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O.C. court extends grand jury applications deadline

January 11, 2012 |  4:43 pm

Orange County Superior Court has extended the deadline for those interested in applying to sit on the grand jury for the 2012-13 term.

Serving on the grand jury is a full-time position for one year beginning in July, and jurors will investigate the affairs of local governments, weigh whether criminal charges should be pressed against a possible defendant, weigh allegations of misconduct of elected officials, and review letters and complaints from Orange County residents.

The 19-member grand jury has 11 alternates. Jurors are paid $50 daily, capped at $250 each week. Previously, the grand jury has focused on planning for statewide water shortages, the conditions and management of Orange County jails and child-abuse cases.

The court has had an average of 207 applicants over the last three years. But as of last Friday, only 67 applications had been received. The deadline is now Jan. 20.

"It’s difficult in today’s world, especially in this economy," Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Borris said.

The juries are usually made up of retirees, he said, suggesting the applicant pool might be smaller because citizens are choosing later retirement.

Borris, saying he still was hopeful, added, "Age doesn’t disqualify you. Maybe in today's world, the younger people don't particularly have a job."

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-- Lauren Williams and Dalina Castellanos

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