With a week to the application deadline, the San Diego Superior Court is seeing a record low submission rate for the 2018/2019 Grand Jury. Only 56 San Diego residents have applied to serve on the Grand Jury which plays an important role in the County: investigating citizen complaints and acting as a “watchdog” over government agencies. The County Grand Jury does not conduct criminal investigations.
“We have noticed that it has gotten harder and harder each year to interest San Diegans in serving on this important panel. We are trying determine why that is and how best to show people how important the Grand Jury is to a functioning democracy. We need members of our community to oversee citizen complaints and ensure government agencies are providing the services and performing in the manner its citizens expect,” says Michael Roddy who supervises the Grand Jury recruitment effort.
Grand Jury members are drawn from the County’s five supervisorial districts. Qualified candidates are nominated for a random drawing. That drawing gives each supervisorial district equal representation by population. In a good year, the Court would have 15 residents per District to pull from, it is not even close this year. At this point, there is a larger need for more applicants from District One (South County) and District Five (North County).
Applications are now available by telephone at 619-450-7272 or in person at the San Diego Superior Court in the Jury Services Office at the new Central Courthouse (downtown) and the Jury Lounges at the North, South and East branches of the court. You may also download an application from the San Diego Superior Court’s website at www.sdcourts.ca.gov or the Grand Jury’s website at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/grandjury.
The 19-member body will work four days a week, approximately six hours a day, from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 in downtown San Diego. A small stipend per day, plus mileage, and downtown parking are provided.
All application forms must be received by January 12, 2018. Qualified candidates will be nominated for a random drawing tentatively scheduled for June 1, 2018. The random drawing gives each supervisorial district equal representation by population.
Candidates must (1) be U.S. citizens, (2) be at least 18 years old, (3) have sufficient knowledge of the English language and (4) have lived in the county for one year prior to selection. All candidates will be required to pass a criminal background check. Individuals meeting the above requirements are encouraged to apply.