Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1978 NO. 4 >

(1) The provisions of RCW 12.12.030, as amended by §§ 2 of chapters 53 and 248, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., are applicable to civil proceedings in district justice courts organized under the justice court act of 1961; however, neither RCW 10.46.190 nor RCW 35.20.090, as respectively amended by §§ 1 and 3 of the foregoing 1977 acts, are applicable to such district justice courts either in connection with criminal or traffic proceedings in such courts. Jury fees in criminal or traffic cases tried in district justice courts are now governed, instead, by the provisions of chapter 96, Laws of 1975-76, 2nd Ex. Sess. (RCW 10.01.160, et seq. ).  (2) The jury fee provided for by RCW 12.12.030, as amended, is to be paid to the county in which the trial occurred and not to be distributed to the jurors.  (3) In civil cases tried before a jury in a district justice court, the only cost item for jury fees which may be imposed is the $25 item provided for in RCW 12.12.030, as amended; however, defendants in criminal or traffic cases tried by a jury in a district court may be charged the actual expenses of providing the jury ‑ but only if (1) the expenses are especially incurred in prosecuting the defendant and (2) the defendant was charged with an offense punishable by imprisonment of six months or less, or a fine of $500 or less, or both.  (4) To the extent that a jury fee is recoverable at all in connection with a criminal trial in a district justice court, that jury fee may be collected from a criminal defendant only after conviction.