Common Law Grand Juries – Is There Such An Animal?

Yesterday I was contacted by an acquaintance whom I got to know through attendance at the Granada Forum, a patriot organization originally formed in Granada Hills, California, by Ralph Franklin and myself which we established in November of 1992. What this gentleman asked me if I would become a leader within what has become the Common Law Grand Jury Association. I expressed my views on the subject, and we made a conference call into another conference call that was underway taking place on the East Coast.

Within that conference call, I shared with them that approximately twelve or so years ago we used to have a group called “The Los Angeles County Common Law Grand Jury” that met here in the San Fernando Valley, Southern California, within Van Nuys, a suburb of the Greater City of Los Angeles. I attended not as a participant, but rather as an observer. I was personally known by many, if not all of the founders of this Common Law Grand Jury group. My expressed concern was in how these “Common Law Grand Jurors” were going to enforce their “indictments” within the system, and anticipated that someone was going to get hurt the moment this Los Angeles County Common Law Grand Jurors set forth to draw someone within their acclaimed jurisdiction for an indictment, and to have the “indicted” one criminally prosecuted. Since that time, this Los Angeles County Grand Jury has dissipated, and is no more. I am now hearing more about Common Law Grand Jury groups developing throughout the nation, and even a recent as yesterday, I am being asked to become a leader in this national development.

My concern is just the same as it was years ago, that someone is going to get hurt the moment these Common Law Grand Jurors assume jurisdiction and reach out to indict some government official and to have them criminally prosecuted.

Let me say, I certainly believe in the power of the People as manifest in the Magna Carta of 1215, which Great Charter in essence established that whenever the People have no remedies, they may take whatever actions they deem necessary to provide for a remedy. We have this same power delineated within our Declaration of Independence, to wit; “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” It is therefore manifest that if our future freedom demands an Armed Revolution, then Americans are charged with such duty to provide it. This is how I view what is being called, “Common Law Grand Juries.”

For years, this author has preached on the need for Grand Juries in an atmosphere when everyone was looking for a remedy via legislatures, presidents and governors. I am most grateful that I have recently witnessed the message sinking it with more realization that Grand Juries are the key for our future security. Make no doubt about, the establishment has become concerned on this point. The government has long striven to extract the power of Grand Juries out of the hands of the People, and sought to establish Grand Juries as a hammer in the hands of government prosecutors.

As a history lesson, it was back in 1960 that the California Legislature determined to strip the People of the power in the hand of the People by the creation of what the Legislature called, “The Commission on Judicial Qualifications”, later changed to “The Commission on Judicial Qualifications.”  By so doing, the power of the People to investigate judges within California through Grand Juries was transferred to a special commission made up of principally judges. So we had judges judging judges with little to no participation of the People as to judicial conduct. This legislation laid well with legislatures and judges across the nation. And so, within all fifty states there was created judicial commissions throughout the country for judges to oversee the conduct of judges. The net results was that the People lost control over their judges, and all judges were under the protection of other judges. There was thus created a “You watch my back, and I will watch yours” mentality. We were left only with the People suing Judge A before his friend and colleague Judge B. The decisions were always “You can’t sue Judge A because he is a judge and covered by Judicial Immunity.

In the Nation of England from which we separated by the Declaration of Independence, we revolted against the doctrine that “THE KING CAN DO NO WRONG!” But, through the manipulation of politics we have established a new fable, which is “JUDGES CAN DO NO WRONG!” Out of this background has arisen the concept of JAIL4Judges, which means Judicial Accountability Initiative Law for Judges by the proposal of the creation of an Independent Special Grand Jury to which all judges shall give direct account to a panel of 25 citizens who judge judges as Grand Jurors independent of government prosecutors, members of the Bar Association, all law enforcement, and anyone connected with the judicial system. It places all judgment concerning the judiciary directly and totally in the hands of just you and me with no participation of the government.

The Judicial Accountability Initiative Law started right here where We the People were robbed of our autonomous right to be the Alpha and the Omega as the Grand Jurors. Through J.A.I.L., we can once again reclaim our power we once had prior to the deprivation of our rights as Grand Jurors. By simply adding the words “Common Law” in front of Grand Juries, and asserting we are now a Grand Jury only leads to physical confrontation in which those involved will get hurt. What makes Special Independent Grand Juries different is that it becomes a revision to our various State’s Constitution, of which all governments, including judges, legislators, and executive must give a sworn Oath to obedience thereto in order to hold, or retain their positions.

Article II, Sec. 1 of the California Constitution reads, “All political power is inherent in the People. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform i when the public good may require.” So it is manifest by the Constitution that the People are autonomous,” they have and control all political power”, which power is totally within their hands, and no government may interfere with that right. This is why all governments throughout the United States are afraid of the possibility of the People adopting the provisions within J.A.I.L., as it would spell the end of their dynasty of control over the People.

Citizens group wants common law grand jury in Westmoreland County [PA]

Sunday – January 5, 2013

By Rich Cholodofsky

Published: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A citizens group filed court documents on Friday seeking to convene a common law grand jury in Westmoreland County, but legal experts say such a body has no real authority.

It’s the latest of a number of similar filings throughout the nation by people wanting to empanel investigating grand juries that are separate from the government. Citizens in the group would seek jurors from the local population, then make presentments to prosecutors.

Locally, groups in Allegheny and Beaver counties have issued the same call.

The move, however, is not backed by the law, according to a local official and a legal scholar.

“This is a rogue band of citizens with no legal authority,” said Wes Oliver, associate professor and director of the criminal justice program at Duquesne University School of Law. “To what extent there was ever a common law grand jury system that was self-creating, there no longer is.”

The Westmoreland group, founded by Tom Altman of Greensburg, wants to convene a grand jury that is not presided over by a judge and/or convened by county or state prosecutors.

Altman claims his grand jury is legitimate under the law and the Constitution.

But legal experts say that in 1946, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were established, doing away with the common law grand jury model.

District Attorney John Peck said grand juries must be approved by the courts.

“I don’t know there is a statute or procedural rule that allows citizens to convene grand juries,” Peck said.

Altman filed documents with Clerk of Courts Bryan Kline seeking to formalize the grand jury process. Kline said he was required under state law to accept the filing.

Altman said he paid the $21.40 filing fee under protest.

“We’re working to undo tyranny that’s been done,” he said. “We’re stirring a pot that’s real big, but it has to be stirred.”

Unless common law grand juries are officially recognized by the courts, prosecutors offered presentments or individuals subpoenaed by the self-formed grand juries would not be legally compelled to cooperate, Oliver said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or