You may be wondering how you were picked to get a summons for jury duty, especially if you have been called to serve before and you know people who have never been called.
The right to a jury trial in both civil and criminal cases is protected by both the state and federal constitutions. Jurors are the representatives of the community. An “all-volunteer” jury would not necessarily be a representative group, so we use random selection to assure that the parties get a “jury of their peers”.
Every year the State Court Administrator makes a list of potential jurors by merging the lists of people who are registered voters in Multnomah County and the list of people who have driver’s licenses or identification cards issued by DMV. Duplicate entries are eliminated. A master juror list is then drawn randomly from this combined list by the State Court Administrator. This master list has the names of 90% of the people in Multnomah County who are on either of these two lists. This Master list is provided to the Trial Court Administrator. A computer draws names at random from the master list and those people are summoned for jury duty.
Because the process is random, you may be called to jury service more than once, while your neighbor has never been called. However, if you have served as a juror within the last 24 months in either a state or federal court in Oregon, you are not eligible to serve. See Eligibility page.