The law states grand jury applicants must have the following qualifications:
- Citizen of the United States.
- 18 years of age or older.
- Resident of state and county or city and county for one year prior to being selected.
- In possession of natural faculties, ordinary intelligence, sound judgment, fair character.
- Possess sufficient knowledge of the English language.
Beyond the legal requirements, there are more specific qualifications which are desirable for a grand juror:
- A general knowledge of the functions, authorities and responsibilities of the county and city governments and other civil entities.
- Research abilities, including complex reading capabilities, background in accessing/analyzing facts and report writing.
- Substantial background in group/committee work.
- Respect and objectivity concerning the positions and views of others.
- What to Expect During the Background Investigation Process
- The Basic Background Investigation
- Record Checks
- Written Report to committee
- Read more
The complex, diverse responsibilities of grand jurors make it necessary to give a serious commitment to the time requirements. The Grand Jury term is one year, from July 1 through June 30. The usual work week is four to five days. Additionally, attendance at some evening and weekend meetings may be required.
Grand jurors are provided with meeting facilities and adjacent parking. The current stipend, set by the O.C. Board of Supervisors, for each day’s attendance is $50 per day for up to five days per week. Reimbursement for mileage to and from meetings is allowed at the regular county rate.
Applications submitted for grand jury service are reviewed by the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee, comprised of Superior Court judges. Every effort is made to recruit men and women from all socio-economic levels, ethnic and age groups. Applicants are judged on the knowledge, skills and abilities required for successful performance as a grand juror. This screening process identifies approximately 90 applicants for further consideration. Those applicants who appear to be qualified are invited to an interview before members of the committee.
Applicants who are found to be best qualified, interested and available to serve will be given a background check by the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department. Finalists for the list of potential grand jurors must include 25 to 30 names.
The law requires that potential grand jurors shall be selected from the five supervisorial districts in proportion to the population of those districts.
The 25 to 30 persons selected will constitute the prospective grand jury panel and are summoned to appear in court where all names are placed in a lottery draw. The first 19 names chosen become the next Orange County Grand Jury. The remaining names are drawn to provide alternates.
Shortly before the beginning of the grand jury term of service, July 1 through June 30, the current grand jury and their advisors conduct an orientation/training program. The presiding judge of the Superior Court selects the foreperson; the jury itself chooses all other officers.