San Diego Superior Court May Lack Applicants for Grand Jury

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For the first time in recent memory, the San Diego Superior Court may not have enough applicants to draw names for the 2017-18 San Diego County grand jury, officials said Thursday.

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The grand jury performs a traditional function as a “watchdog” over government agencies and investigates citizen complaints. Grand jurors do not conduct criminal investigations.

A total of 47 people have applied for the grand jury since November. In a good year, more than 100 people put their names into the blind drawing, court officials said.

“It has been getting harder and harder each year to get people to apply to serve on the grand jury,” said Executive Officer Michael Roddy. “We are having a hard time understanding the public’s lack of interest in the work of this very important group of people.”

Grand jurors are selected via a blind draw from each San Diego County supervisorial district, giving each district equal representation by population.

At this point, the Court does not have enough applicants in Districts 1, 3, or 5.

Applications are now available by calling (619) 450-7272 or in person at Jury Services or jury lounges at courthouses downtown, Vista, Chula Vista and El Cajon.

The 19-member grand jury will work four days a week, about six hours a day, from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.

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A small stipend per day, plus mileage and downtown parking are provided.

Applications must be received by Jan. 13.

—City News Service

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