Presentment – a written accusation returned by a grand jury on its own motion, without a prosecutor’s previous indictment request, which may be used by the prosecutor as the basis for a true bill or indictment

     This page is continued from Criminal Proceedings >>>> Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury Proceedings >>>> Grand Jury:

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presentment:
(15c)

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]

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. [2]

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. [3]

     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. [4]

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: 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

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: 1 Charles Alan Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure 5 110, at 459 (3d ed. 1999).

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