CHAPTER 52. JURIES.
ARTICLE 2. GRAND JURIES.
§52-2-1. At what terms grand jury shall attend; when court or
judge may dispense with it.
There shall be a grand jury at each term of a circuit court,
except that the circuit court of any county by an order entered of
record, or the judge thereof in vacation by written order to the
clerk at least twenty days before the term, may dispense with the
grand jury for one or two of the terms required by law to be held
in such county annually, and the circuit court of any county in
which there may be a criminal court whose jurisdiction includes the
trial of felony cases, by an order entered of record, may dispense
with the grand jury for all the terms of such circuit court
required by law to be held in such county annually; and in such
case no grand jury shall be drawn by the court or by the judge in
vacation. Any circuit court may, at a special, regular or
adjourned term thereof, whenever it shall be proper to do so, order
a grand jury to be drawn and to attend such term. A grand jury
summoned to attend a special, regular or adjourned term may
consider any offense against the laws, whether the same shall have
been committed before the next preceding term of the court or not,
and whether the accused shall have been held for trial or not prior
to the next preceding regular term.
§52-2-2. Provisions governing petit juries govern grand juries.
The provisions of article one of this chapter relating to
petit juries, so far as applicable and not inconsistent with the
provisions of this article, shall be observed and govern grand
§52-2-3. Selection and summoning of jurors.
The clerk of any circuit court requiring a grand jury shall,
at least thirty days before the term of court, draw and assign
persons for the grand jury, but the court, or judge thereof, may
require the clerk at any specified time to draw and assign grand
jurors for either a regular, special or adjourned term of court.
When required by the circuit court or the chief judge thereof, the
clerk shall draw the names of sixteen persons from the jury wheel
or jury box, and the persons so drawn shall constitute the grand
jury. At the same time, the clerk shall draw the names of such
additional numbers of persons from the jury wheel or jury box as
the chief judge of the circuit, or the judge in a single judge
circuit shall by prior order direct, and the persons so drawn shall
constitute alternate jurors for the grand jury. The judge may
replace any absent members of the grand jury from among the
alternate grand jurors, in the order in which the alternate jurors
were drawn. The clerk shall enter the names of all persons so
drawn in a book kept for that purpose and shall issue summonses to
the persons so drawn in the same manner as that provided for petit
jurors in subsection (b), section seven, article one of this
Of the sixteen grand jurors chosen from the grand jurors and
alternate grand jurors summoned, fifteen or more of the grand
jurors attending shall be a competent grand jury.
From among the persons so summoned, who attend, the court
shall select a foreman, who shall be sworn as follows: "You shall
diligently inquire and true presentment make of all such matters as
may be given you in charge or come to your knowledge touching the
present service. You shall present no person through malice,
hatred or ill will, nor leave any unpresented through fear, favor,
partiality or affection, but in all your presentments you shall
present the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So
help you God." The other grand jurors shall afterwards be sworn as
follows: "The same oath that your foreman has taken on his part,
you and each of you shall observe and keep on your part. So help
The grand jurors, after being sworn, shall be charged by the
judge, and shall then be sent to their room.
§52-2-7. Duties; preservation of evidence.
The grand jury shall inquire of and present all felonies,
misdemeanors and violations of penal laws, committed in the
jurisdiction of the court wherein they are sworn, except that no
presentment shall be made of a matter for which there is no
imprisonment, but only a fine, where the fine is limited to an
amount not exceeding ten dollars and the offense is cognizable by
a justice of the peace. They shall appoint one of their number as
clerk, who shall write down the name of each witness examined by
them, and the substance of the evidence given by him, and furnish
the same to the prosecuting attorney.
§52-2-8. Finding or making of indictment or presentment.
At least twelve of the grand jurors must concur in finding or
making an indictment or presentment. They may make a presentment
or find an indictment upon the information of two or more of their
own body, and when a presentment or indictment is so made, or on
the testimony of witnesses called on by the grand jury, or sent to
it by the court, the names of the grand jurors giving the
information, or of the witnesses, shall be written at the foot of
the presentment or indictment.
§52-2-9. Second hearing.
