Superior Court of California, County of Solano

Superior Court of California, County of Solano

Fairfield Branch | Vallejo Branch

Grand Jury

What is the Solano County Grand Jury?

The Grand Jury is an investigative body and part of the judicial branch of government. Both the United States and the California Constitutions call for grand juries.

Unlike a Trial Jury, which exists only to try an individual case, the Solano County Grand Jury is a permanent body with members serving one year terms.

The three primary functions of the Grand Jury are:

  • to be a watchdog over local government
  • to investigate citizen complaints about public agencies and officials
  • to occasionally investigate criminal matter when requested by the District Attorney

In the course of its investigations, the Grand Jury may hire independent auditors and subpoena witnesses and documents. The Jury may ask advice of Legal Counsel on civil matters, confer with the District Attorney on criminal matters, and discuss problems with the Judges of the Superior Court.

To learn more about the Solano County Grand Jury click on the following parts to view videos:

Part 1:
Serving on the Grand Jury is a civic duty Solano citizens take seriously and proudly. In Part 1 of this series, learn what Grand Jury is and hear first hand from a few grand jurists.

Part 2:
City of Fairfield Mayor Harry Price explains the privileges of serving on the Grand Jury.  Also, former grand juror explains the role of the Grand Jury Foreperson.

Part 3:
Superior Court of Solano County, Executive Officer Brian Taylor, explains the application process, time commitment and how to apply for service. Also, Solano County Sheriff Gary Stanton talks about the importance of the Grand Jury.

Part 4:
Superior Court of Solano County, Presiding Judge Paul Beeman, explains the purpose of the Grand Jury.  Also, former grand juror speaks of the California Grand Jury Association (CGJA).

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Civil Responsibilities

The Grand Jury may examine all aspects of county and city government and special districts to ensure that the best interest of the citizens are being served. The Grand Jury reviews and evaluates procedures, methods, and systems used by the county government for efficiency and economy.

The Grand Jury is divided into committees which concentrate on certain departments or functions of local government. Committees may include:

  • Audit, Finance and County Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environmental and Land Planning
  • Library and Education
  • Health and Social Services
  • Special Districts and Legislative Review
  • Transportation and Public Buildings
  • Ad Hoc (various)

The Grand Jury is authorized to:

  • Inspect and audit books and records to ensure legal expenditures and accounting of public funds.
  • Inquire into the conditions of prisons, jails, and detention centers in Solano County
  • Inquire into charges of willful misconduct in office by public officials or employees
  • Subpoena witnesses and documents in the course of an investigation.

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Demographics of the Civil Grand Jury

The Standards of Judicial Administration encourages courts to employ various methods of soliciting prospective candidates that reflect a representative cross-section of the community.
This chart of demographics for all applicants for the civil grand jury – as well as those randomly selected to serve from the pool of volunteers – assists the court in monitoring the extent to which we achieve our goal of seating representative grand juries.

Click below to see the demographics associated with civil grand juries.

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Grand Jury Reports

Grand Jury investigations are contained in early release reports and in the annual Final Report. The Report contains all findings and recommendations made as a result of the investigation and is distributed to public officials, libraries, and the general public through the news media.

Reports of Grand Jury investigations contain all findings and recommendations made as a result of the investigation.

Each year the reports are compiled into the annual Final Report which is distributed to public officials, libraries, and the general public through the news media.

Public Agencies that are named in the Grand Jury report are required to respond in writing.

Click below to access Grand Jury Reports and Responses.

2013-2014 Reports and Responses

 

2012-2013 Reports and Responses

 

2011-2012 Reports and Responses

2010-2011 Reports and Responses

2009-2010 Reports and Responses

2008-2009 Reports and Responses

2007-2008 Reports and Responses

2006-2007 Reports and Responses

2005-2006 Reports and Responses

2004-2005 Reports and Responses

2003-2004 Reports and Responses  
2002-2003 Reports and Responses  

Earlier reports may be requested from:

Grand Jury Office
Superior Court of California
County of Solano
600 Union Avenue
Fairfield, CA 94533
(707) 435-2575

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Citizen Complaints

As part of its civil function, the Grand Jury receives written complaints from citizens alleging inefficiencies and misconduct in government, or mistreatment by public officials.

Complaints received from citizens are investigated for their validity. Such complaints are kept confidential and members of the Grand Jury frequently rely on information from concerned citizens who are aware of problems, and who are willing to pursue corrective action.

If the situation warrants, and the matter is under the jurisdiction of the Grand Jury, appropriate action is taken. That action may be a report or a recommendation for civil action.

The official complaint form is available from the Grand Jury office or you may download it by clicking on the link below. To obtain a form in the mail, telephone the office at (707) 435-2575 and ask that one be sent to you.
Fill out the form completely, sign, and mail or deliver it to:

Grand Jury Office
Superior Court of California
County of Solano
600 Union Avenue
Fairfield, CA 94533
(707) 435-2575

Click here for the Complaint FormThe telephone number on the complaint form has changed.  The correct number is: (707) 435-2575.

How can I become a Grand Juror?

Each year the Solano County Superior Court Judges identify qualified citizens who might serve on the Grand Jury. Nominations for prospective jurors are made by the Judges themselves and other public elected officials.

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How are Grand Jurors Selected?

Each year the Solano County Superior Court Judges identify qualified citizens who might serve on the Grand Jury. Nominations for prospective jurors are made by the judges themselves and other public elected officials.

Solano County residents are urged to volunteer for service on the Grand Jury. Those recommended are interviewed by a Superior Court Judge, Court Executive Officer and the Grand Jury Foreperson. Based on the results of interviews, a pool of qualified jury candidates is created and these citizens are invited to appear in the Superior Court of the Presiding Judge. Names are then drawn randomly by the Clerk of the Court.

The new Grand Jury will consist of second-term jurors, plus new members, to make a total of nineteen jurors. All nineteen are sworn and given a description of their duties and responsibilities by the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court. These citizens begin their one year term on July 1st.

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What are the qualifications to be a Grand Juror?

Prospective Grand Jurors must possess the following qualifications (California Penal Code ยง893):

  1. Be a citizen of the United States, 18 years of age or older who has resided in the county for one year immediately before being sworn.
  2. Be in possession of natural faculties, of ordinary intelligence and sound judgment, and fair character.
  3. Possess sufficient knowledge of the English language.

Any prospective jurors are also required to have reliable transportation.

Desirable qualifications for a Grand Juror include:

  • Have sufficient time and commitment.
  • Be in good health.
  • Be open-minded with concern for views of others.
  • Have the ability to work with others.
  • Have a genuine interest in community affairs.
  • Have investigative skill and an ability to write reports.

A person is not able to be a Grand Juror if any of the following apply:

  • The person is serving as a trial juror in any court of this state.
  • The person has been discharged as a Grand Juror in any court of this state within one year.
  • The person has been convicted of malfeasance in office or any felony or other high crime.
  • The person is serving as an elected public official.
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What is the time commitment?

Persons selected for the Grand Jury must make a commitment to a minimum of six (6) days per month for their one year term. During major investigations, Grand Jury members may need to serve three (3) or more days per week.

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Are Grand Jurors paid?

Grand Jurors receive a nominal payment for meetings, and are reimbursed for mileage and Grand Jury related expenses.

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Is there training provided?

An orientation program about the role of the Grand Jury and about local government will be provided by the Grand Jury Foreperson. Each year Grand Jury members are invited to attend statewide training seminars provided by experts on grand juries.

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Where can I get more information?

Information regarding the Grand Jury may be obtained from:

GRAND JURY OFFICE
SUPERIOR COURT of CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SOLANO
600 UNION AVENUE
FAIRFIELD, CA 94533
(707) 435-2575


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