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HOME > DA's Office > Tulare County Courts

 
  Tulare County Court System  
 
  The "Blue Ribbon" Grand Jury  
  The Tulare County Grand Jury serves a significant function for Tulare County citizens. It is composed of nineteen Tulare County residents. The jury is empowered by law to examine various aspects of county government, ensuring that the county is being governed honestly and efficiently, and that county money is being handled judiciously.

Full grand jury business meetings are held at least twice a month and many additional committee meetings are conducted regularly to investigate the proper functioning of county government. This is accomplished by meeting with county officials, visiting county facilities, conducting independent research and reaching conclusions through group discussions. These conclusions are developed into recommendations for improvement and are presented to the County Board of Supervisors. A grand jury member is paid $10 for each day served and receives mileage reimbursements for travel expenses in the county.

Any private citizen, county official, or county employee may present complaints to the grand jury. An initial complaint may be made by telephoning the Grand Jury Office at 733-6465 or by correspondence addressed to the Tulare County Grand Jury, Courthouse, Visalia, CA 93291.

After a telephone conversation, a complaint form is sent to the person seeking assistance and must be returned immediately containing his/her complaint. A citizen may also submit a written complaint to the Tulare County Grand Jury. All complaints or suggestions will be held in strict confidence and the citizen will be notified of the action taken.
 
   
  Criminal Indictments  
  Criminal indictments are handed out by a special criminal grand jury. At the request of the District Attorney’s Office, the presiding judge of the Tulare County Trial Courts selects persons, at random, from the list of trial jurors in civil and criminal cases and impanels a special grand jury to decide whether or not a criminal indictment should be brought against the person in question. The special criminal grand jury is dismissed after it reaches a decision in the matter.  
   
  Drug Court  
   Adults  
  Participants are referred to the Adult Drug Court Program by a probation officer, who interviews prospective participants to review their compatibility with the objectives of the Drug Court program, as well as to determine their suitability for participation. The length of the program is a minimum of one year, with the last six months to be completed while “clean and sober” in non-residential treatment.

Upon acceptance into Drug Court, participants enter into a multi-phase program which requires regular appearances in court where each participant’s progress is examined. The program places a heavy emphasis on participating in the 12-Step recovery process as utilized in Narcotic's Anonymous and Alcoholic’s Anonymous. Each participant is required to attend weekly meetings and to obtain a “sponsor,” and work on the steps of recovery as they advance through the Drug Court program.

In addition, all participants in Adult Drug Court are required to phone their assigned treatment provider daily and submit to random testing a minimum of once per week. Treatment providers coordinate their efforts with the various private and public agencies equipped to assist Drug Court participants in the areas of parenting, life skills, housing, job search techniques, transportation to meetings, and mental health.

It is the goal of the program that participants develop the skills and support they need to maintain their sobriety following their graduation from Drug Court and that they reduce their dependency upon the treatment provider.
 
     
   Juvenile  
  Juvenile Drug Court is a 9-month program. Participants are referred to the Juvenile Drug Court by a Tulare County trial court because they have either been arrested or cited for a drug or alcohol-related incident. The offense can be for any criminal drug or alcohol related incident. After a juvenile is referred to the drug court an evaluation is completed to determine whether he/she is eligible for the program. A recommendation is made to the trial court and the judge makes the final decision on whether or not the juvenile is a proper candidate for drug court.

To graduate from the Juvenile Drug Court, participants must make bi-weekly appearances in court, participate in a points program, and stay in school. Points are earned for completing school reports, receiving favorable reports from school counselors, participating in a twelve-step program at least once a week, and by keeping and writing in a personal journal.

The Juvenile Drug Court stresses accountability and responsibility for each participant's actions and the consequences of those actions.
 
   
  Small Claims Court  
  The Small Claims Court is a special court where disputes are resolved inexpensively and quickly. The hearing is informal. Lawyers are not allowed. You represent yourself. Claims are limited to disputes of up to $5,000.  
     
  Veterans Court  
  Established in 2010, the mission of the Tulare County Veterans Court is to provide veterans in the criminal justice system who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, or psychological problems stemming from service in a combat theater in the United States military, with intensive treatment programs tailored to meet clinically identified needs. Veterans Court is a collaboration between numerous agencies: the Court, the Veterans Center, the Veterans Counseling Clinic, the District Attorney’s Office, the Probation Department, and many other community partners.  
   
     


Office of the District Attorney, County of Tulare
 ▫  221 S Mooney Blvd, Rm 224, Visalia, CA 93291-4593    (559) 636-5494
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