Chief Sponsor: Marc K. Roberts

Senate Sponsor: ____________


8     General Description:
9          This bill sets good cause requirements for a grand jury to be called in certain instances.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     provides that good cause exists to call a grand jury if the matter referred involves:
13               •     alleged criminal activity by a person holding public office; or
14               •     the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer.
15     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
16          None
17     Other Special Clauses:
18          None
19     Utah Code Sections Affected:
20     AMENDS:
21          77-10a-2, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapters 34 and 96

23     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
24          Section 1. Section 77-10a-2 is amended to read:
25          77-10a-2. Panel of judges -- Appointment -- Membership -- Ordering of grand
26     jury.
27          (1) (a) The presiding officer of the Judicial Council shall appoint a panel of five judges

28     from the district courts of the state to hear in secret all persons claiming to have information
29     that would justify the calling of a grand jury. The presiding officer may appoint senior status
30     district court judges to the panel. The presiding officer shall designate one member of the
31     panel as supervising judge to serve at the pleasure of the presiding officer. The panel has the
32     authority of the district court.
33          (b) To ensure geographical diversity on the panel one judge shall be appointed from the
34     first or second district for a five-year term, one judge shall be appointed from the third district
35     for a four-year term, one judge shall be appointed from the fourth district for a three-year term,
36     one judge shall be appointed from the fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth districts for a two-year
37     term, and one judge shall be appointed from the third district for a one-year term. Following
38     the first term, all terms on the panel are for five years.
39          (c) The panel shall schedule hearings in each judicial district at least once every three
40     years and may meet at any location within the state. Three members of the panel constitute a
41     quorum for the transaction of panel business. The panel shall act by the concurrence of a
42     majority of members present and may act through the supervising judge or managing judge.
43     The schedule for the hearings shall be set by the panel and published by the Office of the Court
44     Administrator. Persons who desire to appear before the panel shall schedule an appointment
45     with the Office of the Court Administrator at least 10 days in advance. If no appointments are
46     scheduled, the hearing may be canceled. Persons appearing before the panel shall be placed
47     under oath and examined by the judges conducting the hearings. Hearsay evidence may be
48     presented at the hearings only under the same provisions and limitations that apply to
49     preliminary hearings.
50          (2) (a) If the panel finds good cause to believe a grand jury is necessary, the panel shall
51     make its findings in writing and may order a grand jury to be summoned.
52          (b) The panel may refer a matter to the attorney general, county attorney, district
53     attorney, or city attorney for investigation and prosecution. The referral shall contain as much
54     of the information presented to the panel as the panel determines relevant. The attorney
55     general, county attorney, district attorney, or city attorney shall report to the panel the results of
56     any investigation and whether the matter will be prosecuted by a prosecutor's information. The
57     report shall be filed with the panel within 120 days after the referral unless the panel provides
58     for a different amount of time. If the panel is not satisfied with the action of the attorney

59     general, county attorney, district attorney, or city attorney, the panel may order a grand jury to
60     be summoned.
61          (3) (a) When, in the judgment of the attorney general, a county attorney, a district
62     attorney, a municipal attorney, or a special prosecutor appointed under Section 77-10a-12
63     [certifies in writing to the supervising judge that in his judgment], a grand jury is necessary
64     because of criminal activity in the state, the attorney general, county attorney, district attorney,
65     municipal attorney, or special prosecutor shall certify in writing to the supervising judge the
66     necessity for a grand jury. If the panel finds that good cause exists, the panel shall order a
67     grand jury to be summoned [if the panel finds good cause exists].
68          (b) Good cause exists when the matter referred concerns:
69          (i) alleged criminal activity by a person holding a publicly elected office in this state;
70     or
71          (ii) the use or alleged use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer.
72          (c) For all other matters, the panel shall determine whether good cause exists.
73          (4) In determining whether good cause exists under Subsection (3), the panel shall
74     consider, among other factors, whether a grand jury is needed to help maintain public
75     confidence in the impartiality of the criminal justice process.
76          (5) A written certification under Subsection (3) shall contain a statement that in the
77     prosecutor's judgement a grand jury is necessary, but the certification need not contain any
78     information which if disclosed may create a risk of:
79          (a) destruction or tainting of evidence;
80          (b) flight or other conduct by the subject of the investigation to avoid prosecution;
81          (c) damage to a person's reputation or privacy;
82          (d) harm to any person; or
83          (e) a serious impediment to the investigation.
84          (6) A written certification under Subsection (3) shall be accompanied by a statement of
85     facts in support of the need for a grand jury.
86          (7) The supervising judge shall seal any written statement of facts submitted under
87     Subsection (6).
88          (8) The supervising judge may at the time the grand jury is summoned:
89          (a) order that it be drawn from the state at large as provided in this chapter or from any

90     district within the state; and
91          (b) retain authority to supervise the grand jury or delegate the supervision of the grand
92     jury to any judge of any district court within the state.
93          (9) If after the certification under Subsection (3) the panel does not order the
94     summoning of a grand jury or the grand jury does not return an indictment regarding the
95     subject matter of the certification, the prosecuting attorney may release to the public a copy of
96     the written certification if in the prosecutor's judgment the release does not create a risk as
97     described in Subsection (5).

Legislative Review Note
     as of 2-27-15 12:24 PM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel