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Criminal Grand Jury
In addition to the regularly appointed grand jury, the supervising judge may, on the request of the Attorney General or the district attorney, direct that a second jury be empaneled whose sole function is to return criminal indictments. (Pen. Code, § 904.6, subd. (a).) If requested by the district attorney or Attorney General, the supervising judge should notify the CEO or the Jury Commissioner to coordinate regarding date, time, and selection of the criminal grand jury. If the Court proceeds with empanelment, the Court will designate a date, time and place for jury selection, and the Jury Commissioner will summon prospective jurors. The supervising judge should request that the district attorney provide an estimated time of grand jury empanelment to facilitate determination of juror hardships.
The criminal grand jury is comprised of 19 jurors, and alternates, as needed. The supervising judge selects persons at random from the list of trial jurors in civil and criminal cases and examines them to determine if they are competent to serve as grand jurors. (Pen. Code, § 904.6, subd. (b).) Only one additional grand jury may be empaneled at any one time, and they may be impaneled for up to one year. (Pen. Code, § 904.6, subd. (c).) They may be discharged at any time within the one-year period by order of the supervising judge. (Ibid.) The statute requires persons to be selected at random from a source or sources “reasonably representative of a cross section of the population which is eligible for jury service in the county." (Pen.Code, § 904.6(e).)
Once the supervising judge examines the jurors regarding their qualifications to be a grand juror and determines hardships, the oath should be administered.
Once appointed, this additional grand jury has the sole and exclusive jurisdiction to return indictments, except for any matters which the regular grand jury is inquiring into at the time of its empanelment. (Pen. Code, § 904.6, subd. (d).) If it is discharged, another additional grand jury may be impaneled at a later date within the same year if it is needed. The additional grand jury authorized by section 904.6 is restricted to criminal matters and may not perform civil oversight functions. (76 Op. Atty Gen. 181.)
If you have received a criminal grand jury summons please follow the phone in instructions. You may also elect to check your status online via the Jury Portal