Law:Title 1. Code Of Criminal Procedure from Chapter 19. Organization Of The Grand Jury (Texas)

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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.


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