The Tuolumne County Civil Grand Jury
Is an independent body of 19 people, appointed by the court.
Can work as full body committee or by using individual committees.
Operates with a court-appointed foreperson that facilitates the activities of the Jury and acts as its spokesperson.
Grand Jurors serve voluntarily for one year beginning July 1.
Local Government Oversight
The Grand Jury may examine all aspects of local government, the county, the city of Sonora, school districts, and special districts to ensure the best interests of Tuolumne County citizens are being served. The Grand Jury reviews and evaluates procedures, methods, and systems used by local government to determine whether more efficient and economical programs may be employed. The Grand Jury may:
1. Inspect and audit books, records, and financial expenditures to ensure that public funds are properly accounted for and legally spent;
2. Inspect financial records of local government districts in Tuolumne County;
3. Inquire into the conditions of prisons, jails and detention centers; and/or
4. Inquire into any charges of willful misconduct in office by public officials or employees.
Investigation findings and recommendations of the Grand Jury are published in an annual Grand Jury Report, describing problems encountered and making recommendations for solutions. You may visit www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/386/Grand-Jury to view past and current reports and responses.
Grand Jury Reports
The Tuolumne County Grand Jury issues its final Report each year in late June. The Report is available to all county residents, and is delivered to the news media and to heads of affected governmental agencies. Affected agencies are required to respond to the findings and recommendations within 60 to 90 days. The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors must comment on the Jury’s recommendations within 90 days. The responses of the affected agencies are also available to the public. Current and recent Grand Jury Reports and responses are available on Tuolumne County's Web site at www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/386/Grand-Jury.
The Complaint Process
The Tuolumne County Grand Jury is responsive to the suggestions and complaints from citizens about issues the Jury should investigate. Each suggestion or complaint is reviewed by the full Grand Jury, or assigned to one of the Jury’s committees for consideration. Though the Grand Jury cannot investigate every issue, each suggestion or complaint is duly considered. All complaints received by the Grand Jury are treated confidentially. The Grand Jury’s records may not be inspected nor subpoenaed. All Grand Jury investigations and interviews are kept confidential.
Submitting a Complaint
How to submit a complaint for investigation by the Tuolumne County Grand Jury:
Download the complaint form.
Complete and return the form. You may print and mail the completed document to the address below, or you may email it to email@example.com.
Tuolumne County Grand Jury
12855 Justice Center Drive
Sonora, CA 95370
Grand Jury service is a serious commitment.
A Grand Juror must maintain:
- Open-mindedness and patience
- Willingness to work as a member of a team
- Respect for the opinions of others.
Legal requirements are:
- Age minimum of 18 years
- Residency in the State of California and the County of Tuolumne
- United States citizenship for one year before being selected
- Verbal and written proficiency in the English language
Desired knowledge and skills:
- Knowledge of the operation of local government.
- Ability to analyze information, draft reports, and actively participate in investigations.
A person will not be able to serve if he or she:
- Is currently serving as a trial juror in any court of this state.
- Has been discharged as a Grand Juror in any court of this state within one year.
- Has been convicted of a felony, malfeasance in office, or other high crimes.
Grand Jury responsibilities:
- The Grand Jury has statutory authority to investigate and report on the accounts, records, operations, and functions of local government, such as special districts, city, and county governments and local public officials.
- Reviews citizen's complaints for possible investigation and reporting.
- Tours the prison, jail and detention facilities in the county, including the Sierra Conservation Center.
- In cooperation with the District Attorney's Office, issues criminal indictments.
- Must produce a final Report before the end of the term.
- Persons selected for the Grand Jury must make a commitment for a full year, and be prepared to serve at least 6 hours a week.
Grand Jury selection process:
- A grand jury candidate pool is developed from voter registration and Department of Motor Vehicle records, applications (that are available on this website) received from the public, as well as interested individuals nominated by the Superior Court Judges.
- Anywhere between 750 and 1500 Grand Jury Questionnaires are mailed to randomly selected individuals in the Jury candidate pool each year.
- The Executive Assistant collates returned Grand Jury Questionnaires. Questionnaires with an expressed desire to serve are passed along to the Advising Judge.
- The Advising Judge reviews the questionnaires and comprises a list of applicants. Every effort is made to recruit both men and women from all socio-economic levels, ethnic, and age groups. Applicants are considered on the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for successful performance as a Grand Juror. This screening process will identify approximately 50 applicants for further consideration. Those applicants who appear to be qualified will be invited to an interview.
- By a personal interview of those applicants, the Advising Judge ascertains their qualifications to serve and forms a Grand Juror Pool sufficient in number for the incoming Grand Jury.
- The persons selected will constitute the Grand Jury Panel and a random drawing from this panel is held to select the 19 members and 15 alternates of the next Grand Jury.
- Shortly before the beginning of the Grand Jury term of service, July 1 through June 30, an orientation process is conducted. The foreperson is selected by the Advising Judge of the Superior Court, with all other officers selected by the Jury itself.
- Tuolumne County provides Grand Jurors and Alternatives with a comprehensive 2 day training together with other Grand Jurors in the Tri-county area to prepare then for their work ahead.
Grand Jurors are paid $15 per diem for each Grand Jury meeting attended, plus mileage. Grand Jurors are not paid the per diem for individual committee meetings.
The Grand Jury may rely on the following as advisors:
- Advising Judge
- District Attorney
- County Counsel
- Attorney General
The Grand Jury meets in the Grand Jury meeting room in a designated space determined by the Superior Court of California, or the County of Tuolumne. Meeting can also be by remote presence. The Grand Jury decides where and how it will meet to conduct business.