Thursday, March 24, 2011

Court looking for Stanislaus grand jury hopefuls

The Stanislaus County Superior Court is looking for qualified residents to serve on the 2011-2012 civil grand jury.

Court officials said the primary function of the grand jury is to act as a public "watchdog" by investigating and issuing reports about local government agencies that include county and city government, special districts and school districts.

Grand jurors must meet the same qualifications as a trial juror, and the term for a grand juror is one year — July 1 to June 30.

Grand jurors must be available at least 20 hours per month.

David France served as foreman for the past two grand juries; he said he learned a lot about local government.

"This is an excellent way to give back to the community, meet new and interesting people and perform a valuable service," France said in a news release. "I heartily recommend this experience for those looking to take on a project that will benefit the entire county."

The deadline for applications to serve on the grand jury is May 2. Qualified applicants will be interviewed by presiding Judge Ricardo Córdova, Judge Loretta Begen, and Court Executive Officer Michael Tozzi.

From those interviewed, Córdova will select 30 finalists. Then, a 19-member grand jury panel with four alternates will be selected in open court by a random selection process on July 1.

Anyone interested in serving on the grand jury can call the grand jury office at 558-7766 or go to and download an application.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at or 578-2394.

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