Code Section Group

Penal Code - PEN

PART 2. OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE [681 - 1620]

  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 4. GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS [888 - 939.91]

  ( Title 4 repealed and added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 501. )

CHAPTER 3. Powers and Duties of Grand Jury [914 - 939.91]

  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 501. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [914 - 924.6]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 501. )

914.
  

(a) When the grand jury is impaneled and sworn, it shall be charged by the court. In doing so, the court shall give the grand jurors such information as it deems proper, or as is required by law, as to their duties, and as to any charges for public offenses returned to the court or likely to come before the grand jury.

(b) To assist a grand jury in the performance of its statutory duties regarding civil matters, the court, in consultation with the district attorney, the county counsel, and at least one former grand juror, shall ensure that a grand jury that considers or takes action on civil matters receives training that addresses, at a minimum, report writing, interviews, and the scope of the grand jury’s responsibility and statutory authority.

(c) Any costs incurred by the court as a result of this section shall be absorbed by the court or the county from existing resources.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 443, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1998.)

914.1.
  

When a grand jury is impaneled, for purposes which include the investigation of, or inquiry into, county matters of civil concern, the judge of the superior court of the county, in addition to other matters requiring action, shall call its attention to the provisions of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 23000) of Division 1 of Title 3, and Sections 24054 and 26525 of the Government Code, and instruct it to ascertain by a careful and diligent investigation whether such provisions have been complied with, and to note the result of such investigation in its report. At such time the judge shall also inform and charge the grand jury especially as to its powers, duties, and responsibilities under Article 1 (commencing with Section 888) of Chapter 2, and Article 2 (commencing with Section 925), Article 3 (commencing with Section 934) of this chapter, Article 3 (commencing with Section 3060) of Chapter 7 of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code, and Section 17006 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1297, Sec. 2.)

914.5.
  

The grand jury shall not spend money or incur obligations in excess of the amount budgeted for its investigative activities pursuant to this chapter by the county board of supervisors unless the proposed expenditure is approved in advance by the presiding judge of the superior court after the board of supervisors has been advised of the request.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 740.)

915.
  

When the grand jury has been impaneled, sworn, and charged, it shall retire to a private room, except when operating under a finding pursuant to Section 939.1, and inquire into the offenses and matters of civil concern cognizable by it. On the completion of the business before the grand jury or expiration of the term of prescribed service of one or more grand jurors, the court shall discharge it or the affected individual jurors.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1297, Sec. 3.)

916.
  

Each grand jury shall choose its officers, except the foreman, and shall determine its rules of proceeding. Adoption of its rules of procedure and all public actions of the grand jury, whether concerning criminal or civil matters unless otherwise prescribed in law, including adoption of final reports, shall be only with the concurrence of that number of grand jurors necessary to find an indictment pursuant to Section 940. Rules of procedure shall include guidelines for that grand jury to ensure that all findings included in its final reports are supported by documented evidence, including reports of contract auditors or consultants, official records, or interviews attended by no fewer than two grand jurors and that all problems identified in a final report are accompanied by suggested means for their resolution, including financial, when applicable.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1297, Sec. 4.)

916.1.
  

If the foreman of a grand jury is absent from any meeting or if he is disqualified to act, the grand jury may select a member of that body to act as foreman pro tempore, who shall perform the duties, and have all the powers, of the regularly appointed foreman in his absence or disqualification.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 501.)

916.2.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a grand juror who is a current employee of, or a former or retired employee last employed within the prior three years by, an agency within the investigative jurisdiction of the civil grand jury shall inform the foreperson and court of that fact and shall recuse himself or herself from participating in any grand jury civil investigation of that agency, including any discussion or vote concerning a civil investigation of that agency.

(b) This section shall be in addition to any local policies or rules regarding conflict of interest for grand jurors.

(c) For purposes of this section, “agency” means a department or operational part of a government entity, such as a city, county, city and county, school district, or other local government body.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 867, Sec. 21. (SB 1144) Effective January 1, 2013.)

917.
  

(a) The grand jury may inquire into all public offenses committed or triable within the county and present them to the court by indictment.

(b) Except as provided in Section 918, the grand jury shall not inquire into an offense that involves a shooting or use of excessive force by a peace officer described in Section 830.1, subdivision (a) of Section 830.2, or Section 830.39, that led to the death of a person being detained or arrested by the peace officer pursuant to Section 836.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 175, Sec. 1. (SB 227) Effective January 1, 2016.)

918.
  

If a member of a grand jury knows, or has reason to believe, that a public offense, triable within the county, has been committed, he may declare it to his fellow jurors, who may thereupon investigate it.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 895.)

919.
  

(a) The grand jury may inquire into the case of every person imprisoned in the jail of the county on a criminal charge and not indicted.

(b) The grand jury shall inquire into the condition and management of the public prisons within the county.

