TITLE 18—APPENDIX

Item
Page
Unlawful Possession or Receipt of Firearms (Repealed)
809
Interstate Agreement on Detainers (Pub. L. 91–538)
810
Classified Information Procedures Act (Pub. L. 96–456)
814
Federal Rules of Evidence
821
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
822

        

UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OR RECEIPT OF FIREARMS

[§§1201 to 1203. Repealed. Pub. L. 99–308, §104(b), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 459]

Section 1201, Pub. L. 90–351, title VII, §1201, June 19, 1968, 82 Stat. 236; Pub. L. 90–618, title III, §301(a)(1), Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1236, related to Congressional findings and declaration of policy with respect to receipt, possession, or transportation of firearms by felons, veterans who are discharged under dishonorable conditions, mental incompetents, aliens who are illegally in this country, and former citizens who have renounced their citizenship.

Section 1202, Pub. L. 90–351, title VII, §1202, June 19, 1968, 82 Stat. 236; Pub. L. 90–618, title III, §301(a)(2), (b), Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1236; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §§1802, 1803, Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2185, provided penalties for receipt, possession, or transportation of firearms in commerce or affecting commerce by a convicted felon, dishonorably discharged veteran, mental incompetent, former citizen, illegal alien, or by any individual employed by such a person, and defined terms used in former sections 1201 to 1203 of this Appendix. See section 924 of this title.

Section 1203, Pub. L. 90–351, title VII, §1203, June 19, 1968, 82 Stat. 237, related to persons exempt from the provisions of former sections 1201 to 1203 of this Appendix.

Effective Date of Repeal

Sections repealed effective 180 days after May 19, 1986, see section 110(a) of Pub. L. 99–308, set out as an Effective Date of 1986 Amendment note under section 921 of this title.

INTERSTATE AGREEMENT ON DETAINERS

Pub. L. 91–538, Dec. 9, 1970, 84 Stat. 1397, as amended by Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7059, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4403

§1. Short title

This Act may be cited as the “Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act”.

(Pub. L. 91–538, §1, Dec. 9, 1970, 84 Stat. 1397.)

§2. Enactment into law of Interstate Agreement on Detainers

The Interstate Agreement on Detainers is hereby enacted into law and entered into by the United States on its own behalf and on behalf of the District of Columbia with all jurisdictions legally joining in substantially the following form:

“The contracting States solemnly agree that:

“Article I

“The party States find that charges outstanding against a prisoner, detainers based on untried indictments, informations, or complaints and difficulties in securing speedy trial of persons already incarcerated in other jurisdictions, produce uncertainties which obstruct programs of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation. Accordingly, it is the policy of the party States and the purpose of this agreement to encourage the expeditious and orderly disposition of such charges and determination of the proper status of any and all detainers based on untried indictments, informations, or complaints. The party States also find that proceedings with reference to such charges and detainers, when emanating from another jurisdiction, cannot properly be had in the absence of cooperative procedures. It is the further purpose of this agreement to provide such cooperative procedures.

“Article II

“As used in this agreement:

“(a) ‘State’ shall mean a State of the United States; the United States of America; a territory or possession of the United States; the District of Columbia; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

“(b) ‘Sending State’ shall mean a State in which a prisoner is incarcerated at the time that he initiates a request for final disposition pursuant to article III hereof or at the time that a request for custody or availability is initiated pursuant to article IV hereof.

“(c) ‘Receiving State’ shall mean the State in which trial is to be had on an indictment, information, or complaint pursuant to article III or article IV hereof.

“Article III

“(a) Whenever a person has entered upon a term of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution of a party State, and whenever during the continuance of the term of imprisonment there is pending in any other party State any untried indictment, information, or complaint on the basis of which a detainer has been lodged against the prisoner, he shall be brought to trial within one hundred and eighty days after he shall have caused to be delivered to the prosecuting officer and the appropriate court of the prosecuting officer's jurisdiction written notice of the place of his imprisonment and his request for a final disposition to be made of the indictment, information, or complaint: Provided, That, for good cause shown in open court, the prisoner or his counsel being present, the court having jurisdiction of the matter may grant any necessary or reasonable continuance. The request of the prisoner shall be accompanied by a certificate of the appropriate official having custody of the prisoner, stating the term of commitment under which the prisoner is being held, the time already served, the time remaining to be served on the sentence, the amount of good time earned, the time of parole eligibility of the prisoner, and any decision of the State parole agency relating to the prisoner.

“(b) The written notice and request for final disposition referred to in paragraph (a) hereof shall be given or sent by the prisoner to the warden, commissioner of corrections, or other official having custody of him, who shall promptly forward it together with the certificate to the appropriate prosecuting official and court by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.

“(c) The warden, commissioner of corrections, or other official having custody of the prisoner shall promptly inform him of the source and contents of any detainer lodged against him and shall also inform him of his right to make a request for final disposition of the indictment, information, or complaint on which the detainer is based.

“(d) Any request for final disposition made by a prisoner pursuant to paragraph (a) hereof shall operate as a request for final disposition of all untried indictments, informations, or complaints on the basis of which detainers have been lodged against the prisoner from the State to whose prosecuting official the request for final disposition is specifically directed. The warden, commissioner of corrections, or other official having custody of the prisoner shall forthwith notify all appropriate prosecuting officers and courts in the several jurisdictions within the State to which the prisoner's request for final disposition is being sent of the proceeding being initiated by the prisoner. Any notification sent pursuant to this paragraph shall be accompanied by copies of the prisoner's written notice, request, and the certificate. If trial is not had on any indictment, information, or complaint contemplated hereby prior to the return of the prisoner to the original place of imprisonment, such indictment, information, or complaint shall not be of any further force or effect, and the court shall enter an order dismissing the same with prejudice.

“(e) Any request for final disposition made by a prisoner pursuant to paragraph (a) hereof shall also be deemed to be a waiver of extradition with respect to any charge or proceeding contemplated thereby or included therein by reason of paragraph (d) hereof, and a waiver of extradition to the receiving State to serve any sentence there imposed upon him, after completion of his term of imprisonment in the sending State. The request for final disposition shall also constitute a consent by the prisoner to the production of his body in any court where his presence may be required in order to effectuate the purposes of this agreement and a further consent voluntarily to be returned to the original place of imprisonment in accordance with the provisions of this agreement. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the imposition of a concurrent sentence if otherwise permitted by law.

“(f) Escape from custody by the prisoner subsequent to his execution of the request for final disposition referred to in paragraph (a) hereof shall void the request.

“Article IV

“(a) The appropriate officer of the jurisdiction in which an untried indictment, information, or complaint is pending shall be entitled to have a prisoner against whom he has lodged a detainer and who is serving a term of imprisonment in any party State made available in accordance with article V(a) hereof upon presentation of a written request for temporary custody or availability to the appropriate authorities of the State in which the prisoner is incarcerated: Provided, That the court having jurisdiction of such indictment, information, or complaint shall have duly approved, recorded, and transmitted the request: And provided further, That there shall be a period of thirty days after receipt by the appropriate authorities before the request be honored, within which period the Governor of the sending State may disapprove the request for temporary custody or availability, either upon his own motion or upon motion of the prisoner.

“(b) Upon request of the officer's written request as provided in paragraph (a) hereof, the appropriate authorities having the prisoner in custody shall furnish the officer with a certificate stating the term of commitment under which the prisoner is being held, the time already served, the time remaining to be served on the sentence, the amount of good time earned, the time of parole eligibility of the prisoner, and any decisions of the State parole agency relating to the prisoner. Said authorities simultaneously shall furnish all other officers and appropriate courts in the receiving State who has lodged detainers against the prisoner with similar certificates and with notices informing them of the request for custody or availability and of the reasons therefor.

“(c) In respect of any proceeding made possible by this article, trial shall be commenced within one hundred and twenty days of the arrival of the prisoner in the receiving State, but for good cause shown in open court, the prisoner or his counsel being present, the court having jurisdiction of the matter may grant any necessary or reasonable continuance.

“(d) Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to deprive any prisoner of any right which he may have to contest the legality of his delivery as provided in paragraph (a) hereof, but such delivery may not be opposed or denied on the ground that the executive authority of the sending State has not affirmatively consented to or ordered such delivery.

“(e) If trial is not had on any indictment, information, or complaint contemplated hereby prior to the prisoner's being returned to the original place of imprisonment pursuant to article V(e) hereof, such indictment, information, or complaint shall not be of any further force or effect, and the court shall enter an order dismissing the same with prejudice.

“Article V

“(a) In response to a request made under article III or article IV hereof, the appropriate authority in a sending State shall offer to deliver temporary custody of such prisoner to the appropriate authority in the State where such indictment, information, or complaint is pending against such person in order that speedy and efficient prosecution may be had. If the request for final disposition is made by the prisoner, the offer of temporary custody shall accompany the written notice provided for in article III of this agreement. In the case of a Federal prisoner, the appropriate authority in the receiving State shall be entitled to temporary custody as provided by this agreement or to the prisoner's presence in Federal custody at the place of trial, whichever custodial arrangement may be approved by the custodian.

“(b) The officer or other representative of a State accepting an offer of temporary custody shall present the following upon demand:

“(1) Proper identification and evidence of his authority to act for the State into whose temporary custody this prisoner is to be given.

“(2) A duly certified copy of the indictment, information, or complaint on the basis of which the detainer has been lodged and on the basis of which the request for temporary custody of the prisoner has been made.

“(c) If the appropriate authority shall refuse or fail to accept temporary custody of said person, or in the event that an action on the indictment, information, or complaint on the basis of which the detainer has been lodged is not brought to trial within the period provided in article III or article IV hereof, the appropriate court of the jurisdiction where the indictment, information, or complaint has been pending shall enter an order dismissing the same with prejudice, and any detainer based thereon shall cease to be of any force or effect.

“(d) The temporary custody referred to in this agreement shall be only for the purpose of permitting prosecution on the charge or charges contained in one or more untried indictments, informations, or complaints which form the basis of the detainer or detainers or for prosecution on any other charge or charges arising out of the same transaction. Except for his attendance at court and while being transported to or from any place at which his presence may be required, the prisoner shall be held in a suitable jail or other facility regularly used for persons awaiting prosecution.

“(e) At the earliest practicable time consonant with the purposes of this agreement, the prisoner shall be returned to the sending State.

“(f) During the continuance of temporary custody or while the prisoner is otherwise being made available for trial as required by this agreement, time being served on the sentence shall continue to run but good time shall be earned by the prisoner only if, and to the extent that, the law and practice of the jurisdiction which imposed the sentence may allow.

“(g) For all purposes other than that for which temporary custody as provided in this agreement is exercised, the prisoner shall be deemed to remain in the custody of and subject to the jurisdiction of the sending State and any escape from temporary custody may be dealt with in the same manner as an escape from the original place of imprisonment or in any other manner permitted by law.

“(h) From the time that a party State receives custody of a prisoner pursuant to this agreement until such prisoner is returned to the territory and custody of the sending State, the State in which the one or more untried indictments, informations, or complaints are pending or in which trial is being had shall be responsible for the prisoner and shall also pay all costs of transporting, caring for, keeping, and returning the prisoner. The provisions of this paragraph shall govern unless the States concerned shall have entered into a supplementary agreement providing for a different allocation of costs and responsibilities as between or among themselves. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to alter or affect any internal relationship among the departments, agencies, and officers of and in the government of a party State, or between a party State and its subdivisions, as to the payment of costs, or responsibilities therefor.

“Article VI

“(a) In determining the duration and expiration dates of the time periods provided in articles III and IV of this agreement, the running of said time periods shall be tolled whenever and for as long as the prisoner is unable to stand trial, as determined by the court having jurisdiction of the matter.

“(b) No provision of this agreement, and no remedy made available by this agreement shall apply to any person who is adjudged to be mentally ill.

“Article VII

“Each State party to this agreement shall designate an officer who, acting jointly with like officers of other party States, shall promulgate rules and regulations to carry out more effectively the terms and provisions of this agreement, and who shall provide, within and without the State, information necessary to the effective operation of this agreement.

“Article VIII

“This agreement shall enter into full force and effect as to a party State when such State has enacted the same into law. A State party to this agreement may withdraw herefrom by enacting a statute repealing the same. However, the withdrawal of any State shall not affect the status of any proceedings already initiated by inmates or by State officers at the time such withdrawal takes effect, nor shall it affect their rights in respect thereof.

“Article IX

“This agreement shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate its purposes. The provisions of this agreement shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of this agreement is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any party State or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this agreement and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this agreement shall be held contrary to the constitution of any State party hereto, the agreement shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining States and in full force and effect as to the State affected as to all severable matters.”

(Pub. L. 91–538, §2, Dec. 9, 1970, 84 Stat. 1397.)

§3. Definition of term “Governor” for purposes of United States and District of Columbia

The term “Governor” as used in the agreement on detainers shall mean with respect to the United States, the Attorney General, and with respect to the District of Columbia, the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

(Pub. L. 91–538, §3, Dec. 9, 1970, 84 Stat. 1402.)

Transfer of Functions

“Mayor of the District of Columbia” substituted in text for “Commissioner of the District of Columbia” pursuant to section 421 of Pub. L. 93–198. Office of Commissioner of District of Columbia, as established by Reorg. Plan No. 3, of 1967, abolished as of noon Jan. 2, 1975, by Pub. L. 93–198, title VII, §711, Dec. 24, 1973, 87 Stat. 818, and replaced by Office of Mayor of District of Columbia by section 421 of Pub. L. 93–198.

§4. Definition of term “appropriate court”

The term “appropriate court” as used in the agreement on detainers shall mean with respect to the United States, the courts of the United States, and with respect to the District of Columbia, the courts of the District of Columbia, in which indictments, informations, or complaints, for which disposition is sought, are pending.

(Pub. L. 91–538, §4, Dec. 9, 1970, 84 Stat. 1402.)

§5. Enforcement and cooperation by courts, departments, agencies, officers, and employees of United States and District of Columbia

All courts, departments, agencies, officers, and employees of the United States and of the District of Columbia are hereby directed to enforce the agreement on detainers and to cooperate with one another and with all party States in enforcing the agreement and effectuating its purpose.

(Pub. L. 91–538, §5, Dec. 9, 1970, 84 Stat. 1402.)

§6. Regulations, forms, and instructions

For the United States, the Attorney General, and for the District of Columbia, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, shall establish such regulations, prescribe such forms, issue such instructions, and perform such other acts as he deems necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(Pub. L. 91–538, §6, Dec. 9, 1970, 84 Stat. 1403.)

Transfer of Functions

“Mayor of the District of Columbia” substituted in text for “Commissioner of the District of Columbia” pursuant to section 421 of Pub. L. 93–198. Office of Commissioner of District of Columbia, as established by Reorg. Plan No. 3 of 1967, abolished as of noon Jan. 2, 1975, by Pub. L. 93–198, title VII, §711, Dec. 24, 1973, 87 Stat. 818, and replaced by Office of Mayor of District of Columbia by section 421 of Pub. L. 93–198.

§7. Reservation of right to alter, amend, or repeal

The right to alter, amend, or repeal this Act is expressly reserved.

(Pub. L. 91–538, §7, Dec. 9, 1970, 84 Stat. 1403.)

§8. Effective Date

This Act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after the date of its enactment.

(Pub. L. 91–538, §8, Dec. 9, 1970, 84 Stat. 1403.)

References in Text

The date of its enactment, referred to in text, means Dec. 9, 1970.

§9. Special Provisions when United States is a Receiving State

Notwithstanding any provision of the agreement on detainers to the contrary, in a case in which the United States is a receiving State—

(1) any order of a court dismissing any indictment, information, or complaint may be with or without prejudice. In determining whether to dismiss the case with or without prejudice, the court shall consider, among others, each of the following factors: The seriousness of the offense; the facts and circumstances of the case which led to the dismissal; and the impact of a reprosecution on the administration of the agreement on detainers and on the administration of justice; and

(2) it shall not be a violation of the agreement on detainers if prior to trial the prisoner is returned to the custody of the sending State pursuant to an order of the appropriate court issued after reasonable notice to the prisoner and the United States and an opportunity for a hearing.

(Pub. L. 91–538, §9, as added Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7059, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4403.)

CLASSIFIED INFORMATION PROCEDURES ACT

Pub. L. 96–456, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2025, as amended by Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7020(g), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 106–567, title VI, §607, Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 2855; Pub. L. 107–306, title VIII, §811(b)(3), Nov. 27, 2002, 116 Stat. 2423; Pub. L. 108–458, title I, §1071(f), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3691; Pub. L. 109–177, title V, §506(a)(8), Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 248; Pub. L. 111–16, §4, May 7, 2009, 123 Stat. 1608

§1. Definitions

(a) “Classified information”, as used in this Act, means any information or material that has been determined by the United States Government pursuant to an Executive order, statute, or regulation, to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national security and any restricted data, as defined in paragraph r. of section 11 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2014(y)).

(b) “National security”, as used in this Act, means the national defense and foreign relations of the United States.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §1, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2025.)

§2. Pretrial conference

At any time after the filing of the indictment or information, any party may move for a pretrial conference to consider matters relating to classified information that may arise in connection with the prosecution. Following such motion, or on its own motion, the court shall promptly hold a pretrial conference to establish the timing of requests for discovery, the provision of notice required by section 5 of this Act, and the initiation of the procedure established by section 6 of this Act. In addition, at the pretrial conference the court may consider any matters which relate to classified information or which may promote a fair and expeditious trial. No admission made by the defendant or by any attorney for the defendant at such a conference may be used against the defendant unless the admission is in writing and is signed by the defendant and by the attorney for the defendant.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §2, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2025.)

§3. Protective orders

Upon motion of the United States, the court shall issue an order to protect against the disclosure of any classified information disclosed by the United States to any defendant in any criminal case in a district court of the United States.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §3, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2025.)

§4. Discovery of classified information by defendants

The court, upon a sufficient showing, may authorize the United States to delete specified items of classified information from documents to be made available to the defendant through discovery under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, to substitute a summary of the information for such classified documents, or to substitute a statement admitting relevant facts that the classified information would tend to prove. The court may permit the United States to make a request for such authorization in the form of a written statement to be inspected by the court alone. If the court enters an order granting relief following such an ex parte showing, the entire text of the statement of the United States shall be sealed and preserved in the records of the court to be made available to the appellate court in the event of an appeal.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §4, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2025.)

§5. Notice of defendant's intention to disclose classified information

(a) Notice by Defendant.—If a defendant reasonably expects to disclose or to cause the disclosure of classified information in any manner in connection with any trial or pretrial proceeding involving the criminal prosecution of such defendant, the defendant shall, within the time specified by the court or, where no time is specified, within thirty days prior to trial, notify the attorney for the United States and the court in writing. Such notice shall include a brief description of the classified information. Whenever a defendant learns of additional classified information he reasonably expects to disclose at any such proceeding, he shall notify the attorney for the United States and the court in writing as soon as possible thereafter and shall include a brief description of the classified information. No defendant shall disclose any information known or believed to be classified in connection with a trial or pretrial proceeding until notice has been given under this subsection and until the United States has been afforded a reasonable opportunity to seek a determination pursuant to the procedure set forth in section 6 of this Act, and until the time for the United States to appeal such determination under section 7 has expired or any appeal under section 7 by the United States is decided.

(b) Failure to Comply.—If the defendant fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) the court may preclude disclosure of any classified information not made the subject of notification and may prohibit the examination by the defendant of any witness with respect to any such information.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §5, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2026.)

§6. Procedure for cases involving classified information

(a) Motion for Hearing.—Within the time specified by the court for the filing of a motion under this section, the United States may request the court to conduct a hearing to make all determinations concerning the use, relevance, or admissibility of classified information that would otherwise be made during the trial or pretrial proceeding. Upon such a request, the court shall conduct such a hearing. Any hearing held pursuant to this subsection (or any portion of such hearing specified in the request of the Attorney General) shall be held in camera if the Attorney General certifies to the court in such petition that a public proceeding may result in the disclosure of classified information. As to each item of classified information, the court shall set forth in writing the basis for its determination. Where the United States’ motion under this subsection is filed prior to the trial or pretrial proceeding, the court shall rule prior to the commencement of the relevant proceeding.

(b) Notice.—(1) Before any hearing is conducted pursuant to a request by the United States under subsection (a), the United States shall provide the defendant with notice of the classified information that is at issue. Such notice shall identify the specific classified information at issue whenever that information previously has been made available to the defendant by the United States. When the United States has not previously made the information available to the defendant in connection with the case, the information may be described by generic category, in such forms as the court may approve, rather than by identification of the specific information of concern to the United States.

(2) Whenever the United States requests a hearing under subsection (a), the court, upon request of the defendant, may order the United States to provide the defendant, prior to trial, such details as to the portion of the indictment or information at issue in the hearing as are needed to give the defendant fair notice to prepare for the hearing.

(c) Alternative Procedure for Disclosure of Classified Information.—(1) Upon any determination by the court authorizing the disclosure of specific classified information under the procedures established by this section, the United States may move that, in lieu of the disclosure of such specific classified information, the court order—

(A) the substitution for such classified information of a statement admitting relevant facts that the specific classified information would tend to prove; or

(B) the substitution for such classified information of a summary of the specific classified information.


The court shall grant such a motion of the United States if it finds that the statement or summary will provide the defendant with substantially the same ability to make his defense as would disclosure of the specific classified information. The court shall hold a hearing on any motion under this section. Any such hearing shall be held in camera at the request of the Attorney General.

(2) The United States may, in connection with a motion under paragraph (1), submit to the court an affidavit of the Attorney General certifying that disclosure of classified information would cause identifiable damage to the national security of the United States and explaining the basis for the classification of such information. If so requested by the United States, the court shall examine such affidavit in camera and ex parte.

(d) Sealing of Records of In Camera Hearings.—If at the close of an in camera hearing under this Act (or any portion of a hearing under this Act that is held in camera) the court determines that the classified information at issue may not be disclosed or elicited at the trial or pretrial proceeding, the record of such in camera hearing shall be sealed and preserved by the court for use in the event of an appeal. The defendant may seek reconsideration of the court's determination prior to or during trial.

(e) Prohibition on Disclosure of Classified Information by Defendant, Relief for Defendant When United States Opposes Disclosure.—(1) Whenever the court denies a motion by the United States that it issue an order under subsection (c) and the United States files with the court an affidavit of the Attorney General objecting to disclosure of the classified information at issue, the court shall order that the defendant not disclose or cause the disclosure of such information.

(2) Whenever a defendant is prevented by an order under paragraph (1) from disclosing or causing the disclosure of classified information, the court shall dismiss the indictment or information; except that, when the court determines that the interests of justice would not be served by dismissal of the indictment or information, the court shall order such other action, in lieu of dismissing the indictment or information, as the court determines is appropriate. Such action may include, but need not be limited to—

(A) dismissing specified counts of the indictment or information;

(B) finding against the United States on any issue as to which the excluded classified information relates; or

(C) striking or precluding all or part of the testimony of a witness.


An order under this paragraph shall not take effect until the court has afforded the United States an opportunity to appeal such order under section 7, and thereafter to withdraw its objection to the disclosure of the classified information at issue.

(f) Reciprocity.—Whenever the court determines pursuant to subsection (a) that classified information may be disclosed in connection with a trial or pretrial proceeding, the court shall, unless the interests of fairness do not so require, order the United States to provide the defendant with the information it expects to use to rebut the classified information. The court may place the United States under a continuing duty to disclose such rebuttal information. If the United States fails to comply with its obligation under this subsection, the court may exclude any evidence not made the subject of a required disclosure and may prohibit the examination by the United States of any witness with respect to such information.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §6, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2026.)

§7. Interlocutory appeal

(a) An interlocutory appeal by the United States taken before or after the defendant has been placed in jeopardy shall lie to a court of appeals from a decision or order of a district court in a criminal case authorizing the disclosure of classified information, imposing sanctions for nondisclosure of classified information, or refusing a protective order sought by the United States to prevent the disclosure of classified information.

(b) An appeal taken pursuant to this section either before or during trial shall be expedited by the court of appeals. Prior to trial, an appeal shall be taken within fourteen days after the decision or order appealed from and the trial shall not commence until the appeal is resolved. If an appeal is taken during trial, the trial court shall adjourn the trial until the appeal is resolved and the court of appeals (1) shall hear argument on such appeal within four days of the adjournment of the trial, excluding intermediate weekends and holidays, (2) may dispense with written briefs other than the supporting materials previously submitted to the trial court, (3) shall render its decision within four days of argument on appeal, excluding intermediate weekends and holidays, and (4) may dispense with the issuance of a written opinion in rendering its decision. Such appeal and decision shall not affect the right of the defendant, in a subsequent appeal from a judgment of conviction, to claim as error reversal by the trial court on remand of a ruling appealed from during trial.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §7, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2028; Pub. L. 111–16, §4, May 7, 2009, 123 Stat. 1608.)

Amendments

2009—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 111–16, §4(1), substituted “fourteen days” for “ten days”.

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 111–16, §4(2), inserted “excluding intermediate weekends and holidays,” after “adjournment of the trial,”.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 111–16, §4(3), inserted “excluding intermediate weekends and holidays,” after “argument on appeal,”.

Effective Date of 2009 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–16 effective Dec. 1, 2009, see section 7 of Pub. L. 111–16, set out as a note under section 109 of Title 11, Bankruptcy.

§8. Introduction of classified information

(a) Classification Status.—Writings, recordings, and photographs containing classified information may be admitted into evidence without change in their classification status.

(b) Precautions by Court.—The court, in order to prevent unnecessary disclosure of classified information involved in any criminal proceeding, may order admission into evidence of only part of a writing, recording, or photograph, or may order admission into evidence of the whole writing, recording, or photograph with excision of some or all of the classified information contained therein, unless the whole ought in fairness be considered.

(c) Taking of Testimony.—During the examination of a witness in any criminal proceeding, the United States may object to any question or line of inquiry that may require the witness to disclose classified information not previously found to be admissible. Following such an objection, the court shall take such suitable action to determine whether the response is admissible as will safeguard against the compromise of any classified information. Such action may include requiring the United States to provide the court with a proffer of the witness’ response to the question or line of inquiry and requiring the defendant to provide the court with a proffer of the nature of the information he seeks to elicit.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §8, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2028.)

§9. Security procedures

(a) Within one hundred and twenty days of the date of the enactment of this Act, the Chief Justice of the United States, in consultation with the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Secretary of Defense, shall prescribe rules establishing procedures for the protection against unauthorized disclosure of any classified information in the custody of the United States district courts, courts of appeal, or Supreme Court. Such rules, and any changes in such rules, shall be submitted to the appropriate committees of Congress and shall become effective forty-five days after such submission.

(b) Until such time as rules under subsection (a) first become effective, the Federal courts shall in each case involving classified information adapt procedures to protect against the unauthorized disclosure of such information.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §9, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2029; Pub. L. 108–458, title I, §1071(f), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3691.)

References in Text

The date of the enactment of this Act, referred to in subsec. (a), means Oct. 15, 1980.

Amendments

2004—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–458 substituted “Director of National Intelligence” for “Director of Central Intelligence”.

Effective Date of 2004 Amendment

For Determination by President that amendment by Pub. L. 108–458 take effect on Apr. 21, 2005, see Memorandum of President of the United States, Apr. 21, 2005, 70 F.R. 23925, set out as a note under section 401 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

Amendment by Pub. L. 108–458 effective not later than six months after Dec. 17, 2004, except as otherwise expressly provided, see section 1097(a) of Pub. L. 108–458, set out as an Effective Date of 2004 Amendment; Transition Provisions note under section 401 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

Security Procedures Established Pursuant to Pub. L. 96–456, 94 Stat. 2025, by the Chief Justice of the United States for the Protection of Classified Information

1. Purpose. The purpose of these procedures is to meet the requirements of Section 9(a) of the Classified Information Procedures Act of 1980, Pub. L. 96–456, 94 Stat. 2025, which in pertinent part provides that:

“. . . [T]he Chief Justice of the United States, in consultation with the Attorney General, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Secretary of Defense, shall prescribe rules establishing procedures for the protection against unauthorized disclosure of any classified information in the custody of the United States district courts, courts of appeal, or Supreme Court. . . .”

These procedures apply in all proceedings in criminal cases involving classified information, and appeals therefrom, before the United States district courts, the courts of appeal and the Supreme Court.

2. Court Security Officer. In any proceeding in a criminal case or appeal therefrom in which classified information is within, or reasonably expected to be within, the custody of the court, the court shall designate a court security officer. The Attorney General or the Department of Justice Security Officer, with the concurrence of the head of the agency or agencies from which the classified information originates, or their representatives, shall recommend to the court persons qualified to serve as court security officer. The court security officer shall be selected from among those persons so recommended.

The court security officer shall be an individual with demonstrated competence in security matters, and shall, prior to designation, have been certified to the court in writing by the Department of Justice Security Officer as cleared for the level and category of classified information that will be involved. The court security officer may be an employee of the Executive Branch of the Government detailed to the court for this purpose. One or more alternate court security officers, who have been recommended and cleared in the manner specified above, may be designated by the court as required.

The court security officer shall be responsible to the court for document, physical, personnel and communications security, and shall take measures reasonably necessary to fulfill these responsibilities. The court security officer shall notify the court and the Department of Justice Security Officer of any actual, attempted, or potential violation of security procedures.

3. Secure Quarters. Any in camera proceeding—including a pretrial conference, motion hearing, or appellate hearing—concerning the use, relevance, or admissibility of classified information, shall be held in secure quarters recommended by the court security officer and approved by the court.

The secure quarters shall be located within the Federal courthouse, unless it is determined that none of the quarters available in the courthouse meets, or can reasonably be made equivalent to, security requirements of the Executive Branch applicable to the level and category of classified information involved. In that event, the court shall designate the facilities of another United States Government agency, recommended by the court security officer, which is located within the vicinity of the courthouse, as the site of the proceedings.

The court security officer shall make necessary arrangements to ensure that the applicable Executive Branch standards are met and shall conduct or arrange for such inspection of the quarters as may be necessary. The court security officer shall, in consultation with the United States Marshal, arrange for the installation of security devices and take such other measures as may be necessary to protect against any unauthorized access to classified information. All of the aforementioned activity shall be conducted in a manner which does not interfere with the orderly proceedings of the court. Prior to any hearing or other proceeding, the court security officer shall certify in writing to the court that the quarters are secure.

4. Personnel Security—Court Personnel. No person appointed by the court or designated for service therein shall be given access to any classified information in the custody of the court, unless such person has received a security clearance as provided herein and unless access to such information is necessary for the performance of an official function. A security clearance for justices and judges is not required, but such clearance shall be provided upon the request of any judicial officer who desires to be cleared.

The court shall inform the court security officer or the attorney for the government of the names of court personnel who may require access to classified information. That person shall then notify the Department of Justice Security Officer, who shall promptly make arrangements to obtain any necessary security clearances and shall approve such clearances under standards of the Executive Branch applicable to the level and category of classified information involved. The Department of Justice Security Officer shall advise the court in writing when the necessary security clearances have been obtained.

If security clearances cannot be obtained promptly, personnel in the Executive Branch having the necessary clearances may be temporarily assigned to assist the court. If a proceeding is required to be recorded and an official court reporter having the necessary security clearance is unavailable, the court may request the court security officer or the attorney for the government to have a cleared reporter from the Executive Branch designated to act as reporter in the proceedings. The reporter so designated shall take the oath of office as prescribed by 28 U.S.C. §753(a).

Justices, judges and cleared court personnel shall not disclose classified information to anyone who does not have a security clearance and who does not require the information in the discharge of an official function. However, nothing contained in these procedures shall preclude a judge from discharging his official duties, including giving appropriate instructions to the jury.

Any problem of security involving court personnel or persons acting for the court shall be referred to the court for appropriate action.

5. Persons Acting for the Defendant. The government may obtain information by any lawful means concerning the trustworthiness of persons associated with the defense and may bring such information to the attention of the court for the court's consideration in framing an appropriate protective order pursuant to Section 3 of the Act.

6. Jury. Nothing contained in these procedures shall be construed to require an investigation or security clearance of the members of the jury or interfere with the functions of a jury, including access to classified information introduced as evidence in the trial of a case.

After a verdict has been rendered by a jury, the trial judge should consider a government request for a cautionary instruction to jurors regarding the release or disclosure of classified information contained in documents they have reviewed during the trial.

7. Custody and Storage of Classified Materials.

a. Materials Covered. These security procedures apply to all papers, documents, motions, pleadings, briefs, notes, records of statements involving classified information, notes relating to classified information taken during in camera proceedings, orders, affidavits, transcripts, untranscribed notes of a court reporter, magnetic recordings, or any other submissions or records which contain classified information as the term is defined in Section 1(a) of the Act, and which are in the custody of the court. This includes, but is not limited to (1) any motion made in connection with a pretrial conference held pursuant to Section 2 of the Act, (2) written statements submitted by the United States pursuant to Section 4 of the Act, (3) any written statement or written notice submitted to the court by the defendant pursuant to Section 5(a) of the Act, (4) any petition or written motion made pursuant to Section 6 of the Act, (5) any description of, or reference to, classified information contained in papers filed in an appeal, pursuant to Section 7 of the Act and (6) any written statement provided by the United States or by the defendant pursuant to Section 8(c) of the Act.

b. Safekeeping. Classified information submitted to the court shall be placed in the custody of the court security officer who shall be responsible for its safekeeping. When not in use, the court security officer shall store all classified materials in a safe or safe-type steel file container with built-in, dial-type, three position, changeable combinations which conform to the General Services Administration standards for security containers. Classified information shall be segregated from other information unrelated to the case at hand by securing it in a separate security container. If the court does not possess a storage container which meets the required standards, the necessary storage container or containers are to be supplied to the court on a temporary basis by the appropriate Executive Branch agency as determined by the Department of Justice Security Officer. Only the court security officer and alternate court security officer(s) shall have access to the combination and the contents of the container unless the court, after consultation with the security officer, determines that a cleared person other than the court security officer may also have access.

For other than temporary storage (e.g., brief court recess), the court security officer shall insure that the storage area in which these containers shall be located meets Executive Branch standards applicable to the level and category of classified information involved. The secure storage area may be located within either the Federal courthouse or the facilities of another United States Government agency.

(c) Transmittal of Classified Information. During the pendency of a trial or appeal, classified materials stored in the facilities of another United States Government agency shall be transmitted in the manner prescribed by the Executive Branch security regulations applicable to the level and category of classified information involved. A trust receipt shall accompany all classified materials transmitted and shall be signed by the recipient and returned to the court security officer.

8. Operating Routine.

a. Access to Court Records. Court personnel shall have access to court records only as authorized. Access to classified information by court personnel shall be limited to the minimum number of cleared persons necessary for operating purposes. Access includes presence at an in camera hearing or any other proceeding during which classified information may be disclosed. Arrangements for access to classified information in the custody of the court by court personnel and persons acting for the defense shall be approved in advance by the court, which may issue a protective order concerning such access.

Except as otherwise authorized by a protective order, persons acting for the defendant will not be given custody of classified information provided by the government. They may, at the discretion of the court, be afforded access to classified information provided by the government in secure quarters which have been approved in accordance with §3 of these procedures, but such classified information shall remain in the control of the court security officer.

b. Telephone Security. Classified information shall not be discussed over standard commercial telephone instruments or office intercommunication systems.

c. Disposal of Classified Material. The court security officer shall be responsible for the secure disposal of all classified materials which are not otherwise required to be retained.

9. Records Security.

a. Classification Markings. The court security officer, after consultation with the attorney for the government, shall be responsible for the marking of all court documents containing classified information with the appropriate level of classification and for indicating thereon any special access controls that also appear on the face of the document from which the classified information was obtained or that are otherwise applicable.

Every document filed by the defendant in the case shall be filed under seal and promptly turned over to the court security officer. The court security officer shall promptly examine the document and, in consultation with the attorney for the government or representative of the appropriate agency, determine whether it contains classified information. If it is determined that the document does contain classified information, the court security officer shall ensure that it is marked with the appropriate classification marking. If it is determined that the document does not contain classified information, it shall be unsealed and placed in the public record. Upon the request of the government, the court may direct that any document containing classified information shall thereafter be protected in accordance with §7 of these procedures.

b. Accountability System. The court security officer shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a control and accountability system for all classified information received by or transmitted from the court.

10. Transmittal of the Record on Appeal. The record on appeal, or any portion thereof, which contains classified information shall be transmitted to the court of appeals or to the Supreme Court in the manner specified in §7(c) of these procedures.

11. Final Disposition. Within a reasonable time after all proceedings in the case have been concluded, including appeals, the court shall release to the court security officer all materials containing classified information. The court security officer shall then transmit them to the Department of Justice Security Officer who shall consult with the originating agency to determine the appropriate disposition of such materials. Upon the motion of the government, the court may order the return of the classified documents and materials to the department or agency which originated them. The materials shall be transmitted in the manner specified in §7(c) of these procedures and shall be accompanied by the appropriate accountability records required by §9(b) of these procedures.

12. Expenses. Expenses of the United States Government which arise in connection with the implementation of these procedures shall be borne by the Department of Justice or other appropriate Executive Branch agency.

13. Interpretation. Any question concerning the interpretation of any security requirement contained in these procedures shall be resolved by the court in consultation with the Department of Justice Security Officer and the appropriate Executive Branch agency security officer.

14. Term. These procedures shall remain in effect until modified in writing by The Chief Justice after consultation with the Attorney General of the United States, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Secretary of Defense.

15. Effective Date. These procedures shall become effective forty-five days after the date of submission to the appropriate Congressional Committees, as required by the Act.

Issued this 12th day of February, 1981, after taking into account the views of the Attorney General of the United States, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Secretary of Defense, as required by law.

Warren E. Burger      

Chief Justice of the       

United States        

§9A. Coordination requirements relating to the prosecution of cases involving classified information

(a) Briefings Required.—The Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division or the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, as appropriate, and the appropriate United States attorney, or the designees of such officials, shall provide briefings to the senior agency official, or the designee of such official, with respect to any case involving classified information that originated in the agency of such senior agency official.

(b) Timing of Briefings.—Briefings under subsection (a) with respect to a case shall occur—

(1) as soon as practicable after the Department of Justice and the United States attorney concerned determine that a prosecution or potential prosecution could result; and

(2) at such other times thereafter as are necessary to keep the senior agency official concerned fully and currently informed of the status of the prosecution.


(c) Senior Agency Official Defined.—In this section, the term “senior agency official” has the meaning given that term in section 1.1 of Executive Order No. 12958.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §9A, as added Pub. L. 106–567, title VI, §607, Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 2855; amended Pub. L. 109–177, title V, §506(a)(8), Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 248.)

References in Text

Executive Order No. 12958, referred to in subsec. (c), which was set out as a note under section 435 of Title 50, War and National Defense, was revoked by Ex. Ord. No. 13526, §6.2(g), Dec. 29, 2009, 75 F.R. 731.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–177 inserted “or the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, as appropriate,” after “Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division”.

§10. Identification of information related to the national defense

In any prosecution in which the United States must establish that material relates to the national defense or constitutes classified information, the United States shall notify the defendant, within the time before trial specified by the court, of the portions of the material that it reasonably expects to rely upon to establish the national defense or classified information element of the offense.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §10, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2029.)

§11. Amendments to the Act

Sections 1 through 10 of this Act may be amended as provided in section 2076, title 28, United States Code.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §11, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2029.)

§12. Attorney General guidelines

(a) Within one hundred and eighty days of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall issue guidelines specifying the factors to be used by the Department of Justice in rendering a decision whether to prosecute a violation of Federal law in which, in the judgment of the Attorney General, there is a possibility that classified information will be revealed. Such guidelines shall be transmitted to the appropriate committees of Congress.

(b) When the Department of Justice decides not to prosecute a violation of Federal law pursuant to subsection (a), an appropriate official of the Department of Justice shall prepare written findings detailing the reasons for the decision not to prosecute. The findings shall include—

(1) the intelligence information which the Department of Justice officials believe might be disclosed,

(2) the purpose for which the information might be disclosed,

(3) the probability that the information would be disclosed, and

(4) the possible consequences such disclosure would have on the national security.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §12, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2029.)

References in Text

The enactment of this Act, referred to in subsec. (a), means Oct. 15, 1980.

§13. Reports to Congress

(a) Consistent with applicable authorities and duties, including those conferred by the Constitution upon the executive and legislative branches, the Attorney General shall report orally or in writing semiannually to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States House of Representatives, the Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate, and the chairmen and ranking minority members of the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and House of Representatives on all cases where a decision not to prosecute a violation of Federal law pursuant to section 12(a) has been made.

(b) In the case of the semiannual reports (whether oral or written) required to be submitted under subsection (a) to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate, the submittal dates for such reports shall be as provided in section 507 of the National Security Act of 1947.

(c) The Attorney General shall deliver to the appropriate committees of Congress a report concerning the operation and effectiveness of this Act and including suggested amendments to this Act. For the first three years this Act is in effect, there shall be a report each year. After three years, such reports shall be delivered as necessary.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §13, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2030; Pub. L. 107–306, title VIII, §811(b)(3), Nov. 27, 2002, 116 Stat. 2423.)

References in Text

Section 507 of the National Security Act of 1947, referred to in subsec. (b), is classified to section 415b of Title 50, War and National Defense.

Amendments

2002—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 107–306 added subsec. (b) and redesignated former subsec. (b) as (c).

§14. Functions of Attorney General may be exercised by Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or a designated Assistant Attorney General

The functions and duties of the Attorney General under this Act may be exercised by the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or by an Assistant Attorney General designated by the Attorney General for such purpose and may not be delegated to any other official.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §14, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2030; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7020(g), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396.)

Amendments

1988—Pub. L. 100–690 inserted “, the Associate Attorney General,” after “Deputy Attorney General”.

§15. Effective date

The provisions of this Act shall become effective upon the date of the enactment of this Act, but shall not apply to any prosecution in which an indictment or information was filed before such date.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §15, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2030.)

References in Text

The date of the enactment of this Act, referred to in text, means Oct. 15, 1980.

§16. Short title

That this Act may be cited as the “Classified Information Procedures Act”.

(Pub. L. 96–456, §16, Oct. 15, 1980, 94 Stat. 2031.)

FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE

The text of the Federal Rules of Evidence enacted into law by Pub. L. 93–595, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1929, is set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. Rule 1101(b) of the Rules of Evidence provides that the rules apply generally to civil actions and proceedings, including admiralty and maritime cases, to criminal cases and proceedings, to contempt proceedings except those in which the court may act summarily, and to proceedings and cases under Title 11, Bankruptcy.

FEDERAL RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

(As amended to January 3, 2012)

Historical Note

The original Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were adopted by order of the Supreme Court on Dec. 26, 1944, transmitted to Congress by the Attorney General on Jan. 3, 1945, and became effective on Mar. 21, 1946.

The Rules have been amended Dec. 27, 1948, eff. Jan. 1, 1949; Dec. 27, 1948, eff. Oct. 20, 1949; Apr. 12, 1954, eff. July 1, 1954; Apr. 9, 1956, eff. July 8, 1956; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968; Mar. 1, 1971, eff. July 1, 1971; Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Nov. 20, 1972, eff. July 1, 1975, pursuant to Pub. L. 93–595; Mar. 18, 1974, eff. July 1, 1974; Apr. 22, 1974, eff. in part Aug. 1, 1975, and Dec. 1, 1975, pursuant to Pub. L. 93–361 and Pub. L. 94–64; Dec. 12, 1975, Pub. L. 94–149, §5, 89 Stat. 806; Apr. 26, 1976, eff. in part Aug. 1, 1976, and Oct. 1, 1977, pursuant to Pub. L. 94–349 and Pub. L. 95–78; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. in part Aug. 1, 1979, and Dec. 1, 1980, pursuant to Pub. L. 96–42; Apr. 28, 1982, eff. Aug. 1, 1982; Oct. 12, 1982, Pub. L. 97–291, §3, 96 Stat. 1249; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Oct. 12, 1984, Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §§209, 215, 404, 98 Stat. 1986, 2014, 2067; Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–596, §11(a), (b), 98 Stat. 3138; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Oct. 27, 1986, Pub. L. 99–570, title I, §1009(a), 100 Stat. 3207–8; Nov. 10, 1986, Pub. L. 99–646, §§12(b), 24, 25(a), 54(a), 100 Stat. 3594, 3597, 3607; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 25, 1988, eff. Aug. 1, 1988; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, title VI, §6483, title VII, §§7076, 7089(c), 102 Stat. 4382, 4406, 4409; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; May 1, 1990, eff. Dec. 1, 1990; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994; Sept. 13, 1994, Pub. L. 103–322, title XXIII, §230101(b), title XXXIII, §330003(h), 108 Stat. 2078, 2141; Apr. 27, 1995, eff. Dec. 1, 1995; Apr. 23, 1996, eff. Dec. 1, 1996; Apr. 24, 1996, Pub. L. 104–132, title II, §207(a), 110 Stat. 1236; Apr. 11, 1997, eff. Dec. 1, 1997; Apr. 24, 1998, eff. Dec. 1, 1998; Apr. 26, 1999, eff. Dec. 1, 1999; Apr. 17, 2000, eff. Dec. 1, 2000; Oct. 26, 2001, Pub. L. 107–56, title II, §§203(a), 219, 115 Stat. 278, 291; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Nov. 2, 2002, Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title I, §11019(b), 116 Stat. 1825; Nov. 25, 2002, Pub. L. 107–296, title VIII, §895, 116 Stat. 2256; Apr. 30, 2003, Pub. L. 108–21, title VI, §610(b), 117 Stat. 692; Apr. 26, 2004, eff. Dec. 1, 2004; Pub. L. 108–458, title VI, §6501(a), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3760; Apr. 25, 2005, eff. Dec. 1, 2005; Apr. 12, 2006, eff. Dec. 1, 2006; Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1, 2007; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009; Apr. 28, 2010, eff. Dec. 1, 2010; Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec. 1, 2011.

TITLE I. APPLICABILITY

Rule
1.
Scope; Definitions.
2.
Interpretation.

        

TITLE II. PRELIMINARY PROCEEDINGS

3.
The Complaint.
4.
Arrest Warrant or Summons on a Complaint.
4.1.
Complaint, Warrant, or Summons by Telephone or Other Reliable Electronic Means.
5.
Initial Appearance.
5.1.
Preliminary Hearing.

        

TITLE III. THE GRAND JURY, THE INDICTMENT, AND THE INFORMATION

6.
The Grand Jury.
7.
The Indictment and the Information.
8.
Joinder of Offenses or Defendants.
9.
Arrest Warrant or Summons on an Indictment or Information.

        

TITLE IV. ARRAIGNMENT AND PREPARATION FOR TRIAL

10.
Arraignment.
11.
Pleas.
12.
Pleadings and Pretrial Motions.
12.1.
Notice of an Alibi Defense.
12.2.
Notice of an Insanity Defense; Mental Examination.
12.3.
Notice of a Public-Authority Defense.
12.4.
Disclosure Statement.
13.
Joint Trial of Separate Cases.
14.
Relief from Prejudicial Joinder.
15.
Depositions.
16.
Discovery and Inspection.
17.
Subpoena.
17.1.
Pretrial Conference.

        

TITLE V. VENUE

18.
Place of Prosecution and Trial.
19.
(Reserved).
20.
Transfer for Plea and Sentence.
21.
Transfer for Trial.
22.
(Transferred).

        

TITLE VI. TRIAL

23.
Jury or Nonjury Trial.
24.
Trial Jurors.
25.
Judge's Disability.
26.
Taking Testimony.
26.1.
Foreign Law Determination.
26.2.
Producing a Witness's Statement.
26.3.
Mistrial.
27.
Proving an Official Record.
28.
Interpreters.
29.
Motion for a Judgment of Acquittal.
29.1.
Closing Argument.
30.
Jury Instructions.
31.
Jury Verdict.

        

TITLE VII. POST-CONVICTION PROCEDURES

32.
Sentencing and Judgment.
32.1.
Revoking or Modifying Probation or Supervised Release.
32.2.
Criminal Forfeiture.
33.
New Trial.
34.
Arresting Judgment.
35.
Correcting or Reducing a Sentence.
36.
Clerical Error.
37.
(Reserved).
38.
Staying a Sentence or a Disability.
39.
(Reserved).

        

TITLE VIII. SUPPLEMENTARY AND SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

40.
Arrest for Failing to Appear in Another District or for Violating Conditions of Release Set in Another District.
41.
Search and Seizure.
42.
Criminal Contempt.

        

TITLE IX. GENERAL PROVISIONS

43.
Defendant's Presence.
44.
Right to and Appointment of Counsel.
45.
Computing and Extending Time.
46.
Release from Custody; Supervising Detention.
47.
Motions and Supporting Affadavits.
48.
Dismissal.
49.
Serving and Filing Papers.
49.1.
Privacy Protection For Filings Made with the Court.
50.
Prompt Disposition.
51.
Preserving Claimed Error.
52.
Harmless and Plain Error.
53.
Courtroom Photographing and Broadcasting Prohibited.
54.
(Transferred).
55.
Records.
56.
When Court Is Open.
57.
District Court Rules.
58.
Petty Offenses and Other Misdemeanors.
59.
Matters Before a Magistrate Judge.
60.
Victim's Rights.
61.
Title.

        

TITLE I. APPLICABILITY

Rule 1. Scope; Definitions

(a) Scope.

(1) In General. These rules govern the procedure in all criminal proceedings in the United States district courts, the United States courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

(2) State or Local Judicial Officer. When a rule so states, it applies to a proceeding before a state or local judicial officer.

(3) Territorial Courts. These rules also govern the procedure in all criminal proceedings in the following courts:

(A) the district court of Guam;

(B) the district court for the Northern Mariana Islands, except as otherwise provided by law; and

(C) the district court of the Virgin Islands, except that the prosecution of offenses in that court must be by indictment or information as otherwise provided by law.


(4) Removed Proceedings. Although these rules govern all proceedings after removal from a state court, state law governs a dismissal by the prosecution.

(5) Excluded Proceedings. Proceedings not governed by these rules include:

(A) the extradition and rendition of a fugitive;

(B) a civil property forfeiture for violating a federal statute;

(C) the collection of a fine or penalty;

(D) a proceeding under a statute governing juvenile delinquency to the extent the procedure is inconsistent with the statute, unless Rule 20(d) provides otherwise;

(E) a dispute between seamen under 22 U.S.C. §§256–258; and

(F) a proceeding against a witness in a foreign country under 28 U.S.C. §1784.


(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to these rules:

(1) “Attorney for the government” means:

(A) the Attorney General or an authorized assistant;

(B) a United States attorney or an authorized assistant;

(C) when applicable to cases arising under Guam law, the Guam Attorney General or other person whom Guam law authorizes to act in the matter; and

(D) any other attorney authorized by law to conduct proceedings under these rules as a prosecutor.


(2) “Court” means a federal judge performing functions authorized by law.

(3) “Federal judge” means:

(A) a justice or judge of the United States as these terms are defined in 28 U.S.C. §451;

(B) a magistrate judge; and

(C) a judge confirmed by the United States Senate and empowered by statute in any commonwealth, territory, or possession to perform a function to which a particular rule relates.


(4) “Judge” means a federal judge or a state or local judicial officer.

(5) “Magistrate judge” means a United States magistrate judge as defined in 28 U.S.C. §§631–639.

(6) “Oath” includes an affirmation.

(7) “Organization” is defined in 18 U.S.C. §18.

(8) “Petty offense” is defined in 18 U.S.C. §19.

