Whether the convening of a grand jury is made public
or not depends on whether it is a state or federal grand jury and, if
the former, what state is involved. As a general rule, my sense is that
in most states the convening of a grand jury either may be actively
announced to the public or, at the very least, is a matter the details
of which are readily available to such members of the public as care to
On the federal level, that is less likely to be true.
In certain high-profile cases, the impaneling or involvement of a grand
jury may be announced by the press, as I believe both were in the
Clinton-Lewinsky grand jury inquiry. That is unusual. At the federal
level it is somewhat unclear as to whether the records of a grand jury's
impanelment, including the dates on which it began and ended its
service, are encompassed by grand jury secrecy. There are some lower
federal court decisions, and some local court rules, which have found
that records governing impanelment and dates of service are not
encompassed by grand jury secrecy; if they are not, then they should be
readily accessible to members of the public.
If you want to find out information about the
impaneling and/or dates of service of a grand jury, federal or state,
you should contact the clerk of the court that impaneled the grand jury.
In each court, there will be a clerk or clerks who handle jury matters,
and they should be able to tell you how you can obtain this information.
If the clerk, especially a clerk of a federal court, tells you the
information is not available to the public, you might try contacting the
judge that supervises the grand juries and see if the judge will allow