(c) The grand jury shall inquire into the willful or corrupt misconduct in office of public officers of every description within the county. Except as provided in Section 918, this subdivision does not apply to misconduct that involves a shooting or use of excessive force by a peace officer described in Section 830.1, subdivision (a) of Section 830.2, or Section 830.39, that led to the death of a person being detained or arrested by the peace officer pursuant to Section 836.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 175, Sec. 2. (SB 227) Effective January 1, 2016.)

920.
  

The grand jury may investigate and inquire into all sales and transfers of land, and into the ownership of land, which, under the state laws, might or should escheat to the State of California. For this purpose, the grand jury may summon witnesses before it and examine them and the records. The grand jury shall direct that proper escheat proceedings be commenced when, in the opinion of the grand jury, the evidence justifies such proceedings.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 895.)

921.
  

The grand jury is entitled to free access, at all reasonable times, to the public prisons, and to the examination, without charge, of all public records within the county.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 501.)

922.
  

The powers and duties of the grand jury in connection with proceedings for the removal of district, county, or city officers are prescribed in Article 3 (commencing with Section 3060), Chapter 7, Division 4, Title 1, of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 501.)

923.
  

(a) Whenever the Attorney General considers that the public interest requires, he or she may, with or without the concurrence of the district attorney, direct the grand jury to convene for the investigation and consideration of those matters of a criminal nature that he or she desires to submit to it. He or she may take full charge of the presentation of the matters to the grand jury, issue subpoenas, prepare indictments, and do all other things incident thereto to the same extent as the district attorney may do.

(b) Whenever the Attorney General considers that the public interest requires, he or she may, with or without the concurrence of the district attorney, petition the court to impanel a special grand jury to investigate, consider, or issue indictments for any of the activities subject to fine, imprisonment, or asset forfeiture under Section 14107 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. He or she may take full charge of the presentation of the matters to the grand jury, issue subpoenas, prepare indictments, and do all other things incident thereto to the same extent as the district attorney may do. If the evidence presented to the grand jury shows the commission of an offense or offenses for which venue would be in a county other than the county where the grand jury is impaneled, the Attorney General, with or without the concurrence of the district attorney in the county with jurisdiction over the offense or offenses, may petition the court to impanel a special grand jury in that county. Notwithstanding any other law, upon request of the Attorney General, a grand jury convened by the Attorney General pursuant to this subdivision may submit confidential information obtained by that grand jury, including, but not limited to, documents and testimony, to a second grand jury that has been impaneled at the request of the Attorney General pursuant to this subdivision in any other county where venue for an offense or offenses shown by evidence presented to the first grand jury is proper. All confidentiality provisions governing information, testimony, and evidence presented to a grand jury shall be applicable, except as expressly permitted by this subdivision. The Attorney General shall inform the grand jury that transmits confidential information and the grand jury that receives confidential information of any exculpatory evidence, as required by Section 939.71. The grand jury that transmits information to another grand jury shall include the exculpatory evidence disclosed by the Attorney General in the transmission of the confidential information. The Attorney General shall inform both the grand jury transmitting the confidential information and the grand jury receiving that information of their duties under Section 939.7. A special grand jury convened pursuant to this subdivision shall be in addition to the other grand juries authorized by this section, this chapter, or Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 893).

(c) Whenever the Attorney General considers that the public interest requires, he or she may, with or without the concurrence of the district attorney, impanel a special statewide grand jury to investigate, consider, or issue indictments in any matters in which there are two or more activities, in which fraud or theft is a material element, that have occurred in more than one county and were conducted either by a single defendant or multiple defendants acting in concert.

(1) This special statewide grand jury may be impaneled in the Counties of Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, or San Francisco, at the Attorney General’s discretion. When impaneling a special statewide grand jury pursuant to this subdivision, the Attorney General shall use an existing regularly impaneled criminal grand jury within the period of its regular impanelment to serve as the special statewide grand jury and make arrangements with the grand jury coordinator in the applicable county, or with the presiding judge or whoever is charged with scheduling the grand jury hearings, in order to ensure orderly coordination and use of the grand jurors’ time for both regular grand jury duties and special statewide grand jury duties. Whenever the Attorney General impanels a special statewide grand jury, the prosecuting attorney representing the Attorney General shall inform the special statewide grand jury at the outset of the case that the special statewide grand jury is acting as a special statewide grand jury with statewide jurisdiction.

(2) For special statewide grand juries impaneled pursuant to this subdivision, the Attorney General may issue subpoenas for documents and witnesses located anywhere in the state in order to obtain evidence to present to the special statewide grand jury. The special statewide grand jury may hear all evidence in the form of testimony or physical evidence presented to the special statewide grand jury, irrespective of the location of the witness or physical evidence prior to subpoena. The special statewide grand jury impaneled pursuant to this subdivision may indict a person or persons with charges for crimes that occurred in counties other than where the special statewide grand jury is impaneled. The indictment shall then be submitted to the court in any county in which any of the charges could otherwise have been properly brought. The court where the indictment is filed under this subdivision shall have proper jurisdiction over all counts in the indictment.

