Functioning as an integral part of the judicial branch of government, the Plumas County Grand Jury (Grand Jury) is one of 58 county grand juries operating in the State of California. The Grand Jury consists of 19 county residents who serve Plumas County on a part-time basis for a 12-month period. The primary function of the Grand Jury is to act as a citizen “watchdog” over county, city and special district departments and officials, helping ensure that local government agencies and officers are accountable and working in the best interests of the public and communities that they serve. For more information about the function of California grand juries generally, see the website of the California Grand Jurors’ Association (CGJA).
Powers and Jurisdiction
The Grand Jury has broad investigative powers, which permit it to select the topics and offices to investigate and report on each year. Among other things, those powers allow it to:
- Determine whether public funds are being spent appropriately and for intended purposes.
- Investigate whether local government agencies and officers are conducting their affairs in a transparent and open manner, in accordance with applicable laws and procedures.
- Conduct inquiries and investigations into the condition of jails, detention facilities and hospitals.
- Serve as an ombudsman for residents of the county, receiving and pursuing where deemed appropriate complaints made by county residents concerning the actions and performance of public officials or agencies.
- Investigate credible allegations of willful misconduct by public officials or employees while in office.
The Grand Jury’s jurisdiction is limited to matters involving local government and local government officials. It is not authorized to investigate state or federal functions or offices. Its customary focus is one of conducting civil investigations; it does not ordinarily sit as a criminal grand jury.
Grand jurors are sworn to secrecy and grand jury meetings are conducted in closed session. All testimony given to the Grand Jury, and its deliberations, must remain forever confidential.
Grand Jury Reports
Each year, the Grand Jury issues one or more written reports, setting forth the results of its completed investigations, with findings and recommendations. These reports are published in the local newspaper and on the County’s website. Under California statute, relevant elected officials and governing bodies (such as the Board of Supervisors) must formally respond to each such report. The more recent Grand Jury reports are here: Plumas County Grand Jury reports. The responses are here: Responses to Plumas County Grand Jury reports.
Appointment and Service
Members of the Grand Jury are appointed by the Superior Court Judge to serve their term, starting in or about July 1 of each year. Grand Jurors from a prior year may opt to be considered to serve a second term.
Serving on the Grand Jury is an excellent way both to learn more about your County, and local government, and to be of service to your County. You will work closely with your fellow jurors over the course of a year on interesting and important local topics that can help improve the workings of local government, for the benefit of all County residents. It requires impartiality, diligence, and responsibility. Interested persons are encouraged to apply to serve. To qualify, potential jurors must have been resident of Plumas County for at least one year prior to service.
If you are interested in applying to be a Plumas County Grand Juror, please apply by calling 530-283-6297 and leaving your name and phone number.
If you wish to file a complaint with the Grand Jury, please submit a completed citizen complaint form to the Grand Jury at:
Plumas County Grand Jury
PO Box 784
Quincy, CA 95971