(9) “State” includes the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(10) “State or local judicial officer” means:

(A) a state or local officer authorized to act under 18 U.S.C. §3041; and

(B) a judicial officer empowered by statute in the District of Columbia or in any commonwealth, territory, or possession to perform a function to which a particular rule relates.


(11) “Telephone” means any technology for transmitting live electronic voice communication.

(12) “Victim” means a “crime victim” as defined in 18 U.S.C. §3771(e).


(c) Authority of a Justice or Judge of the United States. When these rules authorize a magistrate judge to act, any other federal judge may also act.

(As amended Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 28, 1982, eff. Aug. 1, 1982; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008; Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec. 1, 2011.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

1. These rules are prescribed under the authority of two acts of Congress, namely: the Act of June 29, 1940, c. 445, 18 U.S.C. 687 (Proceedings in criminal cases prior to and including verdict; power of Supreme Court to prescribe rules), and the Act of November 21, 1941, c. 492, 18 U.S.C. 689 (Proceedings to punish for criminal contempt of court; application to sections 687 and 688).

2. The courts of the United States covered by the rules are enumerated in Rule 54(a). In addition to Federal courts in the continental United States they include district courts in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In the Canal Zone only the rules governing proceedings after verdict, finding or plea of guilty are applicable.

3. While the rules apply to proceedings before commissioners when acting as committing magistrates, they do not govern when a commissioner acts as a trial magistrate for the trial of petty offenses committed on Federal reservations. That procedure is governed by rules adopted by order promulgated by the Supreme Court on January 6, 1941 (311 U.S. 733), pursuant to the Act of October 9, 1940, c. 785, secs. 1–5. See 18 U.S.C. 576–576d [now 3401, 3402] (relating to trial of petty offenses on Federal reservations by United States commissioners).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

The rule is amended to make clear that the rules are applicable to courts of the United States and, where the rule so provides, to proceedings before United States magistrates and state or local judicial officers.

Primarily these rules are intended to govern proceedings in criminal cases triable in the United States District Court. Special rules have been promulgated, pursuant to the authority set forth in 28 U.S.C. §636(c), for the trial of “minor offenses” before United States magistrates. (See Rules of Procedure for the Trial of Minor Offenses Before United States Magistrates (January 27, 1971).)

However, there is inevitably some overlap between the two sets of rules. The Rules of Criminal Procedure for the United States District Courts deal with preliminary, supplementary, and special proceedings which will often be conducted before United States magistrates. This is true, for example, with regard to rule 3—The Complaint; rule 4—Arrest Warrant or Summons Upon Complaint; rule 5—Initial Appearance Before the Magistrate; and rule 5.1—Preliminary Examination. It is also true, for example, of supplementary and special proceedings such as rule 40—Commitment to Another District, Removal; rule 41—Search and Seizure; and rule 46—Release from Custody. Other of these rules, where applicable, also apply to proceedings before United States magistrates. See Rules of Procedure for the Trial of Minor Offenses Before United States Magistrates, rule 1—Scope:

These rules govern the procedure and practice for the trial of minor offenses (including petty offenses) before United States magistrates under Title 18, U.S.C. §3401, and for appeals in such cases to judges of the district courts. To the extent that pretrial and trial procedure and practice are not specifically covered by these rules, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure apply as to minor offenses other than petty offenses. All other proceedings in criminal matters, other than petty offenses, before United States magistrates are governed by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

State and local judicial officers are governed by these rules, but only when the rule specifically so provides. This is the case of rule 3—The Complaint; rule 4—Arrest Warrant or Summons Upon Complaint; and rule 5—Initial Appearance Before the Magistrate. These rules confer authority upon the “magistrate,” a term which is defined in new rule 54 as follows:

“Magistrate” includes a United States magistrate as defined in 28 U.S.C. §§631–639, a judge of the United States, another judge or judicial officer specifically empowered by statute in force in any territory or possession, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia, to perform a function to which a particular rule relates, and a state or local judicial officer, authorized by 18 U.S.C. §3041 to perform the functions prescribed in rules 3, 4, and 5.

Rule 41 provides that a search warrant may be issued by “a judge of a state court of record” and thus confers that authority upon appropriate state judicial officers.

The scope of rules 1 and 54 is discussed in C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §§21, 871–874 (1969, Supp. 1971), and 8 and 8A J. Moore, Federal Practice chapters 1 and 54 (2d ed. Cipes 1970, Supp. 1971).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1982 Amendment

The amendment corrects an erroneous cross reference, from Rule 54(c) to Rule 54(a), and replaces the word “defined” with the more appropriate word “provided.”

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The Rule is amended to conform to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 [P.L. 101–650, Title III, Section 321] which provides that each United States magistrate appointed under section 631 of title 28, United States Code, shall be known as a United States magistrate judge.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

Rule 1 is entirely revised and expanded to incorporate Rule 54, which deals with the application of the rules. Consistent with the title of the existing rule, the Committee believed that a statement of the scope of the rules should be placed at the beginning to show readers which proceedings are governed by these rules. The Committee also revised the rule to incorporate the definitions found in Rule 54(c) as a new Rule 1(b).

Rule 1(a) contains language from Rule 54(b). But language in current Rule 54(b)(2)–(4) has been deleted for several reasons: First, Rule 54(b)(2) refers to a venue statute that governs an offense committed on the high seas or somewhere outside the jurisdiction of a particular district; it is unnecessary and has been deleted because once venue has been established, the Rules of Criminal Procedure automatically apply. Second, Rule 54(b)(3) currently deals with peace bonds; that provision is inconsistent with the governing statute and has therefore been deleted. Finally, Rule 54(b)(4) references proceedings conducted before United States Magistrate Judges, a topic now covered in Rule 58.

Rule 1(a)(5) consists of material currently located in Rule 54(b)(5), with the exception of the references to the navigation laws and to fishery offenses. Those provisions were considered obsolete. But if those proceedings were to arise, they would be governed by the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Rule 1(b) is composed of material currently located in Rule 54(c), with several exceptions. First, the reference to an “Act of Congress” has been deleted from the restyled rules; instead the rules use the self-explanatory term “federal statute.” Second, the language concerning demurrers, pleas in abatement, etc., has been deleted as being anachronistic. Third, the definitions of “civil action” and “district court” have been deleted. Fourth, the term “attorney for the government” has been expanded to include reference to those attorneys who may serve as special or independent counsel under applicable federal statutes. The term “attorney for the government” contemplates an attorney of record in the case.

Fifth, the Committee added a definition for the term “court” in Rule 1(b)(2). Although that term originally was almost always synonymous with the term “district judge,” the term might be misleading or unduly narrow because it may not cover the many functions performed by magistrate judges. See generally 28 U.S.C. §§132, 636. Additionally, the term does not cover circuit judges who may be authorized to hold a district court. See 28 U.S.C. §291. The proposed definition continues the traditional view that “court” means district judge, but also reflects the current understanding that magistrate judges act as the “court” in many proceedings. Finally, the Committee intends that the term “court” be used principally to describe a judicial officer, except where a rule uses the term in a spatial sense, such as describing proceedings in “open court.”

Sixth, the term “Judge of the United States” has been replaced with the term “Federal judge.” That term includes Article III judges and magistrate judges and, as noted in Rule 1(b)(3)(C), federal judges other than Article III judges who may be authorized by statute to perform a particular act specified in the Rules of Criminal Procedure. The term does not include local judges in the District of Columbia. Seventh, the definition of “Law” has been deleted as being superfluous and possibly misleading because it suggests that administrative regulations are excluded.

Eighth, the current rules include three definitions of “magistrate judge.” The term used in amended Rule 1(b)(5) is limited to United States magistrate judges. In the current rules the term magistrate judge includes not only United States magistrate judges, but also district court judges, court of appeals judges, Supreme Court justices, and where authorized, state and local officers. The Committee believed that the rules should reflect current practice, i.e., the wider and almost exclusive use of United States magistrate judges, especially in preliminary matters. The definition, however, is not intended to restrict the use of other federal judicial officers to perform those functions. Thus, Rule 1(c) has been added to make it clear that where the rules authorize a magistrate judge to act, any other federal judge or justice may act.

Finally, the term “organization” has been added to the list of definitions.

The remainder of the rule has been amended as part of the general restyling of the rules to make them more easily understood. In addition to changes made to improve the clarity, the Committee has changed language to make style and terminology consistent throughout the Criminal Rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Committee Notes on Rules—2008 Amendment

Subdivision (b)(11). This amendment incorporates the definition of the term “crime victim” found in the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, codified at 18 U.S.C. §3771(e). It provides that “the term ‘crime victim’ means a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a Federal offense or an offense in the District of Columbia.”

Upon occasion, disputes may arise over the question whether a particular person is a victim. Although the rule makes no special provision for such cases, the courts have the authority to do any necessary fact finding and make any necessary legal rulings.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. The Committee revised the text of Rule 1(b)(11) in response to public comments by transferring portions of the subdivision relating to who may assert the rights of a victim to Rule 60(b)(2). The Committee Note was revised to reflect that change and to indicate that the Court has the power to decide any dispute as to who is a victim.

Committee Notes on Rules—2011 Amendment

Subdivisions (b)(11) and (12). The added definition clarifies that the term “telephone” includes technologies enabling live voice conversations that have developed since the traditional “land line” telephone. Calls placed by cell phone or from a computer over the internet, for example, would be included. The definition is limited to live communication in order to ensure contemporaneous communication and excludes voice recordings. Live voice communication should include services for the hearing impaired, or other contemporaneous translation, where necessary.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. The text was rephrased by the Committee to describe the telephone as a “technology for transmitting electronic voice communication” rather than a “form” of communication.

Rule 2. Interpretation

These rules are to be interpreted to provide for the just determination of every criminal proceeding, to secure simplicity in procedure and fairness in administration, and to eliminate unjustifiable expense and delay.

(As amended Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Compare Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix], Rule 1 (Scope of Rules), last sentence: “They [the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure] shall be construed to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.”

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 2 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic. No substantive change is intended.

In particular, Rule 2 has been amended to clarify the purpose of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. The words “are intended” have been changed to read “are to be interpreted.” The Committee believed that that was the original intent of the drafters and more accurately reflects the purpose of the rules.

TITLE II. PRELIMINARY PROCEEDINGS

Rule 3. The Complaint

The complaint is a written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged. Except as provided in Rule 4.1, it must be made under oath before a magistrate judge or, if none is reasonably available, before a state or local judicial officer.

(As amended Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec. 1, 2011.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

The rule generally states existing law and practice, 18 U.S.C. 591 [now 3041] (Arrest and removal for trial); United States v. Simon (E.D.Pa.), 248 F. 980; United States v. Maresca (S.D.N.Y.), 266 F. 713, 719–721. It eliminates, however, the requirement of conformity to State law as to the form and sufficiency of the complaint. See, also, rule 57(b).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

The amendment deletes the reference to “commissioner or other officer empowered to commit persons charged with offenses against the United States” and substitute therefor “magistrate.”

The change is editorial in nature to conform the language of the rule to the recently enacted Federal Magistrates Act. The term “magistrate” is defined in rule 54.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The Rule is amended to conform to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 [P.L. 101–650, Title III, Section 321] which provides that each United States magistrate appointed under section 631 of title 28, United States Code, shall be known as a United States magistrate judge.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 3 is amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic and no substantive change is intended, except as described below.

The amendment makes one change in practice. Currently, Rule 3 requires the complaint to be sworn before a “magistrate judge,” which under current Rule 54 could include a state or local judicial officer. Revised Rule 1 no longer includes state and local officers in the definition of magistrate judges for the purposes of these rules. Instead, the definition includes only United States magistrate judges. Rule 3 requires that the complaint be made before a United States magistrate judge or before a state or local officer. The revised rule does, however, make a change to reflect prevailing practice and the outcome desired by the Committee—that the procedure take place before a federal judicial officer if one is reasonably available. As noted in Rule 1(c), where the rules, such as Rule 3, authorize a magistrate judge to act, any other federal judge may act.

Committee Notes on Rules—2011 Amendment

Under the amended rule, the complaint and supporting material may be submitted by telephone or reliable electronic means; however, the rule requires that the judicial officer administer the oath or affirmation in person or by telephone. The Committee concluded that the benefits of making it easier to obtain judicial oversight of the arrest decision and the increasing reliability and accessibility to electronic communication warranted amendment of the rule. The amendment makes clear that the submission of a complaint to a judicial officer need not be done in person and may instead be made by telephone or other reliable electronic means. The successful experiences with electronic applications under Rule 41, which permits electronic applications for search warrants, support a comparable process for arrests. The provisions in Rule 41 have been transferred to new Rule 4.1, which governs applications by telephone or other electronic means under Rules 3, 4, 9, and 41.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. No changes were made in the amendment as published.

Rule 4. Arrest Warrant or Summons on a Complaint

(a) Issuance. If the complaint or one or more affidavits filed with the complaint establish probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant committed it, the judge must issue an arrest warrant to an officer authorized to execute it. At the request of an attorney for the government, the judge must issue a summons, instead of a warrant, to a person authorized to serve it. A judge may issue more than one warrant or summons on the same complaint. If a defendant fails to appear in response to a summons, a judge may, and upon request of an attorney for the government must, issue a warrant.

(b) Form.

(1) Warrant. A warrant must:

(A) contain the defendant's name or, if it is unknown, a name or description by which the defendant can be identified with reasonable certainty;

(B) describe the offense charged in the complaint;

(C) command that the defendant be arrested and brought without unnecessary delay before a magistrate judge or, if none is reasonably available, before a state or local judicial officer; and

(D) be signed by a judge.


(2) Summons. A summons must be in the same form as a warrant except that it must require the defendant to appear before a magistrate judge at a stated time and place.


(c) Execution or Service, and Return.

(1) Whom. Only a marshal or other authorized officer may execute a warrant. Any person authorized to serve a summons in a federal civil action may serve a summons.

(2) Location. A warrant may be executed, or a summons served, within the jurisdiction of the United States or anywhere else a federal statute authorizes an arrest.

(3) Manner.

(A) A warrant is executed by arresting the defendant. Upon arrest, an officer possessing the original or a duplicate original warrant must show it to the defendant. If the officer does not possess the warrant, the officer must inform the defendant of the warrant's existence and of the offense charged and, at the defendant's request, must show the original or a duplicate original warrant to the defendant as soon as possible.

(B) A summons is served on an individual defendant:

(i) by delivering a copy to the defendant personally; or

(ii) by leaving a copy at the defendant's residence or usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at that location and by mailing a copy to the defendant's last known address.


(C) A summons is served on an organization by delivering a copy to an officer, to a managing or general agent, or to another agent appointed or legally authorized to receive service of process. A copy must also be mailed to the organization's last known address within the district or to its principal place of business elsewhere in the United States.


(4) Return.

(A) After executing a warrant, the officer must return it to the judge before whom the defendant is brought in accordance with Rule 5. The officer may do so by reliable electronic means. At the request of an attorney for the government, an unexecuted warrant must be brought back to and canceled by a magistrate judge or, if none is reasonably available, by a state or local judicial officer.

(B) The person to whom a summons was delivered for service must return it on or before the return day.

(C) At the request of an attorney for the government, a judge may deliver an unexecuted warrant, an unserved summons, or a copy of the warrant or summons to the marshal or other authorized person for execution or service.


(d) Warrant by Telephone or Other Reliable Electronic Means. In accordance with Rule 4.1, a magistrate judge may issue a warrant or summons based on information communicated by telephone or other reliable electronic means.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, §3(1)–(3), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 370; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec. 1, 2011.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. The rule states the existing law relating to warrants issued by commissioner or other magistrate. United States Constitution, Amendment IV; 18 U.S.C. 591 [now 3041] (Arrest and removal for trial).

2. The provision for summons is new, although a summons has been customarily used against corporate defendants, 28 U.S.C. 377 [now 1651] (Power to issue writs); United States v. John Kelso Co., 86 F. 304 (N.D.Cal., 1898). See also, Albrecht v. United States, 273 U.S. 1, 8 (1927). The use of the summons in criminal cases is sanctioned by many States, among them Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and others. See A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure (1931), Commentaries to secs. 12, 13, and 14. The use of the summons is permitted in England by 11 & 12 Vict., c. 42, sec. 1 (1848). More general use of a summons in place of a warrant was recommended by the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, Report on Criminal Procedure (1931) 47. The Uniform Arrest Act, proposed by the Interstate Commission on Crime, provides for a summons. Warner, 28 Va.L.R. 315. See also, Medalie, 4 Lawyers Guild, R. 1, 6.

3. The provision for the issuance of additional warrants on the same complaint embodies the practice heretofore followed in some districts. It is desirable from a practical standpoint, since when a complaint names several defendants, it may be preferable to issue a separate warrant as to each in order to facilitate service and return, especially if the defendants are apprehended at different times and places. Berge, 42 Mich.L.R. 353, 356.

4. Failure to respond to a summons is not a contempt of court, but is ground for issuing a warrant.

Note to Subdivision (b). Compare Rule 9(b) and forms of warrant and summons, Appendix of Forms.

Note to Subdivision (c)(2). This rule and Rule 9(c)(1) modify the existing practice under which a warrant may be served only within the district in which it is issued. Mitchell v. Dexter, 244 F. 926 (C.C.A. 1st, 1917); Palmer v. Thompson, 20 App. D.C. 273 (1902); but see In re Christian, 82 F. 885 (C.C.W.D.Ark., 1897); 2 Op.Atty.Gen. 564. When a defendant is apprehended in a district other than that in which the prosecution has been instituted, this change will eliminate some of the steps that are at present followed: the issuance of a warrant in the district where the prosecution is pending; the return of the warrant non est inventus; the filing of a complaint on the basis of the warrant and its return in the district in which the defendant is found; and the issuance of another warrant in the latter district. The warrant originally issued will have efficacy throughout the United States and will constitute authority for arresting the defendant wherever found. Waite, 27 Jour. of Am. Judicature Soc. 101, 103. The change will not modify or affect the rights of the defendant as to removal. See Rule 40. The authority of the marshal to serve process is not limited to the district for which he is appointed, 28 U.S.C. 503 [now 569].

Note to Subdivision (c)(3). 1. The provision that the arresting officer need not have the warrant in his possession at the time of the arrest is rendered necessary by the fact that a fugitive may be discovered and apprehended by any one of many officers. It is obviously impossible for a warrant to be in the possession of every officer who is searching for a fugitive or who unexpectedly might find himself in a position to apprehend the fugitive. The rule sets forth the customary practice in such matters, which has the sanction of the courts. “It would be a strong proposition in an ordinary felony case to say that a fugitive from justice for whom a capias or warrant was outstanding could not be apprehended until the apprehending officer had physical possession of the capias or the warrant. If such were the law, criminals could circulate freely from one end of the land to the other, because they could always keep ahead of an officer with the warrant.” In re Kosopud (N.D. Ohio), 272 F. 330, 336. Waite, 27 Jour. of Am. Judicature Soc. 101, 103. The rule, however, safeguards the defendant's rights in such case.

2. Service of summons under the rule is substantially the same as in civil actions under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(d)(1) [28 U.S.C., Appendix].

Note to Subdivision (c)(4). Return of a warrant or summons to the commissioner or other officer is provided by 18 U.S.C. 603 [now 4084] (Writs; copy as jailer's authority). The return of all “copies of process” by the commissioner to the clerk of the court is provided by 18 U.S.C. 591 [now 3041]; and see Rule 5(c), infra.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

In Giordenello v. United States, 357 U.S. 480 (1958) it was held that to support the issuance of a warrant the complaint must contain in addition to a statement “of the essential facts constituting the offense” (Rule 3) a statement of the facts relied upon by the complainant to establish probable cause. The amendment permits the complainant to state the facts constituting probable cause in a separate affidavit in lieu of spelling them out in the complaint. See also Jaben v. United States, 381 U.S. 214 (1965).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Throughout the rule the term “magistrate” is substituted for the term “commissioner.” Magistrate is defined in rule 54 to include a judge of the United States, a United States magistrate, and those state and local judicial officers specified in 18 U.S.C. §3041.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment

The amendments are designed to achieve several objectives: (1) to make explicit the fact that the determination of probable cause may be based upon hearsay evidence; (2) to make clear that probable cause is a prerequisite to the issuance of a summons; and (3) to give priority to the issuance of a summons rather than a warrant.

Subdivision (a) makes clear that the normal situation is to issue a summons.

Subdivision (b) provides for the issuance of an arrest warrant in lieu of or in addition to the issuance of a summons.

Subdivision (b)(1) restates the provision of the old rule mandating the issuance of a warrant when a defendant fails to appear in response to a summons.

Subdivision (b)(2) provides for the issuance of an arrest warrant rather than a summons whenever “a valid reason is shown” for the issuance of a warrant. The reason may be apparent from the face of the complaint or may be provided by the federal law enforcement officer or attorney for the government. See comparable provision in rule 9.

Subdivision (b)(3) deals with the situation in which conditions change after a summons has issued. It affords the government an opportunity to demonstrate the need for an arrest warrant. This may be done in the district in which the defendant is located if this is the convenient place to do so.

Subdivision (c) provides that a warrant or summons may issue on the basis of hearsay evidence. What constitutes probable cause is left to be dealt with on a case-to-case basis, taking account of the unlimited variations in source of information and in the opportunity of the informant to perceive accurately the factual data which he furnishes. See e.g., Giordenello v. United States, 357 U.S. 480, 78 S.Ct. 1245, 2 L.Ed.2d 1503 (1958); Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 84 S.Ct. 1509, 12 L.Ed.2d 723 (1964); United States v. Ventresca, 380 U.S. 102, 85 S.Ct. 741, 13 L.Ed.2d 684 (1965); Jaben v. United States, 381 U.S. 214, 85 S.Ct. 1365, 14 L.Ed.2d 345 (1965); McCray v. Illinois, 386 U.S. 300, 87 S.Ct. 1056, 18 L.Ed.2d 62 (1967); Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410, 89 S.Ct. 584, 21 L.Ed.2d 637 (1969); United States v. Harris, 403 U.S. 573, 91 S.Ct. 2075, 29 L.Ed.2d 723 (1971); Note, The Informer's Tip as Probable Cause for Search or Arrest, 54 Cornell L.Rev. 958 (1969); C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §52 (1969, Supp. 1971); 8 S.J. Moore, Federal Practice  4.03 (2d ed. Cipes 1970, Supp. 1971).

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure deals with arrest procedures when a criminal complaint has been filed. It provides in pertinent part:

If it appears . . . that there is probable cause . . . a warrant for the arrest of the defendant shall issue to any officer authorized by law to execute it. Upon the request of the attorney for the government a summons instead of a warrant shall issue. [emphasis added]

The Supreme Court's amendments make a basic change in Rule 4. As proposed to be amended, Rule 4 gives priority to the issuance of a summons instead of an arrest warrant. In order for the magistrate to issue an arrest warrant, the attorney for the government must show a “valid reason.”

B. Committee Action. The Committee agrees with and approves the basic change in Rule 4. The decision to take a citizen into custody is a very important one with far-reaching consequences. That decision ought to be made by a neutral official (a magistrate) rather than by an interested party (the prosecutor).

It has been argued that undesirable consequences will result if this change is adopted—including an increase in the number of fugitives and the introduction of substantial delays in our system of criminal justice. [See testimony of Assistant Attorney General W. Vincent Rakestraw in Hearings on Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the House Committee on the Judiciary, 93d Cong., 2d Sess., Serial No. 61, at 41–43 (1974) [hereinafter cited as “Hearing I”].] The Committee has carefully considered these arguments and finds them to be wanting. [The Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules has thoroughly analyzed the arguments raised by Mr. Rakestraw and convincingly demonstrated that the undesirable consequences predicted will not necessarily result. See Hearings on Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules on Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the House Committee on the Judiciary, 94th Congress, 1st Session, Serial No. 6, at 208–09 (1975) [hereinafter cited “Hearings II”].] The present rule permits the use of a summons in lieu of a warrant. The major difference between the present rule and the proposed rule is that the present rule vests the decision to issue a summons or a warrant in the prosecutor, while the proposed rule vests that decision in a judicial officer. Thus, the basic premise underlying the arguments against the proposed rule is the notion that only the prosecutor can be trusted to act responsibly in deciding whether a summons or a warrant shall issue.

The Committee rejects the notion that the federal judiciary cannot be trusted to exercise discretion wisely and in the public interest.

The Committee recast the language of Rule 4(b). No change in substance is intended. The phrase “valid reason” was changed to “good cause,” a phrase with which lawyers are more familiar. [Rule 4, both as proposed by the Supreme Court and as changed by the Committee, does not in any way authorize a magistrate to issue a summons or a warrant sua sponte, nor does it enlarge, limit or change in any way the law governing warrantless arrests.]

The Committee deleted two sentences from Rule 4(c). These sentences permitted a magistrate to question the complainant and other witnesses under oath and required the magistrate to keep a record or summary of such a proceeding. The Committee does not intend this change to discontinue or discourage the practice of having the complainant appear personally or the practice of making a record or summary of such an appearance. Rather, the Committee intended to leave Rule 4(c) neutral on this matter, neither encouraging nor discouraging these practices.

The Committee added a new section that provides that the determination of good cause for the issuance of a warrant in lieu of a summons shall not be grounds for a motion to suppress evidence. This provision does not apply when the issue is whether there was probable cause to believe an offense has been committed. This provision does not in any way expand or limit the so-called “exclusionary rule.”

Notes of Conference Committee, House Report No. 94–414; 1975 Amendment

Rule 4(e)(3) deals with the manner in which warrants and summonses may be served. The House version provides two methods for serving a summons: (1) personal service upon the defendant, or (2) service by leaving it with someone of suitable age at the defendant's dwelling and by mailing it to the defendant's last known address. The Senate version provides three methods: (1) personal service, (2) service by leaving it with someone of suitable age at the defendant's dwelling, or (3) service by mailing it to defendant's last known address.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The Rule is amended to conform to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 [P.L. 101–650, Title III, Section 321] which provides that each United States magistrate appointed under section 631 of title 28, United States Code, shall be known as a United States magistrate judge.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 4 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic, except as noted below.

The first non-stylistic change is in Rule 4(a), which has been amended to provide an element of discretion in those situations when the defendant fails to respond to a summons. Under the current rule, the judge must in all cases issue an arrest warrant. The revised rule provides discretion to the judge to issue an arrest warrant if the attorney for the government does not request that an arrest warrant be issued for a failure to appear.

Current Rule 4(b), which refers to the fact that hearsay evidence may be used to support probable cause, has been deleted. That language was added to the rule in 1974, apparently to reflect emerging federal case law. See Advisory Committee Note to 1974 Amendments to Rule 4 (citing cases). A similar amendment was made to Rule 41 in 1972. In the intervening years, however, the case law has become perfectly clear on that proposition. Thus, the Committee believed that the reference to hearsay was no longer necessary. Furthermore, the limited reference to hearsay evidence was misleading to the extent that it might have suggested that other forms of inadmissible evidence could not be considered. For example, the rule made no reference to considering a defendant's prior criminal record, which clearly may be considered in deciding whether probable cause exists. See, e.g., Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160 (1949) (officer's knowledge of defendant's prior criminal activity). Rather than address that issue, or any other similar issues, the Committee believed that the matter was best addressed in Rule 1101(d)(3), Federal Rules of Evidence. That rule explicitly provides that the Federal Rules of Evidence do not apply to “preliminary examinations in criminal cases, . . . issuance of warrants for arrest, criminal summonses, and search warrants.” The Advisory Committee Note accompanying that rule recognizes that: “The nature of the proceedings makes application of the formal rules of evidence inappropriate and impracticable.” The Committee did not intend to make any substantive changes in practice by deleting the reference to hearsay evidence.

New Rule 4(b), which is currently Rule 4(c), addresses the form of an arrest warrant and a summons and includes two non-stylistic changes. First, Rule 4(b)(1)(C) mandates that the warrant require that the defendant be brought “without unnecessary delay” before a judge. The Committee believed that this was a more appropriate standard than the current requirement that the defendant be brought before the “nearest available” magistrate judge. This new language accurately reflects the thrust of the original rule, that time is of the essence and that the defendant should be brought with dispatch before a judicial officer in the district. Second, the revised rule states a preference that the defendant be brought before a federal judicial officer.

Rule 4(b)(2) has been amended to require that if a summons is issued, the defendant must appear before a magistrate judge. The current rule requires the appearance before a “magistrate,” which could include a state or local judicial officer. This change is consistent with the preference for requiring defendants to appear before federal judicial officers stated in revised Rule 4(b)(1).

Rule 4(c) (currently Rule 4(d)) includes three changes. First, current Rule 4(d)(2) states the traditional rule recognizing the territorial limits for executing warrants. Rule 4(c)(2) includes new language that reflects the recent enactment of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (Pub. L. No. 106–523, 114 Stat. 2488) that permits arrests of certain military and Department of Defense personnel overseas. See also 14 U.S.C. §89 (Coast Guard authority to effect arrests outside territorial limits of United States). Second, current Rule 4(d)(3) provides that the arresting officer is only required to inform the defendant of the offense charged and that a warrant exists if the officer does not have a copy of the warrant. As revised, Rule 4(c)(3)(A) explicitly requires the arresting officer in all instances to inform the defendant of the offense charged and of the fact that an arrest warrant exists. The new rule continues the current provision that the arresting officer need not have a copy of the warrant, but if the defendant requests to see it, the officer must show the warrant to the defendant as soon as possible. The rule does not attempt to define any particular time limits for showing the warrant to the defendant.

Third, Rule 4(c)(3)(C) is taken from former Rule 9(c)(1). That provision specifies the manner of serving a summons on an organization. The Committee believed that Rule 4 was the more appropriate location for general provisions addressing the mechanics of arrest warrants and summonses. Revised Rule 9 liberally cross-references the basic provisions appearing in Rule 4. Under the amended rule, in all cases in which a summons is being served on an organization, a copy of the summons must be mailed to the organization.

Fourth, a change is made in Rule 4(c)(4). Currently, Rule 4(d)(4) requires that an unexecuted warrant must be returned to the judicial officer or judge who issued it. As amended, Rule 4(c)(4)(A) provides that after a warrant is executed, the officer must return it to the judge before whom the defendant will appear under Rule 5. At the government's request, however, an unexecuted warrant must be canceled by a magistrate judge. The change recognizes the possibility that at the time the warrant is returned, the issuing judicial officer may not be available.

Committee Notes on Rules—2011 Amendment

Rule 4 is amended in three respects to make the arrest warrant process more efficient through the use of technology.

Subdivision (c). First, Rule 4(c)(3)(A) authorizes a law enforcement officer to retain a duplicate original arrest warrant, consistent with the change to subdivision (d), which permits a court to issue an arrest warrant electronically rather than by physical delivery. The duplicate original warrant may be used in lieu of the original warrant signed by the magistrate judge to satisfy the requirement that the defendant be shown the warrant at or soon after an arrest. Cf. Rule 4.1(b)(5) (providing for a duplicate original search warrant).

Second, consistent with the amendment to Rule 41(f), Rule 4(c)(4)(A) permits an officer to make a return of the arrest warrant electronically. Requiring an in-person return can be burdensome on law enforcement, particularly in large districts when the return can require a great deal of time and travel. In contrast, no interest of the accused is affected by allowing what is normally a ministerial act to be done electronically.

Subdivision (d). Rule 4(d) provides that a magistrate judge may issue an arrest warrant or summons based on information submitted electronically rather than in person. This change works in conjunction with the amendment to Rule 3, which permits a magistrate judge to consider a criminal complaint and accompanying documents that are submitted electronically. Subdivision (d) also incorporates the procedures for applying for and issuing electronic warrants set forth in Rule 4.1.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. No changes were made in the amendment as published.

Amendment by Public Law

1975—Pub. L. 94–64 struck out subds. (a), (b), and (c) and inserted in lieu new subds. (a) and (b); redesignated subd. (d) as (c); and redesignated subd. (e) as (d) and amended par. (3) thereof generally.

Approval and Effective Date of Amendments Proposed April 22, 1974; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64 provided that: “The amendments proposed by the United States Supreme Court to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure [adding rules 12.1, 12.2 and 29.1 and amending rules 4, 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 20, 32, and 43 of these rules] which are embraced in the order of that Court on April 22, 1974, are approved except as otherwise provided in this Act and shall take effect on December 1, 1975. Except with respect to the amendment to Rule 11, insofar as it adds Rule 11(e)(6), which shall take effect on August 1, 1975, the amendments made by section 3 of this Act [to rules 4, 9, 11, 12, 12.1, 12.2, 15, 16, 17, 20, 32, and 43 of these rules] shall also take effect on December 1, 1975.”

Rule 4.1. Complaint, Warrant, or Summons by Telephone or Other Reliable Electronic Means

(a) In General. A magistrate judge may consider information communicated by telephone or other reliable electronic means when reviewing a complaint or deciding whether to issue a warrant or summons.

(b) Procedures. If a magistrate judge decides to proceed under this rule, the following procedures apply:

(1) Taking Testimony Under Oath. The judge must place under oath—and may examine—the applicant and any person on whose testimony the application is based.

(2) Creating a Record of the Testimony and Exhibits.

(A) Testimony Limited to Attestation. If the applicant does no more than attest to the contents of a written affidavit submitted by reliable electronic means, the judge must acknowledge the attestation in writing on the affidavit.

(B) Additional Testimony or Exhibits. If the judge considers additional testimony or exhibits, the judge must:

(i) have the testimony recorded verbatim by an electronic recording device, by a court reporter, or in writing;

(ii) have any recording or reporter's notes transcribed, have the transcription certified as accurate, and file it;

(iii) sign any other written record, certify its accuracy, and file it; and

(iv) make sure that the exhibits are filed.


(3) Preparing a Proposed Duplicate Original of a Complaint, Warrant, or Summons. The applicant must prepare a proposed duplicate original of a complaint, warrant, or summons, and must read or otherwise transmit its contents verbatim to the judge.

(4) Preparing an Original Complaint, Warrant, or Summons. If the applicant reads the contents of the proposed duplicate original, the judge must enter those contents into an original complaint, warrant, or summons. If the applicant transmits the contents by reliable electronic means, the transmission received by the judge may serve as the original.

(5) Modification. The judge may modify the complaint, warrant, or summons. The judge must then:

(A) transmit the modified version to the applicant by reliable electronic means; or

(B) file the modified original and direct the applicant to modify the proposed duplicate original accordingly.


(6) Issuance. To issue the warrant or summons, the judge must:

(A) sign the original documents;

(B) enter the date and time of issuance on the warrant or summons; and

(C) transmit the warrant or summons by reliable electronic means to the applicant or direct the applicant to sign the judge's name and enter the date and time on the duplicate original.


(c) Suppression Limited. Absent a finding of bad faith, evidence obtained from a warrant issued under this rule is not subject to suppression on the ground that issuing the warrant in this manner was unreasonable under the circumstances.

(Added Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec. 1, 2011.)

Committee Notes on Rules—2011

New Rule 4.1 brings together in one rule the procedures for using a telephone or other reliable electronic means for reviewing complaints and applying for and issuing warrants and summonses. In drafting Rule 4.1, the Committee recognized that modern technological developments have improved access to judicial officers, thereby reducing the necessity of government action without prior judicial approval. Rule 4.1 prescribes uniform procedures and ensures an accurate record.

The procedures that have governed search warrants “by telephonic or other means,” formerly in Rule 41(d)(3) and (e)(3), have been relocated to this rule, reordered for easier application, and extended to arrest warrants, complaints, and summonses. Successful experience using electronic applications for search warrants under Rule 41, combined with increased access to reliable electronic communication, support the extension of these procedures to arrest warrants, complaints, and summonses.

With one exception noted in the next paragraph, the new rule preserves the procedures formerly in Rule 41 without change. By using the term “magistrate judge,” the rule continues to require, as did former Rule 41(d)(3) and (e)(3), that a federal judge (and not a state judge) handle electronic applications, approvals, and issuances. The rule continues to require that the judge place an applicant under oath over the telephone, and permits the judge to examine the applicant, as Rule 41 had provided. Rule 4.1(b) continues to require that when electronic means are used to issue the warrant, the magistrate judge retain the original warrant. Minor changes in wording and reorganization of the language formerly in Rule 41 were made to aid in application of the rules, with no intended change in meaning.

The only substantive change to the procedures formerly in Rule 41(d)(3) and (e)(3) appears in new Rule 4.1(b)(2)(A). Former Rule 41(d)(3)(B)(ii) required the magistrate judge to make a verbatim record of the entire conversation with the applicant. New Rule 4.1(b)(2)(A) provides that when a warrant application and affidavit are sent electronically to the magistrate judge and the telephone conversation between the magistrate judge and affiant is limited to attesting to those written documents, a verbatim record of the entire conversation is no longer required. Rather, the magistrate judge should simply acknowledge in writing the attestation on the affidavit. This may be done, for example, by signing the jurat included on the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts form. Rule 4.1(b)(2)(B) carries forward the requirements formerly in Rule 41 to cases in which the magistrate judge considers testimony or exhibits in addition to the affidavit. In addition, Rule 4.1(b)(6) specifies that in order to issue a warrant or summons the magistrate judge must sign all of the original documents and enter the date and time of issuance on the warrant or summons. This procedure will create and maintain a complete record of the warrant application process.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. Published subdivision (a) referred to the action of a magistrate judge as “deciding whether to approve a complaint.” To accurately describe the judge's action, it was rephrased to refer to the judge “reviewing a complaint.”

Subdivisions (b)(2) and (3) were combined into subdivisions (b)(2)(A) and (B) to clarify the procedures applicable when the applicant does no more than attest to the contents of a written affidavit and those applicable when additional testimony or exhibits are presented. The clauses in subparagraph (B) were reordered and further divided into items (i) through (iv). Subsequent subdivisions were renumbered because of the merger of (b)(2) and (3).

In subdivision (b)(5), language was added requiring the judge to file the modified original if the judge has directed an applicant to modify a duplicate original. This will ensure that a complete record is preserved. Additionally, the clauses in this subdivision were broken out into subparagraphs (A) and (B).

In subdivision (b)(6), introductory language erroneously referring to a judge's approval of a complaint was deleted, and the rule was revised to refer only to the steps necessary to issue a warrant or summons, which are the actions taken by the judicial officer.

In subdivision (b)(6)(A), the requirement that the judge “sign the original” was amended to require signing of “the original documents.” This is broad enough to encompass signing a summons, an arrest or search warrant, and the current practice of the judge signing the jurat on complaint forms. Depending on the nature of the case, it might also include many other kinds of documents, such as the jurat on affidavits, the certifications of written records supplementing the transmitted affidavit, or papers that correct or modify affidavits or complaints.

In subdivision (b)(6)(B), the superfluous and anachronistic reference to the “face” of a document was deleted, and rephrasing clarified that the action is the entry of the date and time of “the approval of a warrant or summons.” Additionally, subdivision (b)(6)(C) was modified to require that the judge must direct the applicant not only to sign the duplicate original with the judge's name, but also to note the date and time.

Rule 5. Initial Appearance

(a) In General.

(1) Appearance Upon an Arrest.

(A) A person making an arrest within the United States must take the defendant without unnecessary delay before a magistrate judge, or before a state or local judicial officer as Rule 5(c) provides, unless a statute provides otherwise.

(B) A person making an arrest outside the United States must take the defendant without unnecessary delay before a magistrate judge, unless a statute provides otherwise.


(2) Exceptions.

(A) An officer making an arrest under a warrant issued upon a complaint charging solely a violation of 18 U.S.C. §1073 need not comply with this rule if:

(i) the person arrested is transferred without unnecessary delay to the custody of appropriate state or local authorities in the district of arrest; and

(ii) an attorney for the government moves promptly, in the district where the warrant was issued, to dismiss the complaint.


(B) If a defendant is arrested for violating probation or supervised release, Rule 32.1 applies.

(C) If a defendant is arrested for failing to appear in another district, Rule 40 applies.


(3) Appearance Upon a Summons. When a defendant appears in response to a summons under Rule 4, a magistrate judge must proceed under Rule 5(d) or (e), as applicable.


(b) Arrest Without a Warrant. If a defendant is arrested without a warrant, a complaint meeting Rule 4(a)'s requirement of probable cause must be promptly filed in the district where the offense was allegedly committed.

(c) Place of Initial Appearance; Transfer to Another District.

(1) Arrest in the District Where the Offense Was Allegedly Committed. If the defendant is arrested in the district where the offense was allegedly committed:

(A) the initial appearance must be in that district; and

(B) if a magistrate judge is not reasonably available, the initial appearance may be before a state or local judicial officer.


(2) Arrest in a District Other Than Where the Offense Was Allegedly Committed. If the defendant was arrested in a district other than where the offense was allegedly committed, the initial appearance must be:

(A) in the district of arrest; or

(B) in an adjacent district if:

(i) the appearance can occur more promptly there; or

(ii) the offense was allegedly committed there and the initial appearance will occur on the day of arrest.


(3) Procedures in a District Other Than Where the Offense Was Allegedly Committed. If the initial appearance occurs in a district other than where the offense was allegedly committed, the following procedures apply:

(A) the magistrate judge must inform the defendant about the provisions of Rule 20;

(B) if the defendant was arrested without a warrant, the district court where the offense was allegedly committed must first issue a warrant before the magistrate judge transfers the defendant to that district;

(C) the magistrate judge must conduct a preliminary hearing if required by Rule 5.1;

(D) the magistrate judge must transfer the defendant to the district where the offense was allegedly committed if:

(i) the government produces the warrant, a certified copy of the warrant, or a reliable electronic form of either; and

(ii) the judge finds that the defendant is the same person named in the indictment, information, or warrant; and


(E) when a defendant is transferred and discharged, the clerk must promptly transmit the papers and any bail to the clerk in the district where the offense was allegedly committed.


(d) Procedure in a Felony Case.

(1) Advice. If the defendant is charged with a felony, the judge must inform the defendant of the following:

(A) the complaint against the defendant, and any affidavit filed with it;

(B) the defendant's right to retain counsel or to request that counsel be appointed if the defendant cannot obtain counsel;

(C) the circumstances, if any, under which the defendant may secure pretrial release;

(D) any right to a preliminary hearing; and

(E) the defendant's right not to make a statement, and that any statement made may be used against the defendant.


(2) Consulting with Counsel. The judge must allow the defendant reasonable opportunity to consult with counsel.

(3) Detention or Release. The judge must detain or release the defendant as provided by statute or these rules.

(4) Plea. A defendant may be asked to plead only under Rule 10.


(e) Procedure in a Misdemeanor Case. If the defendant is charged with a misdemeanor only, the judge must inform the defendant in accordance with Rule 58(b)(2).

(f) Video Teleconferencing. Video teleconferencing may be used to conduct an appearance under this rule if the defendant consents.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 28, 1982, eff. Aug. 1, 1982; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §209(a), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1986; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; May 1, 1990, eff. Dec. 1, 1990; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 27, 1995, eff. Dec. 1, 1995; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 12, 2006, eff. Dec. 1, 2006.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. The time within which a prisoner must be brought before a committing magistrate is defined differently in different statutes. The rule supersedes all statutory provisions on this point and fixes a single standard, i.e., “without unnecessary delay”, 18 U.S.C. [former] 593 (Operating illicit distillery; arrest; bail); sec. [former] 595 (Persons arrested taken before nearest officer for hearing); 5 U.S.C. 300a [now 18 U.S.C. 3052, 3107] (Division of Investigation; authority of officers to serve warrants and make arrests); 16 U.S.C. 10 (Arrests by employees of park service for violations of laws and regulations); sec. 706 (Migratory Bird Treaty Act; arrests; search warrants); D.C. Code (1940), Title 4, sec. 140 (Arrests without warrant); see, also, 33 U.S.C. 436, 446, 452; 46 U.S.C. 708 [now 18 U.S.C. 2279]. What constitutes “unnecessary delay”, i.e., reasonable time within which the prisoner should be brought before a committing magistrate, must be determined in the light of all the facts and circumstances of the case. The following authorities discuss the question what constitutes reasonable time for this purpose in various situations: Carroll v. Parry, 48 App.D.C. 453; Janus v. United States, 38 F.2d 431 (C.C.A. 9th); Commonwealth v. Di Stasio, 294 Mass. 273; State v. Freeman, 86 N.C. 683; Peloquin v. Hibner, 231 Wis. 77; see, also, Warner, 28 Va.L.R. 315, 339–341.

2. The rule also states the prevailing state practice, A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure (1931), Commentaries to secs. 35, 36.

Note to Subdivisions (b) and (c). 1. These rules prescribe a uniform procedure to be followed at preliminary hearings before a commissioner. They supersede the general provisions of 18 U.S.C. 591 [now 3041] (Arrest and removal for trial). The procedure prescribed by the rules is that generally prevailing. See Wood v. United States, 128 F.2d 265, 271–272 (App. D.C.); A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure (1931), secs. 39–60 and Commentaries thereto; Manual for United States Commissioners, pp. 6–10, published by Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

2. Pleas before a commissioner are excluded, as a plea of guilty at this stage has no legal status or function except to serve as a waiver of preliminary examination. It has been held inadmissible in evidence at the trial, if the defendant was not represented by counsel when the plea was entered. Wood v. United States, 128 F.2d 265 (App. D.C.) The rule expressly provides for a waiver of examination, thereby eliminating any necessity for a provision as to plea.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The first change is designed to insure that under the revision made in Rule 4(a) the defendant arrested on a warrant will receive the same information concerning the basis for the issuance of the warrant as would previously have been given him by the complaint itself.

The second change obligates the commissioner to inform the defendant of his right to request the assignment of counsel if he is unable to obtain counsel. Cf. the amendment to Rule 44, and the Advisory Committee's Note thereon.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

There are a number of changes made in rule 5 which are designed to improve the editorial clarity of the rule; to conform the rule to the Federal Magistrates Act; and to deal explicitly in the rule with issues as to which the rule was silent and the law uncertain.

The principal editorial change is to deal separately with the initial appearance before the magistrate and the preliminary examination. They are dealt with together in old rule 5. They are separated in order to prevent confusion as to whether they constitute a single or two separate proceedings. Although the preliminary examination can be held at the time of the initial appearance, in practice this ordinarily does not occur. Usually counsel need time to prepare for the preliminary examination and as a consequence a separate date is typically set for the preliminary examination.

Because federal magistrates are reasonably available to conduct initial appearances, the rule is drafted on the assumption that the initial appearance is before a federal magistrate. If experience under the act indicates that there must be frequent appearances before state or local judicial officers it may be desirable to draft an additional rule, such as the following, detailing the procedure for an initial appearance before a state or local judicial officer:

Initial Appearance Before a State or Local Judicial Officer. If a United States magistrate is not reasonably available under rule 5(a), the arrested person shall be brought before a state or local judicial officer authorized by 18 U.S.C. §3041, and such officer shall inform the person of the rights specified in rule 5(c) and shall authorize the release of the arrested person under the terms provided for by these rules and by 18 U.S.C. §3146. The judicial officer shall immediately transmit any written order of release and any papers filed before him to the appropriate United States magistrate of the district and order the arrested person to appear before such United States magistrate within three days if not in custody or at the next regular hour of business of the United States magistrate if the arrested person is retained in custody. Upon his appearance before the United States magistrate, the procedure shall be that prescribed in rule 5.

Several changes are made to conform the language of the rule to the Federal Magistrates Act.

(1) The term “magistrate,” which is defined in new rule 54, is substituted for the term “commissioner.” As defined, “magistrate” includes those state and local judicial officers specified in 18 U.S.C. §3041, and thus the initial appearance may be before a state or local judicial officer when a federal magistrate is not reasonably available. This is made explicit in subdivision (a).

(2) Subdivision (b) conforms the rule to the procedure prescribed in the Federal Magistrate Act when a defendant appears before a magistrate charged with a “minor offense” as defined in 18 U.S.C. §3401(f):

“misdemeanors punishable under the laws of the United States, the penalty for which does not exceed imprisonment for a period of one year, or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both, except that such term does not include . . . [specified exceptions].”

If the “minor offense” is tried before a United States magistrate, the procedure must be in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for the Trial of Minor Offenses Before United States Magistrates, (January 27, 1971).

(3) Subdivision (d) makes clear that a defendant is not entitled to a preliminary examination if he has been indicted by a grand jury prior to the date set for the preliminary examination or, in appropriate cases, if any information is filed in the district court prior to that date. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §80, pp. 137–140 (1969, Supp. 1971). This is also provided in the Federal Magistrates Act, 18 U.S.C. §3060(e).

Rule 5 is also amended to deal with several issues not dealt with in old rule 5:

Subdivision (a) is amended to make clear that a complaint, complying with the requirements of rule 4(a), must be filed whenever a person has been arrested without a warrant. This means that the complaint, or an affidavit or affidavits filed with the complaint, must show probable cause. As provided in rule 4(a) the showing of probable cause “may be based upon hearsay evidence in whole or in part.”

Subdivision (c) provides that defendant should be notified of the general circumstances under which he is entitled to pretrial release under the Bail Reform Act of 1966 (18 U.S.C. §§3141–3152). Defendants often do not in fact have counsel at the initial appearance and thus, unless told by the magistrate, may be unaware of their right to pretrial release. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §78 N. 61 (1969).

Subdivision (c) makes clear that a defendant who does not waive his right to trial before a judge of the district court is entitled to a preliminary examination to determine probable cause for any offense except a petty offense. It also, by necessary implication, makes clear that a defendant is not entitled to a preliminary examination if he consents to be tried on the issue of guilt or innocence by the United States magistrate, even though the offense may be one not heretofore triable by the United States commissioner and therefore one as to which the defendant had a right to a preliminary examination. The rationale is that the preliminary examination serves only to justify holding the defendant in custody or on bail during the period of time it takes to bind the defendant over to the district court for trial. See State v. Solomon, 158 Wis. 146, 147 N.W. 640 (1914). A similar conclusion is reached in the New York Proposed Criminal Procedure Law. See McKinney's Session Law News, April 10, 1969, at p. A–119.

Subdivision (c) also contains time limits within which the preliminary examination must be held. These are taken from 18 U.S.C. §3060. The provisions for the extension of the prescribed time limits are the same as the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3060 with two exceptions: The new language allows delay consented to by the defendant only if there is “a showing of good cause, taking into account the public interest in the prompt disposition of criminal cases.” This reflects the view of the Advisory Committee that delay, whether prosecution or defense induced, ought to be avoided whenever possible. The second difference between the new rule and 18 U.S.C. §3060 is that the rule allows the decision to grant a continuance to be made by a United States magistrate as well as by a judge of the United States. This reflects the view of the Advisory Committee that the United States magistrate should have sufficient judicial competence to make decisions such as that contemplated in subdivision (c).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1982 Amendment

The amendment of subdivision (b) reflects the recent amendment of 18 U.S.C. §3401(a), by the Federal Magistrate Act of 1979, to read: “When specially designated to exercise such jurisdiction by the district court or courts he serves, any United States magistrate shall have jurisdiction to try persons accused of, and sentence persons convicted of, misdemeanors committed within that judicial district.”

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1990 Amendment

Rule 5(b) is amended to conform the rule to Rule 58.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The Rule is amended to conform to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 [P.L. 101–650, Title III, Section 321] which provides that each United States magistrate appointed under section 631 of title 28, United States Code, shall be known as a United States magistrate judge.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1995 Amendment

The amendment to Rule 5 is intended to address the interplay between the requirements for a prompt appearance before a magistrate judge and the processing of persons arrested for the offense of unlawfully fleeing to avoid prosecution under 18 U.S.C. §1073, when no federal prosecution is intended. Title 18 U.S.C. §1073 provides in part:

Whoever moves or travels in interstate or foreign commerce with intent . . . to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, under the laws of the place from which he flees . . . shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Violations of this section may be prosecuted . . . only upon formal approval in writing by the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or an Assistant Attorney General of the United States, which function of approving prosecutions may not be delegated.