(3) Notwithstanding Section 944, an indictment found by a special statewide grand jury convened pursuant to this subdivision and endorsed as a true bill by the special statewide grand jury foreperson, may be presented to the court, as set forth in paragraph (2), solely by the Attorney General and within five court days of the endorsement of the indictment. For indictments presented to the court in this manner, the Attorney General shall also file with the court or court clerk, at the time of presenting the indictment, an affidavit signed by the special statewide grand jury foreperson attesting that all the jurors who voted on the indictment heard all of the evidence presented by the Attorney General, and that a proper number of jurors voted for the indictment pursuant to Section 940. The Attorney General’s office shall be responsible for prosecuting an indictment produced by the special statewide grand jury.

(4) If a defendant makes a timely and successful challenge to the Attorney General’s right to convene a special statewide grand jury by clearly demonstrating that the charges brought are not encompassed by this subdivision, the court shall dismiss the indictment without prejudice to the Attorney General, who may bring the same or other charges against the defendant at a later date by way of another special statewide grand jury, properly convened, or a regular grand jury, or by any other procedure available.

(5) The provisions of Section 939.71 shall apply to the special statewide grand jury.

(6) Unless otherwise set forth in this section, a law applying to a regular grand jury impaneled pursuant to Section 23 of Article I of the California Constitution shall apply to a special statewide grand jury unless the application of the law to a special statewide grand jury would substantially interfere with the execution of one or more of the provisions of this section. If there is substantial interference, the provision governing the special statewide grand jury will govern.

(d) Upon certification by the Attorney General, a statement of the costs directly related to the impanelment and activities of the grand jury pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c) from the presiding judge of the superior court where the grand jury was impaneled shall be submitted for state reimbursement of the costs to the county or courts.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 568, Sec. 2. (SB 1474) Effective January 1, 2013.)

924.
  

Every grand juror who willfully discloses the fact of an information or indictment having been made for a felony, until the defendant has been arrested, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 501.)

924.1.
  

(a) Every grand juror who, except when required by a court, willfully discloses any evidence adduced before the grand jury, or anything which he himself or any other member of the grand jury has said, or in what manner he or she or any other grand juror has voted on a matter before them, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) Every interpreter for the disabled appointed to assist a member of the grand jury pursuant to Section 939.11 who, except when required by a court, willfully discloses any evidence adduced before the grand jury, or anything which he or she or any member of the grand jury has said, or in what manner any grand juror has voted on a matter before them, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 1986, Ch. 357, Sec. 1.)

924.2.
  

Each grand juror shall keep secret whatever he himself or any other grand juror has said, or in what manner he or any other grand juror has voted on a matter before them. Any court may require a grand juror to disclose the testimony of a witness examined before the grand jury, for the purpose of ascertaining whether it is consistent with that given by the witness before the court, or to disclose the testimony given before the grand jury by any person, upon a charge against such person for perjury in giving his testimony or upon trial therefor.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 501.)

924.3.
  

A grand juror cannot be questioned for anything he may say or any vote he may give in the grand jury relative to a matter legally pending before the jury, except for a perjury of which he may have been guilty in making an accusation or giving testimony to his fellow jurors.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 501.)

924.4.
  

Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 924.1 and 924.2, any grand jury or, if the grand jury is no longer impaneled, the presiding judge of the superior court, may pass on and provide the succeeding grand jury with any records, information, or evidence acquired by the grand jury during the course of any investigation conducted by it during its term of service, except any information or evidence that relates to a criminal investigation or that could form part or all of the basis for issuance of an indictment. Transcripts of testimony reported during any session of the grand jury shall be made available to the succeeding grand jury upon its request.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 536. Effective January 1, 2003.)

924.6.
  

(a) If no indictment is returned, the court that impaneled the grand jury shall, upon application of either party, order disclosure of all or part of the testimony of a witness before the grand jury to a defendant and the prosecutor in connection with any pending or subsequent criminal proceeding before any court if the court finds following an in camera hearing, which shall include the court’s review of the grand jury’s testimony, that the testimony is relevant, and appears to be admissible.

(b) If a grand jury decides not to return an indictment in a grand jury inquiry into an offense that involves a shooting or use of excessive force by a peace officer described in Section 830.1, subdivision (a) of Section 830.2, or Section 830.39, that led to the death of a person being detained or arrested by the peace officer pursuant to Section 836, the court that impaneled the grand jury shall, upon application of the district attorney, a legal representative of the decedent, or a legal representative of the news media or public, and with notice to the district attorney and the affected witness involved, and an opportunity to be heard, order disclosure of all or part of the indictment proceeding transcript, excluding the grand jury’s private deliberations and voting, to the movant, unless the court expressly finds, following an in camera hearing, that there exists an overriding interest that outweighs the right of public access to the record, the overriding interest supports sealing the record, a substantial probability exists that the overriding interest will be prejudiced if the record is not sealed, the proposed sealing is narrowly tailored, and no less restrictive means exist to achieve the overriding interest.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 204, Sec. 1. (AB 1024) Effective January 1, 2018.)

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