San Diego

Grand Jury Applications Hit Historical Low in San Diego County

The Grand Jury is part of a "watchdog" system over government agencies that works on investigating citizen complaints.

The San Diego Superior Court may not have enough applications to draw names for the 2017/2018 San Diego County Grand Jury, for the first time in recent history.

In November, the Court began accepting Grand Jury applications from residents in San Diego. According to the court, only 47 people applied since then. Typically, they receive at least 100 citizens who put their names into the blind drawing.

The Grand Jury is part of a "watchdog" system over government agencies that works on investigating citizen complaints. They do not conduct criminal investigations, according to the Court.

"It has been getting harder and harder each year to get people to apply to serve on the Grand Jury. We are having a hard time understanding the public's lack of interest in the work of this very important group of people," said Executive Officer Michael Roddy for the San Diego Superior Court, in a statement.

From a blind draw that takes some applicants in each San Diego County Supervisorial District, the Grand jurors are selected, according to the Court.

Currently, there are not enough applicants in San Diego County to cover Districts 1, 3 or 5. Previously, the Court would draw six applicants from each district to cover the alternates and serving jurors. 

Right now, there's only four applicants for District 3, three applicants in District 1 and one applicant in District 5, said a Court representative.

To get an application, San Diego County residents can call 619-450-7272 or visit the San Diego Superior Court in person. It's available at their Jury Services Office at the Central (Downtown) branch and the Jury Lounges at the North, South and East branches of the court.

Or, County residents can download an application at the San Diego Superior Court's website.

Once selected as a juror, the citizen would serve on a 19-member body working four days a week for six hours a day, from Jul. 1, 2017 to Jun. 30, 2018, at the 550 West C St., Ste. 860 in downtown San Diego. 

The Court pays a small stipend to jurors per day, along with mileage and downtown parking. The deadline to submit applications is Jan. 13, 2017.

In order to qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least age 18, fluent in English and have lived in San Diego County for a year, according to the Court.

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