KENNEWICK, Wash. - It's a civic duty we all face at some point of our lives but when that summons for jury duty shows up in a mailbox, many people throw it away.
Court officials in Benton County Superior Court tell NBC Right Now they expect about 25 percent of the people they summon for jury duty to not show up.
This is also the case in Cowlitz County in western Washington where officials say they've been forced to delay criminal cases because too few people showed up for jury duty. On the other hand, Yakima County Court reports they have great cooperation from the people they summon for jury duty and only have about a five to 10 percent no show rate.
So far this year in Benton County the court summoned more than 13,000 people and only 37 percent of them responded.
"I think 25 percent no show is terrible that 25 percent of people that we tell we need you to report just ignore us and don't show up," said Benton County Clerk Josie Delvin.
Delvin suggests one of the reasons people don't show up for jury duty is because they don't realize it's actually a criminal offense if they don't report. Some of the responses she gets are that people don't have time or don't think they should have to show up.
Although the court is pleased with the people that do show up for their civic duty, Delvin wishes more people would take it seriously and actually report to court.