1. The act of presenting or laying before a court or other tribunal a formal statement about a matter to be dealt with legally.
2. Criminal procedure. A formal written accusation returned by a grand jury on its own initiative, without a prosecutor’s previous indictment request. * Presentments are obsolete in the federal courts. See CHARGING INSTRUMENT. 
1. An informal accusation, made by the grand jury on its own knowledge, to be used by the prosecutor as the basis for a true bill or indictment. Bennet v Kalamazoo Circuit Judge, 183 Mich 200, 150 NW 141.
Precisely, an accusation by a grand jury made on its own motion. Anno: 22 ALR 1367, s. 106 ALR 1388, 120 ALR 437; 27 Am J1st Indict § 4.
The words “presentment” and indictment” have come to be substantially interchangeable terms. Coons v State, 191 Ind 580, 134 NE 194 20 ALR 900. 
1. A formal accusation of the commission of a crime made by a grand jury on its own motion, as opposed to an indictment, which it returns based upon evidence presented to it by the prosecutor. 
Excerpt from Charles Alan Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure (3d ed. 1999):
“A grand jury has only two functions, either to indict or to return a ‘no bill.’ The Constitution speaks also of a ‘presentment,’ but this is a term with a distinct historical meaning now not well understood. Historically presentment was the process by which a grand jury initiated an independent investigation and asked that a charge be drawn to cover the facts should they constitute a crime. With United States attorneys now always available to advise grand juries, proceeding by presentment is an outmoded practice.” 
Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.
: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6
: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949). Edited by William S. Anderson. © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931
: 1 Charles Alan Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure 5 110, at 459 (3d ed. 1999).
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