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Grand jury members sought; summons will be sent next week

The Superior Court in Plumas County is preparing to select a new Civil Grand Jury, for fiscal year 2021- 2022. Volunteers are encouraged to apply, by contacting the Clerk of the Court, at (530) 283-6297.

In addition to voluntary applications, the court will be sending a summons and questionnaire to randomly selected Plumas County residents. Those letters are expected to be mailed by April 1 and Superior Court Judge Janet Hilde said that interviews will begin around April 21.

The questionnaire will assist the judges of the Superior Court in compiling a list of nominees, which fairly represents a cross-section of the community. Personal information is confidential and will only be used by the judges to assure that the group nominated represents various age groups, economic and social backgrounds.

Coronavirus precautions will be in place for the interviews including mask and physical distancing requirements. Service is on the panel from July 1 through June 30 and requires approximately 10 hours of work per week.

The Civil Grand Jury consists of 19 County residents, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Its primary function is to act as a citizen “watchdog” over county, city and special district departments and officials, helping ensure that local government agencies are working in the best interests of the public. The Civil Grand Jury performs this important function by conducting investigations of offices and topics that it decides warrant attention and by issuing at least one final report during the year. For example, in recent years, Plumas County Civil Grand Juries have issued reports on such topics as

  • Unfunded pension liabilities
  • Coroner investigations
  • Weights and measures
  • County Elections Division
  • Child Protective Services
  • Emergency Services communications system

Copies of past years’ reports  can be viewed on the Plumas County website at: https://plumascounty.us/Archive.aspx?AMID=37.

Civil Grand Juries are not to be confused with criminal grand juries. The Civil Grand Jury does not enter indictments for criminal matters, although on occasion it does find evidence of criminal acts, which it may then refer to the District Attorney’s office for handling.

Jurors need only bring an interest in their county and its government and a willingness to help conduct investigations or prepare reports on topics of importance to the County. They will receive training on the laws that grand juries must observe and on the basics of designing and conducting investigations, and report writing.

Serving on the Civil Grand Jury is an excellent way both to learn more about your County and local government, and to be of service to your fellow residents. You will work closely with your fellow jurors over the course of several months to a year on interesting and important local topics than can help improve the workings of local government, for the benefit of all. The Civil Grand Jury will encourage and praise the great work our county employees carry out, while calling attention to those issues needing improvement.

The benefits of your contribution are far-reaching, both to the County and to you as an individual.

Please consider volunteering as a member of the Grand Jury and help keep Plumas County a very special place to live and work.

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