Communications from the public can provide valuable information to the Civil Grand Jury, which may prompt an investigation of a local government agency. Any citizen may submit concerns regarding mistreatment, suspicious misconduct or inefficiencies to the Civil Grand Jury for consideration on a Citizen Complaint Form.
The Civil Grand Jury, at its discretion, inquires into citizen complaints regarding local government agencies and officials to identify practices in government that need improvement. The ultimate goal of the Civil Grand Jury is to improve government in Monterey County and to make public officials responsive to the people.
- Complaints must be submitted in writing; complaints are not accepted by phone;
- The Civil Grand Jury does not investigate all complaints received. Investigations are at the discretion of the jury;
- Investigation of your complaint cannot be confirmed; all investigations remain confidential until the Civil Grand Jury decides to include the findings in the final report;
- Anonymous complaints may not be responded to if the Civil Grand Jury is unable to contact you for additional information related to the complaint.
All citizen complaints are treated as confidential correspondence. All persons who appear before the Civil Grand Jury or who communicate with the Civil Grand Jury in writing are protected by strict rules of confidentiality. These rules extend to all participants in the process, including complainants and witnesses. Additionally, the minutes and records of Civil Grand Jury meetings are protected by law and cannot be subpoenaed or inspected by anyone.
Limitations of Investigative Authority
The Civil Grand Jury has no jurisdiction or authority to investigate federal agencies, state agencies, the courts or criminal activity . Please also note the following limitations:
- The Civil Grand Jury cannot investigate disputes between private parties;
- The Civil Grand Jury is not a "Consumer Complaint Bureau."
The Civil Grand Jury is authorized to examine all aspects of local government within the County of Monterey (including special districts) ensuring that all public monies are being handled judiciously, all accounts are properly audited—in general, guaranteeing honest, efficient government in the best interests of the people.
The Civil Grand Jury is authorized to:
- Inspect and audit books, records, and financial expenditures to ensure that public funds are properly accounted for and legally spent within Monterey County;
- Inspect financial records of special districts in Monterey County;
- Examine the books and records of any nonprofit organization receiving county or city funds;
- Inquire into the conditions of jails and detention centers within Monterey County; and
- Inquire into any charges of willful misconduct in office by public officials or employees within Monterey County.