In enacting §1073, Congress apparently intended to provide assistance to state criminal justice authorities in an effort to apprehend and prosecute state offenders. It also appears that by requiring permission of high ranking officials, Congress intended that prosecutions be limited in number. In fact, prosecutions under this section have been rare. The purpose of the statute is fulfilled when the person is apprehended and turned over to state or local authorities. In such cases the requirement of Rule 5 that any person arrested under a federal warrant must be brought before a federal magistrate judge becomes a largely meaningless exercise and a needless demand upon federal judicial resources.

In addressing this problem, several options are available to federal authorities when no federal prosecution is intended to ensue after the arrest. First, once federal authorities locate a fugitive, they may contact local law enforcement officials who make the arrest based upon the underlying out-of-state warrant. In that instance, Rule 5 is not implicated and the United States Attorney in the district issuing the §1073 complaint and warrant can take action to dismiss both. In a second scenario, the fugitive is arrested by federal authorities who, in compliance with Rule 5, bring the person before a federal magistrate judge. If local law enforcement officers are present, they can take custody, once the United States Attorney informs the magistrate judge that there will be no prosecution under §1073. Depending on the availability of state or local officers, there may be some delay in the Rule 5 proceedings; any delays following release to local officials, however, would not be a function of Rule 5. In a third situation, federal authorities arrest the fugitive but local law enforcement authorities are not present at the Rule 5 appearance. Depending on a variety of practices, the magistrate judge may calendar a removal hearing under Rule 40, or order that the person be held in federal custody pending further action by the local authorities.

Under the amendment, officers arresting a fugitive charged only with violating §1073 need not bring the person before a magistrate judge under Rule 5(a) if there is no intent to actually prosecute the person under that charge. Two requirements, however, must be met. First, the arrested fugitive must be transferred without unnecessary delay to the custody of state officials. Second, steps must be taken in the appropriate district to dismiss the complaint alleging a violation of §1073. The rule continues to contemplate that persons arrested by federal officials are entitled to prompt handling of federal charges, if prosecution is intended, and prompt transfer to state custody if federal prosecution is not contemplated.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 5 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic, except as noted below.

Rule 5 has been completely revised to more clearly set out the procedures for initial appearances and to recognize that such appearances may be required at various stages of a criminal proceeding, for example, where a defendant has been arrested for violating the terms of probation.

Rule 5(a), which governs initial appearances by an arrested defendant before a magistrate judge, includes several changes. The first is a clarifying change; revised Rule 5(a)(1) provides that a person making the arrest must bring the defendant “without unnecessary delay” before a magistrate judge, instead of the current reference to “nearest available” magistrate judge. This language parallels changes in Rule 4 and reflects the view that time is of the essence. The Committee intends no change in practice. In using the term, the Committee recognizes that on occasion there may be necessary delay in presenting the defendant, for example, due to weather conditions or other natural causes. A second change is non-stylistic, and reflects the stated preference (as in other provisions throughout the rules) that the defendant be brought before a federal judicial officer. Only if a magistrate judge is not available should the defendant be taken before a state or local officer.

The third sentence in current Rule 5(a), which states that a magistrate judge must proceed in accordance with the rule where a defendant is arrested without a warrant or given a summons, has been deleted because it is unnecessary.

Rule 5(a)(1)(B) codifies the caselaw reflecting that the right to an initial appearance applies not only when a person is arrested within the United States but also when an arrest occurs outside the United States. See, e.g., United States v. Purvis, 768 F.2d 1237 (11th Cir. 1985); United States v. Yunis, 859 F.2d 953 (D.C. Cir. 1988). In these circumstances, the Committee believes—and the rule so provides—that the initial appearance should be before a federal magistrate judge rather than a state or local judicial officer. Rule 5(a)(1)(B) has also been amended by adding the words, “unless a federal statute provides otherwise,” to reflect recent enactment of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (Pub. L. No. 106–523, 114 Stat. 2488) that permits certain persons overseas to appear before a magistrate judge by telephonic communication.

Rule 5(a)(2)(A) consists of language currently located in Rule 5 that addresses the procedure to be followed where a defendant has been arrested under a warrant issued on a complaint charging solely a violation of 18 U.S.C. §1073 (unlawful flight to avoid prosecution). Rule 5(a)(2)(B) and 5(a)(2)(C) are new provisions. They are intended to make it clear that when a defendant is arrested for violating probation or supervised release, or for failing to appear in another district, Rules 32.1 or 40 apply. No change in practice is intended.

Rule 5(a)(3) is new and fills a perceived gap in the rules. It recognizes that a defendant may be subjected to an initial appearance under this rule if a summons was issued under Rule 4, instead of an arrest warrant. If the defendant is appearing pursuant to a summons in a felony case, Rule 5(d) applies, and if the defendant is appearing in a misdemeanor case, Rule 5(e) applies.

Rule 5(b) carries forward the requirement in former Rule 5(a) that if the defendant is arrested without a warrant, a complaint must be promptly filed.

Rule 5(c) is a new provision and sets out where an initial appearance is to take place. If the defendant is arrested in the district where the offense was allegedly committed, under Rule 5(c)(1) the defendant must be taken to a magistrate judge in that district. If no magistrate judge is reasonably available, a state or local judicial officer may conduct the initial appearance. On the other hand, if the defendant is arrested in a district other than the district where the offense was allegedly committed, Rule 5(c)(2) governs. In those instances, the defendant must be taken to a magistrate judge within the district of arrest, unless the appearance can take place more promptly in an adjacent district. The Committee recognized that in some cases, the nearest magistrate judge may actually be across a district's lines. The remainder of Rule 5(c)(2) includes material formerly located in Rule 40.

Rule 5(d), derived from current Rule 5(c), has been retitled to more clearly reflect the subject of that subdivision and the procedure to be used if the defendant is charged with a felony. Rule 5(d)(4) has been added to make clear that a defendant may only be called upon to enter a plea under the provisions of Rule 10. That language is intended to reflect and reaffirm current practice.

The remaining portions of current Rule 5(c) have been moved to Rule 5.1, which deals with preliminary hearings in felony cases.

The major substantive change is in new Rule 5(f), which permits video teleconferencing for an appearance under this rule if the defendant consents. This change reflects the growing practice among state courts to use video teleconferencing to conduct initial proceedings. A similar amendment has been made to Rule 10 concerning arraignments.

In amending Rules 5, 10, and 43 (which generally requires the defendant's presence at all proceedings), the Committee carefully considered the argument that permitting a defendant to appear by video teleconferencing might be considered an erosion of an important element of the judicial process. Much can be lost when video teleconferencing occurs. First, the setting itself may not promote the public's confidence in the integrity and solemnity of a federal criminal proceeding; that is the view of some who have witnessed the use of such proceedings in some state jurisdictions. While it is difficult to quantify the intangible benefits and impact of requiring a defendant to be brought before a federal judicial officer in a federal courtroom, the Committee realizes that something is lost when a defendant is not required to make a personal appearance. A related consideration is that the defendant may be located in a room that bears no resemblance whatsoever to a judicial forum and the equipment may be inadequate for high-quality transmissions. Second, using video teleconferencing can interfere with counsel's ability to meet personally with his or her client at what, at least in that jurisdiction, might be an important appearance before a magistrate judge. Third, the defendant may miss an opportunity to meet with family or friends, and others who might be able to assist the defendant, especially in any attempts to obtain bail. Finally, the magistrate judge may miss an opportunity to accurately assess the physical, emotional, and mental condition of a defendant—a factor that may weigh on pretrial decisions, such as release from detention.

On the other hand, the Committee considered that in some jurisdictions, the court systems face a high volume of criminal proceedings. In other jurisdictions, counsel may not be appointed until after the initial appearance and thus there is no real problem with a defendant being able to consult with counsel before or during that proceeding. The Committee was also persuaded to adopt the amendment because in some jurisdictions delays may occur in travel time from one location to another—in some cases requiring either the magistrate judge or the participants to travel long distances. In those instances, it is not unusual for a defense counsel to recognize the benefit of conducting a video teleconferenced proceeding, which will eliminate lengthy and sometimes expensive travel or permit the initial appearance to be conducted much sooner. Finally, the Committee was aware that in some jurisdictions, courtrooms now contain high quality technology for conducting such procedures, and that some courts are already using video teleconferencing—with the consent of the parties.

The Committee believed that, on balance and in appropriate circumstances, the court and the defendant should have the option of using video teleconferencing, as long as the defendant consents to that procedure. The question of when it would be appropriate for a defendant to consent is not spelled out in the rule. That is left to the defendant and the court in each case. Although the rule does not specify any particular technical requirements regarding the system to be used, if the equipment or technology is deficient, the public may lose confidence in the integrity and dignity of the proceedings.

The amendment does not require a court to adopt or use video teleconferencing. In deciding whether to use such procedures, a court may wish to consider establishing clearly articulated standards and procedures. For example, the court would normally want to insure that the location used for televising the video teleconferencing is conducive to the solemnity of a federal criminal proceeding. That might require additional coordination, for example, with the detention facility to insure that the room, furniture, and furnishings reflect the dignity associated with a federal courtroom. Provision should also be made to insure that the judge, or a surrogate, is in a position to carefully assess the defendant's condition. And the court should also consider establishing procedures for insuring that counsel and the defendant (and even the defendant's immediate family) are provided an ample opportunity to confer in private.

Committee Notes on Rules—2006 Amendment

Subdivisions (c)(3)(C) and (D). The amendment to Rule 5(c)(3)(C) parallels an amendment to Rule 58(b)(2)(G), which in turn has been amended to remove a conflict between that rule and Rule 5.1(a), concerning the right to a preliminary hearing.

Rule 5(c)(3)(D) has been amended to permit the magistrate judge to accept a warrant by reliable electronic means. Currently, the rule requires the government to produce the original warrant, a certified copy of the warrant, or a facsimile copy of either of those documents. This amendment parallels similar changes to Rules 32.1(a)(5)(B)(i) and 41. The reference to a facsimile version of the warrant was removed because the Committee believed that the broader term “electronic form” includes facsimiles.

The amendment reflects a number of significant improvements in technology. First, more courts are now equipped to receive filings by electronic means, and indeed, some courts encourage or require that certain documents be filed by electronic means. Second, the technology has advanced to the state where such filings could be sent from, and received at, locations outside the courthouse. Third, electronic media can now provide improved quality of transmission and security measures. In short, in a particular case, using electronic media to transmit a document might be just as reliable and efficient as using a facsimile.

The term “electronic” is used to provide some flexibility to the rule and make allowance for further technological advances in transmitting data.

The rule requires that if electronic means are to be used to transmit a warrant to the magistrate judge, that the means used be “reliable.” While the rule does not further define that term, the Committee envisions that a court or magistrate judge would make that determination as a local matter. In deciding whether a particular electronic means, or media, would be reliable, the court might consider first, the expected quality and clarity of the transmission. For example, is it possible to read the contents of the warrant in its entirety, as though it were the original or a clean photocopy? Second, the court may consider whether security measures are available to insure that the transmission is not compromised. In this regard, most courts are now equipped to require that certain documents contain a digital signature, or some other similar system for restricting access. Third, the court may consider whether there are reliable means of preserving the document for later use.

Changes Made After Publication and Comment. The Committee made no changes in the Rule and Committee Note as published. It considered and rejected the suggestion that the rule should refer specifically to non-certified photocopies, believing it preferable to allow the definition of reliability to be resolved at the local level. The Committee Note provides examples of the factors that would bear on reliability.

Amendment by Public Law

1984—Subd. (c). Pub. L. 98–473 substituted “shall detain or conditionally release the defendant” for “shall admit the defendant to bail”.

Rule 5.1. Preliminary Hearing

(a) In General. If a defendant is charged with an offense other than a petty offense, a magistrate judge must conduct a preliminary hearing unless:

(1) the defendant waives the hearing;

(2) the defendant is indicted;

(3) the government files an information under Rule 7(b) charging the defendant with a felony;

(4) the government files an information charging the defendant with a misdemeanor; or

(5) the defendant is charged with a misdemeanor and consents to trial before a magistrate judge.


(b) Selecting a District. A defendant arrested in a district other than where the offense was allegedly committed may elect to have the preliminary hearing conducted in the district where the prosecution is pending.

(c) Scheduling. The magistrate judge must hold the preliminary hearing within a reasonable time, but no later than 14 days after the initial appearance if the defendant is in custody and no later than 21 days if not in custody.

(d) Extending the Time. With the defendant's consent and upon a showing of good cause—taking into account the public interest in the prompt disposition of criminal cases—a magistrate judge may extend the time limits in Rule 5.1(c) one or more times. If the defendant does not consent, the magistrate judge may extend the time limits only on a showing that extraordinary circumstances exist and justice requires the delay.

(e) Hearing and Finding. At the preliminary hearing, the defendant may cross-examine adverse witnesses and may introduce evidence but may not object to evidence on the ground that it was unlawfully acquired. If the magistrate judge finds probable cause to believe an offense has been committed and the defendant committed it, the magistrate judge must promptly require the defendant to appear for further proceedings.

(f) Discharging the Defendant. If the magistrate judge finds no probable cause to believe an offense has been committed or the defendant committed it, the magistrate judge must dismiss the complaint and discharge the defendant. A discharge does not preclude the government from later prosecuting the defendant for the same offense.

(g) Recording the Proceedings. The preliminary hearing must be recorded by a court reporter or by a suitable recording device. A recording of the proceeding may be made available to any party upon request. A copy of the recording and a transcript may be provided to any party upon request and upon any payment required by applicable Judicial Conference regulations.

(h) Producing a Statement.

(1) In General. Rule 26.2(a)–(d) and (f) applies at any hearing under this rule, unless the magistrate judge for good cause rules otherwise in a particular case.

(2) Sanctions for Not Producing a Statement. If a party disobeys a Rule 26.2 order to deliver a statement to the moving party, the magistrate judge must not consider the testimony of a witness whose statement is withheld.

(Added Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; amended Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 24, 1998, eff. Dec. 1, 1998; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972

Rule 5.1 is, for the most part, a clarification of old rule 5(c).

Under the new rule, the preliminary examination must be conducted before a “federal magistrate” as defined in rule 54. Giving state or local judicial officers authority to conduct a preliminary examination does not seem necessary. There are not likely to be situations in which a “federal magistrate” is not “reasonably available” to conduct the preliminary examination, which is usually not held until several days after the initial appearance provided for in rule 5.

Subdivision (a) makes clear that a finding of probable cause may be based on “hearsay evidence in whole or in part.” The propriety of relying upon hearsay at the preliminary examination has been a matter of some uncertainty in the federal system. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §80 (1969, Supp. 1971); 8 J. Moore, Federal Practice  504[4] (2d ed. Cipes 1970, Supp. 1971); Washington v. Clemmer, 339 F.2d 715, 719 (D.C. Cir. 1964); Washington v. Clemmer, 339 F.2d 725, 728 (D.C. Cir. 1964); Ross v. Sirica, 380 F.2d 557, 565 (D.C. Cir. 1967); Howard v. United States, 389 F.2d 287, 292 (D.C. Cir. 1967); Weinberg and Weinberg, The Congressional Invitation to Avoid the Preliminary Hearing: An Analysis of Section 303 of the Federal Magistrates Act of 1968, 67 Mich.L.Rev. 1361, especially n. 92 at 1383 (1969); D. Wright, The Rules of Evidence Applicable to Hearings in Probable Cause, 37 Conn.B.J. 561 (1963); Comment, Preliminary Examination—Evidence and Due Process, 15 Kan.L.Rev. 374, 379–381 (1967).

A grand jury indictment may properly be based upon hearsay evidence. Costello v. United States, 350 U.S. 359 (1956); 8 J. Moore, Federal Practice  6.03[2] (2d ed. Cipes 1970, Supp. 1971). This being so, there is practical advantage in making the evidentiary requirements for the preliminary examination as flexible as they are for the grand jury. Otherwise there will be increased pressure upon United States Attorneys to abandon the preliminary examination in favor of the grand jury indictment. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §80 at p. 143 (1969). New York State, which also utilizes both the preliminary examination and the grand jury, has under consideration a new Code of Criminal Procedure which would allow the use of hearsay at the preliminary examination. See McKinney's Session Law News, April 10, 1969, pp. A119–A120.

For the same reason, subdivision (a) also provides that the preliminary examination is not the proper place to raise the issue of illegally obtained evidence. This is current law. In Giordenello v. United States, 357 U.S. 480, 484 (1958), the Supreme Court said:

[T]he Commissioner here had no authority to adjudicate the admissibility at petitioner's later trial of the heroin taken from his person. That issue was for the trial court. This is specifically recognized by Rule 41(e) of the Criminal Rules, which provides that a defendant aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizure may “* * * move the district court * * * to suppress for use as evidence anything so obtained on the ground that * * *” the arrest warrant was defective on any of several grounds.

Dicta in Costello v. United States, 350 U.S. 359, 363–364 (1956), and United States v. Blue, 384 U.S. 251, 255 (1966), also support the proposed rule. In United States ex rel. Almeida v. Rundle, 383 F.2d 421, 424 (3d Cir. 1967), the court, in considering the adequacy of an indictment said:

On this score, it is settled law that (1) “[an] indictment returned by a legally constituted nonbiased grand jury, * * * is enough to call for a trial of the charge on the merits and satisfies the requirements of the Fifth Amendment.”, Lawn v. United States, 355 U.S. 399, 349, 78 S.Ct. 311, 317, 2 L.Ed.2d 321 (1958); (2) an indictment cannot be challenged “on the ground that there was inadequate or incompetent evidence before the grand jury”, Costello v. United States, 350 U.S. 359, 363, 76 S.Ct. 406, 408, 100 L.Ed. 397 (1956); and (3) a prosecution is not abated, nor barred, even where “tainted evidence” has been submitted to a grand jury, United States v. Blue, 384 U.S. 251, 86 S.Ct. 1416, 16 L.Ed.2d 510 (1966).

See also C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §80 at 143 n. 5 (1969, Supp. 1971) 8 J. Moore, Federal Practice  6.03[3] (2d ed. Cipes 1970, Supp. 1971). The Manual for United States Commissioners (Administrative Office of United States Courts, 1948) provides at pp. 24–25: “Motions for this purpose [to suppress illegally obtained evidence] may be made and heard only before a district judge. Commissioners are not empowered to consider or act upon such motions.”

It has been urged that the rules of evidence at the preliminary examination should be those applicable at the trial because the purpose of the preliminary examination should be, not to review the propriety of the arrest or prior detention, but rather to determine whether there is evidence sufficient to justify subjecting the defendant to the expense and inconvenience of trial. See Weinberg and Weinberg, The Congressional Invitation to Avoid the Preliminary Hearing: An Analysis of Section 303 of the Federal Magistrates Act of 1968, 67 Mich. L. Rev. 1361, 1396–1399 (1969). The rule rejects this view for reasons largely of administrative necessity and the efficient administration of justice. The Congress has decided that a preliminary examination shall not be required when there is a grand jury indictment (18 U.S.C. §3060). Increasing the procedural and evidentiary requirements applicable to the preliminary examination will therefore add to the administrative pressure to avoid the preliminary examination. Allowing objections to evidence on the ground that evidence has been illegally obtained would require two determinations of admissibility, one before the United States magistrate and one in the district court. The objective is to reduce, not increase, the number of preliminary motions.

To provide that a probable cause finding may be based upon hearsay does not preclude the magistrate from requiring a showing that admissible evidence will be available at the time of trial. See Comment, Criminal Procedure—Grand Jury—Validity of Indictment Based Solely on Hearsay Questioned When Direct Testimony Is Readily Available, 43 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 578 (1968); United States v. Umans, 368 F.2d. 725 (2d Cir. 1966), cert. dismissed as improvidently granted 389 U.S. 80 (1967); United States v. Andrews, 381 F.2d 377, 378 (2d Cir. 1967); United States v. Messina, 388 F.2d 393, 394 n. 1 (2d Cir. 1968); and United States v. Beltram. 388 F.2d 449 (2d Cir. 1968); and United States v. Arcuri, 282 F.Supp. 347 (E.D.N.Y. 1968). The fact that a defendant is not entitled to object to evidence alleged to have been illegally obtained does not deprive him of an opportunity for a pretrial determination of the admissibility of evidence. He can raise such an objection prior to trial in accordance with the provisions of rule 12.

Subdivision (b) makes it clear that the United States magistrate may not only discharge the defendant but may also dismiss the complaint. Current federal law authorizes the magistrate to discharge the defendant but he must await authorization from the United States Attorney before he can close his records on the case by dismissing the complaint. Making dismissal of the complaint a separate procedure accomplishes no worthwhile objective, and the new rule makes it clear that the magistrate can both discharge the defendant and file the record with the clerk.

Subdivision (b) also deals with the legal effect of a discharge of a defendant at a preliminary examination. This issue is not dealt with explicitly in the old rule. Existing federal case law is limited. What cases there are seem to support the right of the government to issue a new complaint and start over. See e.q., Collins v. Loisel, 262 U.S. 426 (1923); Morse v. United States, 267 U.S. 80 (1925). State law is similar. See People v. Dillon, 197 N.Y. 254, 90 N.E. 820 (1910; Tell v. Wolke, 21 Wis.2d 613, 124 N.W.2d 655 (1963). In the Tell case the Wisconsin court stated the common rationale for allowing the prosecutor to issue a new complaint and start over:

The state has no appeal from errors of law committed by a magistrate upon preliminary examination and the discharge on a preliminary would operate as an unchallengeable acquittal. * * * The only way an error of law committed on the preliminary examination prejudicial to the state may be challenged or corrected is by a preliminary examination on a second complaint. (21 Wis. 2d at 619–620.)

Subdivision (c) is based upon old rule 5(c) and upon the Federal Magistrates Act, 18 U.S.C. §3060(f). It provides methods for making available to counsel the record of the preliminary examination. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §82 (1969, Supp. 1971). The new rule is designed to eliminate delay and expense occasioned by preparation of transcripts where listening to the tape recording would be sufficient. Ordinarily the recording should be made available pursuant to subdivision (c)(1). A written transcript may be provided under subdivision (c)(2) at the discretion of the court, a discretion which must be exercised in accordance with Britt v. North Carolina, 404 U.S. 226, 30 L.Ed.2d 400, 405 (1971):

A defendant who claims the right to a free transcript does not, under our cases, bear the burden of proving inadequate such alternatives as may be suggested by the State or conjured up by a court in hindsight. In this case, however, petitioner has conceded that he had available an informal alternative which appears to be substantially equivalent to a transcript. Accordingly, we cannot conclude that the court below was in error in rejecting his claim.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The Rule is amended to conform to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 [P.L. 101–650, Title III, Section 321] which provides that each United States magistrate appointed under section 631 of title 28, United States Code, shall be known as a United States magistrate judge.

Committee Notes on Rules—1998 Amendment

The addition of subdivision (d) mirrors similar amendments made in 1993 which extended the scope of Rule 26.2 to Rules 32, 32.1, 46 and Rule 8 of the Rules Governing Proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §2255. As indicated in the Committee Notes accompanying those amendments, the primary reason for extending the coverage of Rule 26.2 rested heavily upon the compelling need for accurate information affecting a witness’ credibility. That need, the Committee believes, extends to a preliminary examination under this rule where both the prosecution and the defense have high interests at stake.

A witness’ statement must be produced only after the witness has personally testified.

Changes Made to Rule 5.1 After Publication (“GAP Report”). The Committee made no changes to the published draft.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 5.1 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic, except as noted below.

First, the title of the rule has been changed. Although the underlying statute, 18 U.S.C. §3060, uses the phrase preliminary examination, the Committee believes that the phrase preliminary hearing is more accurate. What happens at this proceeding is more than just an examination; it includes an evidentiary hearing, argument, and a judicial ruling. Further, the phrase preliminary hearing predominates in actual usage.

Rule 5.1(a) is composed of the first sentence of the second paragraph of current Rule 5(c). Rule 5.1(b) addresses the ability of a defendant to elect where a preliminary hearing will be held. That provision is taken from current Rule 40(a).

Rule 5.1(c) and (d) include material currently located in Rule 5(c): scheduling and extending the time limits for the hearing. The Committee is aware that in most districts, magistrate judges perform these functions. That point is also reflected in the definition of “court” in Rule 1(b), which in turn recognizes that magistrate judges may be authorized to act.

Rule 5.1(d) contains a significant change in practice. The revised rule includes language that expands the authority of a United States magistrate judge to grant a continuance for a preliminary hearing conducted under the rule. Currently, the rule authorizes a magistrate judge to grant a continuance only in those cases in which the defendant has consented to the continuance. If the defendant does not consent, then the government must present the matter to a district judge, usually on the same day. The proposed amendment conflicts with 18 U.S.C. §3060, which tracks the original language of the rule and permits only district judges to grant continuances when the defendant objects. The Committee believes that this restriction is an anomaly and that it can lead to needless consumption of judicial and other resources. Magistrate judges are routinely required to make probable cause determinations and other difficult decisions regarding the defendant's liberty interests, reflecting that the magistrate judge's role has developed toward a higher level of responsibility for pre-indictment matters. The Committee believes that the change in the rule will provide greater judicial economy and that it is entirely appropriate to seek this change to the rule through the Rules Enabling Act procedures. See 28 U.S.C. §2072(b). Under those procedures, approval by Congress of this rule change would supersede the parallel provisions in 18 U.S.C. §3060.

Rule 5.1(e), addressing the issue of probable cause, contains the language currently located in Rule 5.1(a), with the exception of the sentence, “The finding of probable cause may be based upon hearsay evidence in whole or in part.” That language was included in the original promulgation of the rule in 1972. Similar language was added to Rule 4 in 1974. In the Committee Note on the 1974 amendment, the Advisory Committee explained that the language was included to make it clear that a finding of probable cause may be based upon hearsay, noting that there had been some uncertainty in the federal system about the propriety of relying upon hearsay at the preliminary hearing. See Advisory Committee Note to Rule 5.1 (citing cases and commentary). Federal law is now clear on that proposition. Thus, the Committee believed that the reference to hearsay was no longer necessary. Further, the Committee believed that the matter was best addressed in Rule 1101(d)(3), Federal Rules of Evidence. That rule explicitly states that the Federal Rules of Evidence do not apply to “preliminary examinations in criminal cases, . . . issuance of warrants for arrest, criminal summonses, and search warrants.” The Advisory Committee Note accompanying that rule recognizes that: “The nature of the proceedings makes application of the formal rules of evidence inappropriate and impracticable.” The Committee did not intend to make any substantive changes in practice by deleting the reference to hearsay evidence.

Rule 5.1(f), which deals with the discharge of a defendant, consists of former Rule 5.1(b).

Rule 5.1(g) is a revised version of the material in current Rule 5.1(c). Instead of including detailed information in the rule itself concerning records of preliminary hearings, the Committee opted simply to direct the reader to the applicable Judicial Conference regulations governing records. The Committee did not intend to make any substantive changes in the way in which those records are currently made available.

Finally, although the rule speaks in terms of initial appearances being conducted before a magistrate judge, Rule 1(c) makes clear that a district judge may perform any function in these rules that a magistrate judge may perform.

Committee Notes on Rules—2009 Amendment

The times set in the former rule at 10 or 20 days have been revised to 14 or 21 days. See the Committee Note to Rule 45(a).

TITLE III. THE GRAND JURY, THE INDICTMENT, AND THE INFORMATION

Rule 6. The Grand Jury

(a) Summoning a Grand Jury.

(1) In General. When the public interest so requires, the court must order that one or more grand juries be summoned. A grand jury must have 16 to 23 members, and the court must order that enough legally qualified persons be summoned to meet this requirement.

(2) Alternate Jurors. When a grand jury is selected, the court may also select alternate jurors. Alternate jurors must have the same qualifications and be selected in the same manner as any other juror. Alternate jurors replace jurors in the same sequence in which the alternates were selected. An alternate juror who replaces a juror is subject to the same challenges, takes the same oath, and has the same authority as the other jurors.


(b) Objection to the Grand Jury or to a Grand Juror.

(1) Challenges. Either the government or a defendant may challenge the grand jury on the ground that it was not lawfully drawn, summoned, or selected, and may challenge an individual juror on the ground that the juror is not legally qualified.

(2) Motion to Dismiss an Indictment. A party may move to dismiss the indictment based on an objection to the grand jury or on an individual juror's lack of legal qualification, unless the court has previously ruled on the same objection under Rule 6(b)(1). The motion to dismiss is governed by 28 U.S.C. §1867(e). The court must not dismiss the indictment on the ground that a grand juror was not legally qualified if the record shows that at least 12 qualified jurors concurred in the indictment.


(c) Foreperson and Deputy Foreperson. The court will appoint one juror as the foreperson and another as the deputy foreperson. In the foreperson's absence, the deputy foreperson will act as the foreperson. The foreperson may administer oaths and affirmations and will sign all indictments. The foreperson—or another juror designated by the foreperson—will record the number of jurors concurring in every indictment and will file the record with the clerk, but the record may not be made public unless the court so orders.

(d) Who May Be Present.

(1) While the Grand Jury Is in Session. The following persons may be present while the grand jury is in session: attorneys for the government, the witness being questioned, interpreters when needed, and a court reporter or an operator of a recording device.

(2) During Deliberations and Voting. No person other than the jurors, and any interpreter needed to assist a hearing-impaired or speech-impaired juror, may be present while the grand jury is deliberating or voting.


(e) Recording and Disclosing the Proceedings.

(1) Recording the Proceedings. Except while the grand jury is deliberating or voting, all proceedings must be recorded by a court reporter or by a suitable recording device. But the validity of a prosecution is not affected by the unintentional failure to make a recording. Unless the court orders otherwise, an attorney for the government will retain control of the recording, the reporter's notes, and any transcript prepared from those notes.

(2) Secrecy.

(A) No obligation of secrecy may be imposed on any person except in accordance with Rule 6(e)(2)(B).

(B) Unless these rules provide otherwise, the following persons must not disclose a matter occurring before the grand jury:

(i) a grand juror;

(ii) an interpreter;

(iii) a court reporter;

(iv) an operator of a recording device;

(v) a person who transcribes recorded testimony;

(vi) an attorney for the government; or

(vii) a person to whom disclosure is made under Rule 6(e)(3)(A)(ii) or (iii).


(3) Exceptions.

(A) Disclosure of a grand-jury matter—other than the grand jury's deliberations or any grand juror's vote—may be made to:

(i) an attorney for the government for use in performing that attorney's duty;

(ii) any government personnel—including those of a state, state subdivision, Indian tribe, or foreign government—that an attorney for the government considers necessary to assist in performing that attorney's duty to enforce federal criminal law; or

(iii) a person authorized by 18 U.S.C. §3322.


(B) A person to whom information is disclosed under Rule 6(e)(3)(A)(ii) may use that information only to assist an attorney for the government in performing that attorney's duty to enforce federal criminal law. An attorney for the government must promptly provide the court that impaneled the grand jury with the names of all persons to whom a disclosure has been made, and must certify that the attorney has advised those persons of their obligation of secrecy under this rule.

(C) An attorney for the government may disclose any grand-jury matter to another federal grand jury.

(D) An attorney for the government may disclose any grand-jury matter involving foreign intelligence, counterintelligence (as defined in 50 U.S.C. §401a), or foreign intelligence information (as defined in Rule 6(e)(3)(D)(iii)) to any federal law enforcement, intelligence, protective, immigration, national defense, or national security official to assist the official receiving the information in the performance of that official's duties. An attorney for the government may also disclose any grand-jury matter involving, within the United States or elsewhere, a threat of attack or other grave hostile acts of a foreign power or its agent, a threat of domestic or international sabotage or terrorism, or clandestine intelligence gathering activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power or by its agent, to any appropriate federal, state, state subdivision, Indian tribal, or foreign government official, for the purpose of preventing or responding to such threat or activities.

(i) Any official who receives information under Rule 6(e)(3)(D) may use the information only as necessary in the conduct of that person's official duties subject to any limitations on the unauthorized disclosure of such information. Any state, state subdivision, Indian tribal, or foreign government official who receives information under Rule 6(e)(3)(D) may use the information only in a manner consistent with any guidelines issued by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.

(ii) Within a reasonable time after disclosure is made under Rule 6(e)(3)(D), an attorney for the government must file, under seal, a notice with the court in the district where the grand jury convened stating that such information was disclosed and the departments, agencies, or entities to which the disclosure was made.

(iii) As used in Rule 6(e)(3)(D), the term “foreign intelligence information” means:

(a) information, whether or not it concerns a United States person, that relates to the ability of the United States to protect against—

• actual or potential attack or other grave hostile acts of a foreign power or its agent;

• sabotage or international terrorism by a foreign power or its agent; or

• clandestine intelligence activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power or by its agent; or


(b) information, whether or not it concerns a United States person, with respect to a foreign power or foreign territory that relates to—

• the national defense or the security of the United States; or

• the conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States.


(E) The court may authorize disclosure—at a time, in a manner, and subject to any other conditions that it directs—of a grand-jury matter:

(i) preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding;

(ii) at the request of a defendant who shows that a ground may exist to dismiss the indictment because of a matter that occurred before the grand jury;

(iii) at the request of the government, when sought by a foreign court or prosecutor for use in an official criminal investigation;

(iv) at the request of the government if it shows that the matter may disclose a violation of State, Indian tribal, or foreign criminal law, as long as the disclosure is to an appropriate state, state-subdivision, Indian tribal, or foreign government official for the purpose of enforcing that law; or

(v) at the request of the government if it shows that the matter may disclose a violation of military criminal law under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as long as the disclosure is to an appropriate military official for the purpose of enforcing that law.


(F) A petition to disclose a grand-jury matter under Rule 6(e)(3)(E)(i) must be filed in the district where the grand jury convened. Unless the hearing is ex parte—as it may be when the government is the petitioner—the petitioner must serve the petition on, and the court must afford a reasonable opportunity to appear and be heard to:

(i) an attorney for the government;

(ii) the parties to the judicial proceeding; and

(iii) any other person whom the court may designate.


(G) If the petition to disclose arises out of a judicial proceeding in another district, the petitioned court must transfer the petition to the other court unless the petitioned court can reasonably determine whether disclosure is proper. If the petitioned court decides to transfer, it must send to the transferee court the material sought to be disclosed, if feasible, and a written evaluation of the need for continued grand-jury secrecy. The transferee court must afford those persons identified in Rule 6(e)(3)(F) a reasonable opportunity to appear and be heard.


(4) Sealed Indictment. The magistrate judge to whom an indictment is returned may direct that the indictment be kept secret until the defendant is in custody or has been released pending trial. The clerk must then seal the indictment, and no person may disclose the indictment's existence except as necessary to issue or execute a warrant or summons.

(5) Closed Hearing. Subject to any right to an open hearing in a contempt proceeding, the court must close any hearing to the extent necessary to prevent disclosure of a matter occurring before a grand jury.

(6) Sealed Records. Records, orders, and subpoenas relating to grand-jury proceedings must be kept under seal to the extent and as long as necessary to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of a matter occurring before a grand jury.

(7) Contempt. A knowing violation of Rule 6, or of any guidelines jointly issued by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence under Rule 6, may be punished as a contempt of court.


(f) Indictment and Return. A grand jury may indict only if at least 12 jurors concur. The grand jury—or its foreperson or deputy foreperson—must return the indictment to a magistrate judge in open court. To avoid unnecessary cost or delay, the magistrate judge may take the return by video teleconference from the court where the grand jury sits. If a complaint or information is pending against the defendant and 12 jurors do not concur in the indictment, the foreperson must promptly and in writing report the lack of concurrence to the magistrate judge.

(g) Discharging the Grand Jury. A grand jury must serve until the court discharges it, but it may serve more than 18 months only if the court, having determined that an extension is in the public interest, extends the grand jury's service. An extension may be granted for no more than 6 months, except as otherwise provided by statute.

(h) Excusing a Juror. At any time, for good cause, the court may excuse a juror either temporarily or permanently, and if permanently, the court may impanel an alternate juror in place of the excused juror.

(i) “Indian Tribe” Defined. “Indian tribe” means an Indian tribe recognized by the Secretary of the Interior on a list published in the Federal Register under 25 U.S.C. §479a–1.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 26 and July 8, 1976, eff. Aug. 1, 1976; Pub. L. 95–78, §2(a), July 30, 1977, 91 Stat. 319; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §215(f), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2016; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 26, 1999, eff. Dec. 1, 1999; Pub. L. 107–56, title II, §203(a), Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 278; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Pub. L. 107–296, title VIII, §895, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2256; Pub. L. 108–458, title VI, §6501(a), Dec. 17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3760; Apr. 12, 2006, eff. Dec. 1, 2006; Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec. 1, 2011.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. The first sentence of this rule vests in the court full discretion as to the number of grand juries to be summoned and as to the times when they should be convened. This provision supersedes the existing law, which limits the authority of the court to summon more than one grand jury at the same time. At present two grand juries may be convened simultaneously only in a district which has a city or borough of at least 300,000 inhabitants, and three grand juries only in the Southern District of New York, 28 U.S.C. [former] 421 (Grand juries; when, how and by whom summoned; length of service). This statute has been construed, however, as only limiting the authority of the court to summon more than one grand jury for a single place of holding court, and as not circumscribing the power to convene simultaneously several grand juries at different points within the same district, Morris v. United States, 128 F.2d 912 (C.C.A. 5th); United States v. Perlstein, 39 F.Supp. 965 (D.N.J.).

2. The provision that the grand jury shall consist of not less than 16 and not more than 23 members continues existing law, 28 U.S.C. 419 [now 18 U.S.C. 3321] (Grand jurors; number when less than required number).

3. The rule does not affect or deal with the method of summoning and selecting grand juries. Existing statutes on the subjects are not superseded. See 28 U.S.C. 411–426 [now 1861–1870]. As these provisions of law relate to jurors for both criminal and civil cases, it seemed best not to deal with this subject.

Note to Subdivision (b)(1). Challenges to the array and to individual jurors, although rarely invoked in connection with the selection of grand juries, are nevertheless permitted in the Federal courts and are continued by this rule, United States v. Gale, 109 U.S. 65, 69–70; Clawson v. United States, 114 U.S. 477; Agnew v. United States, 165 U.S. 36, 44. It is not contemplated, however, that defendants held for action of the grand jury shall receive notice of the time and place of the impaneling of a grand jury, or that defendants in custody shall be brought to court to attend at the selection of the grand jury. Failure to challenge is not a waiver of any objection. The objection may still be interposed by motion under Rule 6(b)(2).

Note to Subdivision (b)(2). 1. The motion provided by this rule takes the place of a plea in abatement, or motion to quash. Crowley v. United States, 194 U.S. 461, 469–474; United States v. Gale, supra.

2. The second sentence of the rule is a restatement of 18 U.S.C. [former] 554(a) (Indictments and presentments; objection on ground of unqualified juror barred where twelve qualified jurors concurred; record of number concurring), and introduces no change in existing law.

Note to Subdivision (c). 1. This rule generally is a restatement of existing law, 18 U.S.C. [former] 554(a) and 28 U.S.C. [former] 420. Failure of the foreman to sign or endorse the indictment is an irregularity and is not fatal, Frisbie v. United States, 157 U.S. 160, 163–165.

2. The provision for the appointment of a deputy foreman is new. Its purpose is to facilitate the transaction of business if the foreman is absent. Such a provision is found in the law of at least one State, N.Y. Code Criminal Procedure, sec. 244.

Note to Subdivision (d). This rule generally continues existing law. See 18 U.S.C. [former] 556 (Indictments and presentments; defects of form); and 5 U.S.C. 310 [now 28 U.S.C. 515(a)] (Conduct of legal proceedings).

Note to Subdivision (e). 1. This rule continues the traditional practice of secrecy on the party of members of the grand jury, except when the court permits a disclosure, Schmidt v. United States, 115 F.2d 394 (C.C.A. 6th); United States v. American Medical Association, 26 F.Supp. 429 (D.C.); Cf. Atwell v. United States, 162 F. 97 (C.C.A. 4th); and see 18 U.S.C. [former] 554(a) (Indictments and presentments; objection on ground of unqualified juror barred where twelve qualified jurors concurred; record of number concurring). Government attorneys are entitled to disclosure of grand jury proceedings, other than the deliberations and the votes of the jurors, inasmuch as they may be present in the grand jury room during the presentation of evidence. The rule continues this practice.

2. The rule does not impose any obligation of secrecy on witnesses. The existing practice on this point varies among the districts. The seal of secrecy on witnesses seems an unnecessary hardship and may lead to injustice if a witness is not permitted to make a disclosure to counsel or to an associate.

3. The last sentence authorizing the court to seal indictments continues present practice.

Note to Subdivision (f). This rule continues existing law, 18 U.S.C. [former] 554 (Indictments and presentments; by twelve grand jurors). The purpose of the last sentence is to provide means for a prompt release of a defendant if in custody, or exoneration of bail if he is on bail, in the event that the grand jury considers the case of a defendant held for its action and finds no indictment.

Note to Subdivision (g). Under existing law a grand jury serves only during the term for which it is summoned, but the court may extend its period of service for as long as 18 months, 28 U.S.C. [former] 421. During the extended period, however, a grand jury may conduct only investigations commenced during the original term. The rule continues the 18 months’ maximum for the period of service of a grand jury, but provides for such service as a matter of course, unless the court terminates it at an earlier date. The matter is left in the discretion of the court, as it is under existing law. The expiration of a term of court as a time limitation is elsewhere entirely eliminated (Rule 45(c)) and specific time limitations are substituted therefor. This was previously done by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for the civil side of the courts (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 6(c) [28 U.S.C., Appendix]). The elimination of the requirement that at an extended period the grand jury may continue only investigations previously commenced, will obviate such a controversy as was presented in United States v. Johnson, 319 U.S. 503.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Subdivision (d).—The amendment makes it clear that recording devices may be used to take evidence at grand jury sessions.

Subdivision (e).—The amendment makes it clear that the operator of a recording device and a typist who transcribes recorded testimony are bound to the obligation of secrecy.

Subdivision (f).—A minor change conforms the language to what doubtless is the practice. The need for a report to the court that no indictment has been found may be present even though the defendant has not been “held to answer.” If the defendant is in custody or has given bail, some official record should be made of the grand jury action so that the defendant can be released or his bail exonerated.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Subdivision (b)(2) is amended to incorporate by express reference the provisions of the Jury Selection and Service Act of 1968. That act provides in part:

The procedures prescribed by this section shall be the exclusive means by which a person accused of a Federal crime [or] the Attorney General of the United States * * * may challenge any jury on the ground that such jury was not selected in conformity with the provisions of this title. [28 U.S.C. §1867(c)]

Under rule 12(e) the judge shall decide the motion before trial or order it deferred until after verdict. The authority which the judge has to delay his ruling until after verdict gives him an option which can be exercised to prevent the unnecessary delay of a trial in the event that a motion attacking a grand jury is made on the eve of the trial. In addition, rule 12(c) gives the judge authority to fix the time at which pretrial motions must be made. Failure to make a pretrial motion at the appropriate time may constitute a waiver under rule 12(f).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1976 Amendment

Under the proposed amendment to rule 6(f), an indictment may be returned to a federal magistrate. (“Federal magistrate” is defined in rule 54(c) as including a United States magistrate as defined in 28 U.S.C. §§631–639 and a judge of the United States.) This change will foreclose the possibility of noncompliance with the Speedy Trial Act timetable because of the nonavailability of a judge. Upon the effective date of certain provisions of the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, the timely return of indictments will become a matter of critical importance; for the year commencing July 1, 1976, indictments must be returned within 60 days of arrest or summons, for the year following within 45 days, and thereafter within 30 days. 18 U.S.C. §§3161(b) and (f), 3163(a). The problem is acute in a one-judge district where, if the judge is holding court in another part of the district, or is otherwise absent, the return of the indictment must await the later reappearance of the judge at the place where the grand jury is sitting.

A corresponding change has been made to that part of subdivision (f) which concerns the reporting of a “no bill,” and to that part of subdivision (e) which concerns keeping an indictment secret.

The change in the third sentence of rule 6(f) is made so as to cover all situations in which by virtue of a pending complaint or information the defendant is in custody or released under some form of conditional release.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1977 Amendment

The proposed definition of “attorneys for the government” in subdivision (e) is designed to facilitate an increasing need, on the part of government attorneys, to make use of outside expertise in complex litigation. The phrase “other government personnel” includes, but is not limited to, employees of administrative agencies and government departments.

Present subdivision (e) provides for disclosure “to the attorneys for the government for use in the performance of their duties.” This limitation is designed to further “the long established policy that maintains the secrecy of the grand jury in federal courts.” United States v. Procter and Gamble Co., 356 U.S. 677 (1958).

As defined in rule 54(c), “ ‘Attorney for the government’ means the Attorney General, an authorized assistant of the Attorney General, a United States Attorney, an authorized assistant of a United States Attorney and when applicable to cases arising under the laws of Guam * * *.” The limited nature of this definition is pointed out in In re Grand Jury Proceedings, 309 F.2d 440 (3d Cir. 1962) at 443:

The term attorneys for the government is restrictive in its application. * * * If it had been intended that the attorneys for the administrative agencies were to have free access to matters occurring before a grand jury, the rule would have so provided.

The proposed amendment reflects the fact that there is often government personnel assisting the Justice Department in grand jury proceedings. In In re Grand Jury Investigation of William H. Pflaumer & Sons, Inc., 53 F.R.D. 464 (E.D.Pa. 1971), the opinion quoted the United States Attorney:

It is absolutely necessary in grand jury investigations involving analysis of books and records, for the government attorneys to rely upon investigative personnel (from the government agencies) for assistance.

See also 8 J. Moore, Federal Practice  6.05 at 6–28 (2d ed. Cipes, 1969):

The rule [6(e)] has presented a problem, however, with respect to attorneys and nonattorneys who are assisting in preparation of a case for the grand jury. * * * These assistants often cannot properly perform their work without having access to grand jury minutes.

Although case law is limited, the trend seems to be in the direction of allowing disclosure to government personnel who assist attorneys for the government in situations where their expertise is required. This is subject to the qualification that the matters disclosed be used only for the purposes of the grand jury investigation. The court may inquire as to the good faith of the assisting personnel, to ensure that access to material is not merely a subterfuge to gather evidence unattainable by means other than the grand jury. This approach was taken in In re Grand Jury Investigation of William H. Pflaumer & Sons, Inc., 53 F.R.D. 464 (E.D.Pa. 1971); In re April 1956 Term Grand Jury, 239 F.2d 263 (7th Cir. 1956); United States v. Anzelimo, 319 F.Supp. 1106 (D.C.La. 1970). Another case, Application of Kelly, 19 F.R.D. 269 (S.D.N.Y. 1956), assumed, without deciding, that assistance given the attorney for the government by IRS and FBI agents was authorized.

The change at line 27 reflects the fact that under the Bail Reform Act of 1966 some persons will be released without requiring bail. See 18 U.S.C. §§3146, 3148.

Under the proposed amendment to rule 6(f), an indictment may be returned to a federal magistrate. (“Federal magistrate” is defined in rule 54(c) as including a United States magistrate as defined in 28 U.S.C. §631–639 and a judge of the United States.) This change will foreclose the possibility of noncompliance with the Speedy Trial Act timetable because of the nonavailability of a judge. Upon the effective date of certain provisions of the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, the timely return of indictments will become a matter of critical importance; for the year commencing July 1, 1976, indictments must be returned within 60 days of arrest or summons, for the year following within 45 days, and thereafter within 30 days. 18 U.S.C. §§3161(b) and (f), 3163(a). The problem is acute in a one-judge district where, if the judge is holding court in another part of the district, or is otherwise absent, the return of the indictment must await the later reappearance of the judge at the place where the grand jury is sitting.

A corresponding change has been made to that part of subdivision (f) which concerns the reporting of a “no bill,” and to that part of subdivision (e) which concerns keeping an indictment secret.

The change in the third sentence of rule 6(f) is made so as to cover all situations in which by virtue of a pending complaint or information the defendant is in custody or released under some form of conditional release.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, Senate Report No. 95–354; 1977 Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court

Rule 6(e) currently provides that “disclosure of matters occurring before the grand jury other than its deliberations and the vote of any juror may be made to the attorneys for the government for use in the performance of their duties.” Rule 54(c) defines attorneys for the government to mean “the Attorney General, an authorized assistant to the Attorney General, a United States attorney, and an authorized assistant of the United States attorney, and when applicable to cases arising under the laws of Guam, means the Attorney General of Guam. . . .”

The Supreme Court proposal would change Rule 6(e) by adding the following new language:

For purposes of this subdivision, “attorneys for the government” includes those enumerated in Rule 54(c); it also includes such other government personnel as are necessary to assist the attorneys for the government in the performance of their duties.

It would also make a series of changes in the rule designed to make its provisions consistent with other provisions in the Rules and the Bail Reform Act of 1966.

The Advisory Committee note states that the proposed amendment is intended “to facilitate an increasing need, on the part of Government attorneys to make use of outside expertise in complex litigation”. The note indicated that:

Although case law is limited, the trend seems to be in the direction of allowing disclosure to Government personnel who assist attorneys for the Government in situations where their expertise is required. This is subject to the qualification that the matter disclosed be used only for the purposes of the grand jury investigation.

It is past history at this point that the Supreme Court proposal attracted substantial criticism, which seemed to stem more from the lack of precision in defining, and consequent confusion and uncertainty concerning, the intended scope of the proposed change than from a fundamental disagreement with the objective.

Attorneys for the Government in the performance of their duties with a grand jury must possess the authority to utilize the services of other government employees. Federal crimes are “investigated” by the FBI, the IRS, or by Treasury agents and not by government prosecutors or the citizens who sit on grand juries. Federal agents gather and present information relating to criminal behavior to prosecutors who analyze and evaluate it and present it to grand juries. Often the prosecutors need the assistance of the agents in evaluating evidence. Also, if further investigation is required during or after grand jury proceedings, or even during the course of criminal trials, the Federal agents must do it. There is no reason for a barrier of secrecy to exist between the facets of the criminal justice system upon which we all depend to enforce the criminal laws.

The parameters of the authority of an attorney for the government to disclose grand jury information in the course of performing his own duties is not defined by Rule 6. However, a commonsense interpretation prevails, permitting “Representatives of other government agencies actively assisting United States attorneys in a grand jury investigation . . . access to grand jury material in the performance of their duties.” Yet projected against this current practice, and the weight of case law, is the anomalous language of Rule 6(e) itself, which, in its present state of uncertainty, is spawning some judicial decisions highly restrictive of the use of government experts that require the government to “show the necessity (to the Court) for each particular person's aid rather than showing merely a general necessity for assistance, expert or otherwise” and that make Rule 6(e) orders subject to interlocutory appeal.

In this state of uncertainty, the Committee believes it is timely to redraft subdivision (e) of Rule 6 to make it clear.

Paragraph (1) as proposed by the Committee states the general rule that a grand jury, an interpreter, a stenographer, an operator of a recording device, a typist who transcribes recorded testimony, an attorney for the government, or government personnel to whom disclosure is made under paragraph (2)(A)(ii) shall not disclose matters occurring before the grand jury, except as otherwise provided in these rules. It also expressly provides that a knowing violation of Rule 6 may be punished as a contempt of court. In addition, it carries forward the current provision that no obligation of secrecy may be imposed on any person except in accordance with this Rule.

