California Grand Juries: An Overview
Grand Juries are impaneled in every county in California. Article I, §23 of the California Constitution states: "a grand jury shall be drawn and summoned at least once a year in each county." Depending on a county's population, a specified number of citizens ranging from 11 to 23 in each of California's 58 counties are empowered to investigate and report on various activities of county and city government. The rules governing the makeup, organization, powers and duties of grand juries in California are found in the California Penal Code §888-939. Recent changes in the Penal Code (§904.6, 1991) permit any county to have an additional grand jury at the discretion of the presiding judge of the superior court.
Qualifications for grand jurors are outlined in Penal Code §893. This section requires the prospective grand juror be at least 18 years old, in possession of their natural faculties and have sufficient knowledge of the English language. In Tehama County, each grand jury begins its term July 1 and ends its service June 30 of the following year.
How the Grand Jury is Organized
The Foreperson is appointed by the Court at the impanelment; the Foreperson facilitates the activities of the Grand Jury. Each Grand Jury decides its own meeting schedule. It meets as a full body and in committees, where the bulk of the work occurs. Each juror is asked to be on two to three committees, and meetings usually occur at least once a month. In addition, jurors meet with county and city officials, and conduct independent reviews on matters of interest or concern. Each committee reports to the full Grand Jury.
Conclusions are reached after study and discussion of the issues and may appear as part of the Grand Jury's final report. To access current Grand Jury Information and Grand Jury Report, please see: Tehama County's website.
The Benefits of Being a Grand Juror
The benefits of being a grand juror are many and individual. There is the satisfaction and pride of doing an important job; there is the experience of being a member of a respected panel, which has the unique authority to see local government workings not available to the regular citizen. Also, it provides an opportunity to make a difference in your community.
The Grand Jury receives complaints regarding all levels of local government from allegations of misconduct by public officials or employees to inefficiencies in local government. Any citizen may submit a complaint by either completing a Grand
Jury Complaint Form or by writing a letter to the Grand Jury. Complaints are treated as confidential. The Tehama County Grand Jury Mailing Address is: P. O. Box 1061, Red Bluff, CA 96080.
How to File a Complaint
The Tehama County Grand Jury Complaint Form can be obtained in a variety of ways:
About the Grand Jury
- Via this website - click on the attached link
Grand Jury Complaint Form
- Via email request at: GrandJury@tehamacourt.ca.gov
- By calling (530-527-8116, Option 6) and leaving your name and address for a form to be mailed to you, or a form can be picked up at the Courthouse upon request.
The Grand Jury is comprised of 19 members of the community. It is impaneled annually and its term of service is one year. The Grand Jury has a separate and different function than that of a jury and does not hear cases in a courtroom. Instead, jurors review and investigate local governmental activities within Tehama County. The Grand Jury examines county and city governments, schools and special districts to ensure that its duties are lawfully being carried out.
The Grand Jury is authorized by law to:
- Inquire into the condition and management of public prisons within the county.
- Investigate and report on the operations, accounts and records of county officers,
departments and their functions.
- Inquire into allegations of willful or corrupt misconduct of public officials.
- Submit a final report of its findings and recommendations to the Presiding Judge of the
To be considered for nomination, you must meet the following legal requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be a resident of Tehama County for at least one year immediately prior to the beginning
of your service.
- Possess intelligence, sound judgment, and good character.
- Have sufficient knowledge of the English language to communicate both orally and in
- Good health
- Knowledge of and interest in local government and community affairs.
- Skill in working productively with others in a group setting where respect and patience
- Skill and experience in fact finding, investigative techniques, and report writing.
You CANNOT BE considered for selection if any of the following is true:
- You are serving as a trial juror in any court in the State of California.
- You have served as a Grand Juror in any California court within the previous year.
- You have been convicted of malfeasance in office, or any other high crime.
- You are serving as an elected public officer.
In April each year, questionnaires are mailed to randomly selected individuals throughout the County. Names and addresses are obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles and Voter Registration and Elections. In June, a random drawing of qualified candidates is held in open court and a new Grand Jury is impaneled to begin its year of service on or about July 1.