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State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Texas > Code-of-criminal-procedure > Title-1-code-of-criminal-procedure > Chapter-19-organization-of-the-grand-jury

CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

TITLE 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

CHAPTER 19. ORGANIZATION OF THE GRAND JURY

Art. 19.01. APPOINTMENT OF JURY COMMISSIONERS; SELECTION WITHOUT

JURY COMMISSION. (a) The district judge, at or during any term

of court, shall appoint not less than three, nor more than five

persons to perform the duties of jury commissioners, and shall

cause the sheriff to notify them of their appointment, and when

and where they are to appear. The district judge shall, in the

order appointing such commissioners, designate whether such

commissioners shall serve during the term at which selected or

for the next succeeding term. Such commissioners shall receive as

compensation for each day or part thereof they may serve the sum

of Ten Dollars, and they shall possess the following

qualifications:

1. Be intelligent citizens of the county and able to read and

write the English language;

2. Be qualified jurors in the county;

3. Have no suit in said court which requires intervention of a

jury;

4. Be residents of different portions of the county; and

5. The same person shall not act as jury commissioner more than

once in any 12-month period.

(b) In lieu of the selection of prospective jurors by means of a

jury commission, the district judge may direct that 20 to 125

prospective grand jurors be selected and summoned, 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 courts. The

judge shall try the qualifications for and excuses from service

as a grand juror and impanel the completed grand jury in the same

manner as provided for grand jurors selected by a jury

commission.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts

1971, 62nd Leg., p. 905, ch. 131, Sec. 1, eff. May 10, 1971.

Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 393, ch. 184, Sec. 1, eff.

Sept. 1, 1979. Subsec. (b) amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p.

2983, ch. 514, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1983; Subsec. (a) amended by

Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 67, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Subsec.

(b) amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 1, eff. Sept.

1, 2001.

Art. 19.02. NOTIFIED OF APPOINTMENT. The judge shall cause the

proper officer to notify such appointees of such appointment, and

when and where they are to appear.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.03. OATH OF COMMISSIONERS. When the appointees appear

before the judge, he shall administer to them the following oath:

"You do swear faithfully to discharge the duties required of you

as jury commissioners; that you will not knowingly elect any man

as juryman whom you believe to be unfit and not qualified; that

you will not make known to any one the name of any juryman

selected by you and reported to the court; that you will not,

directly or indirectly, converse with any one selected by you as

a juryman concerning the merits of any case to be tried at the

next term of this court, until after said cause may be tried or

continued, or the jury discharged".

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.04. INSTRUCTED. The jury commissioners, after they have

been organized and sworn, shall be instructed by the judge in

their duties and shall then retire in charge of the sheriff to a

suitable room to be secured by the sheriff for that purpose. The

clerk shall furnish them the necessary stationery, the names of

those appearing from the records of the court to be exempt or

disqualified from serving on the jury at each term, and the last

assessment roll of the county.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.05. KEPT FREE FROM INTRUSION. The jury commissioners

shall be kept free from the intrusion of any person during their

session, and shall not separate without leave of the court until

they complete their duties.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.06. SHALL SELECT GRAND JURORS. The jury commissioners

shall select not less than 15 nor more than 40 persons from the

citizens of the county to be summoned as grand jurors for the

next term of court, or the term of court for which said

commissioners were selected to serve, as directed in the order of

the court selecting the commissioners. The commissioners shall,

to the extent possible, select grand jurors who the commissioners

determine represent a broad cross-section of the population of

the county, considering the factors of race, sex, and age. A

commissioner is not qualified to be selected for or to serve as a

grand juror during the term of court for which the commissioner

is serving as a commissioner.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts

1967, 60th Leg., p. 1158, ch. 515, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1967.

Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 394, ch. 184, Sec. 4, eff.

Sept. 1, 1979; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 2, eff. Sept.