Having stated the general rule of nondisclosure, paragraph (2) sets forth exemptions from nondisclosure. Subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) provides that disclosure otherwise prohibited, other than the grand jury deliberations and the vote of any grand juror, may be made to an attorney for the government for use in the performance of his duty and to such personnel as are deemed necessary by an attorney for the government to assist an attorney for the government in the performance of such attorney's duty to enforce Federal criminal law. In order to facilitate resolution of subsequent claims of improper disclosure, subparagraph (B) further provides that the names of government personnel designated to assist the attorney for the government shall be promptly provided to the district court and such personnel shall not utilize grand jury material for any purpose other than assisting the attorney for the government in the performance of such attorney's duty to enforce Federal criminal law. Although not expressly required by the rule, the Committee contemplates that the names of such personnel will generally be furnished to the court before disclosure is made to them. Subparagraph (C) permits disclosure as directed by a court preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding or, at the request of the defendant, upon a showing that grounds may exist for dismissing the indictment because of matters occurring before the grand jury. Paragraph (3) carries forward the last sentence of current Rule 6(e) with the technical changes recommended by the Supreme Court.

The Rule as redrafted is designed to accommodate the belief on the one hand that Federal prosecutors should be able, without the time-consuming requirement of prior judicial interposition, to make such disclosures of grand jury information to other government personnel as they deem necessary to facilitate the performance of their duties relating to criminal law enforcement. On the other hand, the Rule seeks to allay the concerns of those who fear that such prosecutorial power will lead to misuse of the grand jury to enforce non-criminal Federal laws by (1) providing a clear prohibition, subject to the penalty of contempt and (2) requiring that a court order under paragraph (C) be obtained to authorize such a disclosure. There is, however, no intent to preclude the use of grand jury-developed evidence for civil law enforcement purposes. On the contrary, there is no reason why such use is improper, assuming that the grand jury was utilized for the legitimate purpose of a criminal investigation. Accordingly, the Committee believes and intends that the basis for a court's refusal to issue an order under paragraph (C) to enable the government to disclose grand jury information in a non-criminal proceeding should be no more restrictive than is the case today under prevailing court decisions. It is contemplated that the judicial hearing in connection with an application for a court order by the government under subparagraph (3)(C)(i) should be ex parte so as to preserve, to the maximum extent possible, grand jury secrecy.

Congressional Modification of Proposed 1977 Amendment

Section 2(a) of Pub. L. 95–78 provided in part that the amendment proposed by the Supreme Court [in its order of Apr. 26, 1977] to subdivision (e) of rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure [subd. (e) of this rule] is approved in a modified form.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (e)(1). Proposed subdivision (e)(1) requires that all proceedings, except when the grand jury is deliberating or voting, be recorded. The existing rule does not require that grand jury proceedings be recorded. The provision in rule 6(d) that “a stenographer or operator of a recording device may be present while the grand jury is in session” has been taken to mean that recordation is permissive and not mandatory; see United States v. Aloisio, 440 F.2d 705 (7th Cir. 1971), collecting the cases. However, the cases rather frequently state that recordation of the proceedings is the better practice; see United States v. Aloisio, supra; United States v. Cramer, 447 F.2d 210 (2d Cir. 1971), Schlinsky v. United States, 379 F.2d 735 (1st Cir. 1967); and some cases require the district court, after a demand to exercise discretion as to whether the proceedings should be recorded. United States v. Price, 474 F.2d 1223 (9th Cir. 1973); United States v. Thoresen, 428 F.2d 654 (9th Cir. 1970). Some district courts have adopted a recording requirement. See e.g. United States v. Aloisio, supra; United States v. Gramolini, 301 F.Supp. 39 (D.R.I. 1969). Recording of grand jury proceedings is currently a requirement in a number of states. See, e.g., Cal.Pen.Code §§938–938.3; Iowa Code Ann. §772.4; Ky.Rev.Stat.Ann. §28.460; and Ky.R.Crim.P. §5.16(2).

The assumption underlying the proposal is that the cost of such recording is justified by the contribution made to the improved administration of criminal justice. See United States v. Gramolini, supra, noting: “Nor can it be claimed that the cost of recordation is prohibitive; in an electronic age, the cost of recordation must be categorized as miniscule.” For a discussion of the success of electronic recording in Alaska, see Reynolds, Alaska's Ten Years of Electronic Reporting, 56 A.B.A.J. 1080 (1970).

Among the benefits to be derived from a recordation requirement are the following:

(1) Ensuring that the defendant may impeach a prosecution witness on the basis of his prior inconsistent statements before the grand jury. As noted in the opinion of Oakes, J., in United States v. Cramer: “First since Dennis v. United States, 384 U.S. 855, 86 S.Ct. 1840, 16 L.Ed.2d 973 (1966), a defendant has been entitled to examine the grand jury testimony of witnesses against him. On this point, the Court was unanimous, holding that there was ‘no justification’ for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals’ ‘relying upon [the] “assumption” ’ that ‘no inconsistencies would have come to light.’ The Court's decision was based on the general proposition that ‘[i]n our adversary system for determining guilt or innocence, it is rarely justifiable for the prosecution to have exclusive access to a storehouse of relevant facts.’ In the case at bar the prosecution did have exclusive access to the grand jury testimony of the witness Sager, by virtue of being present, and the defense had none—to determine whether there were any inconsistencies with, say, his subsequent testimony as to damaging admissions by the defendant and his attorney Richard Thaler. The Government claims, and it is supported by the majority here, that there is no problem since defendants were given the benefit of Sager's subsequent statements including these admissions as Jencks Act materials. But assuming this to be true, it does not cure the basic infirmity that the defense could not know whether the witness testified inconsistently before the grand jury.”

(2) Ensuring that the testimony received by the grand jury is trustworthy. In United States v. Cramer, Oakes, J., also observed: “The recording of testimony is in a very real sense a circumstantial guaranty of trustworthiness. Without the restraint of being subject to prosecution for perjury, a restraint which is wholly meaningless or nonexistent if the testimony is unrecorded, a witness may make baseless accusations founded on hearsay or false accusations, all resulting in the indictment of a fellow citizen for a crime.”

(3) Restraining prosecutorial abuses before the grand jury. As noted in United States v. Gramolini: “In no way does recordation inhibit the grand jury's investigation. True, recordation restrains certain prosecutorial practices which might, in its absence be used, but that is no reason not to record. Indeed, a sophisticated prosecutor must acknowledge that there develops between a grand jury and the prosecutor with whom the jury is closeted a rapport—a dependency relationship—which can easily be turned into an instrument of influence on grand jury deliberations. Recordation is the most effective restraint upon such potential abuses.”

(4) Supporting the case made by the prosecution at trial. Oakes, J., observed in United States v. Cramer: “The benefits of having grand jury testimony recorded do not all inure to the defense. See, e.g., United States v. DeSisto, 329 F.2d 929, 934: (2nd Cir.), cert. denied, 377 U.S. 979, 84 S.Ct. 1885, 12 L.Ed.2d 747 (1964) (conviction sustained in part on basis of witnesses's prior sworn testimony before grand jury).” Fed.R.Evid. 801(d)(1)(A) excludes from the category of hearsay the prior inconsistent testimony of a witness given before a grand jury. United States v. Morgan, 555 F.2d 238 (9th Cir. 1977). See also United States v. Carlson, 547 F.2d 1346 (8th Cir. 1976), admitting under Fed.R.Evid. 804(b)(5) the grand jury testimony of a witness who refused to testify at trial because of threats by the defendant.

Commentators have also supported a recording requirement. 8 Moore, Federal Practice par. 6.02[2][d] (2d ed. 1972) states: “Fairness to the defendant would seem to compel a change in the practice, particularly in view of the 1970 amendment to 18 USC §3500 making grand jury testimony of government witnesses available at trial for purposes of impeachment. The requirement of a record may also prove salutary in controlling overreaching or improper examination of witnesses by the prosecutor.” Similarly, 1 Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure—Criminal §103 (1969), states that the present rule “ought to be changed, either by amendment or by judicial construction. The Supreme Court has emphasized the importance to the defense of access to the transcript of the grand jury proceedings [citing Dennis]. A defendant cannot have that advantage if the proceedings go unrecorded.” American Bar Association, Report of the Special Committee on Federal Rules of Procedure, 52 F.R.D. 87, 94–95 (1971), renews the committee's 1965 recommendation “that all accusatorial grand jury proceedings either be transcribed by a reporter or recorded by electronic means.”

Under proposed subdivision (e)(1), if the failure to record is unintentional, the failure to record would not invalidate subsequent judicial proceedings. Under present law, the failure to compel production of grand jury testimony where there is no record is not reversible error. See Wyatt v. United States, 388 F.2d 395 (10th Cir. 1968).

The provision that the recording or reporter's notes or any transcript prepared therefrom are to remain in the custody or control (as where the notes are in the immediate possession of a contract reporter employed by the Department of Justice) of the attorney for the government is in accord with present practice. It is specifically recognized, however, that the court in a particular case may have reason to order otherwise.

It must be emphasized that the proposed changes in rule 6(e) deal only with the recording requirement, and in no way expand the circumstances in which disclosure of the grand jury proceedings is permitted or required. “Secrecy of grand jury proceedings is not jeopardized by recordation. The making of a record cannot be equated with disclosure of its contents, and disclosure is controlled by other means.” United States v. Price, 474 F.2d 1223 (9th Cir. 1973). Specifically, the proposed changes do not provide for copies of the grand jury minutes to defendants as a matter of right, as is the case in some states. See, e.g., Cal.Pen.Code §938.1; Iowa Code Ann. §772.4. The matter of disclosure continues to be governed by other provisions, such as rule 16(a) (recorded statements of the defendant), 18 U.S.C. §3500 (statements of government witnesses), and the unchanged portions of rule 6(e), and the cases interpreting these provisions. See e.g., United States v. Howard, 433 F.2d 1 (5th Cir. 1970), and Beatrice Foods Co. v. United States, 312 F.2d 29 (8th Cir. 1963), concerning the showing which must be made of improper matters occurring before the grand jury before disclosure is required.

Likewise, the proposed changes in rule 6(e) are not intended to make any change regarding whether a defendant may challenge a grand jury indictment. The Supreme Court has declined to hold that defendants may challenge indictments on the ground that they are not supported by sufficient or competent evidence. Costello v. United States, 350 U.S. 359 (1956); Lawn v. United States, 355 U.S. 339 (1958); United States v. Blue, 384 U.S. 251 (1966). Nor are the changes intended to permit the defendant to challenge the conduct of the attorney for the government before the grand jury absent a preliminary factual showing of serious misconduct.

Note to Subdivision (e)(3)(C). The sentence added to subdivision (e)(3)(C) gives express recognition to the fact that if the court orders disclosure, it may determine the circumstances of the disclosure. For example, if the proceedings are electronically recorded, the court would have discretion in an appropriate case to deny defendant the right to a transcript at government expense. While it takes special skills to make a stenographic record understandable, an electronic recording can be understood by merely listening to it, thus avoiding the expense of transcription.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (e)(3)(C). New subdivision (e)(3)(C)(iii) recognizes that it is permissible for the attorney for the government to make disclosure of matters occurring before one grand jury to another federal grand jury. Even absent a specific provision to that effect, the courts have permitted such disclosure in some circumstances. See, e.g., United States v. Socony-Vacuum Oil Co. 310 U.S. 150 (1940); United States v. Garcia, 420 F.2d 309 (2d Cir. 1970). In this kind of situation, “[s]ecrecy of grand jury materials should be protected almost as well by the safeguards at the second grand jury proceeding, including the oath of the jurors, as by judicial supervision of the disclosure of such materials.” United States v. Malatesta, 583 F.2d 748 (5th Cir. 1978).

Note to Subdivision (e)(3)(D). In Douglas Oil Co. v. Petrol Stops Northwest, 441 U.S. 211 (1979), the Court held on the facts there presented that it was an abuse of discretion for the district judge to order disclosure of grand jury transcripts for use in civil proceedings in another district where that judge had insufficient knowledge of those proceedings to make a determination of the need for disclosure. The Court suggested a “better practice” on those facts, but declared that “procedures to deal with the many variations are best left to the rulemaking procedures established by Congress.”

The first sentence of subdivision (e)(3)(D) makes it clear that when disclosure is sought under subdivision (e)(2)(C)(i), the petition is to be filed in the district where the grand jury was convened, whether or not it is the district of the “judicial proceeding” giving rise to the petition. Courts which have addressed the question have generally taken this view, e.g., Illinois v. Sarbaugh, 522 F.2d 768 (7th Cir. 1977). As stated in Douglas Oil,

those who seek grand jury transcripts have little choice other than to file a request with the court that supervised the grand jury, as it is the only court with control over the transcripts.

Quite apart from the practical necessity, the policies underlying Rule 6(e) dictate that the grand jury's supervisory court participate in reviewing such requests, as it is in the best position to determine the continuing need for grand jury secrecy. Ideally, the judge who supervised the grand jury should review the request for disclosure, as he will have firsthand knowledge of the grand jury's activities. But even other judges of the district where the grand jury sat may be able to discover facts affecting the need for secrecy more easily than would judges from elsewhere around the country. The records are in the custody of the District Court, and therefore are readily available for references. Moreover, the personnel of that court—particularly those of the United States Attorney's Office who worked with the grand jury—are more likely to be informed about the grand jury proceedings than those in a district that had no prior experience with the subject of the request.

The second sentence requires the petitioner to serve notice of his petition upon several persons who, by the third sentence, are recognized as entitled to appear and be heard on the matter. The notice requirement ensures that all interested parties, if they wish, may make a timely appearance. Absent such notice, these persons, who then might only learn of the order made in response to the motion after it was entered, have had to resort to the cumbersome and inefficient procedure of a motion to vacate the order. In re Special February 1971 Grand Jury v. Conlisk, 490 F.2d 894 (7th Cir. 1973).

Though some authority is to be found that parties to the judicial proceeding giving rise to the motion are not entitled to intervene, in that “the order to produce was not directed to” them, United States v. American Oil Co., 456 F.2d 1043 (3d Cir. 1972), that position was rejected in Douglas Oil, where it was noted that such persons have standing “to object to the disclosure order, as release of the transcripts to their civil adversaries could result in substantial injury to them.” As noted in Illinois v. Sarbaugh, supra, while present rule 6(e) “omits to state whether any one is entitled to object to disclosure,” the rule

seems to contemplate a proceeding of some kind, judicial proceedings are not normally ex parte, and persons in the situation of the intervenors [parties to the civil proceeding] are likely to be the only ones to object to an order for disclosure. If they are not allowed to appear, the advantages of an adversary proceeding are lost.

If the judicial proceeding is a class action, notice to the representative is sufficient.

The amendment also recognizes that the attorney for the government in the district where the grand jury convened also has an interest in the matter and should be allowed to be heard. It may sometimes be the case, as in Douglas Oil, that the prosecutor will have relatively little concern for secrecy, at least as compared with certain parties to the civil proceeding. Nonetheless, it is appropriate to recognize that generally the attorney for the government is entitled to be heard so that he may represent what Douglas Oil characterizes as “the public interest in secrecy,” including the government's legitimate concern about “the possible effect upon the functioning of future grand juries” of unduly liberal disclosure.

The second sentence leaves it to the court to decide whether any other persons should receive notice and be allowed to intervene. This is appropriate, for the necessity for and feasibility of involving others may vary substantially from case to case. In Douglas Oil, it was noted that the individual who produced before the grand jury the information now sought has an interest in the matter:

Fear of future retribution or social stigma may act as powerful deterrents to those who would come forward and aid the grand jury in the performance of its duties. Concern as to the future consequences of frank and full testimony is heightened where the witness is an employee of a company under investigation.

Notice to such persons, however is by no means inevitably necessary, and in some cases the information sought may have reached the grand jury from such a variety of sources that it is not practicable to involve these sources in the disclosure proceeding. Similarly, while Douglas Oil notes that rule 6(e) secrecy affords “protection of the innocent accused from disclosure of the accusation made against him before the grand jury,” it is appropriate to leave to the court whether that interest requires representation directly by the grand jury target at this time. When deemed necessary to protect the identity of such other persons, it would be a permissible alternative for the government or the court directly to give notice to these other persons, and thus the rule does not foreclose such action.

The notice requirement in the second sentence is inapplicable if the hearing is to be ex parte. The legislative history of rule 6(e) states: “It is contemplated that the judicial hearing in connection with an application for a court order by the government, under subparagraph (3)(C)(i) should be ex parte so as to preserve, to the maximum extent possible, grand jury secrecy.” S.Rep. No. 95–354, 1977 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News p. 532. Although such cases are distinguishable from other cases arising under this subdivision because internal regulations limit further disclosure of information disclosed to the government, the rule provides only that the hearing “may” be ex parte when the petitioner is the government. This allows the court to decide that matter based upon the circumstances of the particular case. For example, an ex parte proceeding is much less likely to be appropriate if the government acts as petitioner as an accommodation to, e.g., a state agency.

Note to Subdivision (e)(3)(E). Under the first sentence in new subdivision (e)(3)(E), the petitioner or any intervenor might seek to have the matter transferred to the federal district court where the judicial proceeding giving rise to the petition is pending. Usually, it will be the petitioner, who is seeking disclosure, who will desire the transfer, but this is not inevitably the case. An intervenor might seek transfer on the ground that the other court, with greater knowledge of the extent of the need, would be less likely to conclude “that the material * * * is needed to avoid a possible injustice” (the test under Douglas Oil). The court may transfer on its own motion, for as noted in Douglas Oil, if transfer is the better course of action it should not be foreclosed “merely because the parties have failed to specify the relief to which they are entitled.”

It must be emphasized that transfer is proper only if the proceeding giving rise to the petition “is in federal district court in another district.” If, for example, the proceeding is located in another district but is at the state level, a situation encompassed within rule 6(e)(3)(C)(i), In re Special February 1971 Grand Jury v. Conlisk, supra, there is no occasion to transfer. Ultimate resolution of the matter cannot be placed in the hands of the state court, and in such a case the federal court in that place would lack what Douglas Oil recognizes as the benefit to be derived from transfer: “first-hand knowledge of the litigation in which the transcripts allegedly are needed.” Formal transfer is unnecessary in intradistrict cases, even when the grand jury court and judicial proceeding court are not in the same division.

As stated in the first sentence, transfer by the court is appropriate “unless it can reasonably obtain sufficient knowledge of the proceeding to determine whether disclosure is proper.” (As reflected by the “whether disclosure is proper” language, the amendment makes no effort to define the disclosure standard; that matter is currently governed by Douglas Oil and the authorities cited therein, and is best left to elaboration by future case law.) The amendment expresses a preference for having the disclosure issue decided by the grand jury court. Yet, it must be recognized, as stated in Douglas Oil, that often this will not be possible because

the judges of the court having custody of the grand jury transcripts will have no first-hand knowledge of the litigation in which the transcripts allegedly are needed, and no practical means by which such knowledge can be obtained. In such a case, a judge in the district of the grand jury cannot weigh in an informed manner the need for disclosure against the need for maintaining grand jury secrecy.

The penultimate sentence provides that upon transfer the transferring court shall order transmitted the material sought to be disclosed and also a written evaluation of the need for continuing grand jury secrecy. Because the transferring court is in the best position to assess the interest in continued grand jury secrecy in the particular instance, it is important that the court which will now have to balance that interest against the need for disclosure receive the benefit of the transferring court's assessment. Transmittal of the material sought to be disclosed will not only facilitate timely disclosure if it is thereafter ordered, but will also assist the other court in deciding how great the need for disclosure actually is. For example, with that material at hand the other court will be able to determine if there is any inconsistency between certain grand jury testimony and testimony received in the other judicial proceeding. The rule recognizes, however, that there may be instances in which transfer of everything sought to be disclosed is not feasible. See, e.g., In re 1975–2 Grand Jury Investigation, 566 F.2d 1293 (5th Cir. 1978) (court ordered transmittal of “an inventory of the grand jury subpoenas, transcripts, and documents,” as the materials in question were “exceedingly voluminous, filling no less than 55 large file boxes and one metal filing cabinet”).

The last sentence makes it clear that in a case in which the matter is transferred to another court, that court should permit the various interested parties specified in the rule to be heard. Even if those persons were previously heard before the court which ordered the transfer, this will not suffice. The order of transfer did not decide the ultimate issue of “whether a particularized need for disclosure outweighs the interest in continued grand jury secrecy,” Douglas Oil, supra, which is what now remains to be resolved by the court to which transfer was made. Cf. In re 1975–2 Grand Jury Investigation, supra, holding that a transfer order is not appealable because it does not determine the ultimate question of disclosure, and thus “[n]o one has yet been aggrieved and no one will become aggrieved until [the court to which the matter was transferred] acts.”

Note to Subdivision (e)(5). This addition to rule 6 would make it clear that certain hearings which would reveal matters which have previously occurred before a grand jury or are likely to occur before a grand jury with respect to a pending or ongoing investigation must be conducted in camera in whole or in part in order to prevent public disclosure of such secret information. One such hearing is that conducted under subdivision (e)(3)(D), for it will at least sometimes be necessary to consider and assess some of the “matters occurring before the grand jury” in order to decide the disclosure issue. Two other kinds of hearings at which information about a particular grand jury investigation might need to be discussed are those at which the question is whether to grant a grand jury witness immunity or whether to order a grand jury witness to comply fully with the terms of a subpoena directed to him.

A recent GAO study established that there is considerable variety in the practice as to whether such hearings are closed or open, and that open hearings often seriously jeopardize grand jury secrecy:

For judges to decide these matters, the witness’ relationship to the case under investigation must be discussed. Accordingly, the identities of witnesses and targets, the nature of expected testimony, and the extent to which the witness is cooperating are often revealed during preindictment proceedings. Because the matters discussed can compromise the purposes of grand jury secrecy, some judges close the preindictment proceedings to the public and the press; others do not. When the proceeding is open, information that may otherwise be kept secret under rule 6(e) becomes available to the public and the press . . . .

Open preindictment proceedings are a major source of information which can compromise the purposes of grand jury secrecy. In 25 cases we were able to establish links between open proceedings and later newspaper articles containing information about the identities of witnesses and targets and the nature of grand jury investigations.

Comptroller General, More Guidance and Supervision Needed over Federal Grand Jury Proceedings 8–9 (Oct. 16, 1980).

The provisions of rule 6(e)(5) do not violate any constitutional right of the public or media to attend such pretrial hearings. There is no Sixth Amendment right in the public to attend pretrial proceedings, Gannett Co., Inc. v. DePasquale, 443 U.S. 368 (1979), and Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, (1980), only recognizes a First Amendment “right to attend criminal trials.” Richmond Newspapers was based largely upon the “unbroken, uncontradicted history” of public trials, while in Gannett it was noted “there exists no persuasive evidence that at common law members of the public had any right to attend pretrial proceedings.” Moreover, even assuming some public right to attend certain pretrial proceedings, see United States v. Criden, 675 F.2d 550 (3d Cir. 1982), that right is not absolute; it must give way, as stated in Richmond Newspapers, to “an overriding interest” in a particular case in favor of a closed proceeding. By permitting closure only “to the extent necessary to prevent disclosure of matters occurring before a grand jury,” rule 6(e)(5) recognizes the longstanding interest in the secrecy of grand jury proceedings. Counsel or others allowed to be present at the closed hearing may be put under a protective order by the court.

Subdivision (e)(5) is expressly made “subject to any right to an open hearing in contempt proceedings.” This will accommodate any First Amendment right which might be deemed applicable in that context because of the proceedings’ similarities to a criminal trial, cf. United States v. Criden, supra, and also any Fifth or Sixth Amendment right of the contemnor. The latter right clearly exists as to a criminal contempt proceeding, In re Oliver, 333 U.S. 257 (1948), and some authority is to be found recognizing such a right in civil contempt proceedings as well. In re Rosahn, 671 F.2d 690 (2d Cir. 1982). This right of the contemnor must be requested by him and, in any event, does not require that the entire contempt proceedings, including recitation of the substance of the questions he has refused to answer, be public. Levine v. United States, 362 U.S. 610 (1960).

Note to Subdivision (e)(6). Subdivision (e)(6) provides that records, orders and subpoenas relating to grand jury proceedings shall be kept under seal to the extent and for so long as is necessary to prevent disclosure of matters occurring before a grand jury. By permitting such documents as grand jury subpoenas and immunity orders to be kept under seal, this provision addresses a serious problem of grand jury secrecy and expressly authorizes a procedure now in use in many but not all districts. As reported in Comptroller General, More Guidance and Supervision Needed over Federal Grand Jury Proceedings 10, 14 (Oct. 16, 1980):

In 262 cases, documents presented at open preindictment proceedings and filed in public files revealed details of grand jury investigations. These documents are, of course, available to anyone who wants them, including targets of investigations. [There are] two documents commonly found in public files which usually reveal the identities of witnesses and targets. The first document is a Department of Justice authorization to a U.S. attorney to apply to the court for a grant of immunity for a witness. The second document is the court's order granting the witness immunity from prosecution and compelling him to testify and produce requested information. * * *

Subpoenas are the fundamental documents used during a grand jury's investigation because through subpoenas, grand juries can require witnesses to testify and produce documentary evidence for their consideration. Subpoenas can identify witnesses, potential targets, and the nature of an investigation. Rule 6(e) does not provide specific guidance on whether a grand jury's subpoena should be kept secret. Additionally, case law has not consistently stated whether the subpoenas are protected by rule 6(e).

District courts still have different opinions about whether grand jury subpoenas should be kept secret. Out of 40 Federal District Courts we contacted, 36 consider these documents to be secret. However, 4 districts do make them available to the public.

Note to Subdivision (g). In its present form, subdivision 6(g) permits a grand jury to serve no more than 18 months after its members have been sworn, and absolutely no exceptions are permitted. (By comparison, under the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Title I, 18 U.S.C. §§3331–3334, special grand juries may be extended beyond their basic terms of 18 months if their business has not been completed.) The purpose of the amendment is to permit some degree of flexibility as to the discharge of grand juries where the public interest would be served by an extension.

As noted in United States v. Fein, 504 F.2d 1170 (2d Cir. 1974), upholding the dismissal of an indictment returned 9 days after the expiration of the 18–month period but during an attempted extension, under the present inflexible rule “it may well be that criminal proceedings which would be in the public interest will be frustrated and that those who might be found guilty will escape trial and conviction.” The present inflexible rule can produce several undesirable consequences, especially when complex fraud, organized crime, tax or antitrust cases are under investigation: (i) wastage of a significant amount of time and resources by the necessity of presenting the case once again to a successor grand jury simply because the matter could not be concluded before the term of the first grand jury expired; (ii) precipitous action to conclude the investigation before the expiration date of the grand jury; and (iii) potential defendants may be kept under investigation for a longer time because of the necessity to present the matter again to another grand jury.

The amendment to subdivision 6(g) permits extension of a regular grand jury only “upon a determination that such extension is in the public interest.” This permits some flexibility, but reflects the fact that extension of regular grand juries beyond 18 months is to be the exception and not the norm. The intention of the amendment is to make it possible for a grand jury to have sufficient extra time to wind up an investigation when, for example, such extension becomes necessary because of the unusual nature of the case or unforeseen developments.

Because terms of court have been abolished, 28 U.S.C. §138, the second sentence of subdivision 6(g) has been deleted.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1985 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (e)(3)(A)(ii). Rule 6(e)(3)(A)(ii) currently provides that an attorney for the government may disclose grand jury information, without prior judicial approval, to other government personnel whose assistance the attorney for the government deems necessary in conducting the grand jury investigation. Courts have differed over whether employees of state and local governments are “government personnel” within the meaning of the rule. Compare In re Miami Federal Grand Jury No. 79–9, 478 F.Supp. 490 (S.D.Fla. 1979), and In re Grand Jury Proceedings, 445 F.Supp. 349 (D.R.I. 1978) (state and local personnel not included); with In re 1979 Grand Jury Proceedings, 479 F.Supp. 93 (E.D.N.Y. 1979) (state and local personnel included). The amendment clarifies the rule to include state and local personnel.

It is clearly desirable that federal and state authorities cooperate, as they often do, in organized crime and racketeering investigations, in public corruption and major fraud cases, and in various other situations where federal and state criminal jurisdictions overlap. Because of such cooperation, government attorneys in complex grand jury investigations frequently find it necessary to enlist the help of a team of government agents. While the agents are usually federal personnel, it is not uncommon in certain types of investigations that federal prosecutors wish to obtain the assistance of state law enforcement personnel, which could be uniquely beneficial. The amendment permits disclosure to those personnel in the circumstances stated.

It must be emphasized that the disclosure permitted is limited. The disclosure under this subdivision is permissible only in connection with the attorney for the government's “duty to enforce federal criminal law” and only to those personnel “deemed necessary . . . to assist” in the performance of that duty. Under subdivision (e)(3)(B), the material disclosed may not be used for any other purpose, and the names of persons to whom disclosure is made must be promptly provided to the court.

Note to Subdivision (e)(3)(B). The amendment to subdivision (e)(3)(B) imposes upon the attorney for the government the responsibility to certify to the district court that he has advised those persons to whom disclosure was made under subdivision (e)(3)(A)(ii) of their obligation of secrecy under Rule 6. Especially with the amendment of subdivision (e)(3)(A)(ii) to include personnel of a state or subdivision of a state, who otherwise would likely be unaware of this obligation of secrecy, the giving of such advice is an important step in ensuring against inadvertent breach of grand jury secrecy. But because not all federal government personnel will otherwise know of this obligation, the giving of the advice and certification thereof is required as to all persons receiving disclosure under subdivision (e)(3)(A)(ii).

Note to Subdivision (e)(3)(C). It sometimes happens that during a federal grand jury investigation evidence will be developed tending to show a violation of state law. When this occurs, it is very frequently the case that this evidence cannot be communicated to the appropriate state officials for further investigation. For one thing, any state officials who might seek this information must show particularized need. Illinois v. Abbott & Associates, 103 S.Ct. 1356 (1983). For another, and more significant, it is often the case that the information relates to a state crime outside the context of any pending or even contemplated state judicial proceeding, so that the “preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding” requirement of subdivision (e)(3)(C)(i) cannot be met.

This inability lawfully to disclose evidence of a state criminal violation—evidence legitimately obtained by the grand jury—constitutes an unreasonable barrier to the effective enforcement of our two-tiered system of criminal laws. It would be removed by new subdivision (e)(3)(C)(iv), which would allow a court to permit disclosure to a state or local official for the purpose of enforcing state law when an attorney for the government so requests and makes the requisite showing.

The federal court has been given control over any disclosure which is authorized, for subdivision (e)(3)(C) presently states that “the disclosure shall be made in such manner, at such time, and under such conditions as the court may direct.” The Committee is advised that it will be the policy of the Department of Justice under this amendment to seek such disclosure only upon approval of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division. There is no intention, by virtue of this amendment, to have federal grand juries act as an arm of the state.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

New subdivision (a)(2) gives express recognition to a practice now followed in some district courts, namely, that of designating alternate grand jurors at the time the grand jury is selected. (A person so designated does not attend court and is not paid the jury attendance fees and expenses authorized by 28 U.S.C. §1871 unless subsequently impanelled pursuant to Rule 6(g).) Because such designation may be a more efficient procedure than election of additional grand jurors later as need arises under subdivision (g), the amendment makes it clear that it is a permissible step in the grand jury selection process.

This amendment is not intended to work any change in subdivision (g). In particular, the fact that one or more alternate jurors either have or have not been previously designated does not limit the district court's discretion under subdivision (g) to decide whether, if a juror is excused temporarily or permanently, another person should replace him to assure the continuity of the grand jury and its ability to obtain a quorum in order to complete its business.

The amendments [subdivisions (c) and (f)] are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The Rule is amended to conform to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 [P.L. 101–650, Title III, Section 321] which provides that each United States magistrate appointed under section 631 of title 28, United States Code, shall be known as a United States magistrate judge.

Committee Notes on Rules—1999 Amendment

Subdivision 6(d). As currently written, Rule 6(d) absolutely bars any person, other than the jurors themselves, from being present during the jury's deliberations and voting. Accordingly, interpreters are barred from attending the deliberations and voting by the grand jury, even though they may have been present during the taking of testimony. The amendment is intended to permit interpreters to assist persons who are speech or hearing impaired and are serving on a grand jury. Although the Committee believes that the need for secrecy of grand jury deliberations and voting is paramount, permitting interpreters to assist hearing and speech impaired jurors in the process seems a reasonable accommodation. See also United States v. Dempsey, 830 F.2d 1084 (10th Cir. 1987) (constitutionally rooted prohibition of non-jurors being present during deliberations was not violated by interpreter for deaf petit jury member).

The subdivision has also been restyled and reorganized.

Subdivision 6(f). The amendment to Rule 6(f) is intended to avoid the problems associated with bringing the entire jury to the court for the purpose of returning an indictment. Although the practice is long-standing, in Breese v. United States, 226 U.S. 1 (1912), the Court rejected the argument that the requirement was rooted in the Constitution and observed that if there were ever any strong reasons for the requirement, “they have disappeared, at least in part.” 226 U.S. at 9. The Court added that grand jury's presence at the time the indictment was presented was a defect, if at all, in form only. Id. at 11. Given the problems of space, in some jurisdictions the grand jury sits in a building completely separated from the courtrooms. In those cases, moving the entire jury to the courtroom for the simple process of presenting the indictment may prove difficult and time consuming. Even where the jury is in the same location, having all of the jurors present can be unnecessarily cumbersome in light of the fact that filing of the indictment requires a certification as to how the jurors voted.

The amendment provides that the indictment must be presented either by the jurors themselves, as currently provided for in the rule, or by the foreperson or the deputy foreperson, acting on behalf of the jurors. In an appropriate case, the court might require all of the jurors to be present if it had inquiries about the indictment.

GAP Report—Rule 6. The Committee modified Rule 6(d) to permit only interpreters assisting hearing or speech impaired grand jurors to be present during deliberations and voting.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 6 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic, except as noted below.

The first change is in Rule 6(b)(1). The last sentence of current Rule 6(b)(1) provides that “Challenges shall be made before the administration of the oath to the jurors and shall be tried by the court.” That language has been deleted from the amended rule. The remainder of this subdivision rests on the assumption that formal proceedings have begun against a person, i.e., an indictment has been returned. The Committee believed that although the first sentence reflects current practice of a defendant being able to challenge the composition or qualifications of the grand jurors after the indictment is returned, the second sentence does not comport with modern practice. That is, a defendant will normally not know the composition of the grand jury or identity of the grand jurors before they are administered their oath. Thus, there is no opportunity to challenge them and have the court decide the issue before the oath is given.

In Rule 6(d)(1), the term “court stenographer” has been changed to “court reporter.” Similar changes have been made in Rule 6(e)(1) and (2).

Rule 6(e) continues to spell out the general rule of secrecy of grand-jury proceedings and the exceptions to that general rule. The last sentence in current Rule 6(e)(2), concerning contempt for violating Rule 6, now appears in Rule 6(e)(7). No change in substance is intended.

Rule 6(e)(3)(A)(ii) includes a new provision recognizing the sovereignty of Indian Tribes and the possibility that it would be necessary to disclose grand-jury information to appropriate tribal officials in order to enforce federal law. Similar language has been added to Rule 6(e)(3)(D)(iii).

Rule 6(e)(3)(A)(iii) is a new provision that recognizes that disclosure may be made to a person under 18 U.S.C. §3322 (authorizing disclosures to an attorney for the government and banking regulators for enforcing civil forfeiture and civil banking laws). This reference was added to avoid the possibility of the amendments to Rule 6 superseding that particular statute.

Rule 6(e)(3)(C) consists of language located in current Rule 6(e)(3)(C)(iii). The Committee believed that this provision, which recognizes that prior court approval is not required for disclosure of a grand-jury matter to another grand jury, should be treated as a separate subdivision in revised Rule 6(e)(3). No change in practice is intended.

Rule 6(e)(3)(D) is new and reflects changes made to Rule 6 in the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001. The new provision permits an attorney for the government to disclose grand-jury matters involving foreign intelligence or counterintelligence to other Federal officials, in order to assist those officials in performing their duties. Under Rule 6(e)(3)(D)(i), the federal official receiving the information may only use the information as necessary and may be otherwise limited in making further disclosures. Any disclosures made under this provision must be reported under seal, within a reasonable time, to the court. The term “foreign intelligence information” is defined in Rule 6(e)(3)(D)(iii).

Rule 6(e)(3)(E)(iv) is a new provision that addresses disclosure of grand-jury information to armed forces personnel where the disclosure is for the purpose of enforcing military criminal law under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. §§801–946. See, e.g., Department of Defense Directive 5525.7 (January 22, 1985); 1984 Memorandum of Understanding Between Department of Justice and the Department of Defense Relating to the Investigation and Prosecution of Certain Crimes; Memorandum of Understanding Between the Departments of Justice and Transportation (Coast Guard) Relating to the Investigations and Prosecution of Crimes Over Which the Two Departments Have Concurrent Jurisdiction (October 9, 1967).

In Rule 6(e)(3)(F)(ii), the Committee considered whether to amend the language relating to “parties to the judicial proceeding” and determined that in the context of the rule it is understood that the parties referred to are the parties in the same judicial proceeding identified in Rule 6(e)(3)(E)(i).

The Committee decided to leave in subdivision (e) the provision stating that a “knowing violation of Rule 6” may be punished by contempt notwithstanding that, due to its apparent application to the entirety of the Rule, the provision seemingly is misplaced in subdivision (e). Research shows that Congress added the provision in 1977 and that it was crafted solely to deal with violations of the secrecy prohibitions in subdivision (e). See S. Rep. No. 95–354, p. 8 (1977). Supporting this narrow construction, the Committee found no reported decision involving an application or attempted use of the contempt sanction to a violation other than of the disclosure restrictions in subdivision (e). On the other hand, the Supreme Court in dicta did indicate on one occasion its arguable understanding that the contempt sanction would be available also for a violation of Rule 6(d) relating to who may be present during the grand jury's deliberations. Bank of Nova Scotia v. United States, 487 U.S. 250, 263 (1988).

In sum, it appears that the scope of the contempt sanction in Rule 6 is unsettled. Because the provision creates an offense, altering its scope may be beyond the authority bestowed by the Rules Enabling Act, 28 U.S.C. §§2071 et seq. See 28 U.S.C. §2072(b) (Rules must not “abridge, enlarge, or modify any substantive right”). The Committee decided to leave the contempt provision in its present location in subdivision (e), because breaking it out into a separate subdivision could be construed to support the interpretation that the sanction may be applied to a knowing violation of any of the Rule's provisions rather than just those in subdivision (e). Whether or not that is a correct interpretation of the provision—a matter on which the Committee takes no position—must be determined by case law, or resolved by Congress.

Current Rule 6(g) has been divided into two new subdivisions, Rule 6(g), Discharge, and Rule 6(h), Excuse. The Committee added the phrase in Rule 6(g) “except as otherwise provided by statute,” to recognize the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3331 relating to special grand juries.

Rule 6(i) is a new provision defining the term “Indian Tribe,” a term used only in this rule.

Committee Notes on Rules—2006 Amendment

Subdivision (e)(3) and (7). This amendment makes technical changes to the language added to Rule 6 by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Pub. L. 108–458, Title VI, §6501(a), 118 Stat. 3760, in order to bring the new language into conformity with the conventions introduced in the general restyling of the Criminal Rules. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2011 Amendment

Subdivision (f). The amendment expressly allows a judge to take a grand jury return by video teleconference. Having the judge in the same courtroom remains the preferred practice because it promotes the public's confidence in the integrity and solemnity of a federal criminal proceeding. But there are situations when no judge is present in the courthouse where the grand jury sits, and a judge would be required to travel long distances to take the return. Avoiding delay is also a factor, since the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. §3161(b), requires that an indictment be returned within thirty days of the arrest of an individual to avoid dismissal of the case. The amendment is particularly helpful when there is no judge present at a courthouse where the grand jury sits and the nearest judge is hundreds of miles away.

Under the amendment, the grand jury (or the foreperson) would appear in a courtroom in the United States courthouse where the grand jury sits. Utilizing video teleconference, the judge could participate by video from a remote location, convene court, and take the return. Indictments could be transmitted in advance to the judge for review by reliable electronic means. This process accommodates the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. §3161(b), and preserves the judge's time and safety.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. No changes were made in the amendment as published.

References in Text

The Uniform Code of Military Justice, referred to in subd. (e)(3)(E)(v), is classified to chapter 47 (§801 et seq.) of Title 10, Armed Forces.

Amendment by Public Law

2004—Subd. (e)(3)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 108–458, §6501(a)(1)(A), substituted “, state subdivision, Indian tribe, or foreign government” for “or state subdivision or of an Indian tribe”.

Subd. (e)(3)(D). Pub. L. 108–458, §6501(a)(1)(B)(i), inserted after first sentence “An attorney for the government may also disclose any grand jury matter involving, within the United States or elsewhere, a threat of attack or other grave hostile acts of a foreign power or its agent, a threat of domestic or international sabotage or terrorism, or clandestine intelligence gathering activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power or by its agent, to any appropriate Federal, State, State subdivision, Indian tribal, or foreign government official, for the purpose of preventing or responding to such threat or activities.”

Subd. (e)(3)(D)(i). Pub. L. 108–458, §6501(a)(1)(B)(ii), struck out “federal” before “official who” in first sentence and inserted at end “Any State, State subdivision, Indian tribal, or foreign government official who receives information under Rule 6(e)(3)(D) may use the information only consistent with such guidelines as the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence shall jointly issue.”

Subd. (e)(3)(E)(iii). Pub. L. 108–458, §6501(a)(1)(C)(ii), added cl. (iii). Former cl. (iii) redesignated (iv).

Subd. (e)(3)(E)(iv). Pub. L. 108–458, §6501(a)(1)(C)(iii), substituted “State, Indian tribal, or foreign” for “state or Indian tribal” and “Indian tribal, or foreign government official” for “or Indian tribal official”.

Pub. L. 108–458, §6501(a)(1)(C)(i), redesignated cl. (iii) as (iv). Former cl. (iv) redesignated (v).

Subd. (e)(3)(E)(v). Pub. L. 108–458, §6501(a)(1)(C)(i), redesignated cl. (iv) as (v).

Subd. (e)(7). Pub. L. 108–458, §6501(a)(2), inserted “, or of guidelines jointly issued by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence pursuant to Rule 6,” after “violation of Rule 6”.

2002—Subd. (e). Pub. L. 107–296, §895, which directed certain amendments to subdiv. (e), could not be executed because of the amendment by the Court by order dated Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002. Section 895 of Pub. L. 107–296 provided:

“Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure is amended—

“(1) in paragraph (2), by inserting ‘, or of guidelines jointly issued by the Attorney General and Director of Central Intelligence pursuant to Rule 6,’ after ‘Rule 6’; and

“(2) in paragraph (3)—

“(A) in subparagraph (A)(ii), by inserting ‘or of a foreign government’ after ‘(including personnel of a state or subdivision of a state’;

“(B) in subparagraph (C)(i)—

“(i) in subclause (I), by inserting before the semicolon the following: ‘or, upon a request by an attorney for the government, when sought by a foreign court or prosecutor for use in an official criminal investigation’;

“(ii) in subclause (IV)—

     “(I) by inserting ‘or foreign’ after ‘may disclose a violation of State’;

     “(II) by inserting ‘or of a foreign government’ after ‘to an appropriate official of a State or subdivision of a State’; and

     “(III) by striking ‘or’ at the end;

“(iii) by striking the period at the end of subclause (V) and inserting ‘; or’; and

“(iv) by adding at the end the following:

“ ‘(VI) when matters involve a threat of actual or potential attack or other grave hostile acts of a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power, domestic or international sabotage, domestic or international terrorism, or clandestine intelligence gathering activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power or by an agent of a foreign power, within the United States or elsewhere, to any appropriate federal, state, local, or foreign government official for the purpose of preventing or responding to such a threat.’; and

“(C) in subparagraph (C)(iii)—

“(i) by striking ‘Federal’;

“(ii) by inserting ‘or clause (i)(VI)’ after ‘clause (i)(V)’; and

“(iii) by adding at the end the following: ‘Any state, local, or foreign official who receives information pursuant to clause (i)(VI) shall use that information only consistent with such guidelines as the Attorney General and Director of Central Intelligence shall jointly issue.’.”

2001—Subd. (e)(3)(C). Pub. L. 107–56, §203(a)(1), amended subpar. (C) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (C) read as follows: “Disclosure otherwise prohibited by this rule of matters occurring before the grand jury may also be made—

“(i) when so directed by a court preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding;

“(ii) 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;

“(iii) when the disclosure is made by an attorney for the government to another federal grand jury; or

“(iv) when permitted by a court at the request of an attorney for the government, upon a showing that such matters may disclose a violation of state criminal law, to an appropriate official of a state or subdivision of a state for the purpose of enforcing such law.

If the court orders disclosure of matters occurring before the grand jury, the disclosure shall be made in such manner, at such time, and under such conditions as the court may direct.”

Subd. (e)(3)(D). Pub. L. 107–56, §203(a)(2), substituted “subdivision (e)(3)(C)(i)(I)” for “subdivision (e)(3)(C)(i)”.

1984—Subd. (e)(3)(C)(iv). Pub. L. 98–473, eff. Nov. 1, 1987, added subcl. (iv), identical to subcl. (iv) which had been previously added by Order of the Supreme Court dated Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985, thereby requiring no change in text.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–473 effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of such amendment, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as an Effective Date note under section 3551 of this title.

Effective Date of 1977 Amendment

Amendment of this rule by order of the United States Supreme Court on Apr. 26, 1977, modified and approved by Pub. L. 95–78, effective Oct. 1, 1977, see section 4 of Pub. L. 95–78, set out as an Effective Date of Pub. L. 95–78 note under section 2074 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment of subd. (f) by the order of the United States Supreme Court of Apr. 26, 1976, effective Aug. 1, 1976, see section 1 of Pub. L. 94–349, July 8, 1976, 90 Stat. 822, set out as a note under section 2074 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Rule 7. The Indictment and the Information

(a) When Used.

(1) Felony. An offense (other than criminal contempt) must be prosecuted by an indictment if it is punishable:

(A) by death; or

(B) by imprisonment for more than one year.


(2) Misdemeanor. An offense punishable by imprisonment for one year or less may be prosecuted in accordance with Rule 58(b)(1).


(b) Waiving Indictment. An offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year may be prosecuted by information if the defendant—in open court and after being advised of the nature of the charge and of the defendant's rights—waives prosecution by indictment.

(c) Nature and Contents.

(1) In General. The indictment or information must be a plain, concise, and definite written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged and must be signed by an attorney for the government. It need not contain a formal introduction or conclusion. A count may incorporate by reference an allegation made in another count. A count may allege that the means by which the defendant committed the offense are unknown or that the defendant committed it by one or more specified means. For each count, the indictment or information must give the official or customary citation of the statute, rule, regulation, or other provision of law that the defendant is alleged to have violated. For purposes of an indictment referred to in section 3282 of title 18, United States Code, for which the identity of the defendant is unknown, it shall be sufficient for the indictment to describe the defendant as an individual whose name is unknown, but who has a particular DNA profile, as that term is defined in that section 3282.

(2) Citation Error. Unless the defendant was misled and thereby prejudiced, neither an error in a citation nor a citation's omission is a ground to dismiss the indictment or information or to reverse a conviction.


(d) Surplusage. Upon the defendant's motion, the court may strike surplusage from the indictment or information.

(e) Amending an Information. Unless an additional or different offense is charged or a substantial right of the defendant is prejudiced, the court may permit an information to be amended at any time before the verdict or finding.

(f) Bill of Particulars. The court may direct the government to file a bill of particulars. The defendant may move for a bill of particulars before or within 14 days after arraignment or at a later time if the court permits. The government may amend a bill of particulars subject to such conditions as justice requires.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 17, 2000, eff. Dec. 1, 2000; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Pub. L. 108–21, title VI, §610(b), Apr. 30, 2003, 117 Stat. 692; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. This rule gives effect to the following provision of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury * * *”. An infamous crime has been defined as a crime punishable by death or by imprisonment in a penitentiary or at hard labor, Ex parte Wilson, 114 U.S. 417, 427; United States v. Moreland, 258 U.S. 433. Any sentence of imprisonment for a term of over one year may be served in a penitentiary, if so directed by the Attorney General, 18 U.S.C. 753f [now 4082, 4083] (Commitment of persons by any court of the United States and the juvenile court of the District of Columbia; place of confinement; transfers). Consequently any offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of over one year is an infamous crime.

2. Petty offenses and misdemeanors for which no infamous punishment is prescribed may now be prosecuted by information, 18 U.S.C. 541 [see 1] (Felonies and misdemeanors); Duke v. United States, 301 U.S. 492.

3. For a discussion of the provision for waiver of indictment, see Note to Rule 7(b), infra.

4. Presentment is not included as an additional type of formal accusation, since presentments as a method of instituting prosecutions are obsolete, at least as concerns the Federal courts.

Note to Subdivision (b). 1. Opportunity to waive indictment and to consent to prosecution by information will be a substantial aid to defendants, especially those who, because of inability to give bail, are incarcerated pending action of the grand jury, but desire to plead guilty. This rule is particularly important in those districts in which considerable intervals occur between sessions of the grand jury. In many districts where the grand jury meets infrequently a defendant unable to give bail and desiring to plead guilty is compelled to spend many days, and sometimes many weeks, and even months, in jail before he can begin the service of his sentence, whatever it may be, awaiting the action of a grand jury. Homer Cummings, 29 A.B.A.Jour. 654–655; Vanderbilt, 29 A.B.A.Jour. 376, 377; Robinson, 27 Jour. of the Am. Judicature Soc. 38, 45; Medalie, 4 Lawyers Guild R. (3)1, 3. The rule contains safeguards against improvident waivers.

The Judicial Conference of Senior Circuit Judges, in September 1941, recommended that “existing law or established procedure be so changed, that a defendant may waive indictment and plead guilty to an information filed by a United States attorney in all cases except capital felonies.” Report of the Judicial Conference of Senior Circuit Judges (1941) 13. In September 1942 the Judicial Conference recommended that provision be made “for waiver of indictment and jury trial, so that persons accused of crime may not be held in jail needlessly pending trial.” Id. (1942) 8.

Attorneys General of the United States have from time to time recommended legislation to permit defendants to waive indictment and to consent to prosecution by information. See Annual Report of the Attorney General of the United States (Mitchell) (1931) 3; Id. (Mitchell) (1932) 6; Id. (Cummings) (1933) 1, (1936) 2, (1937) 11, (1938) 9; Id. (Murphy) (1939) 7.

The Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act [now 18 U.S.C. 5031–5037], now permits a juvenile charged with an offense not punishable by death or life imprisonment to consent to prosecution by information on a charge of juvenile delinquency, 18 U.S.C. 922 [now 5032, 5033].

2. On the constitutionality of this rule, see United States v. Gill, 55 F.2d 399 (D.N.M.), holding that the constitutional guaranty of indictment by grand jury may be waived by defendant. It has also been held that other constitutional guaranties may be waived by the defendant, e. g., Patton v. United States, 281 U.S. 276 (trial by jury); Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458, 465 (right of counsel); Trono v. United States, 199 U.S. 521, 534 (protection against double jeopardy); United States v. Murdock, 284 U.S. 141, 148 (privilege against self-incrimination); Diaz v. United States, 223 U.S. 442, 450 (right of confrontation).

