WELCOME

  • The Napa County Chapter (NCC) of the California Grand Jurors' Association (CGJA) is composed of former and current Grand Jurors in Napa County. The Chapter was established in 2001 as a 501(c)(3), nonprofit public benefit corporation, to promote awareness of and participation in the Grand Jury system in Napa County, and to support the activities and programs of the California Grand Jury Association.  All current and former grand jurors in Napa County are eligible for membership.  The California Grand Jurors' Association is a statewide organization composed of current and former grand jurors. It is dedicated to promoting the understanding of the unique practices of grand juries in California and to educate the public and prospective grand jurors about the beneficial oversight function of this system.


Benefits of belonging to the Napa County Chapter include:         

Continue your unique service to Napa County, Join with us to work with the court to recruit and educate grand jury applicants, Monitor and follow-up on responses to Grand Jury reports, Support of the grand jury by activities such as updating the Procedures Manual, Participate in regional meetings to share lessons learned,  Voting privileges at the chapter meeting,  Continue the special friendships you made during your service.

 

We are dedicated to promoting Grand Jury awareness, education and outreach. Three memberships levels are available 

One year membership is $40

Two year membership is $80

Ten year membership is $150  

See next section titled Downloads for a membership application.  Print this form and bring to a Chapter meeting, or mail in with your check to P.O. Box 2496, Yountville, CA 94559.

 Our Chapter By-Laws, current set dated 04/28/2014, and the 2016-2017 Presidents Report may be found in Downloads section as well. 



Officers of our Chapter for 2019-2020

Diane Dame Shepp, President 

to be selected, Secretary 

John Morris, Treasurer and Vice President

Bill Cinquini, Website Committee

 Charlie Eckstrom III,  Recruting Committee Chairperson 

Margaret Niland, Social Committee Chairperson 

to be selected, "Excellence in Reporting" Award, Committee Chairperson 


  • Meetings are conducted on the second Monday of every month in the Gasser Foundation conference room. The meetings usually start at 4:00 PM

Press Release from President Shepp

2020 Proclamation

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The Napa County Board of Supervisors issued a Proclamation deeming the month of April as “Napa County Grand Jury Awareness Month” at its April 21 meeting.

In issuing this proclamation, Diane Dillon, Chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors noted, “Grand Juries are crucial components of California’s justice system. Per the State Constitution, they are a voice of the people and conscience of the community, ensuring that local governmental entities are operating legally.”

On receiving the Board Proclamation, Diane Shepp, President of the Napa County Chapter of the California Grand Jury Association, said “I am grateful that the Board of Supervisors has underscored the importance of the role that the Grand Jury plays in our county. With the recent turmoil caused by the COVID-19 virus, it will be more important than ever to have a solid panel of jurors to be ‘community watchdogs’ as our local governments adjust to new realities.”

2018 Holiday Lunch

Beautiful Setting at the Napa Valley Country Club

Beautiful Setting at the Napa Valley Country Club

Beautiful Setting at the Napa Valley Country Club

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The chapter members and invited guests were surrounded by the beautiful holiday decorations and table arrangements.

Guest Speaker

Beautiful Setting at the Napa Valley Country Club

Beautiful Setting at the Napa Valley Country Club

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Supervising Judge Victoria Wood spoke of her recent appointment to the judicial bench as the Grand Jury Supervising Judge.

Guest Speaker

Beautiful Setting at the Napa Valley Country Club

Enjoying the company

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Police Chief Robert Plummer shared some of his history and the interest he has in Napa and maintaining the safe environment we all appreciate.

Enjoying the company

Enjoying the company

Enjoying the company

Judge Mark Bossenecker has a fun time.

Judge Bossenecker seems to be having a grand time with his table mates.

Fun times

Enjoying the company

More good times

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   Our guests enjoy lunch and good conversations

More good times

Enjoying the company

More good times

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A good time was had by all!

The Napa Chapter and the CGJA

The CGJA Mission Statement

The CGJA Mission Statement

The CGJA Mission Statement

  • To promote government accountability by improving the training and resources available to California's 58 regular grand juries and educating the public about the substantial local government oversight and reporting powers these grand juries have.