1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

801, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Art. 19.07. EXTENSION BEYOND TERM OF PERIOD FOR WHICH GRAND

JURORS SHALL SIT. If prior to the expiration of the term for

which the grand jury was impaneled, it is made to appear by a

declaration of the foreman or of a majority of the grand jurors

in open court, that the investigation by the grand jury of the

matters before it cannot be concluded before the expiration of

the term, the judge of the district court in which said grand

jury was impaneled may, by the entry of an order on the minutes

of said court, extend, from time to time, for the purpose of

concluding the investigation of matters then before it, the

period during which said grand jury shall sit, for not to exceed

a total of ninety days after the expiration of the term for which

it was impaneled, and all indictments pertaining thereto returned

by the grand jury within said extended period shall be as valid

as if returned before the expiration of the term. The extension

of the term of a grand jury under this article does not affect

the provisions of Article 19.06 relating to the selection and

summoning of grand jurors for each regularly scheduled term.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.08. QUALIFICATIONS. No person shall be selected or

serve as a grand juror who does not possess the following

qualifications:

1. The person must be a citizen of the state, and of the county

in which the person is to serve, and be qualified under the

Constitution and laws to vote in said county, provided that the

person's failure to register to vote shall not be held to

disqualify the person in this instance;

2. The person must be of sound mind and good moral character;

3. The person must be able to read and write;

4. The person must not have been convicted of misdemeanor theft

or a felony;

5. The person must not be under indictment or other legal

accusation for misdemeanor theft or a felony;

6. The person must not be related within the third degree of

consanguinity or second degree of affinity, as determined under

Chapter 573, Government Code, to any person selected to serve or

serving on the same grand jury;

7. The person must not have served as grand juror or jury

commissioner in the year before the date on which the term of

court for which the person has been selected as grand juror

begins;

8. The person must not be a complainant in any matter to be

heard by the grand jury during the term of court for which the

person has been selected as a grand juror.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts

1969, 61st Leg., p. 1364, ch. 412, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1969.

Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 3143, ch. 827, Sec. 5, eff.

Aug. 31, 1981; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1065, Sec. 1, eff. Sept.

1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 8, eff. Aug. 26,

1991; Subsec. 6 amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec.

5.95(27), eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg.,

ch. 1177, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.

801, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Art. 19.09. NAMES RETURNED. The names of those selected as grand

jurors by the commissioners shall be written upon a paper; and

the fact that they were so selected shall be certified and signed

by the jury commissioners, who shall place said paper, so

certified and signed, in an envelope, and seal the same, and

endorse thereon the words, "The list of grand jurors selected at

. . . . . . term of the district court", the blank being for the

month and year in which the term of the court began its session.

The commissioners shall write their names across the seal of said

envelope, direct the same to the district judge and deliver it to

him in open court.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.10. LIST TO CLERK. The judge shall deliver the envelope

containing the list of grand jurors to the clerk or one of his

deputies in open court without opening the same.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.11. OATH TO CLERK. Before the list of grand jurors is

delivered to the clerk, the judge shall administer to the clerk

and each of his deputies in open court the following oath: "You

do swear that you will not open the jury lists now delivered you,

nor permit them to be opened until the time prescribed by law;

that you will not, directly or indirectly, converse with any one

selected as a juror concerning any case or proceeding which may

come before such juror for trial in this court at its next term".

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.12. DEPUTY CLERK SWORN. Should the clerk subsequently

appoint a deputy, such clerk shall administer to him the same

oath, at the time of such appointment.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.13. CLERK SHALL OPEN LISTS. The grand jury may be

convened on the first or any subsequent day of the term. The

judge shall designate the day on which the grand jury is to be

impaneled and notify the clerk of such date; and within thirty

days of such date, and not before, the clerk shall open the

envelope containing the list of grand jurors, make out a copy of

the names of those selected as grand jurors, certify to it under

his official seal, note thereon the day for which they are to be

summoned, and deliver it to the sheriff.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.14. SUMMONING. The sheriff shall summon the persons

named in the list at least three days, exclusive of the day of

service, prior to the day on which the grand jury is to be

impaneled, by giving personal notice to each juror of the time

and place when and where he is to attend as a grand juror, or by

leaving at his place of residence with a member of his family

over sixteen years old, a written notice to such juror that he

has been selected as a grand juror, and the time and place when

and where he is to attend; or the judge, at his election, may

direct the sheriff to summon the grand jurors by registered or

certified mail.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1,

1993.

