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Jury pay increase possible in eastern Idaho

Jury pay increase possible in eastern Idaho

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Pay raises for jury duty in Idaho could be up to local commissioners.  A new state law allows them the option to increase the daily pay of jurors. Jurors earn $5 for a half-day and $10 for a full day. Now counties may pay $25 for a half-day and up to $50 for a whole day. The law says it's up to local commissioners.

Bonneville County Commissioner Chairman Roger Christensen said they won't start looking into the pay raise until they meet with all of the counties in September. But he says one problem they'll face is money. Christensen said it would have to come from property tax revenue.

Christensen said the commissioners will consider the decisions of other counties in the state. He also said jury duty is a civic responsibility, and it can be a burden.

"We appreciate the citizens who are willing to serve on the juries. You know, $10 a day isn't much compensation, so we are going to try to find that balance to making sure they're compensated because it is a sacrifice on their part," he said.

But even if the pay becomes more, some people might not show up to trial, because that burden remains. Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney Bruce Pickett said there are consequences when people don't show up.

"If someone does not show up to jury duty, they can be fined up to $300 and put in jail for three days as a contempt of court charge," said Pickett.

There is no planned date yet to make a decision.

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