Citizens interested in serving on the 2009-2010 Contra Costa County Civil Grand Jury must submit applications by April 15, 2009. The Grand Jury is made up of 19 people and serves for one year, July through June, to monitor, review and report on city and county governments and special districts. “Grand Juries are the citizen watchdogs of civic functions,” says current Grand Jury Foreperson Leslie Lea. “All county citizens have the authority to call the juries’ attention to issues within their governmental agencies that they think should be reviewed.”
Every effort is made to ensure that the Grand Jury reflects the makeup of the residents of the county. Approximately 60 applicants will be selected to be interviewed by the Grand Jury Selection Committee, which is composed of Superior Court Judges. After interviews, the judges will nominate approximately 30 applicants to constitute a grand jury pool from which the final panel of 19 will be selected by random drawing. The drawing is scheduled to be held on Friday, May 29, 2009, and the members of the 2009-2010 Grand Jury will officially be sworn in on Friday, June 26, 2009.
Individuals selected for service will be expected to be available primarily on Tuesdays through Thursdays during the month of June to meet with outgoing jurors, tour county facilities, meet with department heads, become familiar with their colleagues, learn about juror responsibilities and procedures, and select committees on which they will serve.
Grand jurors must be United States citizens, 18 years of age or older, who have been residents of Contra Costa County for at least one year prior to selection. They cannot currently hold any elected position within the county. Applicants should be in good health, have reliable transportation to Martinez, and be prepared to spend at least 20 hours per week on Grand Jury business. Citizens who work should apply only if they can be released from their jobs to perform the jury duties. Applicants selected as among the 30 nominees will be fingerprinted before the drawing.
Jurors receive a stipend for attending full jury and committee meetings and are reimbursed for allowable jury travel. Martinez parking permits are provided.
Application forms are available at the Office of the Court Secretary at 649 Main St., Suite 101, in Martinez. They may also be obtained by sending a written request and a self-addressed envelope to the Office of the Grand Jury Commissioner, P.O. Box 911, Martinez, CA 94553.
Additional information regarding service on the Contra Costa Grand Jury may be obtained by calling 925-957-5638.