Note to Subdivision (c). 1. This rule introduces a simple form of indictment, illustrated by Forms 1 to 11 in the Appendix of Forms. Cf. Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix]. For discussion of the effect of this rule and a comparison between the present form of indictment and the simple form introduced by this rule, see Vanderbilt, 29 A.B.A.Jour. 376, 377; Homer Cummings, 29 A.B.A.Jour. 654, 655; Holtzoff, 3 F.R.D. 445, 448–449; Holtzoff, 12 Geo. Washington L.R. 119, 123–126; Medalie, 4 Lawyers Guild R. (3)1, 3.

2. The provision contained in the fifth sentence that it may be alleged in a single count that the means by which the defendant committed the offense are unknown, or that he committed it by one or more specified means, is intended to eliminate the use of multiple counts for the purpose of alleging the commission of the offense by different means or in different ways. Cf. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 8(e)(2) [28 U.S.C., Appendix].

3. The law at present regards citations to statutes or regulations as not a part of the indictment. A conviction may be sustained on the basis of a statute or regulation other than that cited. Williams v. United States, 168 U.S. 382, 389; United States v. Hutcheson, 312 U.S. 219, 229. The provision of the rule, in view of the many statutes and regulations, is for the benefit of the defendant and is not intended to cause a dismissal of the indictment, but simply to provide a means by which he can be properly informed without danger to the prosecution.

Note to Subdivision (d). This rule introduces a means of protecting the defendant against immaterial or irrelevant allegations in an indictment or information, which may, however, be prejudicial. The authority of the court to strike such surplusage is to be limited to doing so on defendant's motion, in the light of the rule that the guaranty of indictment by a grand jury implies that an indictment may not be amended, Ex parte Bain, 121 U.S. 1. By making such a motion, the defendant would, however, waive his rights in this respect.

Note to Subdivision (e). This rule continues the existing law that, unlike an indictment, an information may be amended, Muncy v. United States, 289 F. 780 (C.C.A. 4th).

Note to Subdivision (f). This rule is substantially a restatement of existing law on bills of particulars.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The amendment to the first sentence eliminating the requirement of a showing of cause is designed to encourage a more liberal attitude by the courts toward bills of particulars without taking away the discretion which courts must have in dealing with such motions in individual cases. For an illustration of wise use of this discretion see the opinion by Justice Whittaker written when he was a district judge in United States v. Smith, 16 F.R.D. 372 (W.D.Mo. 1954).

The amendment to the second sentence gives discretion to the court to permit late filing of motions for bills of particulars in meritorious cases. Use of late motions for the purpose of delaying trial should not, of course, be permitted. The courts have not been agreed as to their power to accept late motions in the absence of a local rule or a previous order. See United States v. Miller, 217 F.Supp. 760 (E.D.Pa. 1963); United States v. Taylor, 25 F.R.D. 225 (E.D.N.Y. 1960); United States v. Sterling, 122 F.Supp. 81 (E.D.Pa. 1954) (all taking a limited view of the power of the court). But cf. United States v. Brown, 179 F.Supp. 893 (E.D.N.Y. 1959) (exercising discretion to permit an out of time motion).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Subdivision (c)(2) is new. It is intended to provide procedural implementation of the recently enacted criminal forfeiture provision of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Title IX, §1963, and the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, Title II, §408(a)(2).

The Congress viewed the provisions of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 as reestablishing a limited common law criminal forfeiture. S. Rep. No. 91–617, 91st Cong., 1st Sess. 79–80 (1969). The legislative history of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 indicates a congressional purpose to have similar procedures apply to the forfeiture of profits or interests under that act. H. Rep. No. 91–1444 (part I), 91st Cong., 2d Sess. 81–85 (1970).

Under the common law, in a criminal forfeiture proceeding the defendant was apparently entitled to notice, trial, and a special jury finding on the factual issues surrounding the declaration of forfeiture which followed his criminal conviction. Subdivision (c)(2) provides for notice. Changes in rules 31 and 32 provide for a special jury finding and for a judgment authorizing the Attorney General to seize the interest or property forfeited.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

The amendment to rule 7(c)(2) is intended to clarify its meaning. Subdivision (c)(2) was added in 1972, and, as noted in the Advisory Committee Note thereto, was “intended to provide procedural implementation of the recently enacted criminal forfeiture provision of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Title IX, §1963, and the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, Title II, §408(a)(2).” These provisions reestablished a limited common law criminal forfeiture, necessitating the addition of subdivision (c)(2) and corresponding changes in rules 31 and 32, for at common law the defendant in a criminal forfeiture proceeding was entitled to notice, trial, and a special jury finding on the factual issues surrounding the declaration of forfeiture which followed his criminal conviction.

Although there is some doubt as to what forfeitures should be characterized as “punitive” rather than “remedial,” see Note, 62 Cornell L.Rev. 768 (1977), subdivision (c)(2) is intended to apply to those forfeitures which are criminal in the sense that they result from a special verdict under rule 31(e) and a judgment under rule 32(b)(2), and not to those resulting from a separate in rem proceeding. Because some confusion in this regard has resulted from the present wording of subdivision (c)(2), United States v. Hall, 521 F.2d 406 (9th Cir. 1975), a clarifying amendment is in order.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2000 Amendment

The rule is amended to reflect new Rule 32.2, which now governs criminal forfeiture procedures.

GAP Report—Rule 7. The Committee initially made no changes to the published draft of the Rule 7 amendment. However, because of changes to Rule 32.2(a), discussed infra, the proposed language has been changed to reflect that the indictment must provide notice of an intent to seek forfeiture.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 7 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic.

The Committee has deleted the references to “hard labor” in the rule. This punishment is not found in current federal statutes.

The Committee added an exception for criminal contempt to the requirement in Rule 7(a)(1) that a prosecution for felony must be initiated by indictment. This is consistent with case law, e.g., United States v. Eichhorst, 544 F.2d 1383 (7th Cir. 1976), which has sustained the use of the special procedures for instituting criminal contempt proceedings found in Rule 42. While indictment is not a required method of bringing felony criminal contempt charges, however, it is a permissible one. See United States v. Williams, 622 F.2d 830 (5th Cir. 1980). No change in practice is intended.

The title of Rule 7(c)(3) has been amended. The Committee believed that potential confusion could arise with the use of the term “harmless error.” Rule 52, which deals with the issues of harmless error and plain error, is sufficient to address the topic. Potentially, the topic of harmless error could arise with regard to any of the other rules and there is insufficient need to highlight the term in Rule 7. Rule 7(c)(3), on the other hand, focuses specifically on the effect of an error in the citation of authority in the indictment. That material remains but without any reference to harmless error.

Committee Notes on Rules—2009 Amendment

The time set in the former rule at 10 days has been revised to 14 days. See the Committee Note to Rule 45(a).

Subdivision (c). The provision regarding forfeiture is obsolete. In 2000 the same language was repeated in subdivision (a) of Rule 32.2, which was intended to consolidate the rules dealing with forfeiture.

Amendment by Public Law

2003—Subd. (c)(1). Pub. L. 108–21 inserted at end “For purposes of an indictment referred to in section 3282 of title 18, United States Code, for which the identity of the defendant is unknown, it shall be sufficient for the indictment to describe the defendant as an individual whose name is unknown, but who has a particular DNA profile, as that term is defined in that section 3282.”

Rule 8. Joinder of Offenses or Defendants

(a) Joinder of Offenses. The indictment or information may charge a defendant in separate counts with 2 or more offenses if the offenses charged—whether felonies or misdemeanors or both—are of the same or similar character, or are based on the same act or transaction, or are connected with or constitute parts of a common scheme or plan.

(b) Joinder of Defendants. The indictment or information may charge 2 or more defendants if they are alleged to have participated in the same act or transaction, or in the same series of acts or transactions, constituting an offense or offenses. The defendants may be charged in one or more counts together or separately. All defendants need not be charged in each count.

(As amended Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). This rule is substantially a restatement of existing law, 18 U.S.C. [former] 557 (Indictments and presentments; joinder of charges).

Note to Subdivision (b). The first sentence of the rule is substantially a restatement of existing law, 9 Edmunds, Cyclopedia of Federal Procedure (2d Ed.) 4116. The second sentence formulates a practice now approved in some circuits. Caringella v. United States, 78 F.2d 563, 567 (C.C.A. 7th).

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 8 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Rule 9. Arrest Warrant or Summons on an Indictment or Information

(a) Issuance. The court must issue a warrant—or at the government's request, a summons—for each defendant named in an indictment or named in an information if one or more affidavits accompanying the information establish probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant committed it. The court may issue more than one warrant or summons for the same defendant. If a defendant fails to appear in response to a summons, the court may, and upon request of an attorney for the government must, issue a warrant. The court must issue the arrest warrant to an officer authorized to execute it or the summons to a person authorized to serve it.

(b) Form.

(1) Warrant. The warrant must conform to Rule 4(b)(1) except that it must be signed by the clerk and must describe the offense charged in the indictment or information.

(2) Summons. The summons must be in the same form as a warrant except that it must require the defendant to appear before the court at a stated time and place.


(c) Execution or Service; Return; Initial Appearance.

(1) Execution or Service.

(A) The warrant must be executed or the summons served as provided in Rule 4(c)(1), (2), and (3).

(B) The officer executing the warrant must proceed in accordance with Rule 5(a)(1).


(2) Return. A warrant or summons must be returned in accordance with Rule 4(c)(4).

(3) Initial Appearance. When an arrested or summoned defendant first appears before the court, the judge must proceed under Rule 5.


(d) Warrant by Telephone or Other Means. In accordance with Rule 4.1, a magistrate judge may issue an arrest warrant or summons based on information communicated by telephone or other reliable electronic means.

(As amended Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, §3(4), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 370; Pub. L. 94–149, §5, Dec. 12, 1975, 89 Stat. 806; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 28, 1982, eff. Aug. 1, 1982; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec. 1, 2011.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

1. See Note to Rule 4, supra.

2. The provision of Rule 9(a) that a warrant may be issued on the basis of an information only if the latter is supported by oath is necessitated by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. See Albrecht v. United States, 273 U.S. 1, 5.

3. The provision of Rule 9(b)(1) that the amount of bail may be fixed by the court and endorsed on the warrant states a practice now prevailing in many districts and is intended to facilitate the giving of bail by the defendant and eliminate delays between the arrest and the giving of bail, which might ensue if bail cannot be fixed until after arrest.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Subdivision (b) is amended to make clear that the person arrested shall be brought before a United States magistrate if the information or indictment charges a “minor offense” triable by the United States magistrate.

Subdivision (c) is amended to reflect the office of United States magistrate.

Subdivision (d) is new. It provides for a remand to the United States magistrate of cases in which the person is charged with a “minor offense.” The magistrate can then proceed in accordance with rule 5 to try the case if the right to trial before a judge of the district court is waived.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment

Rule 9 is revised to give high priority to the issuance of a summons unless a “valid reason” is given for the issuance of an arrest warrant. See a comparable provision in rule 4.

Under the rule, a summons will issue by the clerk unless the attorney for the government presents a valid reason for the issuance of an arrest warrant. Under the old rule, it has been argued that the court must issue an arrest warrant if one is desired by the attorney for the government. See authorities listed in Frankel, Bench Warrants Upon the Prosecutor's Demand: A View From the Bench, 71 Colum.L.Rev. 403, 410 n. 25 (1971). For an expression of the view that this is undesirable policy, see Frankel, supra, pp. 410–415.

A summons may issue if there is an information supported by oath. The indictment itself is sufficient to establish the existence of probable cause. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §151 (1969); 8 J. Moore, Federal Practice  9.02[2] at p. 9–4 (2d ed.) Cipes (1969); Giordenello v. United States, 357 U.S. 480, 78 S.Ct. 1245, 2 L.Ed. 2d 1503 (1958). This is not necessarily true in the case of an information. See C. Wright, supra, §151; 8 J. Moore, supra,  9.02. If the government requests a warrant rather than a summons, good practice would obviously require the judge to satisfy himself that there is probable cause. This may appear from the information or from an affidavit filed with the information. Also a defendant can, at a proper time, challenge an information issued without probable cause.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 9 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure is closely related to Rule 4. Rule 9 deals with arrest procedures after an information has been filed or an indictment returned. The present rule gives the prosecutor the authority to decide whether a summons or a warrant shall issue.

The Supreme Court's amendments to Rule 9 parallel its amendments to Rule 4. The basic change made in Rule 4 is also made in Rule 9.

B. Committee Action. For the reasons set forth above in connection with Rule 4, the Committee endorses and accepts the basic change in Rule 9. The Committee made changes in Rule 9 similar to the changes it made in Rule 4.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Subdivision (a) is amended to make explicit the fact that a warrant may issue upon the basis of an information only if the information or an affidavit filed with the information shows probable cause for the arrest. This has generally been assumed to be the state of the law even though not specifically set out in rule 9; see C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §151 (1969); 8 J. Moore, Federal Practice par. 9.02[2] (2d ed. 1976).

In Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103 (1975), the Supreme Court rejected the contention “that the prosecutor's decision to file an information is itself a determination of probable cause that furnishes sufficient reason to detain a defendant pending trial,” commenting:

Although a conscientious decision that the evidence warrants prosecution affords a measure of protection against unfounded detention, we do not think prosecutorial judgment standing alone meets the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. Indeed, we think the Court's previous decisions compel disapproval of [such] procedure. In Albrecht v. United States, 273 U.S. 1, 5, 47 S.Ct. 250, 251, 71 L.Ed. 505 (1927), the Court held that an arrest warrant issued solely upon a United States Attorney's information was invalid because the accompanying affidavits were defective. Although the Court's opinion did not explicitly state that the prosecutor's official oath could not furnish probable cause, that conclusion was implicit in the judgment that the arrest was illegal under the Fourth Amendment.

No change is made in the rule with respect to warrants issuing upon indictments. In Gerstein, the Court indicated it was not disturbing the prior rule that “an indictment, ‘fair upon its face,’ and returned by a ‘properly constituted grand jury’ conclusively determines the existence of probable cause and requires issuance of an arrest warrant without further inquiry.” See Ex parte United States, 287 U.S. 241, 250 (1932).

The provision to the effect that a summons shall issue “by direction of the court” has been eliminated because it conflicts with the first sentence of the rule, which states that a warrant “shall” issue when requested by the attorney for the government, if properly supported. However, an addition has been made providing that if the attorney for the government does not make a request for either a warrant or summons, then the court may in its discretion issue either one. Other stylistic changes ensure greater consistency with comparable provisions in rule 4.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1982 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (a). The amendment of subdivision (a), by reference to Rule 5, clarifies what is to be done once the defendant is brought before the magistrate. This means, among other things, that no preliminary hearing is to be held in a Rule 9 case, as Rule 5(c) provides that no such hearing is to be had “if the defendant is indicted or if an information against the defendant is filed.”

Note to Subdivision (b). The amendment of subdivision (b) conforms Rule 9 to the comparable provisions in Rule 4(c)(1) and (2).

Note to Subdivision (c). The amendment of subdivision (c) conforms Rule 9 to the comparable provisions in Rules 4(d)(4) and 5(a) concerning return of the warrant.

Note to Subdivision (d). This subdivision, incorrect in its present form in light of the recent amendment of 18 U.S.C. §3401(a), has been abrogated as unnecessary in light of the change to subdivision (a).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The Rule is amended to conform to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 [P.L. 101–650, Title III, Section 321] which provides that each United States magistrate appointed under section 631 of title 28, United States Code, shall be known as a United States magistrate judge.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 9 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Rule 9 has been changed to reflect its relationship to Rule 4 procedures for obtaining an arrest warrant or summons. Thus, rather than simply repeating material that is already located in Rule 4, the Committee determined that where appropriate, Rule 9 should simply direct the reader to the procedures specified in Rule 4.

Rule 9(a) has been amended to permit a judge discretion whether to issue an arrest warrant when a defendant fails to respond to a summons on a complaint. Under the current language of the rule, if the defendant fails to appear, the judge must issue a warrant. Under the amended version, if the defendant fails to appear and the government requests that a warrant be issued, the judge must issue one. In the absence of such a request, the judge has the discretion to do so. This change mirrors language in amended Rule 4(a).

A second amendment has been made in Rule 9(b)(1). The rule has been amended to delete language permitting the court to set the amount of bail on the warrant. The Committee believes that this language is inconsistent with the 1984 Bail Reform Act. See United States v. Thomas, 992 F. Supp. 782 (D.V.I. 1998) (bail amount endorsed on warrant that has not been determined in proceedings conducted under Bail Reform Act has no bearing on decision by judge conducting Rule 40 hearing).

The language in current Rule 9(c)(1), concerning service of a summons on an organization, has been moved to Rule 4.

Committee Notes on Rules—2011 Amendment

Subdivision (d). Rule 9(d) authorizes a court to issue an arrest warrant or summons electronically on the return of an indictment or the filing of an information. In large judicial districts the need to travel to the courthouse to obtain an arrest warrant in person can be burdensome, and advances in technology make the secure transmission of a reliable version of the warrant or summons possible. This change works in conjunction with the amendment to Rule 6 that permits the electronic return of an indictment, which similarly eliminates the need to travel to the courthouse.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. No changes were made in the amendment as published.

Amendment by Public Law

1975—Subd. (a). Pub. L. 94–64 amended subd. (a) generally.

Subd. (b)(1). Pub. L. 94–149 substituted reference to “rule 4(c)(1)” for “rule 4(b)(1)”.

Subd. (c)(1). Pub. L. 94–149 substituted reference to “rule 4(d)(1), (2), and (3)” for “rule 4(c)(1), (2), and (3)”.

Effective Date of Amendments Proposed April 22, 1974; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendments of this rule embraced in the order of the United States Supreme Court on Apr. 22, 1974, and the amendments of this rule made by section 3 of Pub. L. 94–64, effective Dec. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

TITLE IV. ARRAIGNMENT AND PREPARATION FOR TRIAL

Rule 10. Arraignment

(a) In General. An arraignment must be conducted in open court and must consist of:

(1) ensuring that the defendant has a copy of the indictment or information;

(2) reading the indictment or information to the defendant or stating to the defendant the substance of the charge; and then

(3) asking the defendant to plead to the indictment or information.


(b) Waiving Appearance. A defendant need not be present for the arraignment if:

(1) the defendant has been charged by indictment or misdemeanor information;

(2) the defendant, in a written waiver signed by both the defendant and defense counsel, has waived appearance and has affirmed that the defendant received a copy of the indictment or information and that the plea is not guilty; and

(3) the court accepts the waiver.


(c) Video Teleconferencing. Video teleconferencing may be used to arraign a defendant if the defendant consents.

(As amended Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

1. The first sentence states the prevailing practice.

2. The requirement that the defendant shall be given a copy of the indictment or information before he is called upon to plead, contained in the second sentence, is new.

3. Failure to comply with arraignment requirements has been held not to be jurisdictional, but a mere technical irregularity not warranting a reversal of a conviction, if not raised before trial, Garland v. State of Washington, 232 U.S. 642.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 10 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Read together, Rules 10 and 43 require the defendant to be physically present in court for the arraignment. See, e.g., Valenzuela-Gonzales v. United States, 915 F.2d 1276, 1280 (9th Cir. 1990) (Rules 10 and 43 are broader in protection than the Constitution). The amendments to Rule 10 create two exceptions to that requirement. The first provides that the court may hold an arraignment in the defendant's absence when the defendant has waived the right to be present in writing and the court consents to that waiver. The second permits the court to hold arraignments by video teleconferencing when the defendant is at a different location. A conforming amendment has also been made to Rule 43.

In amending Rule 10 and Rule 43, the Committee was concerned that permitting a defendant to be absent from the arraignment could be viewed as an erosion of an important element of the judicial process. First, it may be important for a defendant to see and experience first-hand the formal impact of the reading of the charge. Second, it may be necessary for the court to personally see and speak with the defendant at the arraignment, especially when there is a real question whether the defendant actually understands the gravity of the proceedings. And third, there may be difficulties in providing the defendant with effective and confidential assistance of counsel if counsel, but not the defendant, appears at the arraignment.

The Committee nonetheless believed that in appropriate circumstances the court, and the defendant, should have the option of conducting the arraignment in the defendant's absence. The question of when it would be appropriate for a defendant to waive an appearance is not spelled out in the rule. That is left to the defendant and the court in each case.

A critical element to the amendment is that no matter how convenient or cost effective a defendant's absence might be, the defendant's right to be present in court stands unless he or she waives that right in writing. Under the amendment, both the defendant and the defendant's attorney must sign the waiver. Further, the amendment requires that the waiver specifically state that the defendant has received a copy of the charging instrument.

If the trial court has reason to believe that in a particular case the defendant should not be permitted to waive the right, the court may reject the waiver and require that the defendant actually appear in court. That might be particularly appropriate when the court wishes to discuss substantive or procedural matters in conjunction with the arraignment and the court believes that the defendant's presence is important in resolving those matters. It might also be appropriate to reject a requested waiver where an attorney for the government presents reasons for requiring the defendant to appear personally.

The amendment does not permit waiver of an appearance when the defendant is charged with a felony information. In that instance, the defendant is required by Rule 7(b) to be present in court to waive the indictment. Nor does the amendment permit a waiver of appearance when the defendant is standing mute (see Rule 11(a)(4)), or entering a conditional plea (see Rule 11(a)(2)), a nolo contendere plea (see Rule 11(a)(3)), or a guilty plea (see Rule 11(a)(1)). In each of those instances the Committee believed that it was more appropriate for the defendant to appear personally before the court.

It is important to note that the amendment does not permit the defendant to waive the arraignment itself, which may be a triggering mechanism for other rules.

Rule 10(c) addresses the second substantive change in the rule. That provision permits the court to conduct arraignments through video teleconferencing, if the defendant waives the right to be arraigned in court. Although the practice is now used in state courts and in some federal courts, Rules 10 and 43 have generally prevented federal courts from using that method for arraignments in criminal cases. See, e.g., Valenzuela-Gonzales v. United States, supra (Rules 10 and 43 mandate physical presence of defendant at arraignment and that arraignment take place in open court). A similar amendment was proposed by the Committee in 1993 and published for public comment. The amendment was later withdrawn from consideration in order to consider the results of several planned pilot programs. Upon further consideration, the Committee believed that the benefits of using video teleconferencing outweighed the costs of doing so. This amendment also parallels an amendment in Rule 5(f) that would permit initial appearances to be conducted by video teleconferencing.

In amending Rules 5, 10, and 43 (which generally requires the defendant's presence at all proceedings), the Committee carefully considered the argument that permitting a defendant to appear by video teleconferencing might be considered an erosion of an important element of the judicial process. Much can be lost when video teleconferencing occurs. First, the setting itself may not promote the public's confidence in the integrity and solemnity of a federal criminal proceeding; that is the view of some who have witnessed the use of such proceedings in some state jurisdictions. While it is difficult to quantify the intangible benefits and impact of requiring a defendant to be brought before a federal judicial officer in a federal courtroom, the Committee realizes that something is lost when a defendant is not required to make a personal appearance. A related consideration is that the defendant may be located in a room that bears no resemblance whatsoever to a judicial forum and the equipment may be inadequate for high-quality transmissions. Second, using video teleconferencing can interfere with counsel's ability to meet personally with his or her client at what, at least in that jurisdiction, might be an important appearance before a magistrate judge. Third, the defendant may miss an opportunity to meet with family or friends, and others who might be able to assist the defendant, especially in any attempts to obtain bail. Finally, the magistrate judge may miss an opportunity to accurately assess the physical, emotional, and mental condition of a defendant—a factor that may weigh on pretrial decisions, such as release from detention.

On the other hand, the Committee considered that in some jurisdictions, the courts face a high volume of criminal proceedings. The Committee was also persuaded to adopt the amendment because in some jurisdictions delays may occur in travel time from one location to another—in some cases requiring either the magistrate judge or the participants to travel long distances. In those instances, it is not unusual for a defense counsel to recognize the benefit of conducting a video teleconferenced proceeding, which will eliminate lengthy and sometimes expensive travel or permit the arraignment to be conducted much sooner. Finally, the Committee was aware that in some jurisdictions, courtrooms now contain high quality technology for conducting such procedures, and that some courts are already using video teleconferencing—with the consent of the parties.

The Committee believed that, on balance and in appropriate circumstances, the court and the defendant should have the option of using video teleconferencing for arraignments, as long as the defendant consents to that procedure. The question of when it would be appropriate for a defendant to consent is not spelled out in the rule. That is left to the defendant and the court in each case. Although the rule does not specify any particular technical requirements regarding the system to be used, if the equipment or technology is deficient, the public may lose confidence in the integrity and dignity of the proceedings.

The amendment does not require a court to adopt or use video teleconferencing. In deciding whether to use such procedures, a court may wish to consider establishing clearly articulated standards and procedures. For example, the court would normally want to insure that the location used for televising the video teleconferencing is conducive to the solemnity of a federal criminal proceeding. That might require additional coordination, for example, with the detention facility to insure that the room, furniture, and furnishings reflect the dignity associated with a federal courtroom. Provision should also be made to insure that the judge, or a surrogate, is in a position to carefully assess the condition of the defendant. And the court should also consider establishing procedures for insuring that counsel and the defendant (and even the defendant's immediate family) are provided an ample opportunity to confer in private.

Although the rule requires the defendant to waive a personal appearance for an arraignment, the rule does not require that the waiver for video teleconferencing be in writing. Nor does it require that the defendant waive that appearance in person, in open court. It would normally be sufficient for the defendant to waive an appearance while participating through a video teleconference.

The amendment leaves to the courts the decision first, whether to permit video arraignments, and second, the procedures to be used. The Committee was satisfied that the technology has progressed to the point that video teleconferencing can address the concerns raised in the past about the ability of the court and the defendant to see each other and for the defendant and counsel to be in contact with each other, either at the same location or by a secure remote connection.

Rule 11. Pleas

(a) Entering a Plea.

(1) In General. A defendant may plead not guilty, guilty, or (with the court's consent) nolo contendere.

(2) Conditional Plea. With the consent of the court and the government, a defendant may enter a conditional plea of guilty or nolo contendere, reserving in writing the right to have an appellate court review an adverse determination of a specified pretrial motion. A defendant who prevails on appeal may then withdraw the plea.

(3) Nolo Contendere Plea. Before accepting a plea of nolo contendere, the court must consider the parties’ views and the public interest in the effective administration of justice.

(4) Failure to Enter a Plea. If a defendant refuses to enter a plea or if a defendant organization fails to appear, the court must enter a plea of not guilty.


(b) Considering and Accepting a Guilty or Nolo Contendere Plea.

(1) Advising and Questioning the Defendant. Before the court accepts a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the defendant may be placed under oath, and the court must address the defendant personally in open court. During this address, the court must inform the defendant of, and determine that the defendant understands, the following:

(A) the government's right, in a prosecution for perjury or false statement, to use against the defendant any statement that the defendant gives under oath;

(B) the right to plead not guilty, or having already so pleaded, to persist in that plea;

(C) the right to a jury trial;

(D) the right to be represented by counsel—and if necessary have the court appoint counsel—at trial and at every other stage of the proceeding;

(E) the right at trial to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, to be protected from compelled self-incrimination, to testify and present evidence, and to compel the attendance of witnesses;

(F) the defendant's waiver of these trial rights if the court accepts a plea of guilty or nolo contendere;

(G) the nature of each charge to which the defendant is pleading;

(H) any maximum possible penalty, including imprisonment, fine, and term of supervised release;

(I) any mandatory minimum penalty;

(J) any applicable forfeiture;

(K) the court's authority to order restitution;

(L) the court's obligation to impose a special assessment;

(M) in determining a sentence, the court's obligation to calculate the applicable sentencing-guideline range and to consider that range, possible departures under the Sentencing Guidelines, and other sentencing factors under 18 U.S.C. §3553(a); and

(N) the terms of any plea-agreement provision waiving the right to appeal or to collaterally attack the sentence.


(2) Ensuring That a Plea Is Voluntary. Before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the court must address the defendant personally in open court and determine that the plea is voluntary and did not result from force, threats, or promises (other than promises in a plea agreement).

(3) Determining the Factual Basis for a Plea. Before entering judgment on a guilty plea, the court must determine that there is a factual basis for the plea.


(c) Plea Agreement Procedure.

(1) In General. An attorney for the government and the defendant's attorney, or the defendant when proceeding pro se, may discuss and reach a plea agreement. The court must not participate in these discussions. If the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere to either a charged offense or a lesser or related offense, the plea agreement may specify that an attorney for the government will:

(A) not bring, or will move to dismiss, other charges;

(B) recommend, or agree not to oppose the defendant's request, that a particular sentence or sentencing range is appropriate or that a particular provision of the Sentencing Guidelines, or policy statement, or sentencing factor does or does not apply (such a recommendation or request does not bind the court); or

(C) agree that a specific sentence or sentencing range is the appropriate disposition of the case, or that a particular provision of the Sentencing Guidelines, or policy statement, or sentencing factor does or does not apply (such a recommendation or request binds the court once the court accepts the plea agreement).


(2) Disclosing a Plea Agreement. The parties must disclose the plea agreement in open court when the plea is offered, unless the court for good cause allows the parties to disclose the plea agreement in camera.

(3) Judicial Consideration of a Plea Agreement.

(A) To the extent the plea agreement is of the type specified in Rule 11(c)(1)(A) or (C), the court may accept the agreement, reject it, or defer a decision until the court has reviewed the presentence report.

(B) To the extent the plea agreement is of the type specified in Rule 11(c)(1)(B), the court must advise the defendant that the defendant has no right to withdraw the plea if the court does not follow the recommendation or request.


(4) Accepting a Plea Agreement. If the court accepts the plea agreement, it must inform the defendant that to the extent the plea agreement is of the type specified in Rule 11(c)(1)(A) or (C), the agreed disposition will be included in the judgment.

(5) Rejecting a Plea Agreement. If the court rejects a plea agreement containing provisions of the type specified in Rule 11(c)(1)(A) or (C), the court must do the following on the record and in open court (or, for good cause, in camera):

(A) inform the parties that the court rejects the plea agreement;

(B) advise the defendant personally that the court is not required to follow the plea agreement and give the defendant an opportunity to withdraw the plea; and

(C) advise the defendant personally that if the plea is not withdrawn, the court may dispose of the case less favorably toward the defendant than the plea agreement contemplated.


(d) Withdrawing a Guilty or Nolo Contendere Plea. A defendant may withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere:

(1) before the court accepts the plea, for any reason or no reason; or

(2) after the court accepts the plea, but before it imposes sentence if:

(A) the court rejects a plea agreement under Rule 11(c)(5); or

(B) the defendant can show a fair and just reason for requesting the withdrawal.


(e) Finality of a Guilty or Nolo Contendere Plea. After the court imposes sentence, the defendant may not withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, and the plea may be set aside only on direct appeal or collateral attack.

(f) Admissibility or Inadmissibility of a Plea, Plea Discussions, and Related Statements. The admissibility or inadmissibility of a plea, a plea discussion, and any related statement is governed by Federal Rule of Evidence 410.

(g) Recording the Proceedings. The proceedings during which the defendant enters a plea must be recorded by a court reporter or by a suitable recording device. If there is a guilty plea or a nolo contendere plea, the record must include the inquiries and advice to the defendant required under Rule 11(b) and (c).

(h) Harmless Error. A variance from the requirements of this rule is harmless error if it does not affect substantial rights.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, §3(5)–(10), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 371, 372; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979, and Dec. 1, 1980; Apr. 28, 1982, eff. Aug. 1, 1982; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7076, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4406; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; Apr. 26, 1999, eff. Dec. 1, 1999; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1, 2007.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

1. This rule is substantially a restatement of existing law and practice, 18 U.S.C. [former] 564 (Standing mute); Fogus v. United States, 34 F.2d 97 (C.C.A. 4th) (duty of court to ascertain that plea of guilty is intelligently and voluntarily made).

2. The plea of nolo contendere has always existed in the Federal courts, Hudson v. United States, 272 U.S. 451; United States v. Norris, 281 U.S. 619. The use of the plea is recognized by the Probation Act, 18 U.S.C. 724 [now 3651]. While at times criticized as theoretically lacking in logical basis, experience has shown that it performs a useful function from a practical standpoint.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The great majority of all defendants against whom indictments or informations are filed in the federal courts plead guilty. Only a comparatively small number go to trial. See United States Attorneys Statistical Report, Fiscal Year 1964, p. 1. The fairness and adequacy of the procedures on acceptance of pleas of guilty are of vital importance in according equal justice to all in the federal courts.

Three changes are made in the second sentence. The first change makes it clear that before accepting either a plea of guilty or nolo contendere the court must determine that the plea is made voluntarily with understanding of the nature of the charge. The second change expressly requires the court to address the defendant personally in the course of determining that the plea is made voluntarily and with understanding of the nature of the charge. The reported cases reflect some confusion over this matter. Compare United States v. Diggs, 304 F.2d 929 (6th Cir. 1962); Domenica v. United States, 292 F.2d 483 (1st Cir. 1961); Gundlach v. United States, 262 F.2d 72 (4th Cir. 1958), cert. den., 360 U.S. 904 (1959); and Julian v. United States, 236 F.2d 155 (6th Cir. 1956), which contain the implication that personal interrogation of the defendant is the better practice even when he is represented by counsel, with Meeks v. United States, 298 F.2d 204 (5th Cir. 1962); Nunley v. United States, 294 F.2d 579 (10th Cir. 1961), cert. den., 368 U.S. 991 (1962); and United States v. Von der Heide, 169 F.Supp. 560 (D.D.C. 1959).

The third change in the second sentence adds the words “and the consequences of his plea” to state what clearly is the law. See, e.g., Von Moltke v. Gillies, 332 U.S. 708, 724 (1948); Kercheval v. United States, 274 U.S. 220, 223 (1927); Munich v. United States, 337 F.2d 356 (9th Cir. 1964); Pilkington v. United States, 315 F.2d 204 (4th Cir. 1963); Smith v. United States, 324 F.2d 436 (D.C. Cir. 1963); but cf. Marvel v. United States, 335 F.2d 101 (5th Cir. 1964).

A new sentence is added at the end of the rule to impose a duty on the court in cases where the defendant pleads guilty to satisfy itself that there is a factual basis for the plea before entering judgment. The court should satisfy itself, by inquiry of the defendant or the attorney for the government, or by examining the presentence report, or otherwise, that the conduct which the defendant admits constitutes the offense charged in the indictment or information or an offense included therein to which the defendant has pleaded guilty. Such inquiry should, e.g., protect a defendant who is in the position of pleading voluntarily with an understanding of the nature of the charge but without realizing that his conduct does not actually fall within the charge. For a similar requirement see Mich. Stat. Ann. §28.1058 (1954); Mich. Sup. Ct. Rule 35A; In re Valle, 364 Mich. 471, 110 N.W.2d 673 (1961); People v. Barrows, 358 Mich. 267, 99 N.W.2d 347 (1959); People v. Bumpus, 355 Mich. 374, 94 N.W.2d 854 (1959); People v. Coates, 337 Mich. 56, 59 N.W.2d 83 (1953). See also Stinson v. United States, 316 F.2d 554 (5th Cir. 1963). The normal consequence of a determination that there is not a factual basis for the plea would be for the court to set aside the plea and enter a plea of not guilty.

For a variety of reasons it is desirable in some cases to permit entry of judgment upon a plea of nolo contendere without inquiry into the factual basis for the plea. The new third sentence is not, therefore, made applicable to pleas of nolo contendere. It is not intended by this omission to reflect any view upon the effect of a plea of nolo contendere in relation to a plea of guilty. That problem has been dealt with by the courts. See e.g., Lott v. United States, 367 U.S. 421, 426 (1961).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment

The amendments to rule 11 are designed to achieve two principal objectives:

(1) Subdivision (c) prescribes the advice which the court must give to insure that the defendant who pleads guilty has made an informed plea.

(2) Subdivision (e) provides a plea agreement procedure designed to give recognition to the propriety of plea discussions; to bring the existence of a plea agreement out into the open in court; and to provide methods for court acceptance or rejection of a plea agreement.

Other less basic changes are also made. The changes are discussed in the order in which they appear in the rule.

Subdivision (b) retains the requirement that the defendant obtain the consent of the court in order to plead nolo contendere. It adds that the court shall, in deciding whether to accept the plea, consider the views of the prosecution and of the defense and also the larger public interest in the administration of criminal justice.

Although the plea of nolo contendere has long existed in the federal courts, Hudson v. United States, 272 U.S. 451, 47 S.Ct. 127, 71 L.Ed. 347 (1926), the desirability of the plea has been a subject of disagreement. Compare Lane-Reticker, Nolo Contendere in North Carolina, 34 N.C.L.Rev. 280, 290–291 (1956), with Note. The Nature and Consequences of the Plea of Nolo Contendere, 33 Neb.L.Rev. 428, 434 (1954), favoring the plea. The American Bar Association Project on Standards for Criminal Justice takes the position that “the case for the nolo plea is not strong enough to justify a minimum standard supporting its use,” but because “use of the plea contributes in some degree to the avoidance of unnecessary trials” it does not proscribe use of the plea. ABA, Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.1(a) Commentary at 16 (Approved Draft, 1968).

A plea of nolo contendere is, for purposes of punishment, the same as the plea of guilty. See discussion of the history of the nolo plea in North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 35–36 n. 8, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970). Note, The Nature and Consequences of the Plea of Nolo Contendere, 33 Neb.L.Rev. 428, 430 (1954). A judgment upon the plea is a conviction and may be used to apply multiple offender statutes. Lenvin and Meyers, Nolo Contendere: Its Nature and Implications, 51 Yale L.J. 1255, 1265 (1942). Unlike a plea of guilty, however, it cannot be used against a defendant as an admission in a subsequent criminal or civil case. 4 Wigmore §1066(4), at 58 (3d ed. 1940, Supp. 1970); Rules of Evidence for United States Courts and Magistrates, rule 803(22) (Nov. 1971). See Lenvin and Meyers, Nolo Contendere: Its Nature and Implications, 51 Yale L.J. 1255 (1942); ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §§1.1(a) and (b), Commentary at 15–18 (Approved Draft, 1968).

The factors considered relevant by particular courts in determining whether to permit the plea of nolo contendere vary. Compare United States v. Bagliore, 182 F.Supp. 714, 716 (E.D.N.Y. 1960), where the view is taken that the plea should be rejected unless a compelling reason for acceptance is established, with United States v. Jones, 119 F.Supp. 288, 290 (S.D.Cal. 1954), where the view is taken that the plea should be accepted in the absence of a compelling reason to the contrary.

A defendant who desires to plead nolo contendere will commonly want to avoid pleading guilty because the plea of guilty can be introduced as an admission in subsequent civil litigation. The prosecution may oppose the plea of nolo contendere because it wants a definite resolution of the defendant's guilty or innocence either for correctional purposes or for reasons of subsequent litigation. ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.1(b) Commentary at 16–18 (Approved Draft, 1968). Under subdivision (b) of the new rule the balancing of the interests is left to the trial judge, who is mandated to take into account the larger public interest in the effective administration of justice.

Subdivision (c) prescribes the advice which the court must give to the defendant as a prerequisite to the acceptance of a plea of guilty. The former rule required that the court determine that the plea was made with “understanding of the nature of the charge and the consequences of the plea.” The amendment identifies more specifically what must be explained to the defendant and also codifies, in the rule, the requirements of Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274 (1969), which held that a defendant must be apprised of the fact that he relinquishes certain constitutional rights by pleading guilty.

Subdivision (c) retains the requirement that the court address the defendant personally. See McCarthy v. United States, 394 U.S. 459, 466, 89 S.Ct. 1166, 22 L.Ed.2d 418 (1969). There is also an amendment to rule 43 to make clear that a defendant must be in court at the time of the plea.

Subdivision (c)(1) retains the current requirement that the court determine that the defendant understands the nature of the charge. This is a common requirement. See ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.4(a) (Approved Draft, 1968); Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402(a)(1) (1970), Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, §402(a)(1). The method by which the defendant's understanding of the nature of the charge is determined may vary from case to case, depending on the complexity of the circumstances and the particular defendant. In some cases, a judge may do this by reading the indictment and by explaining the elements of the offense to the defendants. Thompson, The Judge's Responsibility on a Plea of Guilty 62 W.Va.L.Rev. 213, 220 (1960); Resolution of Judges of U.S. District Court for D.C., June 24, 1959.

Former rule 11 required the court to inform the defendant of the “consequences of the plea.” Subdivision (c)(2) changes this and requires instead that the court inform the defendant of and determine that he understands “the mandatory minimum penalty provided by law, if any, and the maximum possible penalty provided by law for the offense to which the plea is offered.” The objective is to insure that a defendant knows what minimum sentence the judge must impose and what maximum sentence the judge may impose. This information is usually readily ascertainable from the face of the statute defining the crime, and thus it is feasible for the judge to know specifically what to tell the defendant. Giving this advice tells a defendant the shortest mandatory sentence and also the longest possible sentence for the offense to which he is pleading guilty.

It has been suggested that it is desirable to inform a defendant of additional consequences which might follow from his plea of guilty. Durant v. United States, 410 F.2d 689 (1st Cir. 1969), held that a defendant must be informed of his ineligibility for parole. Trujillo v. United States, 377 F.2d 266 (5th Cir. 1967), cert. denied 389 U.S. 899, 88 S.Ct. 224, 19 L.Ed.2d 221 (1967), held that advice about eligibility for parole is not required. It has been suggested that a defendant be advised that a jury might find him guilty only of a lesser included offense. C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §173 at 374 (1969). See contra Dorrough v. United States, 385 F.2d 887 (5th Cir. 1967). The ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.4(c)(iii) (Approved Draft, 1968) recommend that the defendant be informed that he may be subject to additional punishment if the offense charged is one for which a different or additional punishment is authorized by reason of the defendant's previous conviction.

Under the rule the judge is not required to inform a defendant about these matters, though a judge is free to do so if he feels a consequence of a plea of guilty in a particular case is likely to be of real significance to the defendant. Currently, certain consequences of a plea of guilty, such as parole eligibility, may be so complicated that it is not feasible to expect a judge to clearly advise the defendant. For example, the judge may impose a sentence under 18 U.S.C. §4202 making the defendant eligible for parole when he has served one third of the judicially imposed maximum; or, under 18 U.S.C. §4208(a)(1), making parole eligibility after a specified period of time less than one third of the maximum; or, under 18 U.S.C. §4208(a)(2), leaving eligibility to the discretion of the parole board. At the time the judge is required to advise the defendant of the consequences of his plea, the judge will usually not have seen the presentence report and thus will have no basis for giving a defendant any very realistic advice as to when he might be eligible for parole. Similar complications exist with regard to other, particularly collateral, consequences of a plea of guilty in a given case.

Subdivisions (c)(3) and (4) specify the constitutional rights that the defendant waives by a plea of guilty or nolo contendere. These subdivisions are designed to satisfy the requirements of understanding waiver set forth in Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274 (1969). Subdivision (c)(3) is intended to require that the judge inform the defendant and determine that he understands that he waives his fifth amendment rights. The rule takes the position that the defendant's right not to incriminate himself is best explained in terms of his right to plead not guilty and to persist in that plea if it has already been made. This is language identical to that adopted in Illinois for the same purpose. See Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402(a)(3) (1970), Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, §402(a)(3).

Subdivision (c)(4) assumes that a defendant's right to have his guilt proved beyond a reasonable doubt and the right to confront his accusers are best explained by indicating that the right to trial is waived. Specifying that there will be no future trial of any kind makes this fact clear to those defendants who, though knowing they have waived trial by jury, are under the mistaken impression that some kind of trial will follow. Illinois has recently adopted similar language. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402(a)(4) (1970), Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, §402(a)(4). In explaining to a defendant that he waives his right to trial, the judge may want to explain some of the aspects of trial such as the right to confront witnesses, to subpoena witnesses, to testify in his own behalf, or, if he chooses, not to testify. What is required, in this respect, to conform to Boykin is left to future case-law development.

Subdivision (d) retains the requirement that the court determine that a plea of guilty or nolo contendere is voluntary before accepting it. It adds the requirement that the court also inquire whether the defendant's willingness to plead guilty or nolo contendere results from prior plea discussions between the attorney for the government and the defendant or his attorney. See Santobello v. New York, 404 U.S. 257, 261–262, 92 S.Ct. 495, 30 L.Ed.2d 427 (1971): “The plea must, of course, be voluntary and knowing and if it was induced by promises, the essence of those promises must in some way be made known.” Subdivisions (d) and (e) afford the court adequate basis for rejecting an improper plea agreement induced by threats or inappropriate promises.

The new rule specifies that the court personally address the defendant in determining the voluntariness of the plea.

By personally interrogating the defendant, not only will the judge be better able to ascertain the plea's voluntariness, but he will also develop a more complete record to support his determination in a subsequent post-conviction attack. * * * Both of these goals are undermined in proportion to the degree the district judge resorts to “assumptions” not based upon recorded responses to his inquiries. McCarthy v. United States, 394 U.S. 459, 466, 467, 89 S.Ct. 1166, 22 L.Ed.2d 418 (1969).

Subdivision (e) provides a plea agreement procedure. In doing so it gives recognition to the propriety of plea discussions and plea agreements provided that they are disclosed in open court and subject to acceptance or rejection by the trial judge.

Although reliable statistical information is limited, one recent estimate indicated that guilty pleas account for the disposition of as many as 95% of all criminal cases. ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty, pp. 1–2 (Approved Draft, 1968). A substantial number of these are the result of plea discussions. The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, Task Force Report: The Courts 9 (1967); D. Newman, Conviction: The Determination of Guilt or Innocence Without Trial 3 (1966); L. Weinreb, Criminal Process 437 (1969); Note, Guilty Plea Bargaining: Compromises by Prosecutors To Secure Guilty Pleas, 112 U.Pa.L.Rev. 865 (1964).

There is increasing acknowledgement of both the inevitability and the propriety of plea agreements. See, e.g., ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.1 (Approved Draft, 1968); Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402 (1970), Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, §402.

In Brady v. United States, 397 U.S. 742, 752–753, 90 S.Ct. 1463, 25 L.Ed.2d 747 (1970), the court said:

Of course, that the prevalence of guilty pleas is explainable does not necessarily validate those pleas or the system which produces them. But we cannot hold that it is unconstitutional for the State to extend a benefit to a defendant who in turn extends a substantial benefit to the State and who demonstrates by his plea that he is ready and willing to admit his crime and to enter the correctional system in a frame of mind that affords hope for success in rehabilitation over a shorter period of time than might otherwise be necessary.

In Santobello v. New York, 404 U.S. 257, 260, 92 S.Ct. 495, 498, 30 L.Ed.2d 427 (1971), the court said:

The disposition of criminal charges by agreement between the prosecutor and the accused, sometimes loosely called “plea bargaining,” is an essential component of the administration of justice. Properly administered, it is to be encouraged.

Administratively, the criminal justice system has come to depend upon pleas of guilty and, hence, upon plea discussions. See, e.g., President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, Task Force Report. The Courts 9 (1967); Note, Guilty Plea Bargaining: Compromises By Prosecutors To Secure Guilty Pleas, 112 U.Pa.L.Rev. 865 (1964). But expediency is not the basis for recognizing the propriety of a plea agreement practice. Properly implemented, a plea agreement procedure is consistent with both effective and just administration of the criminal law. Santobello v. New York, 404 U.S. 257, 92 S.Ct. 495, 30 L.Ed.2d 427. This is the conclusion reached in the ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.8 (Approved Draft, 1968); the ABA Standards Relating to The Prosecution Function and The Defense Function pp. 243–253 (Approved Draft, 1971); and the ABA Standards Relating to the Function of the Trial Judge, §4.1 (App.Draft, 1972). The Supreme Court of California recently recognized the propriety of plea bargaining. See People v. West, 3 Cal.3d 595, 91 Cal.Rptr. 385, 477 P.2d 409 (1970). A plea agreement procedure has recently been decided in the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions upon the recommendation of the United States Attorney. See 51 F.R.D. 109 (1971).

Where the defendant by his plea aids in insuring prompt and certain application of correctional measures, the proper ends of the criminal justice system are furthered because swift and certain punishment serves the ends of both general deterrence and the rehabilitation of the individual defendant. Cf. Note, The Influence of the Defendant's Plea on Judicial Determination of Sentence, 66 Yale L.J. 204, 211 (1956). Where the defendant has acknowledged his guilt and shown a willingness to assume responsibility for his conduct, it has been thought proper to recognize this in sentencing. See also ALI, Model Penal Code §7.01 (P.O.D. 1962); NPPA Guides for Sentencing (1957). Granting a charge reduction in return for a plea of guilty may give the sentencing judge needed discretion, particularly where the facts of a case do not warrant the harsh consequences of a long mandatory sentence or collateral consequences which are unduly severe. A plea of guilty avoids the necessity of a public trial and may protect the innocent victim of a crime against the trauma of direct and cross-examination.

Finally, a plea agreement may also contribute to the successful prosecution of other more serious offenders. See D. Newman, Conviction: The Determination of Guilt or Innocence Without Trial, chs. 2 and 3 (1966); Note, Guilty Plea Bargaining: Compromises By Prosecutors To Secure Guilty Pleas, 112 U.Pa.L.Rev. 865, 881 (1964).

Where plea discussions and agreements are viewed as proper, it is generally agreed that it is preferable that the fact of the plea agreement be disclosed in open court and its propriety be reviewed by the trial judge.

We have previously recognized plea bargaining as an ineradicable fact. Failure to recognize it tends not to destroy it but to drive it underground. We reiterate what we have said before: that when plea bargaining occurs it ought to be spread on the record [The Bench Book prepared by the Federal Judicial Center for use by United States District Judges now suggests that the defendant be asked by the court “if he believes there is any understanding or if any predictions have been made to him concerning the sentence he will receive.” Bench Book for United States District Judges, Federal Judicial Center (1969) at 1.05.3.] and publicly disclosed. United States v. Williams, 407 F.2d 940 (4th Cir. 1969). * * * In the future we think that the district judges should not only make the general inquiry under Rule 11 as to whether the plea of guilty has been coerced or induced by promises, but should specifically inquire of counsel whether plea bargaining has occurred. Logically the general inquiry should elicit information about plea bargaining, but it seldom has in the past. Raines v. United States, 423 F.2d 526, 530 (4th Cir. 1970).

In the past, plea discussions and agreements have occurred in an informal and largely invisible manner. Enker, Perspectives on Plea Bargaining, in President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, Task Force Report: The Courts 108, 115 (1967). There has often been a ritual of denial that any promises have been made, a ritual in which judges, prosecutors, and defense counsel have participated. ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.1, Commentary at 60–69 (Approved Draft 1968); Task Force Report: The Courts 9. Consequently, there has been a lack of effective judicial review of the propriety of the agreements, thus increasing the risk of real or apparent unfairness. See ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.1, Commentary at 60 et seq.; Task Force Report: The Courts 9–13.

The procedure described in subdivision (e) is designed to prevent abuse of plea discussions and agreements by providing appropriate and adequate safeguards.

Subdivision (e)(1) specifies that the “attorney for the government and the attorney for the defendant or the defendant when acting pro se may” participate in plea discussions. The inclusion of “the defendant when acting pro se” is intended to reflect the fact that there are situations in which a defendant insists upon representing himself. It may be desirable that an attorney for the government not enter plea discussions with a defendant personally. If necessary, counsel can be appointed for purposes of plea discussions. (Subdivision (d) makes it mandatory that the court inquire of the defendant whether his plea is the result of plea discussions between him and the attorney for the government. This is intended to enable the court to reject an agreement reached by an unrepresented defendant unless the court is satisfied that acceptance of the agreement adequately protects the rights of the defendant and the interests of justice.) This is substantially the position of the ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.1(a), Commentary at 65–66 (Approved Draft, 1968). Apparently, it is the practice of most prosecuting attorneys to enter plea discussions only with defendant's counsel. Note, Guilty Plea Bargaining: Compromises By Prosecutors To Secure Guilty Pleas, 112 U.Pa.L.Rev. 865, 904 (1964). Discussions without benefit of counsel increase the likelihood that such discussions may be unfair. Some courts have indicated that plea discussions in the absence of defendant's attorney may be constitutionally prohibited. See Anderson v. North Carolina, 221 F.Supp. 930, 935 (W.D.N.C.1963); Shape v. Sigler, 230 F.Supp. 601, 606 (D.Neb. 1964).

Subdivision (e)(1) is intended to make clear that there are four possible concessions that may be made in a plea agreement. First, the charge may be reduced to a lesser or related offense. Second, the attorney for the government may promise to move for dismissal of other charges. Third, the attorney for the government may agree to recommend or not oppose the imposition of a particular sentence. Fourth, the attorneys for the government and the defense may agree that a given sentence is an appropriate disposition of the case. This is made explicit in subdivision (e)(2) where reference is made to an agreement made “in the expectation that a specific sentence will be imposed.” See Note, Guilty Plea Bargaining: Compromises By Prosecutors To Secure Guilty Pleas, 112 U.Pa.L.Rev. 865, 898 (1964).

Subdivision (e)(1) prohibits the court from participating in plea discussions. This is the position of the ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.3(a) (Approved Draft, 1968).

It has been stated that it is common practice for a judge to participate in plea discussions. See D. Newman, Conviction: The Determination of Guilt or Innocence Without Trial 32–52, 78–104 (1966); Note, Guilty Plea Bargaining: Compromises By Prosecutors To Secure Guilty Pleas, 112 U.Pa.L.Rev. 865, 891, 905 (1964).

There are valid reasons for a judge to avoid involvement in plea discussions. It might lead the defendant to believe that he would not receive a fair trial, were there a trial before the same judge. The risk of not going along with the disposition apparently desired by the judge might induce the defendant to plead guilty, even if innocent. Such involvement makes it difficult for a judge to objectively assess the voluntariness of the plea. See ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.3(a), Commentary at 72–74 (Approved Draft, 1968); Note, Guilty Plea Bargaining: Compromises By Prosecutors To Secure Guilty Pleas, 112 U.Pa.L.Rev. 865, 891–892 (1964); Comment, Official Inducements to Plead Guilty: Suggested Morals for a Marketplace, 32 U.Chi.L.Rev. 167, 180–183 (1964); Informal Opinion No. 779 ABA Professional Ethics Committee (“A judge should not be a party to advance arrangements for the determination of sentence, whether as a result of a guilty plea or a finding of guilt based on proof.”), 51 A.B.A.J. 444 (1965). As has been recently pointed out:

The unequal positions of the judge and the accused, one with the power to commit to prison and the other deeply concerned to avoid prison, as once raise a question of fundamental fairness. When a judge becomes a participant in plea bargaining he brings to bear the full force and majesty of his office. His awesome power to impose a substantially longer or even maximum sentence in excess of that proposed is present whether referred to or not. A defendant needs no reminder that if he rejects the proposal, stands upon his right to trial and is convicted, he faces a significantly longer sentence. United States ex rel. Elksnis v. Gilligan, 256 F.Supp. 244, 254 (S.D.N.Y. 1966).

On the other hand, one commentator has taken the position that the judge may be involved in discussions either after the agreement is reached or to help elicit facts and an agreement. Enker, Perspectives on Plea Bargaining, in President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, Task Force Report: The Courts 108, 117–118 (1967).

The amendment makes clear that the judge should not participate in plea discussions leading to a plea agreement. It is contemplated that the judge may participate in such discussions as may occur when the plea agreement is disclosed in open court. This is the position of the recently adopted Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402(d)(1) (1970), Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, §402(d)(1). As to what may constitute “participation,” contrast People v. Earegood, 12 Mich.App. 256, 268–269, 162 N.W.2d 802, 809–810 (1968), with Kruse v. State, 47 Wis.2d 460, 177 N.W.2d 322 (1970).

Subdivision (e)(2) provides that the judge shall require the disclosure of any plea agreement in open court. In People v. West, 3 Cal.3d 595, 91 Cal.Rptr. 385, 477 P.2d 409 (1970), the court said:

[T]he basis of the bargain should be disclosed to the court and incorporated in the record. * * *

Without limiting that court to those we set forth, we note four possible methods of incorporation: (1) the bargain could be stated orally and recorded by the court reporter, whose notes then must be preserved or transcribed; (2) the bargain could be set forth by the clerk in the minutes of the court; (3) the parties could file a written stipulation stating the terms of the bargain; (4) finally, counsel or the court itself may find it useful to prepare and utilize forms for the recordation of plea bargains. 91 Cal.Rptr. 393, 394, 477 P.2d at 417, 418.

The District of Columbia Court of General Sessions is using a “Sentence-Recommendation Agreement” form.

Upon notice of the plea agreement, the court is given the option to accept or reject the agreement or defer its decision until receipt of the presentence report.

The judge may, and often should, defer his decision until he examines the presentence report. This is made possible by rule 32 which allows a judge, with the defendant's consent, to inspect a presentence report to determine whether a plea agreement should be accepted. For a discussion of the use of conditional plea acceptance, see ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.3(b), Commentary at 74–76, and Supplement, Proposed Revisions §3.3(b) at 2–3 (Approved Draft, 1968); Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402(d)(2) (1970), Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, §402(d)(2).

The plea agreement procedure does not attempt to define criteria for the acceptance or rejection of a plea agreement. Such a decision is left to the discretion of the individual trial judge.

Subdivision (e)(3) makes is mandatory, if the court decides to accept the plea agreement, that it inform the defendant that it will embody in the judgment and sentence the disposition provided in the plea agreement, or one more favorable to the defendant. This serves the purpose of informing the defendant immediately that the agreement will be implemented.

Subdivision (e)(4) requires the court, if it rejects the plea agreement, to inform the defendant of this fact and to advise the defendant personally, in open court, that the court is not bound by the plea agreement. The defendant must be afforded an opportunity to withdraw his plea and must be advised that if he persists in his guilty plea or plea of nolo contendere, the disposition of the case may be less favorable to him than that contemplated by the plea agreement. That the defendant should have the opportunity to withdraw his plea if the court rejects the plea agreement is the position taken in ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty, Supplement, Proposed Revisions §2.1(a)(ii)(5) (Approved Draft, 1968). Such a rule has been adopted in Illinois. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402(d)(2) (1970), Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, §402(d)(2).

If the court rejects the plea agreement and affords the defendant the opportunity to withdraw the plea, the court is not precluded from accepting a guilty plea from the same defendant at a later time, when such plea conforms to the requirements of rule 11.

Subdivision (e)(5) makes it mandatory that, except for good cause shown, the court be notified of the existence of a plea agreement at the arraignment or at another time prior to trial fixed by the court. Having a plea entered at this stage provides a reasonable time for the defendant to consult with counsel and for counsel to complete any plea discussions with the attorney for the government. ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.3 (Approved Draft, 1968). The objective of the provision is to make clear that the court has authority to require a plea agreement to be disclosed sufficiently in advance of trial so as not to interfere with the efficient scheduling of criminal cases.

Subdivision (e)(6) is taken from rule 410, Rules of Evidence for United States Courts and Magistrates (Nov. 1971). See Advisory Committee Note thereto. See also the ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §2.2 (Approved Draft, 1968); Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402(f) (1970), Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, §402(f).

Subdivision (f) retains the requirement of old rule 11 that the court should not enter judgment upon a plea of guilty without making such an inquiry as will satisfy it that there is a factual basis for the plea. The draft does not specify that any particular type of inquiry be made. See Santobello v. New York, 404 U.S. 257, 261, 92 S.Ct. 495, 30 L.Ed.2d 427 (1971); “Fed.Rule Crim.Proc. 11, governing pleas in federal courts, now makes clear that the sentencing judge must develop, on the record, the factual basis for the plea, as, for example, by having the accused describe the conduct that gave rise to the charge.” An inquiry might be made of the defendant, of the attorneys for the government and the defense, of the presentence report when one is available, or by whatever means is appropriate in a specific case. This is the position of the ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.6 (Approved Draft, 1968). Where inquiry is made of the defendant himself it may be desirable practice to place the defendant under oath. With regard to a determination that there is a factual basis for a plea of guilty to a “lessor or related offense,” compare ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.1(b)(ii), Commentary at 67–68 (Approved Draft, 1968), with ALI, Model Penal Code §1.07(5) (P.O.D. 1962). The rule does not speak directly to the issue of whether a judge may accept a plea of guilty where there is a factual basis for the plea but the defendant asserts his innocence. North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970). The procedure in such case would seem to be to deal with this as a plea of nolo contendere, the acceptance of which would depend upon the judge's decision as to whether acceptance of the plea is consistent with “the interest of the public in the effective administration of justice” [new rule 11(b)]. The defendant who asserts his innocence while pleading guilty or nolo contendere is often difficult to deal with in a correctional setting, and it may therefore be preferable to resolve the issue of guilt or innocence at the trial stage rather than leaving that issue unresolved, thus complicating subsequent correctional decisions. The rule is intended to make clear that a judge may reject a plea of nolo contendere and require the defendant either to plead not guilty or to plead guilty under circumstances in which the judge is able to determine that the defendant is in fact guilty of the crime to which he is pleading guilty.

Subdivision (g) requires that a verbatim record be kept of the proceedings. If there is a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the record must include, without limitation, the court's advice to the defendant, the inquiry into the voluntariness of the plea and the plea agreement, and the inquiry into the accuracy of the plea. Such a record is important in the event of a postconviction attack. ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.7 (Approved Draft, 1968). A similar requirement was adopted in Illinois: Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402(e) (1970), Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, §402(e).

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure deals with pleas. The Supreme Court has proposed to amend this rule extensively.

Rule 11 provides that a defendant may plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere. The Supreme Court's amendments to Rule 11(b) provide that a nolo contendere plea “shall be accepted by the court only after due consideration of the views of the parties and the interest of the public in the effective administration of justice.”

The Supreme Court amendments to Rule 11(c) spell out the advise that the court must give to the defendant before accepting the defendant's plea of guilty or nolo contendere. The Supreme Court amendments to Rule 11(d) set forth the steps that the court must take to insure that a guilty or nolo contendere plea has been voluntarily made.

The Supreme Court amendments to Rule 11(e) establish a plea agreement procedure. This procedure permits the parties to discuss disposing of a case without a trial and sets forth the type of agreements that the parties can reach concerning the disposition of the case. The procedure is not mandatory; a court is free not to permit the parties to present plea agreements to it.

The Supreme Court amendments to Rule 11(f) require that the court, before entering judgment upon a plea of guilty, satisfy itself that “there is a factual basis for the plea.” The Supreme Court amendments to Rule 11(g) require that a verbatim record be kept of the proceedings at which the defendant enters a plea.

B. Committee Action. The proposed amendments to Rule 11, particularly those relating to the plea negotiating procedure, have generated much comment and criticism. No observer is entirely happy that our criminal justice system must rely to the extent it does on negotiated dispositions of cases. However, crowded court dockets make plea negotiating a fact that the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure should contend with. The Committee accepts the basic structure and provisions of Rule 11(e).

Rule 11(e) as proposed permits each federal court to decide for itself the extent to which it will permit plea negotiations to be carried on within its own jurisdiction. No court is compelled to permit any plea negotiations at all. Proposed Rule 11(e) regulates plea negotiations and agreements if, and to the extent that, the court permits such negotiations and agreements. [Proposed Rule 11(e) has been criticized by some federal judges who read it to mandate the court to permit plea negotiations and the reaching of plea agreements. The Advisory Committee stressed during its testimony that the rule does not mandate that a court permit any form of plea agreement to be presented to it. See, e.g., the remarks of United States Circuit Judge William H. Webster in Hearings II, at 196. See also the exchange of correspondence between Judge Webster and United States District Judge Frank A. Kaufman in Hearings II, at 289–90.]

Proposed Rule 11(e) contemplates 4 different types of plea agreements. First, the defendant can plead guilty or nolo contendere in return for the prosecutor's reducing the charge to a less serious offense. Second, the defendant can plead guilty or nolo contendere in return for the prosecutor dropping, or not bringing, a charge or charges relating to other offenses. Third, the defendant can plead guilty or nolo contendere in return for the prosecutor's recommending a sentence. Fourth, the defendant and prosecutor can agree that a particular sentence is the appropriate disposition of the case. [It is apparent, though not explicitly stated, that Rule 11(e) contemplates that the plea agreement may bind the defendant to do more than just plead guilty or nolo contendere. For example, the plea agreement may bind the defendant to cooperate with the prosecution in a different investigation. The Committee intends by its approval of Rule 11(e) to permit the parties to agree on such terms in a plea agreement.]

The Committee added language in subdivisions (e)(2) and (e)(4) to permit a plea agreement to be disclosed to the court, or rejected by it, in camera. There must be a showing of good cause before the court can conduct such proceedings in camera. The language does not address itself to whether the showing of good cause may be made in open court or in camera. That issue is left for the courts to resolve on a case-by-case basis. These changes in subdivisions (e)(2) and (e)(4) will permit a fair trial when there is substantial media interest in a case and the court is rejecting a plea agreement.

The Committee added an exception to subdivision (e)(6). That subdivision provides:

Evidence of a plea of guilty, later withdrawn, or a plea of nolo contendere, or of an offer to plead guilty or nolo contendere to the crime charged or any other crime, or of statements made in connection with any of the foregoing pleas or offers, is not admissible in any civil or criminal proceeding against the person who made the plea or offer.

The Committee's exception permits the use of such evidence in a perjury or false statement prosecution where the plea, offer, or related statement was made by the defendant on the record, under oath and in the presence of counsel. The Committee recognizes that even this limited exception may discourage defendants from being completely candid and open during plea negotiations and may even result in discouraging the reaching of plea agreements. However, the Committee believes hat, on balance, it is more important to protect the integrity of the judicial process from willful deceit and untruthfulness. [The Committee does not intend its language to be construed as mandating or encouraging the swearing-in of the defendant during proceedings in connection with the disclosure and acceptance or rejection of a plea agreement.]

The Committee recast the language of Rule 11(c), which deals with the advice given to a defendant before the court can accept his plea of guilty or nolo contendere. The Committee acted in part because it believed that the warnings given to the defendant ought to include those that Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238 (1969), said were constitutionally required. In addition, and as a result of its change in subdivision (e)(6), the Committee thought if only fair that the defendant be warned that his plea of guilty (later withdrawn) or nolo contendere, or his offer of either plea, or his statements made in connection with such pleas or offers, could later be used against him in a perjury trial if made under oath, on the record, and in the presence of counsel.

Notes of Conference Committee, House Report No. 94–414; 1975 Amendment

Note to subdivision (c). Rule 11(c) enumerates certain things that a judge must tell a defendant before the judge can accept that defendant's plea of guilty or nolo contendere. The House version expands upon the list originally proposed by the Supreme Court. The Senate version adopts the Supreme Court's proposal.

The Conference adopts the House provision.

Note to subdivision (e)(1). Rule 11(e)(1) outlines some general considerations concerning the plea agreement procedure. The Senate version makes nonsubstantive change in the House version.

The Conference adopts the Senate provision.

Note to subdivision (e)(6). Rule 11(e)(6) deals with the use of statements made in connection with plea agreements. The House version permits a limited use of pleas of guilty, later withdrawn, or nolo contendere, offers of such pleas, and statements made in connection with such pleas or offers. Such evidence can be used in a perjury or false statement prosecution if the plea, offer, or related statement was made under oath, on the record, and in the presence of counsel. The Senate version permits evidence of voluntary and reliable statements made in court on the record to be used for the purpose of impeaching the credibility of the declarant or in a perjury or false statement prosecution.

The Conference adopts the House version with changes. The Conference agrees that neither a plea nor the offer of a plea ought to be admissible for any purpose. The Conference-adopted provision, therefore, like the Senate provision, permits only the use of statements made in connection with a plea of guilty, later withdrawn, or a plea of nolo contendere, or in connection with an offer of a guilty or nolo contendere plea.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (e)(2). The amendment to rule 11(e)(2) is intended to clarify the circumstances in which the court may accept or reject a plea agreement, with the consequences specified in subdivision (e)(3) and (4). The present language has been the cause of some confusion and has led to results which are not entirely consistent. Compare United States v. Sarubbi, 416 F.Supp. 633 (D. N.J. 1976); with United States v. Hull, 413 F.Supp. 145 (E.D. Tenn. 1976).

Rule 11(e)(1) specifies three types of plea agreements, namely, those in which the attorney for the government might

(A) move for dismissal of other charges; or

(B) make a recommendation, or agree not to oppose the defendant's request, for a particular sentence, with the understanding that such recommendation or request shall not be binding upon the court; or

(C) agree that a specific sentence is the appropriate disposition of the case.

A (B) type of plea agreement is clearly of a different order than the other two, for an agreement to recommend or not to oppose is discharged when the prosecutor performs as he agreed to do. By comparison, critical to a type (A) or (C) agreement is that the defendant receive the contemplated charge dismissal or agreed-to sentence. Consequently, there must ultimately be an acceptance or rejection by the court of a type (A) or (C) agreement so that it may be determined whether the defendant shall receive the bargained-for concessions or shall instead be afforded an opportunity to withdraw his plea. But this is not so as to a type (B) agreement; there is no “disposition provided for” in such a plea agreement so as to make the acceptance provisions of subdivision (e)(3) applicable, nor is there a need for rejection with opportunity for withdrawal under subdivision (e)(4) in light of the fact that the defendant knew the nonbinding character of the recommendation or request. United States v. Henderson, 565 F.2d 1119 (9th Cir. 1977); United States v. Savage, 561 F.2d 554 (4th Cir. 1977).

Because a type (B) agreement is distinguishable from the others in that it involves only a recommendation or request not binding upon the court, it is important that the defendant be aware that this is the nature of the agreement into which he has entered. The procedure contemplated by the last sentence of amended subdivision (e)(2) will establish for the record that there is such awareness. This provision conforms to ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.5 (Approved Draft, 1968), which provides that “the court must advise the defendant personally that the recommendations of the prosecuting attorney are not binding on the court.”

Sometimes a plea agreement will be partially but not entirely of the (B) type, as where a defendant, charged with counts 1, 2 and 3, enters into an agreement with the attorney for the government wherein it is agreed that if defendant pleads guilty to count 1, the prosecutor will recommend a certain sentence as to that count and will move for dismissal of counts 2 and 3. In such a case, the court must take particular care to ensure that the defendant understands which components of the agreement involve only a (B) type recommendation and which do not. In the above illustration, that part of the agreement which contemplates the dismissal of counts 2 and 3 is an (A) type agreement, and thus under rule 11(e) the court must either accept the agreement to dismiss these counts or else reject it and allow the defendant to withdraw his plea. If rejected, the defendant must be allowed to withdraw the plea on count 1 even if the type (B) promise to recommend a certain sentence on that count is kept, for a multi-faceted plea agreement is nonetheless a single agreement. On the other hand, if counts 2 and 3 are dismissed and the sentence recommendation is made, then the defendant is not entitled to withdraw his plea even if the sentence recommendation is not accepted by the court, for the defendant received all he was entitled to under the various components of the plea agreement.

Note to Subdivision (e)(6). The major objective of the amendment to rule 11(e)(6) is to describe more precisely, consistent with the original purpose of the provision, what evidence relating to pleas or plea discussions is inadmissible. The present language is susceptible to interpretation which would make it applicable to a wide variety of statements made under various circumstances other than within the context of those plea discussions authorized by rule 11(e) and intended to be protected by subdivision (e)(6) of the rule. See United States v. Herman, 544 F.2d 791 (5th Cir. 1977), discussed herein.

Fed.R.Ev. 410, as originally adopted by Pub. L. 93–595, provided in part that “evidence of a plea of guilty, later withdrawn, or a plea of nolo contendere, or of an offer to plead guilty or nolo contendere to the crime charged or any other crime, or of statements made in connection with any of the foregoing pleas or offers, is not admissible in any civil or criminal action, case, or proceeding against the person who made the plea or offer.” (This rule was adopted with the proviso that it “shall be superseded by any amendment to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure which is inconsistent with this rule.”) As the Advisory Committee Note explained: “Exclusion of offers to plead guilty or nolo has as its purpose the promotion of disposition of criminal cases by compromise.” The amendment of Fed.R.Crim.P. 11, transmitted to Congress by the Supreme Court in April 1974, contained a subdivision (e)(6) essentially identical to the rule 410 language quoted above, as a part of a substantial revision of rule 11. The most significant feature of this revision was the express recognition given to the fact that the “attorney for the government and the attorney for the defendant or the defendant when acting pro se may engage in discussions with a view toward reaching” a plea agreement. Subdivision (e)(6) was intended to encourage such discussions. As noted in H.R.Rep. No. 94–247, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. 7 (1975), the purpose of subdivision (e)(6) is to not “discourage defendants from being completely candid and open during plea negotiations.” Similarly, H.R.Rep. No. 94–414, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. 10 (1975), states that “Rule 11(e)(6) deals with the use of statements made in connection with plea agreements.” (Rule 11(e)(6) was thereafter enacted, with the addition of the proviso allowing use of statements in a prosecution for perjury, and with the qualification that the inadmissible statements must also be “relevant to” the inadmissible pleas or offers. Pub. L. 94–64; Fed.R.Ev. 410 was then amended to conform. Pub. L. 94–149.)

While this history shows that the purpose of Fed.R.Ev. 410 and Fed.R.Crim.P. 11(e)(6) is to permit the unrestrained candor which produces effective plea discussions between the “attorney for the government and the attorney for the defendant or the defendant when acting pro se,” given visibility and sanction in rule 11(e), a literal reading of the language of these two rules could reasonably lead to the conclusion that a broader rule of inadmissibility obtains. That is, because “statements” are generally inadmissible if “made in connection with, and relevant to” an “offer to plead guilty,” it might be thought that an otherwise voluntary admission to law enforcement officials is rendered inadmissible merely because it was made in the hope of obtaining leniency by a plea. Some decisions interpreting rule 11(e)(6) point in this direction. See United States v. Herman, 544 F.2d 791 (5th Cir. 1977) (defendant in custody of two postal inspectors during continuance of removal hearing instigated conversation with them and at some point said he would plead guilty to armed robbery if the murder charge was dropped; one inspector stated they were not “in position” to make any deals in this regard; held, defendant's statement inadmissible under rule 11(e)(6) because the defendant “made the statements during the course of a conversation in which he sought concessions from the government in return for a guilty plea”); United States v. Brooks, 536 F.2d 1137 (6th Cir. 1976) (defendant telephoned postal inspector and offered to plead guilty if he got 2-year maximum; statement inadmissible).

The amendment makes inadmissible statements made “in the course of any proceedings under this rule regarding” either a plea of guilty later withdrawn or a plea of nolo contendere, and also statements “made in the course of plea discussions with an attorney for the government which do not result in a plea of guilty or which result in a plea of guilty later withdrawn.” It is not limited to statements by the defendant himself, and thus would cover statements by defense counsel regarding defendant's incriminating admissions to him. It thus fully protects the plea discussion process authorized by rule 11 without attempting to deal with confrontations between suspects and law enforcement agents, which involve problems of quite different dimensions. See, e.g., ALI Model Code of Pre-Arraignment Procedure, art. 140 and §150.2(8) (Proposed Official Draft, 1975) (latter section requires exclusion if “a law enforcement officer induces any person to make a statement by promising leniency”). This change, it must be emphasized, does not compel the conclusion that statements made to law enforcement agents, especially when the agents purport to have authority to bargain, are inevitably admissible. Rather, the point is that such cases are not covered by the per se rule of 11(e)(6) and thus must be resolved by that body of law dealing with police interrogations.

If there has been a plea of guilty later withdrawn or a plea of nolo contendere, subdivision (e)(6)(C) makes inadmissible statements made “in the course of any proceedings under this rule” regarding such pleas. This includes, for example, admissions by the defendant when he makes his plea in court pursuant to rule 11 and also admissions made to provide the factual basis pursuant to subdivision (f). However, subdivision (e)(6)(C) is not limited to statements made in court. If the court were to defer its decision on a plea agreement pending examination of the presentence report, as authorized by subdivision (e)(2), statements made to the probation officer in connection with the preparation of that report would come within this provision.

This amendment is fully consistent with all recent and major law reform efforts on this subject. ALI Model Code of Pre-Arraignment Procedure §350.7 (Proposed Official Draft, 1975), and ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.4 (Approved Draft, 1968) both provide:

Unless the defendant subsequently enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere which is not withdrawn, the fact that the defendant or his counsel and the prosecuting attorney engaged in plea discussions or made a plea agreement should not be received in evidence against or in favor of the defendant in any criminal or civil action or administrative proceedings.

The Commentary to the latter states:

The above standard is limited to discussions and agreements with the prosecuting attorney. Sometimes defendants will indicate to the police their willingness to bargain, and in such instances these statements are sometimes admitted in court against the defendant. State v. Christian, 245 S.W.2d 895 (Mo.1952). If the police initiate this kind of discussion, this may have some bearing on the admissibility of the defendant's statement. However, the policy considerations relevant to this issue are better dealt with in the context of standards governing in-custody interrogation by the police.

Similarly, Unif.R.Crim.P. 441(d) (Approved Draft, 1974), provides that except under limited circumstances “no discussion between the parties or statement by the defendant or his lawyer under this Rule,” i.e., the rule providing “the parties may meet to discuss the possibility of pretrial diversion * * * or of a plea agreement,” are admissible. The amendment is likewise consistent with the typical state provision on this subject; see, e.g., Ill.S.Ct. Rule 402(f).

The language of the amendment identifies with more precision than the present language the necessary relationship between the statements and the plea or discussion. See the dispute between the majority and concurring opinions in United States v. Herman, 544 F.2d 791 (5th Cir. 1977), concerning the meanings and effect of the phrases “connection to” and “relevant to” in the present rule. Moreover, by relating the statements to “plea discussions” rather than “an offer to plead,” the amendment ensures “that even an attempt to open plea bargaining [is] covered under the same rule of inadmissibility.” United States v. Brooks, 536 F.2d 1137 (6th Cir. 1976).

The last sentence of Rule 11(e)(6) is amended to provide a second exception to the general rule of nonadmissibility of the described statements. Under the amendment, such a statement is also admissible “in any proceeding wherein another statement made in the course of the same plea or plea discussions has been introduced and the statement ought in fairness be considered contemporaneously with it.” This change is necessary so that, when evidence of statements made in the course of or as a consequence of a certain plea or plea discussions are introduced under circumstances not prohibited by this rule (e.g., not “against” the person who made the plea), other statements relating to the same plea or plea discussions may also be admitted when relevant to the matter at issue. For example, if a defendant upon a motion to dismiss a prosecution on some ground were able to admit certain statements made in aborted plea discussions in his favor, then other relevant statements made in the same plea discussions should be admissible against the defendant in the interest of determining the truth of the matter at issue. The language of the amendment follows closely that in Fed.R.Evid. 106, as the considerations involved are very similar.

The phrase “in any civil or criminal proceeding” has been moved from its present position, following the word “against,” for purposes of clarity. An ambiguity presently exists because the word “against” may be read as referring either to the kind of proceeding in which the evidence is offered or the purpose for which it is offered. The change makes it clear that the latter construction is correct. No change is intended with respect to provisions making evidence rules inapplicable in certain situations. See, e.g., Fed.R.Evid. 104(a) and 1101(d).

Unlike ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.4 (Approved Draft, 1968), and ALI Model Code of Pre-Arraignment Procedure §350.7 (Proposed Official Draft, 1975), rule 11(e)(6) does not also provide that the described evidence is inadmissible “in favor of” the defendant. This is not intended to suggest, however, that such evidence will inevitably be admissible in the defendant's favor. Specifically, no disapproval is intended of such decisions as United States v. Verdoorn, 528 F.2d 103 (8th Cir. 1976), holding that the trial judge properly refused to permit the defendants to put into evidence at their trial the fact the prosecution had attempted to plea bargain with them, as “meaningful dialogue between the parties would, as a practical matter, be impossible if either party had to assume the risk that plea offers would be admissible in evidence.”

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1982 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (c)(1). Subdivision (c)(1) has been amended by specifying “the effect of any special parole term” as one of the matters about which a defendant who has tendered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere is to be advised by the court. This amendment does not make any change in the law, as the courts are in agreement that such advice is presently required by Rule 11. See, e.g., Moore v. United States, 592 F.2d 753 (4th Cir. 1979); United States v. Eaton, 579 F.2d 1181 (10th Cir. 1978); Richardson v. United States, 577 F.2d 447 (8th Cir. 1978); United States v. Del Prete, 567 F.2d 928 (9th Cir. 1978); United States v. Watson, 548 F.2d 1058 (D.C.Cir. 1977); United States v. Crusco, 536 F.2d 21 (2d Cir. 1976); United States v. Yazbeck, 524 F.2d 641 (1st Cir. 1975); United States v. Wolak, 510 F.2d 164 (6th Cir. 1975). In United States v. Timmreck, 441 U.S. 780 (1979), 99 S.Ct. 2085, 60 L.Ed.2d 634 (1979), the Supreme Court assumed that the judge's failure in that case to describe the mandatory special parole term constituted “a failure to comply with the formal requirements of the Rule.”

The purpose of the amendment is to draw more specific attention to the fact that advice concerning special parole terms is a necessary part of Rule 11 procedure. As noted in Moore v. United States, supra:

  Special parole is a significant penalty. * * * Unlike ordinary parole, which does not involve supervision beyond the original prison term set by the court and the violation of which cannot lead to confinement beyond that sentence, special parole increases the possible period of confinement. It entails the possibility that a defendant may have to serve his original sentence plus a substantial additional period, without credit for time spent on parole. Explanation of special parole in open court is therefore essential to comply with the Rule's mandate that the defendant be informed of “the maximum possible penalty provided by law.”

As the aforecited cases indicate, in the absence of specification of the requirement in the rule it has sometimes happened that such advice has been inadvertently omitted from Rule 11 warnings.

The amendment does not attempt to enumerate all of the characteristics of the special parole term which the judge ought to bring to the defendant's attention. Some flexibility in this respect must be preserved although it is well to note that the unique characteristics of this kind of parole are such that they may not be readily perceived by laymen. Moore v. United States supra, recommends that in an appropriate case the judge

  inform the defendant and determine that he understands the following:

(1) that a special parole term will be added to any prison sentence he receives;

(2) the minimum length of the special parole term that must be imposed and the absence of a statutory maximum;

(3) that special parole is entirely different from—and in addition to—ordinary parole; and

(4) that if the special parole is violated, the defendant can be returned to prison for the remainder of his sentence and the full length of his special parole term.

The amendment should not be read as meaning that a failure to comply with this particular requirement will inevitably entitle the defendant to relief. See United States v. Timmreck, supra. Likewise, the amendment makes no change in the existing law to the effect

  that many aspects of traditional parole need not be communicated to the defendant by the trial judge under the umbrella of Rule 11. For example, a defendant need not be advised of all conceivable consequences such as when he may be considered for parole or that, if he violates his parole, he will again be imprisoned.

Bunker v. Wise, 550 F.2d 1155, 1158 (9th Cir. 1977).

Note to Subdivision (c)(4). The amendment to subdivision (c)(4) is intended to overcome the present conflict between the introductory language of subdivision (c), which contemplates the advice being given “[b]efore accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere,” and thus presumably after the plea has been tendered, and the “if he pleads” language of subdivision (c)(4) which suggests the plea has not been tendered.

As noted by Judge Doyle in United States v. Sinagub, 468 F.Supp. 353 (W.D.Wis.1979):

  Taken literally, this wording of subsection (4) of 11(c) suggests that before eliciting any plea at an arraignment, the court is required to insure that a defendant understands that if he or she pleads guilty or nolo contendere, the defendant will be waiving the right to trial. Under subsection (3) of 11(c), however, there is no requirement that at this pre-plea stage, the court must insure that the defendant understands that he or she enjoys the right to a trial and, at trial, the right to the assistance of counsel, the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against him or her, and the right not to be compelled to incriminate himself or herself. It would be incongruous to require that at the pre-plea stage the court insure that the defendant understands that if he enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere he will be waiving a right, the existence and nature of which need not be explained until after such a plea has been entered. I conclude that the insertion of the words “that if he pleads guilty or nolo contendere,” as they appear in subsection (4) of 11(c), was an accident of draftsmanship which occurred in the course of Congressional rewriting of 11(c) as it has been approved by the Supreme Court. Those words are to be construed consistently with the words “Before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere,” as they appear in the opening language of 11(c), and consistently with the omission of the words “that if he pleads” from subsections (1), (2), and (3) of 11(c). That is, as they appear in subsection (4) of 11(c), the words, “that if he pleads guilty or nolo contendere” should be construed to mean “that if his plea of guilty or nolo contendere is accepted by the court.”

Although this is a very logical interpretation of the present language, the amendment will avoid the necessity to engage in such analysis in order to determine the true meaning of subdivision (c)(4).

Note to Subdivision (c)(5). Subdivision (c)(5), in its present form, may easily be read as contemplating that in every case in which a plea of guilty or nolo contendere is tendered, warnings must be given about the possible use of defendant's statements, obtained under oath, on the record and in the presence of counsel, in a later prosecution for perjury or false statement. The language has prompted some courts to reach the remarkable result that a defendant who pleads guilty or nolo contendere without receiving those warnings must be allowed to overturn his plea on appeal even though he was never questioned under oath, on the record, in the presence of counsel about the offense to which he pleaded. United States v. Artis, No. 78–5012 (4th Cir. March 12, 1979); United States v. Boone, 543 F.2d 1090 (4th Cir. 1976). Compare United States v. Michaelson, 552 F.2d 472 (2d Cir. 1977) (failure to give subdivision (c)(5) warnings not a basis for reversal, “at least when, as here, defendant was not put under oath before questioning about his guilty plea”). The present language of subdivision (c)(5) may also have contributed to the conclusion, not otherwise supported by the rule, that “Rule 11 requires that the defendant be under oath for the entirety of the proceedings” conducted pursuant to that rule and that failure to place the defendant under oath would itself make necessary overturning the plea on appeal. United States v. Aldridge, 553 F.2d 922 (5th Cir. 1977).

When questioning of the kind described in subdivision (c)(5) is not contemplated by the judge who is receiving the plea, no purpose is served by giving the (c)(5) warnings, which in such circumstances can only confuse the defendant and detract from the force of the other warnings required by Rule 11. As correctly noted in United States v. Sinagub, supra,

  subsection (5) of section (c) of Rule 11 is qualitatively distinct from the other sections of the Rule. It does not go to whether the plea is knowingly or voluntarily made, nor to whether the plea should be accepted and judgment entered. Rather, it does go to the possible consequences of an event which may or may not occur during the course of the arraignment hearing itself, namely, the administration of an oath to the defendant. Whether this event is to occur is wholly within the control of the presiding judge. If the event is not to occur, it is pointless to inform the defendant of its consequences. If a presiding judge intends that an oath not be administered to a defendant during an arraignment hearing, but alters that intention at some point, only then would the need arise to inform the defendant of the possible consequences of the administration of the oath.

The amendment to subdivision (c)(5) is intended to make it clear that this is the case.

The amendment limits the circumstances in which the warnings must be given, but does not change the fact, as noted in Sinagub that these warnings are “qualitatively distinct” from the other advice required by Rule 11(c). This being the case, a failure to give the subdivision (c)(5) warnings even when the defendant was questioned under oath, on the record and in the presence of counsel would in no way affect the validity of the defendant's plea. Rather, this failure bears upon the admissibility of defendant's answers pursuant to subdivision (e)(6) in a later prosecution for perjury or false statement.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (a). There are many defenses, objections and requests which a defendant must ordinarily raise by pretrial motion. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. §3162(a)(2); Fed.R.Crim.P.12(b). Should that motion be denied, interlocutory appeal of the ruling by the defendant is seldom permitted. See United States v. MacDonald, 435 U.S. 850 (1978) (defendant may not appeal denial of his motion to dismiss based upon Sixth Amendment speedy trial grounds); DiBella v. United States, 369 U.S. 121 (1962) (defendant may not appeal denial of pretrial motion to suppress evidence); compare Abney v. United States, 431 U.S. 651 (1977) (interlocutory appeal of denial of motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds permissible). Moreover, should the defendant thereafter plead guilty or nolo contendere, this will usually foreclose later appeal with respect to denial of the pretrial motion “When a criminal defendant has solemnly admitted in open court that he is in fact guilty of the offense with which he is charged, he may not thereafter raise independent claims relating to the deprivation of constitutional rights that occurred prior to the entry of the guilty plea.” Tollett v. Henderson, 411 U.S. 258, (1973). Though a nolo plea differs from a guilty plea in other respects, it is clear that it also constitutes a waiver of all nonjurisdictional defects in a manner equivalent to a guilty plea. Lott v. United States, 367 U.S. 421 (1961).

As a consequence, a defendant who has lost one or more pretrial motions will often go through an entire trial simply to preserve the pretrial issues for later appellate review. This results in a waste of prosecutorial and judicial resources, and causes delay in the trial of other cases, contrary to the objectives underlying the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, 18 U.S.C. §3161 et seq. These unfortunate consequences may be avoided by the conditional plea device expressly authorized by new subdivision (a)(2).

The development of procedures to avoid the necessity for trials which are undertaken for the sole purpose of preserving pretrial objections has been consistently favored by the commentators. See ABA Standards Relating to the Administration of Criminal Justice, standard 21–1.3(c) (2d ed. 1978); Model Code of Pre-Arraignment Procedure §SS 290.1(4)(b) (1975); Uniform Rules of Criminal Procedure, rule 444(d) (Approved Draft, 1974); 1 C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure — Criminal §175 (1969); 3 W. LaFave, Search and Seizure §11.1 (1978). The Supreme Court has characterized the New York practice, whereby appeals from suppression motions may be appealed notwithstanding a guilty plea, as a “commendable effort to relieve the problem of congested trial calendars in a manner that does not diminish the opportunity for the assertion of rights guaranteed by the Constitution.” Lefkowitz v. Newsome, 420 U.S. 283, 293 (1975). That Court has never discussed conditional pleas as such, but has permitted without comment a federal appeal on issues preserved by a conditional plea. Jaben v. United States, 381 U.S. 214 (1965).

In the absence of specific authorization by statute or rule for a conditional plea, the circuits have divided on the permissibility of the practice. Two circuits have actually approved the entry of conditional pleas, United States v. Burke, 517 F.2d 377 (2d Cir. 1975); United States v. Moskow, 588 F.2d 882 (3d Cir. 1978); and two others have praised the conditional plea concept, United States v. Clark, 459 F.2d 977 (8th Cir. 1972); United States v. Dorsey, 449 F.2d 1104 (D.C.Cir. 1971). Three circuits have expressed the view that a conditional plea is logically inconsistent and thus improper, United States v. Brown, 499 F.2d 829 (7th Cir. 1974); United States v. Sepe, 472 F.2d 784, aff'd en banc, 486 F.2d 1044 (5th Cir. 1973); United States v. Cox, 464 F.2d 937 (6th Cir. 1972); three others have determined only that conditional pleas are not now authorized in the federal system, United States v. Benson, 579 F.2d 508 (9th Cir. 1978); United States v. Nooner, 565 F.2d 633 (10th Cir. 1977); United States v. Matthews, 472 F.2d 1173 (4th Cir. 1973); while one circuit has reserved judgment on the issue, United States v. Warwar, 478 F.2d 1183 (1st Cir. 1973). (At the state level, a few jurisdictions by statute allow appeal from denial of a motion to suppress notwithstanding a subsequent guilty plea, Cal. Penal Code §1538.5(m); N.Y.Crim. Proc. Law §710.20(1); Wis.Stat.Ann. §971.31(10), but in the absence of such a provision the state courts are also in disagreement as to whether a conditional plea is permissible; see cases collected in Comment, 26 U.C.L.A. L.Rev. 360, 373 (1978).)

The conditional plea procedure provided for in subdivision (a)(2) will, as previously noted, serve to conserve prosecutorial and judicial resources and advance speedy trial objectives. It will also produce much needed uniformity in the federal system on this matter; see United States v. Clark, supra, noting the split of authority and urging resolution by statute or rule. Also, the availability of a conditional plea under specified circumstances will aid in clarifying the fact that traditional, unqualified pleas do constitute a waiver of nonjurisdictional defects. See United States v. Nooner, supra (defendant sought appellate review of denial of pretrial suppression motion, despite his prior unqualified guilty plea, claiming the Second Circuit conditional plea practice led him to believe a guilty plea did not bar appeal of pretrial issues).

The obvious advantages of the conditional plea procedure authorized by subdivision (a)(2) are not outweighed by any significant or compelling disadvantages. As noted in Comment, supra, at 375: “Four major arguments have been raised by courts disapproving of conditioned pleas. The objections are that the procedure encourages a flood of appellate litigation, militates against achieving finality in the criminal process, reduces effectiveness of appellate review due to the lack of a full trial record, and forces decision on constitutional questions that could otherwise be avoided by invoking the harmless error doctrine.” But, as concluded therein, those “arguments do not withstand close analysis.” Ibid.

As for the first of those arguments, experience in states which have permitted appeals of suppression motions notwithstanding a subsequent plea of guilty is most relevant, as conditional pleas are likely to be most common when the objective is to appeal that kind of pretrial ruling. That experience has shown that the number of appeals has not increased substantially. See Comment, 9 Hous.L.Rev. 305, 315–19 (1971). The minimal added burden at the appellate level is certainly a small price to pay for avoiding otherwise unnecessary trials.

As for the objection that conditional pleas conflict with the government's interest in achieving finality, it is likewise without force. While it is true that the conditional plea does not have the complete finality of the traditional plea of guilty or nolo contendere because “the essence of the agreement is that the legal guilt of the defendant exists only if the prosecution's case” survives on appeal, the plea

  continues to serve a partial state interest in finality, however, by establishing admission of the defendant's factual guilt. The defendant stands guilty and the proceedings come to an end if the reserved issue is ultimately decided in the government's favor.

Comment, 26 U.C.L.A. L.Rev. 360, 378 (1978).

The claim that the lack of a full trial record precludes effective appellate review may on occasion be relevant. Cf. United States v. MacDonald, supra (holding interlocutory appeal not available for denial of defendant's pretrial motion to dismiss, on speedy trial grounds, and noting that “most speedy trial claims * * * are best considered only after the relevant facts have been developed at trial”). However, most of the objections which would likely be raised by pretrial motion and preserved for appellate review by a conditional plea are subject to appellate resolution without a trial record. Certainly this is true as to the very common motion to suppress evidence, as is indicated by the fact that appellate courts presently decide such issues upon interlocutory appeal by the government.

With respect to the objection that conditional pleas circumvent application of the harmless error doctrine, it must be acknowledged that “[a]bsent a full trial record, containing all the government's evidence against the defendant, invocation of the harmless error rule is arguably impossible.” Comment, supra, at 380. But, the harmless error standard with respect to constitutional objections is sufficiently high, see Chapman v. California, 386 U.S. 18 (1967), that relatively few appellate decisions result in affirmance upon that basis. Thus it will only rarely be true that the conditional plea device will cause an appellate court to consider constitutional questions which could otherwise have been avoided by invocation of the doctrine of harmless error.

To the extent that these or related objections would otherwise have some substance, they are overcome by the provision in Rule 11(a)(2) that the defendant may enter a conditional plea only “with the approval of the court and the consent of the government.” (In this respect, the rule adopts the practice now found in the Second Circuit.) The requirement of approval by the court is most appropriate, as it ensures, for example, that the defendant is not allowed to take an appeal on a matter which can only be fully developed by proceeding to trial; cf. United States v. MacDonald, supra. As for consent by the government, it will ensure that conditional pleas will be allowed only when the decision of the court of appeals will dispose of the case either by allowing the plea to stand or by such action as compelling dismissal of the indictment or suppressing essential evidence. Absent such circumstances, the conditional plea might only serve to postpone the trial and require the government to try the case after substantial delay, during which time witnesses may be lost, memories dimmed, and the offense grown so stale as to lose jury appeal. The government is in a unique position to determine whether the matter at issue would be case-dispositive, and, as a party to the litigation, should have an absolute right to refuse to consent to potentially prejudicial delay. Although it was suggested in United States v. Moskow, supra, that the government should have no right to prevent the entry of a conditional plea because a defendant has no comparable right to block government appeal of a pretrial ruling pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3731, that analogy is unconvincing. That statute requires the government to certify that the appeal is not taken for purposes of delay. Moreover, where the pretrial ruling is case-dispositive, §3731 is the only mechanism by which the government can obtain appellate review, but a defendant may always obtain review by pleading not guilty.

Unlike the state statutes cited earlier, Rule 11(a)(2) is not limited to instances in which the pretrial ruling the defendant wishes to appeal was in response to defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Though it may be true that the conditional plea device will be most commonly employed as to such rulings, the objectives of the rule are well served by extending it to other pretrial rulings as well. See, e.g., ABA Standards, supra (declaring the New York provision “should be enlarged to include other pretrial defenses”); Uniform Rules of Criminal Procedure, rule 444(d) (Approved Draft, 1974) (“any pretrial motion which, if granted, would be dispositive of the case”).

The requirement that the conditional plea be made by the defendant “reserving in writing the right to appeal from the adverse determination of any specified pretrial motion,” though extending beyond the Second Circuit practice, will ensure careful attention to any conditional plea. It will document that a particular plea was in fact conditional, and will identify precisely what pretrial issues have been preserved for appellate review. By requiring this added step, it will be possible to avoid entry of a conditional plea without the considered acquiescence of the government (see United States v. Burke, supra, holding that failure of the government to object to entry of a conditional plea constituted consent) and post-plea claims by the defendant that his plea should be deemed conditional merely because it occurred after denial of his pretrial motions (see United States v. Nooner, supra).

It must be emphasized that the only avenue of review of the specified pretrial ruling permitted under a rule 11(a)(2) conditional plea is an appeal, which must be brought in compliance with Fed.R.App.P. 4(b). Relief via 28 U.S.C. §2255 is not available for this purpose.

The Supreme Court has held that certain kinds of constitutional objections may be raised after a plea of guilty. Menna v. New York, 423 U.S. 61 (1975) (double jeopardy violation); Blackledge v. Perry, 417 U.S. 21 (1974) (due process violation by charge enhancement following defendant's exercise of right to trial de novo). Subdivision 11(a)(2) has no application to such situations, and should not be interpreted as either broadening or narrowing the Menna-Blackledge doctrine or as establishing procedures for its application.

Note to Subdivision (h). Subdivision (h) makes clear that the harmless error rule of Rule 52(a) is applicable to Rule 11. The provision does not, however, attempt to define the meaning of “harmless error,” which is left to the case law. Prior to the amendments which took effect on Dec. 1, 1975, Rule 11 was very brief; it consisted of but four sentences. The 1975 amendments increased significantly the procedures which must be undertaken when a defendant tenders a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, but this change was warranted by the “two principal objectives” then identified in the Advisory Committee Note: (1) ensuring that the defendant has made an informed plea; and (2) ensuring that plea agreements are brought out into the open in court. An inevitable consequence of the 1975 amendments was some increase in the risk that a trial judge, in a particular case, might inadvertently deviate to some degree from the procedure which a very literal reading of Rule 11 would appear to require.

This being so, it became more apparent than ever that Rule 11 should not be given such a crabbed interpretation that ceremony was exalted over substance. As stated in United States v. Scarf, 551 F.2d 1124 (8th Cir. 1977), concerning amended Rule 11: “It is a salutary rule, and district courts are required to act in substantial compliance with it although * * * ritualistic compliance is not required.” As similarly pointed out in United States v. Saft, 558 F.2d 1073 (2d Cir. 1977),

  the Rule does note say that compliance can be achieved only by reading the specified items in haec verba. Congress meant to strip district judges of freedom to decide what they must explain to a defendant who wishes to plead guilty, not to tell them precisely how to perform this important task in the great variety of cases that would come before them. While a judge who contents himself with literal application of the Rule will hardly be reversed, it cannot be supposed that Congress preferred this to a more meaningful explanation, provided that all the specified elements were covered.

Two important points logically flow from these sound observations. One concerns the matter of construing Rule 11: it is not to be read as requiring a litany or other ritual which can be carried out only by word-for-word adherence to a set “script.” The other, specifically addressed in new subdivision (h), is that even when it may be concluded Rule 11 has not been complied with in all respects, it does not inevitably follow that the defendant's plea of guilty or nolo contendere is invalid and subject to being overturned by any remedial device then available to the defendant.

Notwithstanding the declaration in Rule 52(a) that “[a]ny error, defect, irregularity or variance which does not affect substantial rights shall be disregarded,” there has existed for some years considerable disagreement concerning the applicability of the harmless error doctrine to Rule 11 violations. In large part, this is attributable to uncertainty as to the continued vitality and the reach of McCarthy v. United States, 394 U.S. 459 (1969). In McCarthy, involving a direct appeal from a plea of guilty because of noncompliance with Rule 11, the Court concluded

  that prejudice inheres in a failure to comply with Rule 11, for noncompliance deprives the defendant of the Rule's procedural safeguards, which are designed to facilitate a more accurate determination of the voluntariness of his plea. Our holding [is] that a defendant whose plea has been accepted in violation of Rule 11 should be afforded the opportunity to plead anew * * *.

McCarthy has been most frequently relied upon in cases where, as in that case, the defendant sought relief because of a Rule 11 violation by the avenue of direct appeal. It has been held that in such circumstances a defendant's conviction must be reversed whenever the “district court accepts his guilty plea without fully adhering to the procedure provided for in Rule 11,” United States v. Boone, 543 F.2d 1090 (4th Cir. 1976), and that in this context any reliance by the government on the Rule 52(a) harmless error concept “must be rejected.” United States v. Journet, 544 F.2d 633 (2d Cir. 1976). On the other hand, decisions are to be found taking a harmless error approach on direct appeal where it appeared the nature and extent of the deviation from Rule 11 was such that it could not have had any impact on the defendant's decision to plead or the fairness in now holding him to his plea. United States v. Peters, No. 77–1700 (4th Cir., Dec. 22, 1978) (where judge failed to comply fully with Rule 11(c)(1), in that defendant not correctly advised of maximum years of special parole term but was told it is at least 3 years, and defendant thereafter sentenced to 15 years plus 3-year special parole term, government's motion for summary affirmance granted, as “the error was harmless”); United States v. Coronado, 554 F.2d 166 (5th Cir. 1977) (court first holds that charge of conspiracy requires some explanation of what conspiracy means to comply with Rule 11(c)(1), but then finds no reversible error “because the rule 11 proceeding on its face discloses, despite the trial court's failure sufficiently to make the required explicitation of the charges, that Coronado understood them”).

But this conflict has not been limited to cases involving nothing more than a direct appeal following defendant's plea. For example, another type of case is that in which the defendant has based a post-sentence motion to withdraw his plea on a Rule 11 violation. Rule 32(d) says that such a motion may be granted “to correct manifest injustice,” and some courts have relied upon this latter provision in holding that post-sentence plea withdrawal need not be permitted merely because Rule 11 was not fully complied with and that instead the district court should hold an evidentiary hearing to determine “whether manifest injustice will result if the conviction based on the guilty plea is permitted to stand.” United States v. Scarf, 551 F.2d 1124 (8th Cir. 1977). Others, however, have held that McCarthy applies and prevails over the language of Rule 32(d), so that “a failure to scrupulously comply with Rule 11 will invalidate a plea without a showing of manifest injustice.” United States v. Cantor, 469 F.2d 435 (3d Cir. 1972).

