Grand Jurors are drawn quarterly from the same master list of potential jurors provided to Chatham County by the State of Georgia’s Council of Superior Court Clerks. The requirement to serve as a grand juror are the same as for a trial juror, except for the a couple of additional qualifications: you must have resided in Chatham County for at least six months and not presently hold or in the last six months have held an elective office in state or local government.
Citizens summoned for grand jury service are instructed to report on the first Monday (or Tuesday, if Monday is a holiday) of the term of court for which they have been summoned. On the first reporting day, twenty-three to twenty-six Grand Jurors are chosen to serve for a three month term. Those citizens who are chosen to serve as grand jurors report every Wednesday morning for three months. The Superior Court Judges rotate the responsibility of presiding over Grand Jury every six months.
The summonses for Grand Jury service are sent out a month ahead of the reporting date with instructions to contact the presiding judge if someone summoned has a problem serving during that term. Only the judge presiding over the grand jury may excuse or defer someone from grand jury service. All requests for excusal or deferral from Grand Jury Service must be put in writing to the presiding Judge at least ten days prior to the reporting date. The presiding judge will respond in writing to all requests. There are alternate Grand Jurors chosen who will be able to fill in for any Grand Juror who may need to miss one or two Wednesday’s during their term of service. Therefore, after being sworn or affirmed as a grand juror on the first reporting day, you should inform the District Attorney’s Office of any Wednesday you may not be able to serve, so an alternate may be scheduled to replace you.
Questions about grand jury service or what to do if you have lost your grand jury summons, may be directed to someone in the Jury Service Division. You may contact someone in Jury Service at 652-7170, Monday through Friday between 2 pm and 4:30 pm. Please keep in mind that Jury Service personnel cannot defer or excuse anyone from grand jury service.