How we support the CGJA

The CGJA Mission Statement

The CGJA Mission Statement

  • Many of our Napa County Chapter members also hold membership in the CGJA, and some serve as chairs of committees to provide grand jury support at the State level.  Among CGJA's most important activities are: ·        Train most every grand juror in California ·        Maintain a “Help-Desk” for sitting jurors ·        Prepare and publish guidebooks on grand jury practices and law ·        Present Grand Jury news on its website cgja.org ·        Sponsor Excellence in Reporting Awards to honor the best reports from around the state ·        Monitor and respond to any legislation regarding the grand jury system.  For more information about the CGJA activities and to join the CGJA go to www.cgja.org.

The Napa County Chapter-CGJA Mission Statement

The Napa County Chapter-CGJA Mission Statement

The Napa County Chapter-CGJA Mission Statement

To effectively promote the Grand Jury System

The Napa County Chapter-CGJA Mission Statement

The Napa County Chapter-CGJA Mission Statement



The Grand Jury’s Historical Roots

  • The Grand Jury system has been used in England since the twelfth century.  Grand juries were brought to America in 1635 when the Massachusetts Bay Colony empaneled the first one in the new land. The Grand Jury system has been embedded in the California Constitution since the beginning of statehood in 1850.  The first Napa County Grand Jury convened in the 1850's.  The Napa County Grand Jury operates under the constitutional mandate which calls for a Grand Jury in every county.   The term of service is one year and begins on July 1.  Upon being sworn in, jurors are provided orientation and training regarding grand jury responsibilities and on investigating and report writing techniques.  The Grand Jury organizes itself and investigates various departments and functions of local governments as it chooses.  Subjects investigated can be initiated by the Grand Jury or suggested by letters from citizens, complaints of alleged mistreatment by officials, suspicion of misconduct, or government inefficiencies.  Such complaints, and ALL transactions of the jury, are kept confidential.  A report usually follows with recommendations which must be addressed by the recipients.  The advice of the County Counsel, the District Attorney, and the Presiding Judge is available to the Grand Jury.

Video

Watch a brief message from Gavin Newsom

What is the Napa County Grand Jury and what does it do?

  •   The Grand Jury is a historic institution and serves an important role in our society. It is sometimes referred to as the "watchdog" of the community. It functions as an arm of the judicial branch of government and operates under the authority of the Napa Superior Court. The Court is responsible for appointing 19 Napa County citizens to the grand jury each year. The term of office is July 1 to June 30.   The Grand Jury investigates and reports on the operations, accounts, and records of local government officers and agencies. It is a fascinating opportunity for citizens to learn about the workings of the institutions and people who govern our local affairs. Grand jurors also have the power to investigate citizen complaints about local government. By performing this important service, the experience rewards grand jurors with a satisfaction they have made their community a better place to live and have enhanced the freedoms we enjoy in this country.  

What are your obligations as a Grand Juror?

  • A grand juror serves for one year beginning on July 1.  There is a significant time commitment that varies from year to year.  The Grand Jury itself decides how often to meet and how much work to do,  You will also decide for yourself when to meet and accomplish the work of the Grand Jury. No set schedule is forced on you.  If you are unable to continue serving for the entire year, an alternate will be appointed to replace you.  The law requires each Grand Jury to inquire into the condition and management of the public prisons within the county and to investigate and report on the operations, accounts, and records of the officers, department, or functions of the county on a selective basis.  The Grand Jury also has the authority to review the operations of many other local government agencies, such as cities and special districts.  The Grand Jury decides which agencies to review each year.  Grand Jury meetings are confidential and cannot be discussed publicly.  The Fair Political Practices Commission requires that all grand jurors file a Statement of Economic Interests Form 700.  Napa County provides training for all grand jurors by utilizing the training services provided by the California Grand Jurors' Association.  Support is also given to the Grand Jury throughout the year by the Court, the County Counsel, the District Attorney, and the Napa Chapter.

How to apply to serve on the Grand Jury

  •   State law requires the formation of a grand jury every year. Grand jury service is an important civic responsibility for all citizens of this state. It is also a rewarding experience for those who serve. Grand jurors must meet the following legal qualifications: 
  •         At least 18 years old ·        Citizen of the United States ·        Resident of Napa County for one year prior to next July ·        In possession of natural faculties, of ordinary intelligence, of sound judgment, and of fair character ·        Possess sufficient knowledge of the English language ·        Not currently serving as a trial juror ·        Not discharged as a grand juror within one year prior to next July ·        Never convicted of malfeasance in office or any felony or other high crime ·        Not currently serving as an elected public officer
  •  If you would like to be considered for the next Grand Jury, please contact Connie Brennan at the address below. The Jury Commissioner will retain your questionnaire for consideration on the next Napa County Grand Jury, which recruitment begins the first of March. General questions or comments about the Grand Jury process can be directed to: Connie Brennan, CCLS
    Court Administrative Assistant
    Superior Court of California, County of Napa
    825 Brown Street
    Napa, CA 94559
    (707) 299-1110
    connie.brennan@napa.courts.ca.gov  

