FL – Marion County – Common Law Grand Jury – Jan 21 2014

Patrick Cranwill, <<address removed>>, addressed the board in regard to the Common Law Grand Jury

He stated five citizens were in attendance to speak regarding this subject and questioned if it was possible to yield their time to just one speaker. Chairman Zalak concurred. Mr. Cranwill presented a 6 page handout for the record entitled, “Writ of Mandamus the Common Law Grand Jury for Marion County, Florida”. Sean Peete, State Road 19, Salt Springs, referred to the Writ of Mandamus, which he read, in its entirety, into the record.
In response to a question by Commissioner Bryant, Mr. Minter advised that the United States (US) and Florida Constitutions provided for Grand Juries, noting there was no authority in either Constitution that allowed for a group of citizens to appoint themselves as a Grand Jury. He referred to the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(a), which stated in part, “the US Court appoints a Grand Jury for Federal Court” and
Florida Statute (FS) 905.011, which stated in part that “Grand Juries were appointed in the same fashion as a Trial Jury”. Mr. Minter clarified that the only Grand Juries recognized in Florida were those that were appointed according to Florida Statutes..
Clerk Ellspermann advised that the organization recently approached him with regard to their requests, noting by the authority of Florida law he could not provide them space at the Marion County Courthouse. He noted the Boards legal advisor to the Grand Jury was the State Attorney.
(Ed. Note: This matter was again addressed later in the meeting.)
Judicial Center/Suits
– County Attorney Minter addressed previous comments regarding the Common Law Grand Jury, noting some of those organizations were made up of citizens who felt disenfranchised with their trust in government. He stated it was important to help citizens understand that government, at the State and local levels, was there for them and was responsive to their requests.
(Ed. Note: This matter was again addressed later in the meeting.)