Frequently Asked Questions

Jay Hamilton-Roth, 2016-17 Foreperson, Civil Grand Jury
View a Printer Friendly Version of This Page


  • How do I apply?

    The Civil Grand Jury accepts applications at any time during the year. However, the Grand Jury works on a fiscal year basis and the deadline for submitting an application for the next year’s Civil Grand Jury is April 20.

    For an application to be a Grand Juror click here.

    Please send completed application form to:

    Marin County Civil Grand Jury
    c/o 3501 Civic Center Drive, Rm. 275
    San Rafael, CA 94903
    Phone: (415) 473-6132; TTY: (415) 473-2226
    Patti Church

  • How does it work?

    Each spring applications are accepted from all qualified citizens. Superior Court Judges review the candidates and select thirty potential jurors. A drawing is held to pick nineteen names, the remaining people serving as alternates. Marin County jurors are sworn in and begin their one year term starting the first of July. The Presiding Judge appoints a foreperson to preside at meetings. The civil grand jury then organizes itself and investigates various departments and functions of local government as it chooses.

  • Investigation

    Subjects investigated are suggested by letters from citizens, complaints of alleged mistreatment by officials, suspicion of misconduct or government inefficiencies. Such complaints are kept confidential. If the situation warrants, and corrective action is under the jurisdiction of the Grand Jury, appropriate action is taken. The advice of County Counsel, the District Attorney, and Presiding Superior Court Judge is available. Interim and Final Reports are prepared which describe problems and contain findings and recommendations. Responses are required within 60 or 90 days depending on who the respondent is.

  • What is the Civil Grand Jury?

    The Civil Grand Jury is the only independent "watchdog" investigative body in Marin County.

    Composed of 19 citizens, it monitors the performance of local government and makes recommendations which can save taxpayers' dollars and improve services.

    Empowered by the judicial system, the Civil Grand Jury submits meaningful solutions to a wide range of problems.

    A volunteer fact-finding body with the opportunity to make constructive changes, it is an institution independent of administrators, politicians and legislators.

  • Who can serve?

    Any U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older, who has been a resident of the County for one year immediately before being selected, of intelligence and good character, with a working knowledge of the English language, is eligible to serve on the Civil Grand Jury.

  • Why should you volunteer?

    You will become involved with other interested citizens in learning more about city and County Government and special districts. An exciting, challenging year of investigations, interviews and thoughtful deliberation will give you a worthwhile education and unique experience. No other volunteer service gives you the opportunity to make a difference on such a large scope. AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    Grand Juries were originally used in English courts in the eleventh century. In the United States, the Massachusetts Bay Colony impaneled the first Grand Jury in 1635 to consider cases of murder, robbery and wife beating. The U. S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment and California's Constitution call for a Grand Jury in each county. The Marin County Grand Jury functions largely in a civil capacity. Criminal cases are usually presented to the courts by the District Attorney or, on occasion, by a specially impaneled criminal grand jury.

  • Would you make a good grand juror?
    1. Are you a good listener?
    2. Can you cooperate with 18 others in a common goal?
    3. Can you keep a secret? All your work must be confidential.
    4. Have you the stamina to commit yourself to a full year of productive work?
    5. Can you ask thoughtful questions, review documents and help write lucid reports?
    6. Are you interested in trying to increase the efficiency of local government, save taxpayer dollars and improve services?
    7. Can you make a substantial contribution of time (at least 25 hours or more a week) in public service?
    8. Are you computer literate and know your way around the internet?
    9. Are you enthusiastic about the possibility of improvements and solutions?

    If you are interested in making a valuable contribution to your community and having the privilege of serving on the Marin County Civil Grand Jury, you are urged to apply by filling out a Grand Juror Application form and sending the completed form to the address found on the application.

    The Civil Grand Jury works on a fiscal year basis and accepts applications throughout the year. The deadline for submitting an application for the next year’s Civil Grand Jury is April 20.

Return to Top