Santa Ana, CA – Hon. Kirk Nakamura, Assistant Presiding Judge of the Orange County Superior Court and chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment and Selection Committee, announced today that the Court has extended the deadline to apply to serve on the next Grand Jury to February 1, 2017 due to a shortage of applicants.
Judge Nakamura said, “By law, the Court must impanel a 19-member Grand Jury each fiscal year to serve a one-year term. It is difficult to attract qualified individuals from all areas of Orange County who can devote 30 to 35 hours per week for this unique community service opportunity.” Panelists receive a $50 per day stipend, reimbursement for mileage, and reserved onsite parking at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, where they meet.
The Grand Jury provides civil oversight of local governments and agencies by reviewing and evaluating county, city, and other agencies, including jails, schools, and special districts, within Orange County. At the conclusion of these investigations, the Grand Jury compiles written reports with its findings and recommendations for improvement. The Grand Jury also considers evidence for possible indictment of individuals for criminal charges and reviews issues of concern submitted by the public. However, the Grand Jury has no jurisdiction to review matters involving the Orange County Superior Court or state and federal agencies.
Superior Court judges interview qualified applicants and choose the top candidates to proportionally represent all areas of Orange County. Selection of the 19-member Grand Jury is accomplished by a random drawing of the 25 to 30 finalists. Current grand jurors and their advisors provide training to the new panelists. The grand jurors will take the oath of office on June 30, 2017 for a one-year term.
The requirements to serve are: Orange County resident, U.S. citizen, 18 or older, sufficient knowledge of English, sound judgment, and a sense of fairness. The application form and more information are available online at www.ocgrandjury.org, by calling 657-622-6747, or in person at the Jury Commissioner’s Office, 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana.