JUDGES TO DETERMINE NEED FOR GRAND JURY
Salt Lake City, Utah— A panel of judges is scheduled to meet on Jan. 14, 2021, to hear testimony to determine whether good cause exists to call a grand jury. The meeting will take place at the Matheson Courthouse, located at 450 S. State St., Salt Lake City, Utah 84111.
Those wanting to testify before the panel of judges should contact Michael C. Drechsel, Assistant State Court Administrator, Administrative Office of the Courts, at (801) 578-3821 by Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at noon, to schedule an appointment and receive further specific instructions. If no appointments are scheduled by that time, the meeting will be canceled without further notice.
Due to the continuing significant public health concerns regarding COVID-19, and consistent with the directives of state officials, the members of the panel of judges may appear at the meeting remotely using video conferencing software. Those wishing to testify will appear for individual appointments either:
• at the courthouse, where a single panel staff member will be present to operate the video conferencing software and facilitate the individual’s testimony to the panel of judges; or
• from a location of the individual’s choosing using remote video conferencing software, the details of which will be communicated to the individual by panel staff.
As pandemic conditions continue to evolve, all hearings that are scheduled may be canceled up to the last minute to ensure compliance with any public health directive.
Utah’s grand jury statute requires a panel of judges selected from throughout the state to hold a hearing in each judicial district every three years. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether a grand jury should be summoned based upon evidence of criminal activity. The panel of judges will hear, in secret, individuals claiming information that justifies calling a grand jury. An individual who testifies must be prepared to provide evidence to support a claim that justifies calling a grand jury. The Attorney General, a county attorney, district attorney, or special prosecutor appointed under U.C.A. section 77-10a-1 can also present evidence of criminal activity. Controversies between individual parties, civil matters, and matter that are subject to criminal appeal will not be considered. Any individual who appears before the panel of judges will be placed under oath. Individuals who need special accommodation during the hearing must notify Mr. Drechsel at least three business days prior to the hearing.
The current members of the grand jury panel of judges are: Supervising Judge W. Brent West, 2nd District Court; Judge Lynn W. Davis, 4th District Court; Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills, 3rd District Court; Judge Eric A. Ludlow, 5th District Court; and Judge Kara Pettit, 3rd District Court. Additional information regarding the grand jury panel of judges is available at the Utah Court’s website or in the Utah Code.
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