What is Grand Jury Service?
Grand jury is a secret proceeding. You will generally hear only the law enforcement side of a case. It is not your duty to decide whether or not a person is guilty of a crime. Your duty, together with the other grand jurors, is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to require that an accused person stand trial.
If you receive a Grand Jury Summons
Grand jurors are summoned to attend an instruction session, being held on a specific day and time. Only one instruction session is held. At the instruction session, a Judge will provide additional information concerning your duties as a grand juror.
Length of Service
Information will be provided in the summons concerning the different two-week sessions during which you will be asked to possibly serve as a grand juror. During the instruction session, you will be asked to select one of the two-week sessions for your grand jury service. Typically, the grand jury meets every day for one-half day. There may be situations when the grand jury will meet for an entire day. During your service, the Assistant Prosecutor who handles the grand jury will advise you in advance of the expected schedule.
Selection of Grand Jury Sessions
We must call grand jurors in the random order in which you were selected for grand jury service. When your name is called during the instruction session, you will be asked to indicate which two-week session you will serve. You should have more than one two-week session in mind in the event that your first choice is not available by the time your name is called during the instruction session.
Categories of Grand Jury Service
The first nine individuals selected for a particular two-week session are "regular" grand jurors. You will need to be available to report for service every day during the two-week session and you will vote on the matters presented to the grand jury. The next three individuals selected for a session are "alternate" grand jurors. Alternate grand jurors also need to be available to report for service every day during the two-week session but will vote on matters only if a regular juror is absent. The remaining individuals for a session are "stand-by" grand jurors. Stand-by grand jurors are to be available to report if needed to substitute for an absent regular or alternate grand juror. Contact will be made with stand-by jurors at least one day in advance of when you need to report.
Rescheduling Grand Jury Service
When you receive a summons for Grand Jury Service you are first required to attend an instruction session. If you cannot make the instruction session please review the weeks listed below on your summons. Call the Jury Commission at (419)213-4740 to choose which weeks you are able to serve.