Art. 19.15. RETURN OF OFFICER. The officer executing such

summons shall return the list on the day on which the grand jury

is to be impaneled, with a certificate thereon of the date and

manner of service upon each juror. If any of said jurors have not

been summoned, he shall also state in his certificate the reason

why they have not been summoned.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.16. ABSENT JUROR FINED. A juror legally summoned,

failing to attend without a reasonable excuse, may, by order of

the court entered on the record, be fined not less than $100 nor

more than $500.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

640, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Art. 19.17. FAILURE TO SELECT. If for any reason a grand jury

shall not be selected or summoned prior to the commencement of

any term of court, or when none of those summoned shall attend,

the district judge may at any time after the commencement of the

term, in his discretion, direct a writ to be issued to the

sheriff commanding him to summon a jury commission, selected by

the court, which commission shall select not more than 40

persons, as provided by law, who shall serve as grand jurors.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 344, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1,

2001.

Art. 19.18. IF LESS THAN FOURTEEN ATTEND. When less than

fourteen of those summoned to serve as grand jurors are found to

be in attendance and qualified to so serve, the court shall order

the sheriff to summon such additional number of persons as may be

deemed necessary to constitute a grand jury of twelve persons and

two alternates.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1065, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1999.

Art. 19.19. JURORS TO ATTEND FORTHWITH. The jurors provided for

in the two preceding Articles shall be summoned in person to

attend before the court forthwith.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.20. TO SUMMON QUALIFIED PERSONS. Upon directing the

sheriff to summon grand jurors not selected by the jury

commissioners, the court shall instruct him that he must summon

no person to serve as a grand juror who does not possess the

qualifications prescribed by law.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.21. TO TEST QUALIFICATIONS. When as many as fourteen

persons summoned to serve as grand jurors are in attendance upon

the court, it shall proceed to test their qualifications as such.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1065, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1,

1999.

Art. 19.22. INTERROGATED. Each person who is presented to serve

as a grand juror shall, before being impaneled, be interrogated

on oath by the court or under his direction, touching his

qualifications.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.23. MODE OF TEST. In trying the qualifications of any

person to serve as a grand juror, he shall be asked:

1. Are you a citizen of this state and county, and qualified to

vote in this county, under the Constitution and laws of this

state?

2. Are you able to read and write?

3. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

4. Are you under indictment or other legal accusation for theft

or for any felony?

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts

1969, 61st Leg., p. 1364, ch. 412, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1969.

Art. 19.24. QUALIFIED JUROR ACCEPTED. When, by the answer of the

person, it appears to the court that he is a qualified juror, he

shall be accepted as such, unless it be shown that he is not of

sound mind or of good moral character, or unless it be shown that

he is in fact not qualified to serve as a grand juror.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.25. EXCUSES FROM SERVICE. Any person summoned who does

not possess the requisite qualifications shall be excused by the

court from serving. The following qualified persons may be

excused from grand jury service:

(1) a person older than 70 years;

(2) a person responsible for the care of a child younger than 18

years;

(3) a student of a public or private secondary school;

(4) a person enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution

of higher education; and

(5) any other person that the court determines has a reasonable

excuse from service.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 393, ch. 184, Sec. 2, eff.

Sept. 1, 1979; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1177, Sec. 2, eff. Sept.

1, 1999.

Art. 19.26. JURY IMPANELED. (a) When fourteen qualified jurors

are found to be present, the court shall proceed to impanel the

grand jury, unless a challenge is made, which may be to the array

or to any particular person presented to serve as a grand juror

or an alternate.

(b) The grand jury is composed of not more than twelve qualified

jurors. In addition, the court shall qualify and impanel not more

than two alternates to serve on disqualification or

unavailability of a juror during the term of the grand jury. On

learning that a grand juror has become disqualified or

unavailable during the term of the grand jury, the attorney

representing the state shall prepare an order for the court

identifying the disqualified or unavailable juror, stating the

basis for the disqualification or unavailability, dismissing the

disqualified or unavailable juror from the grand jury, and naming

one of the alternates as a member of the grand jury. The

procedure established by this subsection may be used on

disqualification or unavailability of a second grand juror during

the term of the grand jury. For purposes of this subsection, a

juror is unavailable if the juror is unable to participate fully

in the duties of the grand jury because of the death of the juror

or a physical or mental illness of the juror.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1065, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1,

1999; Subsec. (b) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 889, Sec.

