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Grand Jury

The District Court is required by law to empanel a Grand Jury. In both Grimes County and Waller County, the 506th District Court empanels a Grand Jury for the January Term each year. In Waller County, the 506th District Court also empanels a Grand Jury for the June Term each year. Each Grand Jury will serve approximately six-months, although the term can be extended for good cause.

Prior to the 84th Texas Legislature (2015), there were two methods of empaneling a Grand Jury: one through the appointment of Grand Jury Commissioners who in turn nominated good citizens of the County to serve; and, the other is the method of selection through random means called a jury wheel. With the passage of Senate Bill 135, the 506th Judicial District Court will begin using the jury wheel method of selection beginning with the January, 2016 Term of Grand Jury.

The district judge will direct that 20 to 125 prospective grand jurors be selected and summoned by the District Clerk, with return on summons, in the same manner as for the selection and summons of panels for the trial of civil cases in the district court. The judge shall try the qualifications for and excuses from service as a grand juror and impanel the completed grand jury as provided by law.

The summoned panel of potential grand jurors will be notified to meet at the courthouse and go through the qualification and selection process provided by law. Out of the pool of nominees, twelve active members and two alternate members will be selected to serve. They will then begin their important work under the direction of the Criminal District Attorney. The Grand Jury that is selected will usually meet only once every three or four weeks during their term in office.

Chapter 19 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure sets out all the requirements for the organization and call of a Grand Jury.