Previous Investigations

Each year the Napa County Grand Jury investigates County and City agencies to provide an independent opinion of the effectiveness of these agencies.  The Grand Jury also investigates complaints on local governance by citizens.  The Grand Jury issues reports on the investigations and makes recommendations to the relevant agency.  These reports with their recommendations can be found in the county libraries or on line at: http://www.napa.courts.ca.gov/general-info/grand-jury.  The agencies are required by law to respond formally to the Grand Jury recommendations.     Investigations in recent years that have generated public interest and comment include: 


City of Napa Red Light Camera Enforcement (2010-2011 report)          Napa Valley Transient Occupancy Tax: How Much Is Being Lost? (2008-2009 report)          Management of Groundwater and Recycled Water: Is Napa County in Good Hands? (2014-2015 report)          Are Napa County Wineries Following the Rules? (2014-2015 report)          Gang Activity in Napa County (2015-2016 report)          Is Napa County Financially Healthy (2015-2016 report)          Napa River Reclamation District (2015-2016 report)          Napa County Jail and Department of Corrections (2015-2016 report)          Farmworker Housing: A Case Study in the Failure of Government Stewardship (2007-2008 report) won the CGJA Excellence in Reporting award.   The Napa Register won the Excellence in Reporting Award by Media for comprehensive stories and editorials supporting the activities of the Grand Jury

Recognition Award

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  • The Napa County Chapter of the California Grand Jurors Association (CGJA) presented a Recognition Award and Certificate of Appreciation to the Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation in March, 2014. One of the goals of CGJA and its local Chapters is to increase public awareness of the role the Grand Jury plays in our democratic system of government and the well-being of local communities. As such the Napa County Chapter of CGJA has established a recognition award program in conjunction with the CGJA Local Achievement Award Program. The first recipient of the Award was presented to the Peter H. and Vernice A. GasserFoundation, a non-profit organization that supports programs that enhance the quality of life in Napa and help maintain sustainability. The foundation is a ‘green’ organization established in 1989, and headed by President and CEO, Joseph G. Peatman.  “Over the past 12 years, the Gasser Foundation has demonstrated its support of the Grand Juryof Napa County by providing much needed private meeting space for the sitting Grand Jury. Additionally they have provided meeting space for the Napa County Chapter of CGJA. Andin 2011 and 2012 they generously provided major funding to support the educational activities of two statewide CGJA conferences hosted by the Napa County Chapter”, stated Diane Shepp, President of the Napa Chapter of CGJA.   “This kind of local support demonstrates a deep and prolonged commitment in alignment with the Mission and Purpose of the CGJA”, added Beate Boultinghouse, President of the CGJA. For these reasons, the Napa Chapter of CGJA and the CGJA honored the Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation and its Board of Trustees for their long-term commitment and generous support of the Napa County Grand Jury and the local Chapter of CGJA.

Previous Grand Juries

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2007-2008

Bill Trautman Foreperson

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2008-2009

Bill Trautman Foreperson

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2009-2010

John Morris Foreperson

Previous Grand Juries

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2010-2011

Judith Bernat Foreperson

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2011-2012

coming soon

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2012-2013

coming soon

Previous Grand Juries

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2013-2014 and 2014-2015 Coming Soon???

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2015-2016

Top Row: Victor Connell, Charles Eckstrom, Lonnie Payne, Thomas Gans, Russell McNutt; 2nd Row: Thomas McBroom, Kirk Candland, Ronald Ryan, Richard Chesi; 3rd Row: Paul Roberts, Judge Elisa Ortiz, Lynn Stevenson, Kerri Dorman;  Bottom Row: Marion Ladbrook, Joyce Wallace, Kathy Glass, Michael Hrad.  Not Pictured: David Bailey, Henry Bunsow, and Margaret Niland.

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2016-2017

Top Row: Ronald Ryan, Robert meanza, Thomas Gans, Richard Faenzi, George Mackey; Middle Row: Joel Lewis, Roddy Hayman, John Morris, Margaret Niland, Howard Felter; Bottom Row: Charles Koch, Marion Ladbrook, Leslie Myers Not Pictured: Diana Doyle, Brian Jacobs, Maxine Lachman, Kathleen Morgan