Trial by jury has been a cornerstone of freedom and justice for centuries. In America, it is an important part of our heritage and a crucial piece of a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Thomas Jefferson said: "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." The right to a jury trial is a fundamental right protected by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Oregon.
Your service as a juror is one of the most important functions of our democracy. Juries must represent a cross section of our community. People are entitled to a jury of their peers. We need people from all walks of life for a jury to work well. This means that all adult citizens are called on to give their time to serve as jurors. You do not need any special knowledge or set of skills to be a juror. You will need to exercise your intelligence, integrity, sound judgment and common sense. You must have an open mind and be willing to set aside your personal feelings and biases to act with complete impartiality.
We recognize that jury service is an inconvenience for most people and a hardship for many. It requires a sacrifice of time and often a sacrifice of money by jurors, their families, co-workers and employers. This is the price required to preserve justice and the rule of law in our society. On behalf of the people of the State of Oregon and of Multnomah County, I give special thanks to those who serve as jurors despite the sacrifice. Our system of justice simply could not work without you.
Presiding Judge, Multnomah County Circuit Court
Multnomah County Courthouse and East County Courthouse:
As you read through the content of this web page on Jury Service, you will see references to the “Multnomah County Courthouse” and the “East County Courthouse”. Both of these facilities are part of the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for Multnomah County, but the East County Courthouse is the new facility opened by Multnomah County in April, 2012. This new courthouse is in the City of Gresham – but with a Portland zip code and mailing address. Jurors are summonsed directly to this new courthouse starting in 2013. Individuals summoned to either courthouse must by law be drawn from the Master Jury List for the entire county. There cannot be regional selection based on courthouse location.
The various topics on this web-page may contain separate designations for differences that exist between the two courthouse facilities as to jury service. Where there are no differences you should read the page as applying to both locations for jury service. On every page with differences set out, the Multnomah County Courthouse information will be set out at the top of the page, and the East County Courthouse information will be below.