The Grand Jury is part of the judicial branch of government. Consisting of eleven citizens, it is an arm of the court, yet is also an entirely independent body. The presiding judge of the superior court, the district attorney, the county counsel, and the state attorney general act as the Grand Jury's advisors.
What is a county grand jury and what does it do?
In California, the grand jury system consists of 58 separate grand juries—one in each county—that are convened on an annual (July–June) basis by the Superior Court to serve a “watchdog” function, investigating and reporting on the operations of local government.
With regard to its watchdog authority, the civil grand jury is well suited to the effective investigation of local governments because it is an independent body, operationally separate from the entities and officials it investigates. It conducts its investigations under the auspices of the Superior Court and has broad access to public officials, employees, records and information.
The grand jury’s fact-finding efforts result in written reports which contain specific recommendations aimed at identifying problems and offering recommendations for improving government operations and enhancing responsiveness. In this way, the grand jury acts as a representative of county residents in promoting government accountability.
Volunteer to Serve as a Grand Juror
The Alpine County Superior Court is now accepting applications from qualified citizens interested in being nominated to serve as civil grand jurors for the time period July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. Duties include, but are not limited to, investigating the operations of county government, researching matters of civic concern, and inquiring into public offenses.
Members of the Grand Jury are intended to represent a cross-section of ages, occupations, ethnic groups and geographic regions of the county.
Grand jurors must meet the following legal qualifications:
- At least 18 years of age
- Citizen of the United States
- Resident of Alpine County for one year prior to next July
- Possess sufficient knowledge of the English language
- Not currently serving as a trial juror
- Not discharged as a grand juror within one year prior to next July
- Never convicted of a malfeasance in office or any felony or other higher crime
- Not currently serving as an elected official
- In possession of natural faculties, of ordinary intelligence, of sound judgment, and of fair character
If you would like to be considered for the 2019–2020 Alpine County Grand Jury, you must complete and submit an application by April 30, 2019. Applications can be obtained at the Alpine County Courthouse or you may request that an application be sent to you by calling the Court at 530 694-2113 Ext. 2. The Jury Commissioner will review your application. If you are eligible for service, you may be interviewed and then summoned to appear for the final selection process, which will be a date to be determined in July 2019.
Grand Jury Report (PDF)