1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Art. 19.27. ANY PERSON MAY CHALLENGE. Before the grand jury has

been impaneled, any person may challenge the array of jurors or

any person presented as a grand juror. In no other way shall

objections to the qualifications and legality of the grand jury

be heard. Any person confined in jail in the county shall upon

his request be brought into court to make such challenge.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.28. "ARRAY". By the "array" of grand jurors is meant the

whole body of persons summoned to serve as such before they have

been impaneled.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.29. "IMPANELED" AND "PANEL". A grand juror is said to be

"impaneled" after his qualifications have been tried and he has

been sworn. By "panel" is meant the whole body of grand jurors.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.30. CHALLENGE TO "ARRAY". A challenge to the "array"

shall be made in writing for these causes only:

1. That those summoned as grand jurors are not in fact those

selected by the method provided by Article 19.01(b) of this

chapter or by the jury commissioners; and

2. In case of grand jurors summoned by order of the court, that

the officer who summoned them had acted corruptly in summoning

any one or more of them.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 394, ch. 184, Sec. 3, eff.

Sept. 1, 1979.

Art. 19.31. CHALLENGE TO JUROR. A challenge to a particular

grand juror may be made orally for the following causes only:

1. That he is not a qualified juror; and

2. That he is the prosecutor upon an accusation against the

person making the challenge.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.32. SUMMARILY DECIDED. When a challenge to the array or

to any individual has been made, the court shall hear proof and

decide in a summary manner whether the challenge be well-founded

or not.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.33. OTHER JURORS SUMMONED. The court shall order another

grand jury to be summoned if the challenge to the array be

sustained, or order the panel to be completed if by challenge to

any particular grand juror their number be reduced below twelve.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.34. OATH OF GRAND JURORS. When the grand jury is

completed, the court shall appoint one of the number foreman; and

the following oath shall be administered by the court, or under

its direction, to the jurors: "You solemnly swear that you will

diligently inquire into, and true presentment make, of all such

matters and things as shall be given you in charge; the State's

counsel, your fellows and your own, you shall keep secret, unless

required to disclose the same in the course of a judicial

proceeding in which the truth or falsity of evidence given in the

grand jury room, in a criminal case, shall be under

investigation. You shall present no person from envy, hatred or

malice; neither shall you leave any person unpresented for love,

fear, favor, affection or hope of reward; but you shall present

things truly as they come to your knowledge, according to the

best of your understanding, so help you God".

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.35. TO INSTRUCT JURY. The court shall instruct the grand

jury as to their duty.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.36. BAILIFFS APPOINTED. The court and the district

attorney may each appoint one or more bailiffs to attend upon the

grand jury, and at the time of appointment, the following oath

shall be administered to each of them by the court, or under its

direction: "You solemnly swear that you will faithfully and

impartially perform all the duties of bailiff of the grand jury,

and that you will keep secret the proceedings of the grand jury,

so help you God". Such bailiffs shall be compensated in a sum to

be set by the commissioners court of said county.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.37. BAILIFF'S DUTIES. A bailiff is to obey the

instructions of the foreman, to summon all witnesses, and

generally, to perform all such duties as the foreman may require

of him. One bailiff shall be always with the grand jury, if two

or more are appointed.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.38. BAILIFF VIOLATING DUTY. No bailiff shall take part

in the discussions or deliberations of the grand jury nor be

present when they are discussing or voting upon a question. The

grand jury shall report to the court any violation of duty by a

bailiff and the court may punish him for such violation as for

contempt.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.39. ANOTHER FOREMAN APPOINTED. If the foreman of the

grand jury is from any cause absent or unable or disqualified to

act, the court shall appoint in his place some other member of

the body.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.40. QUORUM. Nine members shall be a quorum for the

purpose of discharging any duty or exercising any right properly

belonging to the grand jury.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Art. 19.41. REASSEMBLED. A grand jury discharged by the court

for the term may be reassembled by the court at any time during

the term.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1065, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1,

1999.

Art. 19.42. PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT GRAND JURORS. (a) Except

as provided by Subsection (b), information collected by the

court, court personnel, or prosecuting attorney during the grand

jury selection process about a person who serves as a grand

juror, including the person's home address, home telephone

number, social security number, driver's license number, and

other personal information, is confidential and may not be

disclosed by the court, court personnel, or prosecuting attorney.

(b) On a showing of good cause, the court shall permit disclosure

of the information sought to a party to the proceeding.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1177, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1,

1999.