Although a bill of indictment be returned not a true bill,
another bill of indictment against the same person for the same
offense may be sent to and acted on by the same or another grand
§52-2-10. Substituting new juror to fill vacancy; summoning
If the foreman or any grand juror be unable or fail to attend
after being sworn, another may be sworn in his stead. And when one
grand juror has been discharged, another may, by order of the
court, be summoned to attend at the same term.
Acts, 1993 Reg. Sess., Ch. 94.
§52-2-12. Incompetency or disqualification of juror not to affect
validity of finding.
No presentment or indictment shall be quashed or abated on
account of the incompetency or disqualification of any one or more
of the grand jurors who found the same.
§52-2-13. Compensation and mileage of grand jurors.
A grand juror shall be paid mileage, at the rate set by the
commissioner of finance and administration for state employees, for
travel expenses incurred in traveling from the grand juror's
residence to the place of the holding of the grand jury and return,
and shall be reimbursed for other expenses incurred as a result of
required attendance at sessions of the grand jury at a rate of
between fifteen and forty dollars, set at the discretion of the
circuit court or the chief judge thereof, for each day of required
§52-2-14. Grand jury authorized to sit for as long as one year and
in addition to any other grand jury; provisions of
article applicable with certain exception.
Whenever it appears to the judge of any court of record having
criminal jurisdiction that there may be possible offenses against
the criminal laws of this state which because of their complexity
and involvement may require a grand jury to sit for an extended
period of time, he may, pursuant to the provisions of this section,
order a grand jury to be drawn and to attend any special, regular
or adjourned term of such court in addition to any other grand jury
attending any such term of court and all of the provisions of this
article shall apply, except as follows:
(1) Such grand jury shall sit for one year unless an order for
its discharge be earlier entered upon a determination by such grand
jury, by majority vote, that its business has been completed, and
such grand jury shall have the power to make presentments or find
indictments at any time while it is sitting, notwithstanding the
end of the term of court during which it was drawn and summoned;
(2) The term limitation specified in the last sentence of
section ten of this article shall not apply to a grand jury
attending pursuant to the provisions of this section fourteen; and
(3) Notwithstanding the first two sentences of section
thirteen of this article, every person who shall serve upon a grand
jury attending pursuant to the provisions of this section fourteen
shall be entitled to receive for such services not less than eight
dollars nor more than twenty dollars, to be fixed by the court, for
each day he may so serve, for a total period not in excess of one year, and in addition thereto the same mileage as allowed to
witnesses, to be paid out of the county treasury.
WVC 52 - 2 - 15
§52-2-15. Secrecy of Grand Jury Proceedings.
(a) A grand juror, an interpreter, a stenographer, an operator
of a recording device, a typist who transcribes recorded testimony,
an attorney for the state, or any person to whom disclosure is made
under paragraph (B), subdivision (1), subsection(c) of this
section, shall not disclose matters occurring before the grand
jury, except as otherwise provided by subsection (c) of this
section, and rules promulgated by the Supreme Court of Appeals.
(b) A person who knowingly violates subsection (a)of this
section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be
fined not more than $1,000 or confined in jail not more than thirty
days, or both fined and confined.
(c) (1) Disclosure otherwise prohibited by this section of
matters occurring before the grand jury, other than its
deliberations and the vote of any grand juror, may be made to:
(A) An attorney for the state for use in the performance of
such attorney's duty; and
(B) Such official personnel as are deemed necessary by an
attorney for the state to assist an attorney for the state in the
performance of such attorney's duty to enforce criminal law.
(2) Disclosure otherwise prohibited by this section of matters
occurring before the grand jury may also be made:
(A) when so directed by a court preliminarily to or in
connection with a judicial proceeding;
(B) when permitted by a court at the request of the defendant, upon a showing that grounds may exist for a motion to dismiss the
indictment because of matters occurring before the grand jury;
(C) when the disclosure is made by an attorney for the state
to another grand jury; or
(D) when permitted by a court at the request of an attorney
for the state, upon a showing that such matters may disclose a
violation of federal criminal law or of the law of another state,
to an appropriate official of the federal government or of such
other state for the purposes of enforcing such law.
WVC 52 - 2 - 16
§52-2-16. Juror questionnaires; judicial approval required for
release of forms.
Completed juror questionnaire forms for persons called for or
serving as grand jurors are confidential and may only be released
from the custody of the clerk with the written permission of the
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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