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Make a Difference as a Grand Juror in Alameda County

Would you like to increase the efficiency of local government, save taxpayers’ dollars, and improve services? If so, you might be a good candidate to serve as a Grand Juror.

Alameda Post - a graphic of a report, magnifying glass, and pencils

The Alameda County Civil Grand Jury’s primary responsibility is to examine and report on the operations of local government agencies and to investigate citizen complaints, acting as the public’s watchdog. If you are at least 18 years old and can contribute 10 or more hours a week (on Zoom or occasionally in person) for a year, you may be qualified.

  • Are you a good listener?
  • Can you cooperate with 18 others towards a common goal?
  • Can you keep a secret? All of your work must be kept confidential.
  • Can you commit yourself to a full year of work?
  • Can you ask thoughtful questions, review documents, and help write reports?

This is a volunteer position, but it pays $15 per day of service, plus compensation for transportation/mileage.

Public watchdog

The Civil Grand Jury accomplishes its mission by investigating local government operations and citizen complaints.

The Grand Jury has broad authority to examine local government agencies operating within Alameda County. The Grand Jury may:

  • Determine whether public monies are being spent wisely and for appropriate purposes.
  • Inquire into the conditions of jails, detention centers, and hospitals.
  • Inquire into charges that a public official or employee engaged in willful misconduct while in office.

At the end of its one-year term, the Grand Jury issues a final report on results of its investigations. The public agencies that are the focus of the Grand Jury’s investigations are legally required to respond to the Grand Jury’s findings and recommendations within 60 to 90 days.

Citizen complaints

Citizens alleging government waste or misconduct by government officials may submit confidential complaints to the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury investigates the complaints, and, if the situation warrants, recommends corrective action. It has jurisdiction to investigate any city or county agency or special district operating within Alameda County, including BART, EBMUD, AC Transit, school districts, etc.

Application process

Applications for Grand Jury service are accepted throughout the year. Official recruitment begins in January and final selection of the jury takes place at a public hearing shortly before July 1. Applicants must meet the following basic qualifications:

  • US citizenship.
  • Residence in Alameda County for at least one year.
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Sufficient knowledge of the English language.

Those convicted of felonies and those who have been discharged from service on a Grand Jury within one year are ineligible for Grand Jury service.

After applications have been submitted, the court selects 30 finalists divided among the county’s supervisorial districts. During the final selection hearing, the names of the 30 finalists are placed in a selection bin. The Presiding Judge may hold over up to 10 jurors to serve a second term, and once those holdover jurors are chosen, the remaining slots are filled by random selection from the 30 finalists to make up a panel of 19 jurors total.

More info and application

For more information visit the Alameda County Grand Jury’s How to Become a Grand Juror website. You may apply online or by mail. If you have any questions, call Cassie Barner, Grand Jury Recruitment, at 510-208-9855 or email [email protected].

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