The Constitution of the State of California requires every county to impanel a Grand Jury each year. Each July 1, the Yolo Superior Court impanels 19 grand jurors. The grand jury serves as an arm of the judicial system, but acts as an entirely independent body. Grand jury service is an exciting opportunity to serve your community and learn more about local government. It can be an incredibly rewarding and satisfying experience. Functions of the Grand Jury
The primary civil function of the grand jury is to review the operations of city and county government as well as other tax supported agencies and special districts. Based on these reviews, the grand jury publishes its findings, usually at the end of the term, in a Grand Jury Final Report. Based on its findings, the grand jury may recommend constructive action to improve the quality and effectiveness of local government.
Another responsibility of the grand jury is to consider criminal indictments based on evidence presented. In these criminal proceedings the grand jury is an effective and cost-saving tool - providing the ability to bring forth indictments quickly and efficiently avoiding the cost of lengthy preliminary hearings. In its criminal capacity the grand jury carefully reviews evidence and listens to testimonies. The grand jury does not judge and convict people. That process is the function of a court of law.
The grand jury also investigates complaints from private citizens, local government officials, or government employees.Eligibility Requirements for Grand Jury Service
- You must be a citizen of the United States;
- You must be 18 years of age or older;
- You have been a resident of Yolo County for at least one year before selection;
- You are in possession of your natural faculties, of ordinary intelligence, of sound judgment and fair character;
- You possess sufficient knowledge of the English language;
- You are not currently serving as a trial juror in any court of this state during the time of your grand jury term;
- You have not been discharged as a grand juror in any court of this state within one year;
- You have not been convicted of malfeasance in office or any felony;
- You are not serving as an elected public officer.
Term of Service
The term of service is a period of one year, from July 1 through June 30. You should be committed to serving the entire year.
The average time commitment for grand jury members is approximately 25-40 hours per month. Generally, two grand jury meetings are conducted per month, usually in the evening. Additional committee meetings may sometimes be scheduled during business hours.
Grand Jury Training
Grand Jury service is important work and a considerable responsibility. Generally, there are at least two training opportunities soon after being selected as a member of the grand jury. A half-day training session is held in Woodland, and a two-day training seminar, sponsored by the California Grand Jurors' Association takes place in the Sacramento area.
For additional information contact:
725 Court Street, Room 303
Woodland, CA 95695