prosecuting Attorney
Okanogan County
Okanogan, Washington                                                                                                               Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 19

 Dear Sir:

             You have requested our opinion on the following question:

             Are witnesses and jurors entitled to mileage compensation each way for each day of attendance upon superior court?

             We answer in the affirmative.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             As to witnesses, RCW 2.40.010 provides:

             "Witnesses shall receive for each day's attendance in all courts of this state, besides mileage at ten cents per mile each way, four dollars."

             RCW 2.36.150 provides, in relevant part, as follows:

             "Each grand and petit juror shall receive for each day's attendance upon the superior court, beside mileage, five dollars; * * * mileage, each way, per mile, ten cents: * * *"

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            It seems clear to us that both statutes expressly authorize mileage compensation each way for each day's attendance upon superior court.  Moreover, our conclusion is borne out byCorbaley v. Pierce County, 192 Wash. 688 (1937), wherein the trial court refused to limit the mileage allowance to one round trip by each witness.  In affirming the trial court on this point the supreme court said at page 693:

             "This statute [RCW 2.40.010] is explicit in regard to the per diem compensation of witnesses and of the mileage allowance.  Numerous trips by a witness to and from his domicile during a trial might be improper if his domicile is far removed from the locus of the trial, but that is a matter which must be resolved according to the facts of each particular case."  (Emphasis supplied)

             In State ex rel. Hastie v. Lamping, 25 Wash. 278, the court held that jurors were not entitled to compensation for Saturday where they were excused from service from Friday until Monday.  Manifestly, such jurors will desire to return to their respective homes and are entitled to a travel allowance for the trip. 

            Travel allowance for both jurors and witnesses was increased to ten cents per mile in the same act by the 1951 legislature.  Had there been any intention to differentiate between witnesses and jurors with respect to mileage, we feel certain that the legislature would have so indicated.

             We conclude that jurors and witnesses are entitled to receive compensation for travel for each trip actually made between their respective homes and the superior courts.

 Very truly yours,
 DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General 

RICHARD L. NORMAN
Assistant Attorney General

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