The Mariposa Grand Jury is a judicial body consisting of 11 citizens. It is impaneled to act as an "arm of the court," as authorized by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of California, to be a voice of the people and conscience of the community. A Civil Grand Jury is impaneled in Mariposa County each year in July. A Criminal Grand Jury may be impaneled in the County if deemed necessary by the Superior Court Judge.
The Grand Jury is charged with a grave responsibility. It serves as an ombudsperson for the citizens of Mariposa County. The entire population of the County is affected by an active Civil Grand Jury. Malevolent and unfaithful public servants feel uneasy because unlawful acts may be uncovered, while honest citizens and conscientious public servants are reassured that there is a watchdog over inappropriate and illegal activity. Therefore, Civil Grand Jury Service calls for diligence, impartiality, courage, and responsibility.
The Grand Jury submits meaningful solutions to a wide range of problems. It is a volunteer, fact-finding body with the potential to create positive and constructive changes. The Grand Jury is an investigative body created for the protection of society and the enforcement of the law.
Although the responsibilities of the Grand Jury are many and diverse, the three prominent functions include: