General Information About Serving On A Grand Jury
Citizens selected to serve on the Grand Jury will receive a notification from the Knox County Criminal Clerk’s Office with further instructions. For questions regarding Grand Jury Service, please call (865) 215-2492 and ask to speak with a Grand Jury Coordinator.
The Grand Jury plays an important role in the criminal justice system. The Grand Jury is a body of 13 Knox County citizens who hear evidence of crimes and determine whether there is probable cause to require a defendant to stand trial in Criminal Court.
Grand Jurors take an oath -- including an oath of secrecy -- administered from a Knox County Criminal Court Judge on their first day of service.
Cases reach the Grand Jury in one of two ways – either from the General Sessions Court or directly from the District Attorney General’s Office. The job of the Grand Jury is important but limited – Grand Jurors must determine if there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed, that the defendant committed the crime, and that the crime was committed in Knox County.
Grand Jurors are not expected to be legal experts. An experienced Grand Juror leads as the foreperson. Each foreperson has been appointed by a Knox County Criminal Court Judge. He or she can answer questions Grand Jurors may have about their service. Additionally, a legal advisor from the Knox County District Attorney’s Office is present during witness testimony. The Grand Jury deliberates in secret with no one else present.
SPECIAL COVID-19 INSTRUCTIONS: Typically, the Knox County Grand Jury meets once a week for three months. However, due to COVID-19, the Grand Jury will meet about every other week for a three-month time period. All court personnel, staff members and Grand Jurors are expected to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing during their service. Grand Jurors should bring a mask to wear at the appropriate times.
ATTENDANCE: If a person selected for the Grand Jury fails to appear for service, the Court may issue an Order to Show Cause under T.C.A. §22-2-309. The Grand Juror can be fined up to $500 and be held in civil contempt.
EMPLOYMENT: There are laws protecting Grand Juror’s employment during their time of service. A letter can be provided to an employer who requires proof their employee’s service on the Grand Jury.
COMPENSATION: Grand Jurors receive a monthly check for their service. The pay is $11 per day. Lunch and parking validation is also provided.
DIRECTIONS/PARKING INFORMATION FOR CITY COUNTY BUILDING: Grand Jurors must park at Dwight Kessel Parking Garage for parking to be validated and must bring the parking ticket with them EACH DAY to the Grand Jury meeting location for parking to be validated (free.)
Enter the City County Building at either the Main St. or Hill Ave. entrance. Meeting location will be provided to you through an email and/or text from the Knox County Criminal Court Clerk’s Office
Grand Jurors should allow enough time to go through security and follow new public health procedures.
CONTACT INFORMATION: For questions regarding Grand Jury Service, please call (865) 215-2492 and ask to speak with a Grand Jury Coordinator. Grand Jurors will be provided additional contact information and instructions on their first day of service.