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- About Grand Juries
History of the California Grand Jurors' Association
The California Constitution requires that each county impanel a "regular" grand jury every year. Such grand Juries have broad powers to, among other things, investigate and report upon the conduct of local government, The California Grand Jurors' Association is composed of persons committed to supporting and enhancing that function of the grand jury system in California.
The concept of a statewide association of former grand jurors was initially discussed during a conference of grand juror--- from southern counties at Los Angeles in 1980. Those discussions resulted in an invitation to all 58 California grand juries to participate in the formation of a state association of grand jurors. Twenty-two grand Juries responded, provided input to the planning process and sending representatives to the first planning meeting.
During the following year, the Planning Committee met frequently 'to develop the basic elements for a statewide association. On April 30, 1982, the Constitution and By Laws were adopted, and objectives were established at a conference in San Diego. The initial formation of the California Grand Jurors' Association was complete.
Over the years that followed, as the association membership grew new ideas emerged to expand the role and effectiveness of the group. Various difficulties with the original constitution arid by-laws resulted in ongoing discussions regarding clarification of the association's role and purpose.
At the Twelfth Annual Conference at Concord in 1993, association members favored taking a more proactive role in public education and grand jury enhancement. At the Thirteenth Annual Conference at Ventura in 1994, the association started a three-year process beginning with a point-by-point quarterly review of association policies and procedures and culminating with the membership adopting new Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws at our Sixteenth Annual Conference at Asilornar in 1997. Our association had transformed itself from a predominantly social-fraternal group to a public benefit action organization.
The new organizational structure provides for much broader-based representation from counties across the state and for local county chapter affiliations. The new Articles of Incorporation also provide a clearly detailed set of public-benefit goals and objectives for the association's working committees. With the improved communication network such as this web site, the association will continue its efforts to inform the public about the benefits of a healthy independent grand Jury Civil oversight process in their respective counties and to advocate improved training, facilities and support for grand jury work throughout California in an ongoing quest for good government for California's citizenry.
"Civil" Grand Juries
CGJA tries to avoid the use of the term "Civil" Grand Jury because the term is not recognized in California law and CGJA believes the use of the term as a shorthand reference is misleading. We prefer to use the following form - "(Name of County) Grand Jury."