Disagreement has also existed in the context of collateral attack upon pleas pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255. On the one hand, it has been concluded that “[n]ot every violation of Rule 11 requires that the plea be set aside” in a §2255 proceeding, and that “a guilty plea will be set aside on collateral attack only where to not do so would result in a miscarriage of justice, or where there exists exceptional circumstances justifying such relief.” Evers v. United States, 579 F.2d 71 (10th Cir. 1978). The contrary view was that McCarthy governed in §2255 proceedings because “the Supreme Court hinted at no exceptions to its policy of strict enforcement of Rule 11.” Timmreck v. United States, 577 F.2d 377 (6th Cir. 1978). But a unanimous Supreme Court resolved this conflict in United States v. Timmreck, 441 U.S. 780 (1979), where the Court concluded that the reasoning of Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424 (1962) (ruling a collateral attack could not be predicated on a violation of Rule 32(a))

is equally applicable to a formal violation of Rule 11.* * *

Indeed, if anything, this case may be a stronger one for foreclosing collateral relief than the Hill case. For the concern with finality served by the limitation on collateral attack has special force with respect to convictions based on guilty pleas.

  “Every inroad on the concept of finality undermines confidence in the integrity of our procedures; and, by increasing the volume of judicial work, inevitably delays and impairs the orderly administration of justice. The impact is greatest when new grounds for setting aside guilty pleas are approved because the vast majority of criminal convictions result from such pleas. Moreover, the concern that unfair procedures may have resulted in the conviction of an innocent defendant is only rarely raised by a petition to set aside a guilty plea.”

This interest in finality is strongest in the collateral attack context the Court was dealing with in Timmreck, which explains why the Court there adopted the Hill requirement that in a §2255 proceeding the rule violation must amount to “a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice” or “an omission inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of fair procedure.” The interest in finality of guilty pleas described in Timmreck is of somewhat lesser weight when a direct appeal is involved (so that the Hill standard is obviously inappropriate in that setting), but yet is sufficiently compelling to make unsound the proposition that reversal is required even where it is apparent that the Rule 11 violation was of the harmless error variety.

Though the McCarthy per se rule may have been justified at the time and in the circumstances which obtained when the plea in that case was taken, this is no longer the case. For one thing, it is important to recall that McCarthy dealt only with the much simpler pre-1975 version of Rule 11, which required only a brief procedure during which the chances of a minor, insignificant and inadvertent deviation were relatively slight. This means that the chances of a truly harmless error (which was not involved in McCarthy in any event, as the judge made no inquiry into the defendant's understanding of the nature of the charge, and the government had presented only the extreme argument that a court “could properly assume that petitioner was entering that plea with a complete understanding of the charge against him” merely from the fact he had stated he desired to plead guilty) are much greater under present Rule 11 than under the version before the Court in McCarthy. It also means that the more elaborate and lengthy procedures of present Rule 11, again as compared with the version applied in McCarthy, make it more apparent than ever that a guilty plea is not “a mere gesture, a temporary and meaningless formality reversible at the defendant's whim,” but rather “ ‘a grave and solemn act,’ which is ‘accepted only with care and discernment.’ ” United States v. Barker, 514 F.2d 208 (D.C.Cir.1975), quoting from Brady v. United States, 397 U.S. 742 (1970). A plea of that character should not be overturned, even on direct appeal, when there has been a minor and technical violation of Rule 11 which amounts to harmless error.

Secondly, while McCarthy involved a situation in which the defendant's plea of guilty was before the court of appeals on direct appeal, the Supreme Court appears to have been primarily concerned with §2255-type cases, for the Court referred exclusively to cases of that kind in the course of concluding that a per se rule was justified as to Rule 11 violations because of “the difficulty of achieving [rule 11's] purposes through a post-conviction voluntariness hearing.” But that reasoning has now been substantially undercut by United States v. Timmreck, supra, for the Court there concluded §2255 relief “is not available when all that is shown is a failure to comply with the formal requirements of the Rule,” at least absent “other aggravating circumstances,” which presumably could often only be developed in the course of a later evidentiary hearing.

Although all of the aforementioned considerations support the policy expressed in new subdivision (h), the Advisory Committee does wish to emphasize two important cautionary notes. The first is that subdivision (h) should not be read as supporting extreme or speculative harmless error claims or as, in effect, nullifying important Rule 11 safeguards. There would not be harmless error under subdivision (h) where, for example, as in McCarthy, there had been absolutely no inquiry by the judge into defendant's understanding of the nature of the charge and the harmless error claim of the government rests upon nothing more than the assertion that it may be “assumed” defendant possessed such understanding merely because he expressed a desire to plead guilty. Likewise, it would not be harmless error if the trial judge totally abdicated to the prosecutor the responsibility for giving to the defendant the various Rule 11 warnings, as this “results in the creation of an atmosphere of subtle coercion that clearly contravenes the policy behind Rule 11.” United States v. Crook, 526 F.2d 708 (5th Cir. 1976).

Indeed, it is fair to say that the kinds of Rule 11 violations which might be found to constitute harmless error upon direct appeal are fairly limited, as in such instances the matter “must be resolved solely on the basis of the Rule 11 transcript” and the other portions (e.g., sentencing hearing) of the limited record made in such cases. United States v. Coronado, supra. Illustrative are: where the judge's compliance with subdivision (c)(1) was not absolutely complete, in that some essential element of the crime was not mentioned, but the defendant's responses clearly indicate his awareness of that element, see United States v. Coronado, supra; where the judge's compliance with subdivision (c)(2) was erroneous in part in that the judge understated the maximum penalty somewhat, but the penalty actually imposed did not exceed that indicated in the warnings, see United States v. Peters, supra; and where the judge completely failed to comply with subdivision (c)(5), which of course has no bearing on the validity of the plea itself, cf. United States v. Sinagub, supra.

The second cautionary note is that subdivision (h) should not be read as an invitation to trial judges to take a more casual approach to Rule 11 proceedings. It is still true, as the Supreme Court pointed out in McCarthy, that thoughtful and careful compliance with Rule 11 best serves the cause of fair and efficient administration of criminal justice, as it

  will help reduce the great waste of judicial resources required to process the frivolous attacks on guilty plea convictions that are encouraged, and are more difficult to dispose of, when the original record is inadequate. It is, therefore, not too much to require that, before sentencing defendants to years of imprisonment, district judges take the few minutes necessary to inform them of their rights and to determine whether they understand the action they are taking.

Subdivision (h) makes no change in the responsibilities of the judge at Rule 11 proceedings, but instead merely rejects the extreme sanction of automatic reversal.

It must also be emphasized that a harmless error provision has been added to Rule 11 because some courts have read McCarthy as meaning that the general harmless error provision in Rule 52(a) cannot be utilized with respect to Rule 11 proceedings. Thus, the addition of subdivision (h) should not be read as suggesting that Rule 52(a) does not apply in other circumstances because of the absence of a provision comparable to subdivision (h) attached to other rules.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1985 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (c)(1). Section 5 of the Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982, Pub. L. No. 97–291, 96 Stat. 1248 (1982), adds 18 U.S.C. §3579, providing that when sentencing a defendant convicted of a Title 18 offense or of violating various subsections of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, the court “may order, in addition to or in lieu of any other penalty authorized by law, that the defendant make restitution to any victim of the offense.” Under this law restitution is favored; if the court “does not order restitution, or orders only partial restitution, . . . the court shall state on the record the reasons therefor.” Because this restitution is deemed an aspect of the defendant's sentence, S. Rept. No. 97–532, 97th Cong., 2d Sess., 30–33 (1982), it is a matter about which a defendant tendering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere should be advised.

Because this new legislation contemplates that the amount of the restitution to be ordered will be ascertained later in the sentencing process, this amendment to Rule 11(c)(1) merely requires that the defendant be told of the court's power to order restitution. The exact amount or upper limit cannot and need not be stated at the time of the plea. Failure of a court to advise a defendant of the possibility of a restitution order would constitute harmless error under subdivision (h) if no restitution were thereafter ordered.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1989 Amendment

The amendment mandates that the district court inform a defendant that the court is required to consider any applicable guidelines but may depart from them under some circumstances. This requirement assures that the existence of guidelines will be known to a defendant before a plea of guilty or nolo contendere is accepted. Since it will be impracticable, if not impossible, to know which guidelines will be relevant prior to the formulation of a presentence report and resolution of disputed facts, the amendment does not require the court to specify which guidelines will be important or which grounds for departure might prove to be significant. The advice that the court is required to give cannot guarantee that a defendant who pleads guilty will not later claim a lack of understanding as to the importance of guidelines at the time of the plea. No advice is likely to serve as a complete protection against post-plea claims of ignorance or confusion. By giving the advice, the court places the defendant and defense counsel on notice of the importance that guidelines may play in sentencing and of the possibility of a departure from those guidelines. A defendant represented by competent counsel will be in a position to enter an intelligent plea.

The amended rule does not limit the district court's discretion to engage in a more extended colloquy with the defendant in order to impart additional information about sentencing guidelines or to inquire into the defendant's knowledge concerning guidelines. The amended rule sets forth only the minimum advice that must be provided to the defendant by the court.

Committee Notes on Rules—1999 Amendment

Subdivision (a). The amendment deletes use of the term “corporation” and substitutes in its place the term “organization,” with a reference to the definition of that term in 18 U.S.C. §18.

Subdivision (c)(6). Rule 11(c) has been amended specifically to reflect the increasing practice of including provisions in plea agreements which require the defendant to waive certain appellate rights. The increased use of such provisions is due in part to the increasing number of direct appeals and collateral reviews challenging sentencing decisions. Given the increased use of such provisions, the Committee believed it was important to insure that first, a complete record exists regarding any waiver provisions, and second, that the waiver was voluntarily and knowingly made by the defendant. Although a number of federal courts have approved the ability of a defendant to enter into such waiver agreements, the Committee takes no position on the underlying validity of such waivers.

Subdivision (e). Amendments have been made to Rule 11(e)(1)(B) and (C) to reflect the impact of the Sentencing Guidelines on guilty pleas. Although Rule 11 is generally silent on the subject, it has become clear that the courts have struggled with the subject of guideline sentencing vis a vis plea agreements, entry and timing of guilty pleas, and the ability of the defendant to withdraw a plea of guilty. The amendments are intended to address two specific issues.

First, both subdivisions (e)(1)(B) and (e)(1)(C) have been amended to recognize that a plea agreement may specifically address not only what amounts to an appropriate sentence, but also a sentencing guideline, a sentencing factor, or a policy statement accompanying a sentencing guideline or factor. Under an (e)(1)(B) agreement, the government, as before, simply agrees to make a recommendation to the court, or agrees not to oppose a defense request concerning a particular sentence or consideration of a sentencing guideline, factor, or policy statement. The amendment makes it clear that this type of agreement is not binding on the court. Second, under an (e)(1)(C) agreement, the government and defense have actually agreed on what amounts to an appropriate sentence or have agreed to one of the specified components. The amendment also makes it clear that this agreement is binding on the court once the court accepts it. As is the situation under the current Rule, the court retains absolute discretion whether to accept a plea agreement.

GAP Report—Rule 11. The Committee made no changes to the published draft amendments to Rule 11. But it did add language to the Committee Note which reflects the view that the amendment is not intended to signal its approval of the underlying practice of including waiver provisions in pretrial agreements.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 11 has been amended and reorganized as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Amended Rule 11(b)(1) requires the court to apprise the defendant of his or her rights before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere. The Committee determined to expand upon the incomplete listing in the current rule of the elements of the “maximum possible penalty” and any “mandatory minimum” penalty to include advice as to the maximum or minimum term of imprisonment, forfeiture, fine, and special assessment, in addition to the two types of maximum and minimum penalties presently enumerated: restitution and supervised release. The outmoded reference to a term of “special parole” has been eliminated.

Amended Rule 11(b)(2), formerly Rule 11(d), covers the issue of determining that the plea is voluntary, and not the result of force, threats, or promises (other than those in a plea agreement). The reference to an inquiry in current Rule 11(d) whether the plea has resulted from plea discussions with the government has been deleted. That reference, which was often a source of confusion to defendants who were clearly pleading guilty as part of a plea agreement with the government, was considered unnecessary.

Rule 11(c)(1)(A) includes a change, which recognizes a common type of plea agreement—that the government will “not bring” other charges.

The Committee considered whether to address the practice in some courts of using judges to facilitate plea agreements. The current rule states that “the court shall not participate in any discussions between the parties concerning such plea agreement.” Some courts apparently believe that that language acts as a limitation only upon the judge taking the defendant's plea and thus permits other judges to serve as facilitators for reaching a plea agreement between the government and the defendant. See, e.g., United States v. Torres, 999 F.2d 376, 378 (9th Cir. 1993) (noting practice and concluding that presiding judge had not participated in a plea agreement that had resulted from discussions involving another judge). The Committee decided to leave the Rule as it is with the understanding that doing so was in no way intended either to approve or disapprove the existing law interpreting that provision.

Amended Rules 11(c)(3) to (5) address the topics of consideration, acceptance, and rejection of a plea agreement. The amendments are not intended to make any change in practice. The topics are discussed separately because in the past there has been some question about the possible interplay between the court's consideration of the guilty plea in conjunction with a plea agreement and sentencing and the ability of the defendant to withdraw a plea. See United States v. Hyde, 520 U.S. 670 (1997) (holding that plea and plea agreement need not be accepted or rejected as a single unit; “guilty pleas can be accepted while plea agreements are deferred, and the acceptance of the two can be separated in time.”). Similarly, the Committee decided to more clearly spell out in Rule 11(d) and 11(e) the ability of the defendant to withdraw a plea. See United States v. Hyde, supra.

Amended Rule 11(e) is a new provision, taken from current Rule 32(e), that addresses the finality of a guilty or nolo contendere plea after the court imposes sentence. The provision makes it clear that it is not possible for a defendant to withdraw a plea after sentence is imposed.

The reference to a “motion under 28 U.S.C. §2255” has been changed to the broader term “collateral attack” to recognize that in some instances a court may grant collateral relief under provisions other than §2255. See United States v. Jeffers, 234 F.3d 277 (5th Cir. 2000) (petition under §2241 may be appropriate where remedy under §2255 is ineffective or inadequate).

Currently, Rule 11(e)(5) requires that unless good cause is shown, the parties are to give pretrial notice to the court that a plea agreement exists. That provision has been deleted. First, the Committee believed that although the provision was originally drafted to assist judges, under current practice few counsel would risk the consequences in the ordinary case of not informing the court that an agreement exists. Secondly, the Committee was concerned that there might be rare cases where the parties might agree that informing the court of the existence of an agreement might endanger a defendant or compromise an ongoing investigation in a related case. In the end, the Committee believed that, on balance, it would be preferable to remove the provision and reduce the risk of pretrial disclosure.

Finally, revised Rule 11(f), which addresses the issue of admissibility or inadmissibility of pleas and statements made during the plea inquiry, cross references Federal Rule of Evidence 410.

Committee Notes on Rules—2007 Amendment

Subdivision (b)(1)(M). The amendment conforms Rule 11 to the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005). Booker held that the provision of the federal sentencing statute that makes the Guidelines mandatory, 18 U.S.C. §3553(b)(1), violates the Sixth Amendment right to jury trial. With this provision severed and excised, the Court held, the Sentencing Reform Act “makes the Guidelines effectively advisory,” and “requires a sentencing court to consider Guidelines ranges, see 18 U.S.C.A. §3553(a)(4) (Supp. 2004), but it permits the court to tailor the sentence in light of other statutory concerns as well, see §3553(a) (Supp. 2004).” Id. at 245–46. Rule 11(b)(M) incorporates this analysis into the information provided to the defendant at the time of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. No changes were made to the text of the proposed amendment as released for public comment. One change was made to the Committee note. The reference to the Fifth Amendment was deleted from the description of the Supreme Court's decision in Booker.

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Evidence, referred to in subd. (f), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Amendment by Public Law

1988—Subd. (c)(1). Pub. L. 100–690 inserted “or term of supervised release” after “special parole term”.

1975—Pub. L. 94–64 amended subds. (c) and (e)(1)–(4), (6) generally.

Effective Date of 1979 Amendment

Amendment of subd. (e)(6) of this rule by order of the United States Supreme Court of Apr. 30, 1979, effective Dec. 1, 1980, see section 1(1) of Pub. L. 96–42, July 31, 1979, 93 Stat. 326, set out as a note under section 2074 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of Amendments Proposed April 22, 1974; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendments of this rule embraced in the order of the United States Supreme Court on Apr. 22, 1974, and the amendments of this rule made by section 3 of Pub. L. 94–64, effective Dec. 1, 1975, except with respect to the amendment adding subd. (e)(6) of this rule, effective Aug. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

Rule 12. Pleadings and Pretrial Motions

(a) Pleadings. The pleadings in a criminal proceeding are the indictment, the information, and the pleas of not guilty, guilty, and nolo contendere.

(b) Pretrial Motions.

(1) In General. Rule 47 applies to a pretrial motion.

(2) Motions That May Be Made Before Trial. A party may raise by pretrial motion any defense, objection, or request that the court can determine without a trial of the general issue.

(3) Motions That Must Be Made Before Trial. The following must be raised before trial:

(A) a motion alleging a defect in instituting the prosecution;

(B) a motion alleging a defect in the indictment or information—but at any time while the case is pending, the court may hear a claim that the indictment or information fails to invoke the court's jurisdiction or to state an offense;

(C) a motion to suppress evidence;

(D) a Rule 14 motion to sever charges or defendants; and

(E) a Rule 16 motion for discovery.


(4) Notice of the Government's Intent to Use Evidence.

(A) At the Government's Discretion. At the arraignment or as soon afterward as practicable, the government may notify the defendant of its intent to use specified evidence at trial in order to afford the defendant an opportunity to object before trial under Rule 12(b)(3)(C).

(B) At the Defendant's Request. At the arraignment or as soon afterward as practicable, the defendant may, in order to have an opportunity to move to suppress evidence under Rule 12(b)(3)(C), request notice of the government's intent to use (in its evidence-in-chief at trial) any evidence that the defendant may be entitled to discover under Rule 16.


(c) Motion Deadline. The court may, at the arraignment or as soon afterward as practicable, set a deadline for the parties to make pretrial motions and may also schedule a motion hearing.

(d) Ruling on a Motion. The court must decide every pretrial motion before trial unless it finds good cause to defer a ruling. The court must not defer ruling on a pretrial motion if the deferral will adversely affect a party's right to appeal. When factual issues are involved in deciding a motion, the court must state its essential findings on the record.

(e) Waiver of a Defense, Objection, or Request. A party waives any Rule 12(b)(3) defense, objection, or request not raised by the deadline the court sets under Rule 12(c) or by any extension the court provides. For good cause, the court may grant relief from the waiver.

(f) Recording the Proceedings. All proceedings at a motion hearing, including any findings of fact and conclusions of law made orally by the court, must be recorded by a court reporter or a suitable recording device.

(g) Defendant's Continued Custody or Release Status. If the court grants a motion to dismiss based on a defect in instituting the prosecution, in the indictment, or in the information, it may order the defendant to be released or detained under 18 U.S.C. §3142 for a specified time until a new indictment or information is filed. This rule does not affect any federal statutory period of limitations.


(h) Producing Statements at a Suppression Hearing. Rule 26.2 applies at a suppression hearing under Rule 12(b)(3)(C). At a suppression hearing, a law enforcement officer is considered a government witness.

(As amended Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, §3(11), (12), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 372; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. This rule abolishes pleas to the jurisdiction, pleas in abatement, demurrers, special pleas in bar, and motions to quash. A motion to dismiss or for other appropriate relief is substituted for the purpose of raising all defenses and objections heretofore interposed in any of the foregoing modes. “This should result in a reduction of opportunities for dilatory tactics and, at the same time, relieve the defense of embarrassment. Many competent practitioners have been baffled and mystified by the distinctions between pleas in abatement, pleas in bar, demurrers, and motions to quash, and have, at times, found difficulty in determining which of these should be invoked.” Homer Cummings, 29 A.B.A.Jour. 655. See also, Medalie, 4 Lawyers Guild R. (3)1, 4.

2. A similar change was introduced by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 7(a)) which has proven successful. It is also proposed by the A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure (Sec. 209).

Note to Subdivision (b)(1) and (2). These two paragraphs classify into two groups all objections and defenses to be interposed by motion prescribed by Rule 12(a). In one group are defenses and objections which must be raised by motion, failure to do so constituting a waiver. In the other group are defenses and objections which at the defendant's option may be raised by motion, failure to do so, however, not constituting a waiver. (Cf. Rule 12 of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix].)

In the first of these groups are included all defenses and objections that are based on defects in the institution of the prosecution or in the indictment and information, other than lack of jurisdiction or failure to charge an offense. All such defenses and objections must be included in a single motion. (Cf. Rule 12(g) of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix].) Among the defenses and objections in this group are the following: Illegal selection or organization of the grand jury, disqualification of individual grand jurors, presence of unauthorized persons in the grand jury room, other irregularities in grand jury proceedings, defects in indictment or information other than lack of jurisdiction or failure to state an offense, etc. The provision that these defenses and objections are waived if not raised by motion substantially continues existing law, as they are waived at present unless raised before trial by plea in abatement, demurrer, motion to quash, etc.

In the other group of objections and defenses, which the defendant at his option may raise by motion before trial, are included all defenses and objections which are capable of determination without a trial of the general issue. They include such matters as former jeopardy, former conviction, former acquittal, statute of limitations, immunity, lack of jurisdiction, failure of indictment or information to state an offense, etc. Such matters have been heretofore raised by demurrers, special pleas in bar and motions to quash.

Note to Subdivision (b)(3). This rule, while requiring the motion to be made before pleading, vests discretionary authority in the court to permit the motion to be made within a reasonable time thereafter. The rule supersedes 18 U.S.C. 556a [now 3288, 3289], fixing a definite limitation of time for pleas in abatement and motions to quash. The rule also eliminates the requirement for technical withdrawal of a plea if it is desired to interpose a preliminary objection or defense after the plea has been entered. Under this rule a plea will be permitted to stand in the meantime.

Note to Subdivision (b)(4). This rule substantially restates existing law. It leaves with the court discretion to determine in advance of trial defenses and objections raised by motion or to defer them for determination at the trial. It preserves the right to jury trial in those cases in which the right is given under the Constitution or by statute. In all other cases it vests in the court authority to determine issues of fact in such manner as the court deems appropriate.

Note to Subdivision (b)(5). 1. The first sentence substantially restates existing law, 18 U.S.C. [former] 561 (Indictments and presentments; judgment on demurrer), which provides that in case a demurrer to an indictment or information is overruled, the judgment shall be respondeat ouster.

2. The last sentence of the rule that “Nothing in this rule shall be deemed to affect the provisions of any act of Congress relating to periods of limitations” is intended to preserve the provisions of statutes which permit a reindictment if the original indictment is found defective or is dismissed for other irregularities and the statute of limitations has run in the meantime, 18 U.S.C. 587 [now 3288] (Defective indictment; defect found after period of limitations; reindictment); Id. sec. 588 [now 3289] (Defective indictment; defect found before period of limitations; reindictment); Id. sec. 589 [now 3288, 3289] (Defective indictment; defense of limitations to new indictment); Id. sec. 556a [now 3288, 3289] (Indictments and presentments; objections to drawing or qualification of grand jury; time for filing; suspension of statute of limitations).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment

Subdivision (a) remains as it was in the old rule. It “speaks only of defenses and objections that prior to the rules could have been raised by a plea, demurrer, or motion to quash” (C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §191 at p. 397 (1969)), and this might be interpreted as limiting the scope of the rule. However, some courts have assumed that old rule 12 does apply to pretrial motions generally, and the amendments to subsequent subdivisions of the rule should make clear that the rule is applicable to pretrial motion practice generally. (See e.g., rule 12(b)(3), (4), (5) and rule 41(e).)

Subdivision (b) is changed to provide for some additional motions and requests which must be made prior to trial. Subdivisions (b)(1) and (2) are restatements of the old rule.

Subdivision (b)(3) makes clear that objections to evidence on the ground that it was illegally obtained must be raised prior to trial. This is the current rule with regard to evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search. See rule 41(e); C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §673 (1969, Supp. 1971). It is also the practice with regard to other forms of illegality such as the use of unconstitutional means to obtain a confession. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §673 at p. 108 (1969). It seems apparent that the same principle should apply whatever the claimed basis for the application of the exclusionary rule of evidence may be. This is consistent with the court's statement in Jones v. United States, 362 U.S. 257, 264, 80 S.Ct. 725, 4 L.Ed.2d 697 (1960):

This provision of Rule 41(e), requiring the motion to suppress to be made before trial, is a crystallization of decisions of this Court requiring that procedure, and is designed to eliminate from the trial disputes over police conduct not immediately relevant to the question of guilt. (Emphasis added.)

Subdivision (b)(4) provides for a pretrial request for discovery by either the defendant or the government to the extent to which such discovery is authorized by rule 16.

Subdivision (b)(5) provides for a pretrial request for a severance as authorized in rule 14.

Subdivision (c) provides that a time for the making of motions shall be fixed at the time of the arraignment or as soon thereafter as practicable by court rule or direction of a judge. The rule leaves to the individual judge whether the motions may be oral or written. This and other amendments to rule 12 are designed to make possible and to encourage the making of motions prior to trial, whenever possible, and in a single hearing rather than in a series of hearings. This is the recommendation of the American Bar Association's Committee on Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial (Approved Draft, 1970); see especially §§5.2 and 5.3. It also is the procedure followed in those jurisdictions which have used the so-called “omnibus hearing” originated by Judge James Carter in the Southern District of California. See 4 Defender Newsletter 44 (1967); Miller, The Omnibus Hearing—An Experiment in Federal Criminal Discovery, 5 San Diego L.Rev. 293 (1968); American Bar Association, Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial, Appendices B, C, and D (Approved Draft, 1970). The omnibus hearing is also being used, on an experimental basis, in several other district courts. Although the Advisory Committee is of the view that it would be premature to write the omnibus hearing procedure into the rules, it is of the view that the single pretrial hearing should be made possible and its use encouraged by the rules.

There is a similar trend in state practice. See, e.g., State ex rel. Goodchild v. Burke, 27 Wis.2d 244, 133 N.W.2d 753 (1965); State ex rel. Rasmussen v. Tahash, 272 Minn. 539, 141 N.W.2d 3 (1965).

The rule provides that the motion date be set at “the arraignment or as soon thereafter as practicable.” This is the practice in some federal courts including those using the omnibus hearing. (In order to obtain the advantage of the omnibus hearing, counsel routinely plead not guilty at the initial arraignment on the information or indictment and then may indicate a desire to change the plea to guilty following the omnibus hearing. This practice builds a more adequate record in guilty plea cases.) The rule further provides that the date may be set before the arraignment if local rules of court so provide.

Subdivision (d) provides a mechanism for insuring that a defendant knows of the government's intention to use evidence to which the defendant may want to object. On some occasions the resolution of the admissibility issue prior to trial may be advantageous to the government. In these situations the attorney for the government can make effective defendant's obligation to make his motion to suppress prior to trial by giving defendant notice of the government's intention to use certain evidence. For example, in United States v. Desist, 384 F.2d 889, 897 (2d Cir. 1967), the court said:

Early in the pre-trial proceedings, the Government commendably informed both the court and defense counsel that an electronic listening device had been used in investigating the case, and suggested a hearing be held as to its legality.

See also the “Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968,” 18 U.S.C. §2518(9):

The contents of any intercepted wire or oral communication or evidence derived therefrom shall not be received in evidence or otherwise disclosed in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in a Federal or State court unless each party, not less than ten days before the trial, hearing, or proceeding, has been furnished with a copy of the court order, and accompanying application, under which the interception was authorized or approved.

In cases in which defendant wishes to know what types of evidence the government intends to use so that he can make his motion to suppress prior to trial, he can request the government to give notice of its intention to use specified evidence which the defendant is entitled to discover under rule 16. Although the defendant is already entitled to discovery of such evidence prior to trial under rule 16, rule 12 makes it possible for him to avoid the necessity of moving to suppress evidence which the government does not intend to use. No sanction is provided for the government's failure to comply with the court's order because the committee believes that attorneys for the government will in fact comply and that judges have ways of insuring compliance. An automatic exclusion of such evidence, particularly where the failure to give notice was not deliberate, seems to create too heavy a burden upon the exclusionary rule of evidence, especially when defendant has opportunity for broad discovery under rule 16. Compare ABA Project on Standards for Criminal Justice, Standards Relating to Electronic Surveillance (Approved Draft, 1971) at p. 116:

A failure to comply with the duty of giving notice could lead to the suppression of evidence. Nevertheless, the standards make it explicit that the rule is intended to be a matter of procedure which need not under appropriate circumstances automatically dictate that evidence otherwise admissible be suppressed.

Pretrial notice by the prosecution of its intention to use evidence which may be subject to a motion to suppress is increasingly being encouraged in state practice. See, e.g., State ex rel. Goodchild v. Burke, 27 Wis.2d 244, 264, 133 N.W.2d 753, 763 (1965):

In the interest of better administration of criminal justice we suggest that wherever practicable the prosecutor should within a reasonable time before trial notify the defense as to whether any alleged confession or admission will be offered in evidence at the trial. We also suggest, in cases where such notice is given by the prosecution, that the defense, if it intends to attack the confession or admission as involuntary, notify the prosecutor of a desire by the defense for a special determination on such issue.

See also State ex rel. Rasmussen v. Tahash, 272 Minn. 539, 553–556, 141 N.W.2d 3, 13–15 (1965):

At the time of arraignment when a defendant pleads not guilty, or as soon as possible thereafter, the state will advise the court as to whether its case against the defendant will include evidence obtained as the result of a search and seizure; evidence discovered because of a confession or statements in the nature of a confession obtained from the defendant; or confessions or statements in the nature of confessions.

Upon being so informed, the court will formally advise the attorney for the defendant (or the defendant himself if he refuses legal counsel) that he may, if he chooses, move the court to suppress the evidence so secured or the confession so obtained if his contention is that such evidence was secured or confession obtained in violation of defendant's constitutional rights. * * *

The procedure which we have outlined deals only with evidence obtained as the result of a search and seizure and evidence consisting of or produced by confession on the part of the defendant. However, the steps which have been suggested as a method of dealing with evidence of this type will indicate to counsel and to the trial courts that the pretrial consideration of other evidentiary problems, the resolution of which is needed to assure the integrity of the trial when conducted, will be most useful and that this court encourages the use of such procedures whenever practical.

Subdivision (e) provides that the court shall rule on a pretrial motion before trial unless the court orders that it be decided upon at the trial of the general issue or after verdict. This is the old rule. The reference to issues which must be tried by the jury is dropped as unnecessary, without any intention of changing current law or practice. The old rule begs the question of when a jury decision is required at the trial, providing only that a jury is necessary if “required by the Constitution or an act of Congress.” It will be observed that subdivision (e) confers general authority to defer the determination of any pretrial motion until after verdict. However, in the case of a motion to suppress evidence the power should be exercised in the light of the possibility that if the motion is ultimately granted a retrial of the defendant may not be permissible.

Subdivision (f) provides that a failure to raise the objections or make the requests specified in subdivision (b) constitutes a waiver thereof, but the court is allowed to grant relief from the waiver if adequate cause is shown. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §192 (1969), where it is pointed out that the old rule is unclear as to whether the waiver results only from a failure to raise the issue prior to trial or from the failure to do so at the time fixed by the judge for a hearing. The amendment makes clear that the defendant and, where appropriate, the government have an obligation to raise the issue at the motion date set by the judge pursuant to subdivision (c).

Subdivision (g) requires that a verbatim record be made of pretrial motion proceedings and requires the judge to make a record of his findings of fact and conclusions of law. This is desirable if pretrial rulings are to be subject to post-conviction review on the record. The judge may find and rule orally from the bench, so long as a verbatim record is taken. There is no necessity of a separate written memorandum containing the judge's findings and conclusions.

Subdivision (h) is essentially old rule 12(b)(5) except for the deletion of the provision that defendant may plead if the motion is determined adversely to him or, if he has already entered a plea, that that plea stands. This language seems unnecessary particularly in light of the experience in some district courts where a pro forma plea of not guilty is entered at the arraignment, pretrial motions are later made, and depending upon the outcome the defendant may then change his plea to guilty or persist in his plea of not guilty.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure deals with pretrial motions and pleadings. The Supreme Court proposed several amendments to it. The more significant of these are set out below.

Subdivision (b) as proposed to be amended provides that the pretrial motions may be oral or written, at the court's discretion. It also provides that certain types of motions must be made before trial.

Subdivision (d) as proposed to be amended provides that the government, either on its own or in response to a request by the defendant, must notify the defendant of its intention to use certain evidence in order to give the defendant an opportunity before trial to move to suppress that evidence.

Subdivision (e) as proposed to be amended permits the court to defer ruling on a pretrial motion until the trial of the general issue or until after verdict.

Subdivision (f) as proposed to be amended provides that the failure before trial to file motions or requests or to raise defenses which must be filed or raised prior to trial, results in a waiver. However, it also provides that the court, for cause shown, may grant relief from the waiver.

Subdivision (g) as proposed to be amended requires that a verbatim record be made of the pretrial motion proceedings and that the judge make a record of his findings of fact and conclusions of law.

B. Committee Action. The Committee modified subdivision (e) to permit the court to defer its ruling on a pretrial motion until after the trial only for good cause. Moreover, the court cannot defer its ruling if to do so will adversely affect a party's right to appeal. The Committee believes that the rule proposed by the Supreme Court could deprive the government of its appeal rights under statutes like section 3731 of title 18 of the United States Code. Further, the Committee hopes to discourage the tendency to reserve rulings on pretrial motions until after verdict in the hope that the jury's verdict will make a ruling unnecessary.

The Committee also modified subdivision (h), which deals with what happens when the court grants a pretrial motion based upon a defect in the institution of the prosecution or in the indictment or information. The Committee's change provides that when such a motion is granted, the court may order that the defendant be continued in custody or that his bail be continued for a specified time. A defendant should not automatically be continued in custody when such a motion is granted. In order to continue the defendant in custody, the court must not only determine that there is probable cause, but it must also determine, in effect, that there is good cause to have the defendant arrested.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (i). As noted in the recent decision of United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667 (1980), hearings on pretrial suppression motions not infrequently necessitate a determination of the credibility of witnesses. In such a situation, it is particularly important, as also highlighted by Raddatz, that the record include some other evidence which tends to either verify or controvert the assertions of the witness. (This is especially true in light of the Raddatz holding that a district judge, in order to make an independent evaluation of credibility, is not required to rehear testimony on which a magistrate based his findings and recommendations following a suppression hearing before the magistrate.) One kind of evidence which can often fulfill this function is prior statements of the testifying witness, yet courts have consistently held that in light of the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. §3500, such production of statements cannot be compelled at a pretrial suppression hearing. United States v. Spagnuolo, 515 F.2d 818 (9th Cir. 1975); United States v. Sebastian, 497 F.2d 1267 (2nd Cir. 1974); United States v. Montos, 421 F.2d 215 (5th Cir. 1970). This result, which finds no express Congressional approval in the legislative history of the Jencks Act, see United States v. Sebastian, supra; United States v. Covello, 410 F.2d 536 (2d Cir. 1969), would be obviated by new subdivision (i) of rule 12.

This change will enhance the accuracy of the factual determinations made in the context of pretrial suppression hearings. As noted in United States v. Sebastian, supra, it can be argued

  most persuasively that the case for pre-trial disclosure is strongest in the framework of a suppression hearing. Since findings at such a hearing as to admissibility of challenged evidence will often determine the result at trial and, at least in the case of fourth amendment suppression motions, cannot be relitigated later before the trier of fact, pre-trial production of the statements of witnesses would aid defense counsel's impeachment efforts at perhaps the most crucial point in the case. * * * [A] government witness at the suppression hearing may not appear at trial so that defendants could never test his credibility with the benefits of Jencks Act material.

The latter statement is certainly correct, for not infrequently a police officer who must testify on a motion to suppress as to the circumstances of an arrest or search will not be called at trial because he has no information necessary to the determination of defendant's guilt. See, e.g., United States v. Spagnuolo, supra (dissent notes that “under the prosecution's own admission, it did not intend to produce at trial the witnesses called at the pre-trial suppression hearing”). Moreover, even if that person did testify at the trial, if that testimony went to a different subject matter, then under rule 26.2(c) only portions of prior statements covering the same subject matter need be produced, and thus portions which might contradict the suppression hearing testimony would not be revealed. Thus, while it may be true, as declared in United States v. Montos, supra, that “due process does not require premature production at pre-trial hearings on motions to suppress of statements ultimately subject to discovery under the Jencks Act,” the fact of the matter is that those statements—or, the essential portions thereof—are not necessarily subject to later discovery.

Moreover, it is not correct to assume that somehow the problem can be solved by leaving the suppression issue “open” in some fashion for resolution once the trial is under way, at which time the prior statements will be produced. In United States v. Spagnuolo, supra, the court responded to the defendant's dilemma of inaccessible prior statements by saying that the suppression motion could simply be deferred until trial. But, under the current version of rule 12 this is not possible; subdivision (b) declares that motions to suppress “must” be made before trial, and subdivision (e) says such motions cannot be deferred for determination at trial “if a party's right to appeal is adversely affected,” which surely is the case as to suppression motions. As for the possibility of the trial judge reconsidering the motion to suppress on the basis of prior statements produced at trial and casting doubt on the credibility of a suppression hearing witness, it is not a desirable or adequate solution. For one thing, as already noted, there is no assurance that the prior statements will be forthcoming. Even if they are, it is not efficient to delay the continuation of the trial to undertake a reconsideration of matters which could have been resolved in advance of trial had the critical facts then been available. Furthermore, if such reconsideration is regularly to be expected of the trial judge, then this would give rise on appeal to unnecessary issues of the kind which confronted the court in United States v. Montos, supra—whether the trial judge was obligated either to conduct a new hearing or to make a new determination in light of the new evidence.

The second sentence of subdivision (i) provides that a law enforcement officer is to be deemed a witness called by the government. This means that when such a federal, state or local officer has testified at a suppression hearing, the defendant will be entitled to any statement of the officer in the possession of the government and relating to the subject matter concerning which the witness has testified, without regard to whether the officer was in fact called by the government or the defendant. There is considerable variation in local practice as to whether the arresting or searching officer is considered the witness of the defendant or of the government, but the need for the prior statement exists in either instance.

The second sentence of subdivision (i) also provides that upon a claim of privilege the court is to excise the privileged matter before turning over the statement. The situation most likely to arise is that in which the prior statement of the testifying officer identifies an informant who supplied some or all of the probable cause information to the police. Under McCray v. Illinois, 386 U.S. 300 (1967), it is for the judge who hears the motion to decide whether disclosure of the informant's identity is necessary in the particular case. Of course, the government in any case may prevent disclosure of the informant's identity by terminating reliance upon information from that informant.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The amendment to subdivision (i) is one of a series of contemporaneous amendments to Rules 26.2, 32(f), 32.1, 46, and Rule 8 of the Rules Governing §2255 Hearings, which extended Rule 26.2, Production of Witness Statements, to other proceedings or hearings conducted under the Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 26.2(c) now explicitly states that the trial court may excise privileged matter from the requested witness statements. That change rendered similar language in Rule 12(i) redundant.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 12 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

The last sentence of current Rule 12(a), referring to the elimination of “all other pleas, and demurrers and motions to quash” has been deleted as unnecessary.

Rule 12(b) is modified to more clearly indicate that Rule 47 governs any pretrial motions filed under Rule 12, including form and content. The new provision also more clearly delineates those motions that must be filed pretrial and those that may be filed pretrial. No change in practice is intended.

Rule 12(b)(4) is composed of what is currently Rule 12(d). The Committee believed that that provision, which addresses the government's requirement to disclose discoverable information for the purpose of facilitating timely defense objections and motions, was more appropriately associated with the pretrial motions specified in Rule 12(b)(3).

Rule 12(c) includes a non-stylistic change. The reference to the “local rule” exception has been deleted to make it clear that judges should be encouraged to set deadlines for motions. The Committee believed that doing so promotes more efficient case management, especially when there is a heavy docket of pending cases. Although the rule permits some discretion in setting a date for motion hearings, the Committee believed that doing so at an early point in the proceedings would also promote judicial economy.

Moving the language in current Rule 12(d) caused the relettering of the subdivisions following Rule 12(c).

Although amended Rule 12(e) is a revised version of current Rule 12(f), the Committee intends to make no change in the current law regarding waivers of motions or defenses.

Amendment by Public Law

1975—Pub. L. 94–64 amended subds. (e) and (h) generally.

Effective Date of Amendments Proposed April 22, 1974; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendments of this rule embraced in the order of the United States Supreme Court on Apr. 22, 1974, and the amendments of this rule made by section 3 of Pub. L. 94–64, effective Dec. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

Rule 12.1. Notice of an Alibi Defense

(a) Government's Request for Notice and Defendant's Response.

(1) Government's Request. An attorney for the government may request in writing that the defendant notify an attorney for the government of any intended alibi defense. The request must state the time, date, and place of the alleged offense.

(2) Defendant's Response. Within 14 days after the request, or at some other time the court sets, the defendant must serve written notice on an attorney for the government of any intended alibi defense. The defendant's notice must state:

(A) each specific place where the defendant claims to have been at the time of the alleged offense; and

(B) the name, address, and telephone number of each alibi witness on whom the defendant intends to rely.


(b) Disclosing Government Witnesses.

(1) Disclosure.

(A) In General. If the defendant serves a Rule 12.1(a)(2) notice, an attorney for the government must disclose in writing to the defendant or the defendant's attorney:

(i) the name of each witness—and the address and telephone number of each witness other than a victim—that the government intends to rely on to establish that the defendant was present at the scene of the alleged offense; and

(ii) each government rebuttal witness to the defendant's alibi defense.


(B) Victim's Address and Telephone Number. If the government intends to rely on a victim's testimony to establish that the defendant was present at the scene of the alleged offense and the defendant establishes a need for the victim's address and telephone number, the court may:

(i) order the government to provide the information in writing to the defendant or the defendant's attorney; or

(ii) fashion a reasonable procedure that allows preparation of the defense and also protects the victim's interests.


(2) Time to Disclose. Unless the court directs otherwise, an attorney for the government must give its Rule 12.1(b)(1) disclosure within 14 days after the defendant serves notice of an intended alibi defense under Rule 12.1(a)(2), but no later than 14 days before trial.


(c) Continuing Duty to Disclose.

(1) In General. Both an attorney for the government and the defendant must promptly disclose in writing to the other party the name of each additional witness—and the address and telephone number of each additional witness other than a victim—if:

(A) the disclosing party learns of the witness before or during trial; and

(B) the witness should have been disclosed under Rule 12.1(a) or (b) if the disclosing party had known of the witness earlier.


(2) Address and Telephone Number of an Additional Victim Witness. The address and telephone number of an additional victim witness must not be disclosed except as provided in Rule 12.1 (b)(1)(B).


(d) Exceptions. For good cause, the court may grant an exception to any requirement of Rule 12.1(a)–(c).

(e) Failure to Comply. If a party fails to comply with this rule, the court may exclude the testimony of any undisclosed witness regarding the defendant's alibi. This rule does not limit the defendant's right to testify.

(f) Inadmissibility of Withdrawn Intention. Evidence of an intention to rely on an alibi defense, later withdrawn, or of a statement made in connection with that intention, is not, in any civil or criminal proceeding, admissible against the person who gave notice of the intention.

(Added Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; amended Pub. L. 94–64, §3(13), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 372; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974

Rule 12.1 is new. See rule 87 of the United States District Court Rules for the District of Columbia for a somewhat comparable provision.

The Advisory Committee has dealt with the issue of notice of alibi on several occasions over the course of the past three decades. In the Preliminary Draft of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, 1943, and the Second Preliminary Draft, 1944, an alibi-notice rule was proposed. But the Advisory Committee was closely divided upon whether there should be a rule at all and, if there were to be a rule, what the form of the rule should be. Orfield, The Preliminary Draft of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, 22 Texas L.Rev. 37, 57–58 (1943). The principal disagreement was whether the prosecutor or the defendant should initiate the process. The Second Preliminary Draft published in 1944 required the defendant to initiate the process by a motion to require the government to state with greater particularity the time and place it would rely on. Upon receipt of this information, defendant was required to give his notice of alibi. This formulation was “vehemently objected” to by five members of the committee (out of a total of eighteen) and two alternative rule proposals were submitted to the Supreme Court. Both formulations—one requiring the prosecutor to initiate the process, the other requiring the defendant to initiate the process—were rejected by the Court. See Epstein, Advance Notice of Alibi, 55 J.Crim.L., C. & P.S. 29, 30 (1964), in which the view is expressed that the unresolved split over the rule “probably caused” the court to reject an alibi-notice rule.

Rule 12.1 embodies an intermediate position. The initial burden is upon the defendant to raise the defense of alibi, but he need not specify the details of his alibi defense until the government specifies the time, place, and date of alleged offense. Each party must, at the appropriate time, disclose the names and addresses of witnesses.

In 1962 the Advisory Committee drafted an alibi-notice rule and included it in the Preliminary Draft of December 1962, rule 12A at pp. 5–6. This time the Advisory Committee withdrew the rule without submitting it to the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. Wright, Proposed Changes in Federal Civil, Criminal, and Appellate Procedure, 35 F.R.D. 317, 326 (1964). Criticism of the December 1962 alibi-notice rule centered on constitutional questions and questions of general fairness to the defendant. See Everett, Discovery in Criminal Cases—In Search of a Standard, 1964 Duke L.J. 477, 497–499.

Doubts about the constitutionality of a notice-of-alibi rule were to some extent resolved by Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78, 90 S.Ct. 1893, 26 L.Ed.2d 446 (1970). In that case the court sustained the constitutionality of the Florida notice-of-alibi statute, but left unresolved two important questions.

(1) The court said that it was not holding that a notice-of-alibi requirement was valid under conditions where a defendant does not enjoy “reciprocal discovery against the State.” 399 U.S. at 82 n. 11, 90 S.Ct. 1893. Under the revision of rule 16, the defendant is entitled to substantially enlarged discovery in federal cases, and it would seem appropriate to conclude that the rules will comply with the “reciprocal discovery” qualification of the Williams decision. [See, Wardius v. Oregon, 412 U.S. 470, 93 S.Ct. 2208, 37 L.Ed.2d 82 (1973) was decided after the approval of proposed Rule 12.1 by the Judicial Conference of the United States. In that case the Court held the Oregon Notice-of-Alibi statute unconstitutional because of the failure to give the defendant adequate reciprocal discovery rights.]

(2) The court said that it did not consider the question of the “validity of the threatened sanction, had petitioner chosen not to comply with the notice-of-alibi rule.” 399 U.S. at 83 n. 14, 90 S.Ct. 1893. This issue remains unresolved. [See Wardius v. Oregon, 412 U.S. at 472, Note 4, 93 S.Ct. 2208.] Rule 12.1(e) provides that the court may exclude the testimony of any witness whose name has not been disclosed pursuant to the requirements of the rule. The defendant may, however, testify himself. Prohibiting from testifying a witness whose name was not disclosed is a common provision in state statutes. See Epstein, supra, at 35. It is generally assumed that the sanction is essential if the notice-of-alibi rule is to have practical significance. See Epstein, supra, at 36. The use of the term “may” is intended to make clear that the judge may allow the alibi witness to testify if, under the particular circumstances, there is cause shown for the failure to conform to the requirements of the rules. This is further emphasized by subdivision (f) which provides for exceptions whenever “good cause” is shown for the exception.

The Supreme Court of Illinois recently upheld an Illinois statute which requires a defendant to give notice of his alibi witnesses although the prosecution is not required to disclose its alibi rebuttal witnesses. People v. Holiday, 47 Ill.2d 300, 265 N.E.2d 634 (1970). Because the defense complied with the requirement, the court did not have to consider the propriety of penalizing noncompliance.

The requirement of notice of alibi seems to be an increasingly common requirement of state criminal procedure. State statutes and court rules are cited in 399 U.S. at 82 n. 11, 90 S.Ct. 1893. See also Epstein, supra.

Rule 12.1 will serve a useful purpose even though rule 16 now requires disclosure of the names and addresses of government and defense witnesses. There are cases in which the identity of defense witnesses may be known, but it may come as a surprise to the government that they intend to testify as to an alibi and there may be no advance notice of the details of the claimed alibi. The result often is an unnecessary interruption and delay in the trial to enable the government to conduct an appropriate investigation. The objective of rule 12.1 is to prevent this by providing a mechanism which will enable the parties to have specific information in advance of trial to prepare to meet the issue of alibi during the trial.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 12.1 is a new rule that deals with the defense of alibi. It provides that a defendant must notify the government of his intention to rely upon the defense of alibi. Upon receipt of such notice, the government must advise the defendant of the specific time, date, and place at which the offense is alleged to have been committed. The defendant must then inform the government of the specific place at which he claims to have been when the offense is alleged to have been committed, and of the names and addresses of the witnesses on whom he intends to rely to establish his alibi. The government must then inform the defendant of the names and addresses of the witnesses on whom it will rely to establish the defendant's presence at the scene of the crime. If either party fails to comply with the provisions of the rule, the court may exclude the testimony of any witness whose identity is not disclosed. The rule does not attempt to limit the right of the defendant to testify in his own behalf.

B. Committee Action. The Committee disagrees with the defendant-triggered procedures of the rule proposed by the Supreme Court. The major purpose of a notice-of-alibi rule is to prevent unfair surprise to the prosecution. The Committee, therefore, believes that it should be up to the prosecution to trigger the alibi defense discovery procedures. If the prosecution is worried about being surprised by an alibi defense, it can trigger the alibi defense discovery procedures. If the government fails to trigger the procedures and if the defendant raises an alibi defense at trial, then the government cannot claim surprise and get a continuance of the trial.

The Committee has adopted a notice-of-alibi rule similar to the one now used in the District of Columbia. [See Rule 2–5(b) of the Rules of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. See also Rule 16–1 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.] The rule is prosecution-triggered. If the prosecutor notifies the defendant of the time, place, and date of the alleged offense, then the defendant has 10 days in which to notify the prosecutor of his intention to rely upon an alibi defense, specify where he claims to have been at the time of the alleged offense, and provide a list of his alibi witnesses. The prosecutor, within 10 days but no later than 10 days before trial, must then provide the defendant with a list of witnesses who will place the defendant at the scene of the alleged crime and those witnesses who will be used to rebut the defendant's alibi witnesses.

The Committee's rule does not operate only to the benefit of the prosecution. In fact, its rule will provide the defendant with more information than the rule proposed by the Supreme Court. The rule proposed by the Supreme Court permits the defendant to obtain a list of only those witnesses who will place him at the scene of the crime. The defendant, however, would get the names of these witnesses anyway as part of his discovery under Rule 16(a)(1)(E). The Committee rule not only requires the prosecution to provide the names of witnesses who place the defendant at the scene of the crime, but it also requires the prosecution to turn over the names of those witnesses who will be called in rebuttal to the defendant's alibi witnesses. This is information that the defendant is not otherwise entitled to discover.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1985 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (f). This clarifying amendment is intended to serve the same purpose as a comparable change made in 1979 to similar language in Rule 11(e)(6). The change makes it clear that evidence of a withdrawn intent or of statements made in connection therewith is thereafter inadmissible against the person who gave the notice in any civil or criminal proceeding, without regard to whether the proceeding is against that person.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 12.1 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Current Rules 12.1(d) and 12.1(e) have been switched in the amended rule to improve the organization of the rule.

