California Code of Civil Procedure Section 237 - Interpretation

In People v. Johnson (2013) 222 Cal.App.4th 486, the Court of Appeal explained that Code of Civil Procedure section 237, enacted in 1992, codifies the procedure for obtaining juror identifying information from a court and does not include a diligence requirement. Further, a 1995 amendment made mandatory the sealing of juror identifying information. (Johnson, supra, 222 Cal.App.4th at pp. 496-497.) To require defendants to make efforts to obtain the information from other sources before petitioning the court would be "forcing counsel to try to find ways around the seal" and to "try to track down the unwilling jurors." (Id. at p. 497.) "Because the Legislature provided that jurors' identifying information must be sealed, we conclude it did not intend to require a defendant to show diligent efforts to obtain the sealed information as a condition of unsealing it." (Ibid.)