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the nevada county Grand Jury

County residents working together

 to improve government and save

 taxpayer dollars


Grand juries are an integral part of our system of law dating back to the Assize of Clarendon of 1166 and the Magna Carta of 1215. They came to our shores with the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635 and are part of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

The codification of Grand Jury law in California came about in 1872 with the adoption of the Penal code, where most grand jury law resides. Thereafter, the duties of the grand jury were expanded from “presentment and indictment” to specifically include investigation of county government. Each County is required to annually empanel a Grand Jury of 19 citizens.

Today, the principal role of the grand jury is to investigate the operations of all county agencies, special districts, schools, and other entities that receive public money. Issues examined are chosen by the jurors based on citizen-initiated complaints and on the will of the jurors. The jury is required to annually inspect all public prisons in the county. The jury may investigate the efficiency of all local government activity, audit financial records, and review all public records. The deliberations of the grand jury are conducted in utmost secrecy and jurors are sworn to maintain confidentiality for life. Each jury is required to report annually on significant investigations and issue recommendations to resolve deficiencies.

The Grand Jury is the “watch dog” charged with protecting the interests of the citizens of Nevada County.

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