Court seeks candidates for public watchdog

An image of the Santa Clara Superior Court in San Jose, California. Adjacent to the historic 1866 Santa Clara County Courthouse, the modern brick San Jose courthouse was built in 1964. This image © Capitolshots Photography, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara is recruiting volunteers for the 2019-2020 Civil Grand Jury.

The Civil Grand Jury, an arm of the Superior Court, is a part of the judicial branch of government.

It serves as the county’s civil watchdog agency and may examine all aspects of county and city government, special districts and school districts. It is authorized to inspect and audit books, records and financial expenditures to ensure accountability of public funds. The grand jury may also inspect jails and juvenile detention facilities.

Grand Jury service gives citizens an opportunity to contribute to the efficiency of local government and play an integral part in ensuring that government officials are accountable to residents.

“Grand jurors are civic-minded individuals who are agents of change in their communities,” reads a recruiting email from the court. “Grand jurors come from all walks of life with varying interests and life experiences; however, they share a common thread: dedication to democratic ideals.”

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, United States citizen, and residents of Santa Clara County for at least a year prior to selection. Service on the grand jury requires an average time commitment of 25 hours per week, or as determined by the grand jury. Candidates must be willing to dedicate this year of service to keep careful watch over various aspects of county government, and the one-year term of the 2019-2020 panel will begin on June 20.

Grand Jurors are paid per diem for all official grand jury business and reimbursed for their mileage.

The application deadline is Friday, March 29.  For applications, visit  www.scscourt.org under “Civil Grand Jury.” For more information, email [email protected] or call Superior Court Deputy Manager Britney Huelbig at (408) 882-2721.

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