Applications for Grand Jury service are accepted throughout the year. Official recruitment begins in January and final selection of the jury takes place at a public hearing shortly before July 1st of each year. Grand Jurors serve for one fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). The process starts with Superior Court judges interviewing applicants who meet the basic qualifications. The court has the responsibility to select 30 finalists divided among the county’s supervisorial districts. During the final selection hearing, the names of the 30 finalists are placed in a selection bin. The Presiding Judge can hold over up to ten jurors to serve a second term, and once those holdover jurors are chosen, the remaining slots are filed by random selection from the 30 finalists to make up a panel of 19 jurors total.
The qualifications to become a grand juror require:
Convicted felons and those who have been discharged from service on a Grand Jury within one year are ineligible for Grand Jury service.
Persons selected for Grand Jury service must make a significant time commitment for a period of one fiscal year. The jury meets on Wednesdays and Thursdays (in Oakland) but most grand jurors devote additional time to their service.
Soon after the selection process, empaneled grand jurors receive a month long orientation on local government and must complete a statement of economic interests (FPPC Form 700). Grand jurors are provided training and support throughout their service. They must be willing to participate in questioning witnesses, reading and analyzing investigative materials, and in writing their final reports. Grand juror are paid $15 per day plus mileage and/or public transportation reimbursement.
April 15: Juror applications due for term starting in July
Early May: Mandatory informational meeting for all applicants
May 1 to June 1: Applicant interviews with Judicial Panel
Mid-June: 30 finalists announced (chosen by Judicial Panel and Presiding Judge)
Late June: Formal selection hearing (19 jurors chosen for term starting July 1)