Finally, the amended rule includes a new requirement that in providing the names and addresses of alibi and any rebuttal witnesses, the parties must also provide the phone numbers of those witnesses. See Rule 12.1(a)(2), Rule 12.1(b)(1), and Rule 12.1(c). The Committee believed that requiring such information would facilitate locating and interviewing those witnesses.

Committee Notes on Rules—2008 Amendment

Subdivisions (b) and (c). The amendment implements the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, which states that victims have the right to be reasonably protected from the accused and to be treated with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy. See 18 U.S.C. §3771(a)(1) & (8). The rule provides that a victim's address and telephone number should not automatically be provided to the defense when an alibi defense is raised. If a defendant establishes a need for this information, the court has discretion to order its disclosure or to fashion an alternative procedure that provides the defendant with the information necessary to prepare a defense, but also protects the victim's interests.

In the case of victims who will testify concerning an alibi claim, the same procedures and standards apply to both the prosecutor's initial disclosure and the prosecutor's continuing duty to disclose under subdivision (c).

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. The Committee made very minor changes in the text at the suggestion of the Style Consultant. The Committee revised the Note in response to public comments, omitting the suggestion that the court might upon occasion have the defendant and victim meet.

Committee Notes on Rules—2009 Amendment

The times set in the former rule at 10 days have been revised to 14 days. See the Committee Note to Rule 45(a).

Amendment by Public Law

1975—Pub. L. 94–64 amended Rule 12.1 generally.

Effective Date of Rule; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

This rule, and the amendments of this rule made by section 3 of Pub. L. 94–64, effective Dec. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

Rule 12.2. Notice of an Insanity Defense; Mental Examination

(a) Notice of an Insanity Defense. A defendant who intends to assert a defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense must so notify an attorney for the government in writing within the time provided for filing a pretrial motion, or at any later time the court sets, and file a copy of the notice with the clerk. A defendant who fails to do so cannot rely on an insanity defense. The court may, for good cause, allow the defendant to file the notice late, grant additional trial-preparation time, or make other appropriate orders.

(b) Notice of Expert Evidence of a Mental Condition. If a defendant intends to introduce expert evidence relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant bearing on either (1) the issue of guilt or (2) the issue of punishment in a capital case, the defendant must—within the time provided for filing a pretrial motion or at any later time the court sets—notify an attorney for the government in writing of this intention and file a copy of the notice with the clerk. The court may, for good cause, allow the defendant to file the notice late, grant the parties additional trial-preparation time, or make other appropriate orders.

(c) Mental Examination.

(1) Authority to Order an Examination; Procedures.

(A) The court may order the defendant to submit to a competency examination under 18 U.S.C. §4241.

(B) If the defendant provides notice under Rule 12.2(a), the court must, upon the government's motion, order the defendant to be examined under 18 U.S.C. §4242. If the defendant provides notice under Rule 12.2(b) the court may, upon the government's motion, order the defendant to be examined under procedures ordered by the court.


(2) Disclosing Results and Reports of Capital Sentencing Examination. The results and reports of any examination conducted solely under Rule 12.2(c)(1) after notice under Rule 12.2(b)(2) must be sealed and must not be disclosed to any attorney for the government or the defendant unless the defendant is found guilty of one or more capital crimes and the defendant confirms an intent to offer during sentencing proceedings expert evidence on mental condition.

(3) Disclosing Results and Reports of the Defendant's Expert Examination. After disclosure under Rule 12.2(c)(2) of the results and reports of the government's examination, the defendant must disclose to the government the results and reports of any examination on mental condition conducted by the defendant's expert about which the defendant intends to introduce expert evidence.

(4) Inadmissibility of a Defendant's Statements. No statement made by a defendant in the course of any examination conducted under this rule (whether conducted with or without the defendant's consent), no testimony by the expert based on the statement, and no other fruits of the statement may be admitted into evidence against the defendant in any criminal proceeding except on an issue regarding mental condition on which the defendant:

(A) has introduced evidence of incompetency or evidence requiring notice under Rule 12.2(a) or (b)(1), or

(B) has introduced expert evidence in a capital sentencing proceeding requiring notice under Rule 12.2(b)(2).


(d) Failure to Comply.

(1) Failure to Give Notice or to Submit to Examination. The court may exclude any expert evidence from the defendant on the issue of the defendant's mental disease, mental defect, or any other mental condition bearing on the defendant's guilt or the issue of punishment in a capital case if the defendant fails to:

(A) give notice under Rule 12.2(b); or

(B) submit to an examination when ordered under Rule 12.2(c).


(2) Failure to Disclose. The court may exclude any expert evidence for which the defendant has failed to comply with the disclosure requirement of Rule 12.2(c)(3).


(e) Inadmissibility of Withdrawn Intention. Evidence of an intention as to which notice was given under Rule 12.2(a) or (b), later withdrawn, is not, in any civil or criminal proceeding, admissible against the person who gave notice of the intention.

(Added Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; amended Pub. L. 94–64, §3(14), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 373; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §404, Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2067; Pub. L. 98–596, §11(a), (b), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 3138; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Pub. L. 99–646, §24, Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3597; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 25, 2005, eff. Dec. 1, 2005.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974

Rule 12.2 is designed to require a defendant to give notice prior to trial of his intention (1) to rely upon the defense of insanity or (2) to introduce expert testimony of mental disease or defect on the theory that such mental condition is inconsistent with the mental state required for the offense charged. This rule does not deal with the issue of mental competency to stand trial.

The objective is to give the government time to prepare to meet the issue, which will usually require reliance upon expert testimony. Failure to give advance notice commonly results in the necessity for a continuance in the middle of a trial, thus unnecessarily delaying the administration of justice.

A requirement that the defendant give notice of his intention to rely upon the defense of insanity was proposed by the Advisory Committee in the Second Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments (March 1964), rule 12.1, p. 7. The objective of the 1964 proposal was explained in a brief Advisory Committee Note:

Under existing procedure although insanity is a defense, once it is raised the burden to prove sanity beyond a reasonable doubt rests with the government. Davis v. United States, 160 U.S. 469, 16 S.Ct. 353, 40 L.Ed. 499 (1895). This rule requires pretrial notice to the government of an insanity defense, thus permitting it to prepare to meet the issue. Furthermore, in Lynch v. Overholser, 369 U.S. 705, 82 S.Ct. 1063, 8 L.Ed.2d 211 (1962), the Supreme Court held that, at least in the face of a mandatory commitment statute, the defendant had a right to determine whether or not to raise the issue of insanity. The rule gives the defendant a method of raising the issue and precludes any problem of deciding whether or not the defendant relied on insanity.

The Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure decided not to recommend the proposed Notice of Insanity rule to the Supreme Court. Reasons were not given.

Requiring advance notice of the defense of insanity is commonly recommended as a desirable procedure. The Working Papers of the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws, Vol. 1, p. 254 (1970), state in part:

It is recommended that procedural reform provide for advance notice that evidence of mental disease or defect will be relied upon in defense. . . .

Requiring advance notice is proposed also by the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code, §4.03 (P.O.D. 1962). The commentary in Tentative Draft No. 4 at 193–194 (1955) indicates that, as of that time, six states required pretrial notice and an additional eight states required that the defense of insanity be specially pleaded.

For recent state statutes see N.Y. CPL §250.10 (McKinney's Consol. Laws, c. 11–A, 1971) enacted in 1970 which provides that no evidence by a defendant of a mental disease negativing criminal responsibility shall be allowed unless defendant has served notice on the prosecutor of his intention to rely upon such defense. See also New Jersey Penal Code (Final Report of the New Jersey Criminal Law Revision Commission, Oct. 1971) §2c: 4–3; New Jersey Court Rule 3:12; State v. Whitlow, 45 N.J. 3, 22 n. 3, 210 T.2d 763 (1965), holding the requirement of notice to be both appropriate and not in violation of the privilege against self-incrimination.

Subdivision (a) deals with notice of the “defense of insanity.” In this context the term insanity has a well-understood meaning. See, e.g., Tydings, A Federal Verdict of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity and a Subsequent Commitment Procedure, 27 Md.L.Rev. 131 (1967). Precisely how the defense of insanity is phrased does, however, differ somewhat from circuit to circuit. See Study Draft of a New Federal Criminal Code, §503 Comment at 37 (USGPO 1970). For a more extensive discussion of present law, see Working Papers of the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws, Vol. 1, pp. 229–247 (USGPO 1970). The National Commission recommends the adoption of a single test patterned after the proposal of the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code. The proposed definition provides in part:

In any prosecution for an offense lack of criminal responsibility by reason of mental disease or defect is a defense. [Study Draft of a New Federal Criminal Code §503 at 36–37.]

Should the proposal of the National Commission be adopted by the Congress, the language of subdivision (a) probably ought to be changed to read “defense of lack of criminal responsibility by reason of mental disease or defect” rather than “defense of insanity.”

Subdivision (b) is intended to deal with the issue of expert testimony bearing upon the issue of whether the defendant had the “mental state required for the offense charged.”

There is some disagreement as to whether it is proper to introduce evidence of mental disease or defect bearing not upon the defense of insanity, but rather upon the existence of the mental state required by the offense charged. The American Law Institute's Model Penal Code takes the position that such evidence is admissible [§4.02(1) (P.O.D. 1962)]. See also People v. Gorshen, 51 Cal.2d 716, 336 P.2d 492 (1959).

The federal cases reach conflicting conclusions. See Rhodes v. United States, 282 F.2d 59, 62 (4th Cir. 1960):

The proper way would have been to ask the witness to describe the defendant's mental condition and symptoms, his pathological beliefs and motivations, if he was thus afflicted, and to explain how these influenced or could have influenced his behavior, particularly his mental capacity knowingly to make the false statement charged, or knowingly to forge the signatures * * *.

Compare Fisher v. United States, 328 U.S. 463, 66 S.Ct. 1318, 90 L.Ed. 1382 (1946).

Subdivision (b) does not attempt to decide when expert testimony is admissible on the issue of the requisite mental state. It provides only that the defendant must give pretrial notice when he intends to introduce such evidence. The purpose is to prevent the need for a continuance when such evidence is offered without prior notice. The problem of unnecessary delay has arisen in jurisdictions which do not require prior notice of an intention to use expert testimony on the issue of mental state. Referring to this, the California Special Commission on Insanity and Criminal Offenders, First Report 30 (1962) said:

The abuses of the present system are great. Under a plea of “not guilty” without any notice to the people that the defense of insanity will be relied upon, defendant has been able to raise the defense upon the trial of the issue as to whether he committed the offense charged.

As an example of the delay occasioned by the failure to heretofore require a pretrial notice by the defendant, see United States v. Albright, 388 F.2d 719 (4th Cir. 1968), where a jury trial was recessed for 23 days to permit a psychiatric examination by the prosecution when the defendant injected a surprise defense of lack of mental competency.

Subdivision (c) gives the court the authority to order the defendant to submit to a psychiatric examination by a psychiatrist designated by the court. A similar provision is found in ALI, Model Penal Code §4.05(1) (P.O.D. 1962). This is a common provision of state law, the constitutionality of which has been sustained. Authorities are collected in ALI, Model Penal Code, pp. 195–196 Tent. Draft No. 4, (1955). For a recent proposal, see the New Jersey Penal Code §2c: 4–5 (Final Report of the New Jersey Criminal Law Revision Commission, Oct. 1971) authorizing appointment of “at least one qualified psychiatrist to examine and report upon the mental condition of the defendant.” Any issue of self-incrimination which might arise can be dealt with by the court as, for example, by a bifurcated trial which deals separately with the issues of guilt and of mental responsibility. For statutory authority to appoint a psychiatrist with respect to competency to stand trial, see 18 U.S.C. §4244.

Subdivision (d) confers authority on the court to exclude expert testimony in behalf of a defendant who has failed to give notice under subdivision (b) or who refuses to be examined by a court-appointed psychiatrist under subdivision (c). See State v. Whitlow, 45 N.J. 3, 23, 210 A.2d 763 (1965), which indicates that it is proper to limit or exclude testimony by a defense psychiatrist whenever defendant refuses to be examined.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 12.2 is a new rule that deals with defense based upon mental condition. It provides that: (1) The defendant must notify the prosecution in writing of his intention to rely upon the defense of insanity. If the defendant fails to comply, “insanity may not be raised as a defense.” (2) If the defendant intends to introduce expert testimony relating to mental disease or defect on the issue whether he had the requisite mental state, he must notify the prosecution in writing. (3) The court, on motion of the prosecution, may order the defendant to submit to a psychiatric examination by a court-appointed psychiatrist. (4) If the defendant fails to undergo the court-ordered psychiatric examination, the court may exclude any expert witness the defendant offers on the issue of his mental state.

B. Committee Action. The Committee agrees with the proposed rule but has added language concerning the use of statements made to a psychiatrist during the course of a psychiatric examination provided for by Rule 12.2. The language provides:

No statement made by the accused in the course of any examination provided for by this rule, whether the examination shall be with or without the consent of the accused, shall be admitted in evidence against the accused before the judge who or jury which determines the guilt of the accused, prior to the determination of guilt.

The purpose of this rule is to secure the defendant's fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. See State v. Raskin, 34 Wis.2d 607, 150 N.W.2d 318 (1967). The provision is flexible and does not totally preclude the use of such statements. For example, the defendant's statement can be used at a separate determination of the issue of sanity or for sentencing purposes once guilt has been determined. A limiting instruction to the jury in a single trial to consider statements made to the psychiatrist only on the issue of sanity would not satisfy the requirements of the rule as amended. The prejudicial effect on the determination of guilt would be inescapable.

The Committee notes that the rule does not attempt to resolve the issue whether the court can constitutionally compel a defendant to undergo a psychiatric examination when the defendant is unwilling to undergo one. The provisions of subdivision (c) are qualified by the phrase, “In an appropriate case.” If the court cannot constitutionally compel an unwilling defendant to undergo a psychiatric examination, then the provisions of subdivision (c) are inapplicable in every instance where the defendant is unwilling to undergo a court-ordered psychiatric examination. The Committee, by its approval of subdivision (c), intends to take no stand whatever on the constitutional question.

Conference Committee Notes, House Report No. 94–414; 1975 Amendment

Rule 12.2(c) deals with court-ordered psychiatric examinations. The House version provides that no statement made by a defendant during a court-ordered psychiatric examination could be admitted in evidence against the defendant before the trier of fact that determines the issue of guilt prior to the determination of guilt. The Senate version deletes this provision.

The Conference adopts a modified House provision and restores to the bill the language of H.R. 6799 as it was originally introduced. The Conference adopted language provides that no statement made by the defendant during a psychiatric examination provided for by the rule shall be admitted against him on the issue of guilt in any criminal proceeding.

The Conference believes that the provision in H.R. 6799 as originally introduced in the House adequately protects the defendant's fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. The rule does not preclude use of statements made by a defendant during a court-ordered psychiatric examination. The statements may be relevant to the issue of defendant's sanity and admissible on that issue. However, a limiting instruction would not satisfy the rule if a statement is so prejudicial that a limiting instruction would be ineffective. Cf. practice under 18 U.S.C. 4244.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (b). Courts have recently experienced difficulty with the question of what kind of expert testimony offered for what purpose falls within the notice requirement of rule 12.2(b). See, e.g., United States v. Hill, 655 F.2d 512 (3d Cir. 1980) (rule not applicable to tendered testimony of psychologist concerning defendant's susceptibility of inducement, offered to reinforce defendant's entrapment defense); United States v. Webb, 625 F.2d 709 (5th Cir. 1980) (rule not applicable to expert testimony tendered to show that defendant lacked the “propensity to commit a violent act,” as this testimony was offered “to prove that Webb did not commit the offense charged,” shooting at a helicopter, “not that certain conduct was unaccompanied by criminal intent”); United States v. Perl, 584 F.2d 1316 (4th Cir. 1978) (because entrapment defense properly withheld from jury, it was unnecessary to decide if the district court erred in holding rule applicable to tendered testimony of the doctor that defendant had increased susceptibility to suggestion as a result of medication he was taking); United States v. Olson, 576 F.2d 1267 (8th Cir. 1978) (rule applicable to tendered testimony of an alcoholism and drug therapist that defendant was not responsible for his actions because of a problem with alcohol); United States v. Staggs, 553 F.2d 1073 (7th Cir. 1977) (rule applicable to tendered testimony of psychologist that defendant, charged with assaulting federal officer, was more likely to hurt himself than to direct his aggressions toward others, as this testimony bears upon whether defendant intended to put victim in apprehension when he picked up the gun).

What these cases illustrate is that expert testimony about defendant's mental condition may be tendered in a wide variety of circumstances well beyond the situation clearly within rule 12.2(b), i.e., where a psychiatrist testifies for the defendant regarding his diminished capacity. In all of these situations and others like them, there is good reason to make applicable the notice provisions of rule 12.2(b). This is because in all circumstances in which the defendant plans to offer expert testimony concerning his mental condition at the time of the crime charged, advance disclosure to the government will serve “to permit adequate pretrial preparation, to prevent surprise at trial, and to avoid the necessity of delays during trial.” 2 A.B.A. Standards for Criminal Justice 11–55 (2d 1980). Thus, while the district court in United States v. Hill, 481 F.Supp. 558 (E.D.Pa. 1979), incorrectly concluded that present rule 12.2(b) covers testimony by a psychologist bearing on the defense of entrapment, the court quite properly concluded that the government would be seriously disadvantaged by lack of notice. This would have meant that the government would not have been equipped to cross-examine the expert, that any expert called by the government would not have had an opportunity to hear the defense expert testify, and that the government would not have had an opportunity to conduct the kind of investigation needed to acquire rebuttal testimony on defendant's claim that he was especially susceptible to inducement. Consequently, rule 12.2(b) has been expanded to cover all of the aforementioned situations.

Note to Subdivision (c). The amendment of the first sentence of subdivision (c), recognizing that the government may seek to have defendant subjected to a mental examination by an expert other than a psychiatrist, is prompted by the same considerations discussed above. Because it is possible that the defendant will submit to examination by an expert of his own other than a psychiatrist, it is necessary to recognize that it will sometimes be appropriate for defendant to be examined by a government expert other than a psychiatrist.

The last sentence of subdivision (c) has been amended to more accurately reflect the Fifth Amendment considerations at play in this context. See Estelle v. Smith, 451 U.S. 454 (1981), holding that self-incrimination protections are not inevitably limited to the guilt phase of a trial and that the privilege, when applicable, protects against use of defendant's statement and also the fruits thereof, including expert testimony based upon defendant's statements to the expert. Estelle also intimates that “a defendant can be required to submit to a sanity examination,” and presumably some other form of mental examination, when “his silence may deprive the State of the only effective means it has of controverting his proof on an issue that he interjected into the case.”

Note to Subdivision (d). The broader term “mental condition” is appropriate here in light of the above changes to subdivisions (b) and (c).

Note to Subdivision (e). New subdivision (e), generally consistent with the protection afforded in rule 12.1(f) with respect to notice of alibi, ensures that the notice required under subdivision (b) will not deprive the defendant of an opportunity later to elect not to utilize any expert testimony. This provision is consistent with Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78 (1970), holding the privilege against self-incrimination is not violated by requiring the defendant to give notice of a defense where the defendant retains the “unfettered choice” of abandoning the defense.

Dissenting Statement of Justice O'Connor to 1983 Amendment

With one minor reservation, I join the Court in its adoption of the proposed amendments. They represent the product of considerable effort by the Advisory Committee, and they will institute desirable reforms. My sole disagreement with the Court's action today lies in its failure to recommend correction of an apparent error in the drafting of Proposed Rule 12.2(e).

As proposed, Rule 12.2(e) reads:

  “Evidence of an intention as to which notice was given under subdivision (a) or (b), later withdrawn, is not admissible in any civil or criminal proceeding against the person who gave notice of the intention.”

Identical language formerly appeared in Fed. Rules Crim. Proc. 11(e)(6) and Fed. Rules Evid. 410, each of which stated that

  “[Certain material] is not admissible in any civil or criminal proceeding against the defendant.”

Those rules were amended, Supreme Court Order April 30, 1979, 441 U.S. 970, 987, 1007, Pub. Law 96–42, approved July 31, 1979, 93 Stat. 326. After the amendments, the relevant language read,

  “[Certain material] is not, in any civil or criminal proceeding, admissible against the defendant.”

As the Advisory Committee explained, this minor change was necessary to eliminate an ambiguity. Before the amendment, the word “against” could be read as referring either to the kind of proceeding in which the evidence was offered or to the purpose for which it was offered. Thus, for instance, if a person was a witness in a suit but not a party, it was unclear whether the evidence could be used to impeach him. In such a case, the use would be against the person, but the proceeding would not be against him. Similarly, if the person wished to introduce the evidence in a proceeding in which he was the defendant, the use, but not the proceeding, would be against him. To eliminate the ambiguity, the Advisory Committee proposed the amendment clarifying that the evidence was inadmissible against the person, regardless of whether the particular proceeding was against the person. See Adv. Comm. Note to Fed. Rules Crim. Proc. 11(e)(6); Adv. Comm. Note to Fed. Rules Evid. 410.

The same ambiguity inheres in the proposed version of Rule 12.2(e). We should recommend that it be eliminated now. To that extent, I respectfully dissent.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1985 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (e). This clarifying amendment is intended to serve the same purpose as a comparable change made in 1979 to similar language in Rule 11(e)(6). The change makes it clear that evidence of a withdrawn intent is thereafter inadmissible against the person who gave the notice in any civil or criminal proceeding, without regard to whether the proceeding is against that person.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 12.2 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

The substantive changes to Rule 12.2 are designed to address five issues. First, the amendment clarifies that a court may order a mental examination for a defendant who has indicated an intention to raise a defense of mental condition bearing on the issue of guilt. Second, the defendant is required to give notice of an intent to present expert evidence of the defendant's mental condition during a capital sentencing proceeding. Third, the amendment addresses the ability of the trial court to order a mental examination for a defendant who has given notice of an intent to present evidence of mental condition during capital sentencing proceedings and when the results of that examination may be disclosed. Fourth, the amendment addresses the timing of disclosure of the results and reports of the defendant's expert examination. Finally, the amendment extends the sanctions for failure to comply with the rule's requirements to the punishment phase of a capital case.

Under current Rule 12.2(b), a defendant who intends to offer expert testimony on the issue of his or her mental condition on the question of guilt must provide a pretrial notice of that intent. The amendment extends that notice requirement to a defendant who intends to offer expert evidence, testimonial or otherwise, on his or her mental condition during a capital sentencing proceeding. As several courts have recognized, the better practice is to require pretrial notice of that intent so that any mental examinations can be conducted without unnecessarily delaying capital sentencing proceedings. See, e.g., United States v. Beckford, 962 F. Supp. 748, 754–64 (E.D. Va. 1997); United States v. Haworth, 942 F. Supp. 1406, 1409 (D.N.M. 1996). The amendment adopts that view.

Revised Rule 12.2(c)(1) addresses and clarifies the authority of the court to order mental examinations for a defendant—to determine competency of a defendant to stand trial under 18 U.S.C. §4241; to determine the defendant's sanity at the time of the alleged offense under 18 U.S.C. §4242; or in those cases where the defendant intends to present expert testimony on his or her mental condition. Rule 12.2(c)(1)(A) reflects the traditional authority of the court to order competency examinations. With regard to examinations to determine insanity at the time of the offense, current Rule 12.2(c) implies that the trial court may grant a government motion for a mental examination of a defendant who has indicated under Rule 12.2(a) an intent to raise the defense of insanity. But the corresponding statute, 18 U.S.C. §4242, requires the court to order an examination if the defendant has provided notice of an intent to raise that defense and the government moves for the examination. Revised Rule 12.2(c)(1)(B) now conforms the rule to §4242. Any examination conducted on the issue of the insanity defense would thus be conducted in accordance with the procedures set out in that statutory provision.

Revised Rule 12.2(c)(1)(B) also addresses those cases where the defendant is not relying on an insanity defense, but intends to offer expert testimony on the issue of mental condition. While the authority of a trial court to order a mental examination of a defendant who has registered an intent to raise the insanity defense seems clear, the authority under the rule to order an examination of a defendant who intends only to present expert testimony on his or her mental condition on the issue of guilt is not as clear. Some courts have concluded that a court may order such an examination. See, e.g., United States v. Stackpole, 811 F.2d 689, 697 (1st Cir. 1987); United States v. Buchbinder, 796 F.2d 910, 915 (1st Cir. 1986); and United States v. Halbert, 712 F.2d 388 (9th Cir. 1983). In United States v. Davis, 93 F.3d 1286 (6th Cir. 1996), however, the court in a detailed analysis of the issue concluded that the district court lacked the authority under the rule to order a mental examination of a defendant who had provided notice of an intent to offer evidence on a defense of diminished capacity. The court noted first that the defendant could not be ordered to undergo commitment and examination under 18 U.S.C. §4242, because that provision relates to situations when the defendant intends to rely on the defense of insanity. The court also rejected the argument that the examination could be ordered under Rule 12.2(c) because this was, in the words of the rule, an “appropriate case.” The court concluded, however, that the trial court had the inherent authority to order such an examination.

The amendment clarifies that the authority of a court to order a mental examination under Rule 12.2(c)(1)(B) extends to those cases when the defendant has provided notice, under Rule 12.2(b), of an intent to present expert testimony on the defendant's mental condition, either on the merits or at capital sentencing. See, e.g., United States v. Hall, 152 F.3d 381 (5th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 119 S. Ct. 1767 (1999).

The amendment to Rule 12.2(c)(1) is not intended to affect any statutory or inherent authority a court may have to order other mental examinations.

The amendment leaves to the court the determination of what procedures should be used for a court-ordered examination on the defendant's mental condition (apart from insanity). As currently provided in the rule, if the examination is being ordered in connection with the defendant's stated intent to present an insanity defense, the procedures are dictated by 18 U.S.C. §4242. On the other hand, if the examination is being ordered in conjunction with a stated intent to present expert testimony on the defendant's mental condition (not amounting to a defense of insanity) either at the guilt or sentencing phases, no specific statutory counterpart is available. Accordingly, the court is given the discretion to specify the procedures to be used. In so doing, the court may certainly be informed by other provisions, which address hearings on a defendant's mental condition. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. §4241, et seq.

Additional changes address the question when the results of an examination ordered under Rule 12.2(b)(2) may, or must, be disclosed. The Supreme Court has recognized that use of a defendant's statements during a court-ordered examination may compromise the defendant's right against self-incrimination. See Estelle v. Smith, 451 U.S. 454 (1981) (defendant's privilege against self-incrimination violated when he was not advised of right to remain silent during court-ordered examination and prosecution introduced statements during capital sentencing hearing). But subsequent cases have indicated that the defendant waives the privilege if the defendant introduces expert testimony on his or her mental condition. See, e.g., Powell v. Texas, 492 U.S. 680, 683–84 (1989); Buchanan v. Kentucky, 483 U.S. 402, 421–24 (1987); Presnell v. Zant, 959 F.2d 1524, 1533 (11th Cir. 1992); Williams v. Lynaugh, 809 F.2d 1063, 1068 (5th Cir. 1987); United States v. Madrid, 673 F.2d 1114, 1119-21 (10th Cir. 1982). That view is reflected in Rule 12.2(c), which indicates that the statements of the defendant may be used against the defendant only after the defendant has introduced testimony on his or her mental condition. What the current rule does not address is if, and to what extent, the prosecution may see the results of the examination, which may include the defendant's statements, when evidence of the defendant's mental condition is being presented solely at a capital sentencing proceeding.

The proposed change in Rule 12.2(c)(2) adopts the procedure used by some courts to seal or otherwise insulate the results of the examination until it is clear that the defendant will introduce expert evidence about his or her mental condition at a capital sentencing hearing; i.e., after a verdict of guilty on one or more capital crimes, and a reaffirmation by the defendant of an intent to introduce expert mental-condition evidence in the sentencing phase. See, e.g., United States v. Beckford, 962 F. Supp. 748 (E.D. Va. 1997). Most courts that have addressed the issue have recognized that if the government obtains early access to the accused's statements, it will be required to show that it has not made any derivative use of that evidence. Doing so can consume time and resources. See, e.g., United States v. Hall, supra, 152 F.3d at 398 (noting that sealing of record, although not constitutionally required, “likely advances interests of judicial economy by avoiding litigation over [derivative use issue]”).

Except as provided in Rule 12.2(c)(3), the rule does not address the time for disclosing results and reports of any expert examination conducted by the defendant. New Rule 12.2(c)(3) provides that upon disclosure under subdivision (c)(2) of the results and reports of the government's examination, disclosure of the results and reports of the defendant's expert examination is mandatory, if the defendant intends to introduce expert evidence relating to the examination.

Rule 12.2(c), as previously written, restricted admissibility of the defendant's statements during the course of an examination conducted under the rule to an issue respecting mental condition on which the defendant “has introduced testimony”—expert or otherwise. As amended, Rule 12.2(c)(4) provides that the admissibility of such evidence in a capital sentencing proceeding is triggered only by the defendant's introduction of expert evidence. The Committee believed that, in this context, it was appropriate to limit the government's ability to use the results of its expert mental examination to instances in which the defendant has first introduced expert evidence on the issue.

Rule 12.2(d) has been amended to extend sanctions for failure to comply with the rule to the penalty phase of a capital case. The selection of an appropriate remedy for the failure of a defendant to provide notice or submit to an examination under subdivisions (b) and (c) is entrusted to the discretion of the court. While subdivision (d) recognizes that the court may exclude the evidence of the defendant's own expert in such a situation, the court should also consider “the effectiveness of less severe sanctions, the impact of preclusion on the evidence at trial and the outcome of the case, the extent of prosecutorial surprise or prejudice, and whether the violation was willful.” Taylor v. Illinois, 484 U.S. 400, 414 n.19 (1988) (citing Fendler v. Goldsmith, 728 F.2d 1181 (9th Cir. 1983)).

Committee Notes on Rules—2005 Amendment

The amendment to Rule 12.2(d) fills a gap created in the 2002 amendments to the rule. The substantively amended rule that took effect December 1, 2002, permits a sanction of exclusion of “any expert evidence” for failure to give notice or failure to submit to an examination, but provides no sanction for failure to disclose reports. The proposed amendment is designed to address that specific issue.

Rule 12.2(d)(1) is a slightly restructured version of current Rule 12.2(d). Rule 12.2(d)(2) is new and permits the court to exclude any expert evidence for failure to comply with the disclosure requirement in Rule 12.2(c)(3). The sanction is intended to relate only to the evidence related to the matters addressed in the report, which the defense failed to disclose. Unlike the broader sanction for the two violations listed in Rule 12.2(d)(1)—which can substantially affect the entire hearing—the Committee believed that it would be overbroad to expressly authorize exclusion of “any” expert evidence, even evidence unrelated to the results and reports that were not disclosed, as required in Rule 12.2(c)(3).

The rule assumes that the sanction of exclusion will result only where there has been a complete failure to disclose the report. If the report is disclosed, albeit in an untimely fashion, other relief may be appropriate, for example, granting a continuance to the government to review the report.

Changes Made After Publication and Comment. The Committee made no additional changes to Rule 12.2, following publication.

Amendment by Public Law

1986—Subd. (c). Pub. L. 99–646 inserted “4241 or” before “4242”.

1984—Subd. (a). Pub. L. 98–473, §404(a), substituted “offense” for “crime”.

Subd. (b). Pub. L. 98–473, §404(b), which directed the amendment of subd. (b) by deleting “other condition bearing upon the issue of whether he had the mental state required for the offense charged” and inserting in lieu thereof “any other mental condition bearing upon the issue of guilt”, was repealed by section 11(b) of Pub. L. 98–596.

Subd. (c). Pub. L. 98–596, §11(a)(1), substituted “to an examination pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4242” for “to a mental examination by a psychiatrist or other expert designated for this purpose in the order of the court”.

Pub. L. 98–473, §404(c), which directed the amendment of subd. (c) by deleting “to a psychiatric examination by a psychiatrist designated for this purpose in the order of the court” and inserting in lieu thereof “to an examination pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4242” could not be executed because the phrase to be deleted did not appear. See amendment note for section 11(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–596 above.

Subd. (d). Pub. L. 98–596, §11(a)(2), substituted “guilt” for “mental condition”.

Pub. L. 98–473, §404(d), which directed the amendment of subd. (d) by deleting “mental state” and inserting in lieu thereof “guilt”, was repealed by section 11(b) of Pub. L. 98–596.

1975—Pub. L. 94–64 amended subd. (c) generally.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Section 11(c) of Pub. L. 98–596 provided that: “The amendments and repeals made by subsections (a) and (b) of this section [amending this rule] shall apply on and after the enactment of the joint resolution entitled ‘Joint resolution making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 1985, and for other purposes’, H.J. Res. 648, Ninety-eighth Congress [Pub. L. 98–473, Oct. 12, 1984].”

Effective Date of Rule; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

This rule, and the amendments of this rule made by section 3 of Pub. L. 94–64, effective Dec. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

Rule 12.3. Notice of a Public-Authority Defense

(a) Notice of the Defense and Disclosure of Witnesses.

(1) Notice in General. If a defendant intends to assert a defense of actual or believed exercise of public authority on behalf of a law enforcement agency or federal intelligence agency at the time of the alleged offense, the defendant must so notify an attorney for the government in writing and must file a copy of the notice with the clerk within the time provided for filing a pretrial motion, or at any later time the court sets. The notice filed with the clerk must be under seal if the notice identifies a federal intelligence agency as the source of public authority.

(2) Contents of Notice. The notice must contain the following information:

(A) the law enforcement agency or federal intelligence agency involved;

(B) the agency member on whose behalf the defendant claims to have acted; and

(C) the time during which the defendant claims to have acted with public authority.


(3) Response to the Notice. An attorney for the government must serve a written response on the defendant or the defendant's attorney within 14 days after receiving the defendant's notice, but no later than 21 days before trial. The response must admit or deny that the defendant exercised the public authority identified in the defendant's notice.

(4) Disclosing Witnesses.

(A) Government's Request. An attorney for the government may request in writing that the defendant disclose the name, address, and telephone number of each witness the defendant intends to rely on to establish a public-authority defense. An attorney for the government may serve the request when the government serves its response to the defendant's notice under Rule 12.3(a)(3), or later, but must serve the request no later than 21 days before trial.

(B) Defendant's Response. Within 14 days after receiving the government's request, the defendant must serve on an attorney for the government a written statement of the name, address, and telephone number of each witness.

(C) Government's Reply. Within 14 days after receiving the defendant's statement, an attorney for the government must serve on the defendant or the defendant's attorney a written statement of the name of each witness—and the address and telephone number of each witness other than a victim—that the government intends to rely on to oppose the defendant's public-authority defense.

(D) Victim's Address and Telephone Number. If the government intends to rely on a victim's testimony to oppose the defendant's public-authority defense and the defendant establishes a need for the victim's address and telephone number, the court may:

(i) order the government to provide the information in writing to the defendant or the defendant's attorney; or

(ii) fashion a reasonable procedure that allows for preparing the defense and also protects the victim's interests.


(5) Additional Time. The court may, for good cause, allow a party additional time to comply with this rule.


(b) Continuing Duty to Disclose.

(1) In General. Both an attorney for the government and the defendant must promptly disclose in writing to the other party the name of any additional witness—and the address, and telephone number of any additional witness other than a victim—if:

(A) the disclosing party learns of the witness before or during trial; and

(B) the witness should have been disclosed under Rule 12.3(a)(4) if the disclosing party had known of the witness earlier.


(2) Address and Telephone Number of an Additional Victim-Witness. The address and telephone number of an additional victim-witness must not be disclosed except as provided in Rule 12.3(a)(4)(D).


(c) Failure to Comply. If a party fails to comply with this rule, the court may exclude the testimony of any undisclosed witness regarding the public-authority defense. This rule does not limit the defendant's right to testify.

(d) Protective Procedures Unaffected. This rule does not limit the court's authority to issue appropriate protective orders or to order that any filings be under seal.

(e) Inadmissibility of Withdrawn Intention. Evidence of an intention as to which notice was given under Rule 12.3(a), later withdrawn, is not, in any civil or criminal proceeding, admissible against the person who gave notice of the intention.

(Added Pub. L. 100–690, title VI, §6483, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4382; amended Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009; Apr. 28, 2010, eff. Dec. 1, 2010.)

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 12.3 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Substantive changes have been made in Rule 12.3(a)(4) and 12.3(b). As in Rule 12.1, the Committee decided to include in the restyled rule the requirement that the parties provide the telephone numbers of any witnesses disclosed under the rule.

Committee Notes on Rules—2009 Amendment

The times set in the former rule at 7, 10, or 20 days have been revised to 14 or 21 days. See the Committee Note to Rule 45(a).

Committee Notes on Rules—2010 Amendment

Subdivisions (a) and (b). The amendment implements the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, which states that victims have the right to be reasonably protected from the accused, and to be treated with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy. See 18 U.S.C. §3771(a)(1) & (8). The rule provides that a victim's address and telephone number should not automatically be provided to the defense when a public-authority defense is raised. If a defendant establishes a need for this information, the court has discretion to order its disclosure or to fashion an alternative procedure that provides the defendant with the information necessary to prepare a defense, but also protects the victim's interests.

In the case of victims who will testify concerning a public-authority claim, the same procedures and standards apply to both the prosecutor's initial disclosure and the prosecutor's continuing duty to disclose under subdivision (b).

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. No changes were made after the amendment was released for public comment.

Rule 12.4. Disclosure Statement

(a) Who Must File.

(1) Nongovernmental Corporate Party. Any nongovernmental corporate party to a proceeding in a district court must file a statement that identifies any parent corporation and any publicly held corporation that owns 10% or more of its stock or states that there is no such corporation.

(2) Organizational Victim. If an organization is a victim of the alleged criminal activity, the government must file a statement identifying the victim. If the organizational victim is a corporation, the statement must also disclose the information required by Rule 12.4(a)(1) to the extent it can be obtained through due diligence.


(b) Time for Filing; Supplemental Filing. A party must:

(1) file the Rule 12.4(a) statement upon the defendant's initial appearance; and

(2) promptly file a supplemental statement upon any change in the information that the statement requires.

(Added Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Committee Notes on Rules—2002

Rule 12.4 is a new rule modeled after Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 26.1 and parallels similar provisions being proposed in new Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 7.1. The purpose of the rule is to assist judges in determining whether they must recuse themselves because of a “financial interest in the subject matter in controversy.” Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 3C(1)(c)(1972). It does not, however, deal with other circumstances that might lead to disqualification for other reasons.

Under Rule 12.4(a)(1), any nongovernmental corporate party must file a statement that indicates whether it has any parent corporation that owns 10% or more of its stock or indicates that there is no such corporation. Although the term “nongovernmental corporate party” will almost always involve organizational defendants, it might also cover any third party that asserts an interest in property to be forfeited under new Rule 32.2.

Rule 12.4(a)(2) requires an attorney for the government to file a statement that lists any organizational victims of the alleged criminal activity; the purpose of this disclosure is to alert the court to the fact that a possible ground for disqualification might exist. Further, if the organizational victim is a corporation, the statement must include the same information required of any nongovernmental corporate party. The rule requires an attorney for the government to use due diligence in obtaining that information from a corporate organizational victim, recognizing that the timing requirements of Rule 12.4(b) might make it difficult to obtain the necessary information by the time the initial appearance is conducted.

Although the disclosures required by Rule 12.4 may seem limited, they are calculated to reach the majority of circumstances that are likely to call for disqualification on the basis of information that a judge may not know or recollect. Framing a rule that calls for more detailed disclosure is problematic and will inevitably require more information than is necessary for purposes of automatic recusal. Unnecessary disclosure of volumes of information may create the risk that a judge will overlook the one bit of information that might require disqualification, and may also create the risk that courts will experience unnecessary disqualifications rather than attempt to unravel a potentially difficult question.

The same concerns about overbreadth are potentially present in any local rules that might address this topic. Rule 12.4 does not address the promulgation of any local rules that might address the same issue, or supplement the requirements of the rule.

The rule does not cover disclosure of all financial information that could be relevant to a judge's decision whether to recuse himself or herself from a case. The Committee believes that with the various disclosure practices in the federal courts and with the development of technology, more comprehensive disclosure may be desirable and feasible.

Rule 12.4(b)(1) indicates that the time for filing the disclosure statement is at the point when the defendant enters an initial appearance under Rule 5. Although there may be other instances where an earlier appearance of a party in a civil proceeding would raise concerns about whether the presiding judicial officer should be notified of a possible grounds for recusal, the Committee believed that in criminal cases, the most likely time for that to occur is at the initial appearance and that it was important to set a uniform triggering event for disclosures under this rule.

Finally, Rule 12.4(b)(2) requires the parties to file supplemental statements with the court if there are any changes in the information required in the statement.

Rule 13. Joint Trial of Separate Cases

The court may order that separate cases be tried together as though brought in a single indictment or information if all offenses and all defendants could have been joined in a single indictment or information.

(As amended Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

This rule is substantially a restatement of existing law, 18 U.S.C. [former] 557 (Indictments and presentments; joinder of charges); Logan v. United States, 144 U.S. 263, 296; Showalter v. United States, 260 F. 719 (C.C.A. 4th)—cert. den., 250 U.S. 672; Hostetter v. United States, 16 F.2d 921 (C.C.A. 8th); Capone v. United States, 51 F.2d 609, 619–620 (C.C.A. 7th).

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 13 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Rule 14. Relief from Prejudicial Joinder

(a) Relief. If the joinder of offenses or defendants in an indictment, an information, or a consolidation for trial appears to prejudice a defendant or the government, the court may order separate trials of counts, sever the defendants’ trials, or provide any other relief that justice requires.

(b) Defendant's Statements. Before ruling on a defendant's motion to sever, the court may order an attorney for the government to deliver to the court for in camera inspection any defendant's statement that the government intends to use as evidence.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

This rule is a restatement of existing law under which severance and other similar relief is entirely in the discretion of the court, 18 U.S.C. [former] 557 (Indictments and presentments; joinder of charges); Pointer v. United States, 151 U.S. 396; Pierce v. United States, 160 U.S. 355; United States v. Ball, 163 U.S. 662, 673; Stilson v. United States, 250 U.S. 583.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

A defendant may be prejudiced by the admission in evidence against a co-defendant of a statement or confession made by that co-defendant. This prejudice cannot be dispelled by cross-examination if the co-defendant does not take the stand. Limiting instructions to the jury may not in fact erase the prejudice. While the question whether to grant a severance is generally left within the discretion of the trial court, recent Fifth Circuit cases have found sufficient prejudice involved to make denial of a motion for severance reversible error. See Schaffer v. United States, 221 F.2d 17 (5th Cir. 1955); Barton v. United States, 263 F.2d 894 (5th Cir. 1959). It has even been suggested that when the confession of the co-defendant comes as a surprise at the trial, it may be error to deny a motion or a mistrial. See Belvin v. United States, 273 F.2d 583 (5th Cir. 1960).

The purpose of the amendment is to provide a procedure whereby the issue of possible prejudice can be resolved on the motion for severance. The judge may direct the disclosure of the confessions or statements of the defendants to him for in camera inspection as an aid to determining whether the possible prejudice justifies ordering separate trials. Cf. note, Joint and Single Trials Under Rules 8 and 14 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, 74 Yale L.J. 551, 565 (1965).

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 14 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

The reference to a defendant's “confession” in the last sentence of the current rule has been deleted. The Committee believed that the reference to the “defendant's statements” in the amended rule would fairly embrace any confessions or admissions by a defendant.

Rule 15. Depositions

(a) When Taken.

(1) In General. A party may move that a prospective witness be deposed in order to preserve testimony for trial. The court may grant the motion because of exceptional circumstances and in the interest of justice. If the court orders the deposition to be taken, it may also require the deponent to produce at the deposition any designated material that is not privileged, including any book, paper, document, record, recording, or data.

(2) Detained Material Witness. A witness who is detained under 18 U.S.C. §3144 may request to be deposed by filing a written motion and giving notice to the parties. The court may then order that the deposition be taken and may discharge the witness after the witness has signed under oath the deposition transcript.


(b) Notice.

(1) In General. A party seeking to take a deposition must give every other party reasonable written notice of the deposition's date and location. The notice must state the name and address of each deponent. If requested by a party receiving the notice, the court may, for good cause, change the deposition's date or location.

(2) To the Custodial Officer. A party seeking to take the deposition must also notify the officer who has custody of the defendant of the scheduled date and location.


(c) Defendant's Presence.

(1) Defendant in Custody. The officer who has custody of the defendant must produce the defendant at the deposition and keep the defendant in the witness's presence during the examination, unless the defendant:

(A) waives in writing the right to be present; or

(B) persists in disruptive conduct justifying exclusion after being warned by the court that disruptive conduct will result in the defendant's exclusion.


(2) Defendant Not in Custody. A defendant who is not in custody has the right upon request to be present at the deposition, subject to any conditions imposed by the court. If the government tenders the defendant's expenses as provided in Rule 15(d) but the defendant still fails to appear, the defendant—absent good cause—waives both the right to appear and any objection to the taking and use of the deposition based on that right.


(d) Expenses. If the deposition was requested by the government, the court may—or if the defendant is unable to bear the deposition expenses, the court must—order the government to pay:

(1) any reasonable travel and subsistence expenses of the defendant and the defendant's attorney to attend the deposition; and

(2) the costs of the deposition transcript.


(e) Manner of Taking. Unless these rules or a court order provides otherwise, a deposition must be taken and filed in the same manner as a deposition in a civil action, except that:

(1) A defendant may not be deposed without that defendant's consent.

(2) The scope and manner of the deposition examination and cross-examination must be the same as would be allowed during trial.

(3) The government must provide to the defendant or the defendant's attorney, for use at the deposition, any statement of the deponent in the government's possession to which the defendant would be entitled at trial.


(f) Use as Evidence. A party may use all or part of a deposition as provided by the Federal Rules of Evidence.

(g) Objections. A party objecting to deposition testimony or evidence must state the grounds for the objection during the deposition.

(h) Depositions by Agreement Permitted. The parties may by agreement take and use a deposition with the court's consent.

(As amended Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, §3(15)–(19), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 373, 374; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §209(b), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1986; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. This rule continues the existing law permitting defendants to take depositions in certain limited classes of cases under dedimus potestatem and in perpetuam rei memoriam, 28 U.S.C. [former] 644. This statute has been generally held applicable to criminal cases, Clymer v. United States, 38 F.2d 581 (C.C.A. 10th); Wong Yim v. United States, 118 F.2d 667 (C.C.A. 9th)—cert. den., 313 U.S. 589; United States v. Cameron, 15 F. 794 (C.C.E.D.Mo.); United States v. Hofmann, 24 F.Supp. 847 (S.D.N.Y.). Contra, Luxemberg v. United States, 45 F.2d 497 (C.C.A. 4th)—cert. den., 283 U.S. 820. The rule continues the limitation of the statute that the taking of depositions is to be restricted to cases in which they are necessary “in order to prevent a failure of justice.”

2. Unlike the practice in civil cases in which depositions may be taken as a matter of right by notice without permission of the court (Rules 26(a) and 30, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix]), this rule permits depositions to be taken only by order of the court, made in the exercise of discretion and on notice to all parties. It was contemplated that in criminal cases depositions would be used only in exceptional situations, as has been the practice heretofore.

3. This rule introduces a new feature in authorizing the taking of the deposition of a witness committed for failure to give bail (see Rule 46(b)). This matter is, however, left to the discretion of the court. The purpose of the rule is to afford a method of relief for such a witness, if the court finds it proper to extend it.

Note to Subdivision (b). This subdivision, as well as subdivisions (d) and (f), sets forth the procedure to be followed in the event that the court grants an order for the taking of a deposition. The procedure prescribed is similar to that in civil cases, Rules 28–31, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix].

Note to Subdivision (c). This rule introduces a new feature for the purpose of protecting the rights of an indigent defendant.

Note to Subdivision (d). See Note to Subdivision (b), supra.

Note to Subdivision (e). In providing when and for what purpose a deposition may be used at the trial, this rule generally follows the corresponding provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 26(d)(3) [28 U.S.C., Appendix]. The only difference is that in civil cases a deposition may be introduced at the trial if the witness is at a greater distance than 100 miles from the place of trial, while this rule requires that the witness be out of the United States. The distinction results from the fact that a subpoena in a civil case runs only within the district where issued or 100 miles from the place of trial (Rule 45(e)(1), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure), while a subpoena in a criminal case runs throughout the United States (see Rule 17(e)(1), infra).

Note to Subdivision (f). See Note to Subdivision (b), supra.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment

Rule 15 authorizes the taking of depositions by the government. Under former rule 15 only a defendant was authorized to take a deposition.

The revision is similar to Title VI of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. The principal difference is that Title VI (18 U.S.C. §3503) limits the authority of the government to take depositions to cases in which the Attorney General certifies that the “proceeding is against a person who is believed to have participated in an organized criminal activity.” This limitation is not contained in rule 15.

Dealing with the issue of government depositions so soon after the enactment of 18 U.S.C. §3503 is not inconsistent with the congressional purpose. On the floor of the House, Congressman Poff, a principal spokesman for the proposal, said that the House version was not designed to “limit the Judicial Conference of the United States in the exercise of its rulemaking authority . . . from addressing itself to other problems in this area or from adopting a broader approach.” 116 Cong.Rec. 35293 (1970).

The recently enacted Title VI of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (18 U.S.C. §3503) is based upon earlier efforts of the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules which has over the past twenty-five years submitted several proposals authorizing government depositions.

The earlier drafts of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure proposed that the government be allowed to take depositions. Orfield, The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, 33 Calif.L.Rev. 543, 559 (1945). The Fifth Draft of what became rule 15 (then rule 20) dated June 1942, was submitted to the Supreme Court for comment. The court had a number of unfavorable comments about allowing government depositions. These comments were not published. The only reference to the fact that the court made comments is in 2 Orfield, Criminal Procedure under the Federal Rules §15:1 (1966); and Orfield, Depositions in Federal Criminal Procedure, 9 S.C.L.Q. 376, 380–381 (1957).

The Advisory Committee, in the 1940's, continued to recommend the adoption of a provision authorizing government depositions. The final draft submitted to the Supreme Court contained a section providing:

The following additional requirements shall apply if the deposition is taken at the instance of the government or of a witness. The officer having custody of a defendant shall be notified of the time and place set for examination, and shall produce him at the examination and keep him in the presence of the witness during the examination. A defendant not in custody shall be given notice and shall have the right to be present at the examination. The government shall pay in advance to the defendant's attorney and a defendant not in custody expenses of travel and subsistence for attendance at the examination.

See 2 Orfield, Criminal Procedure under the Federal Rules §15:3, pp. 447–448 (1966); Orfield, Depositions in Federal Criminal Procedure, 9 S.C.L.Q. 376, 383 (1957).

The Supreme Court rejected this section in this entirety, thus eliminating the provision for depositions by the government. These changes were made without comment.

The proposal to allow government depositions was renewed in the amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure in the early 1960's. The Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments to Rules of Criminal Procedure for the United States District Courts (December 1962) proposed to amend rule 15 by eliminating the words “of a defendant” from the first sentence of subdivision (a) and adding a subdivision (g) which was practically identical to the subdivision rejected by the Supreme Court in the original draft of the rules.

The Second Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments to Rules of Criminal Procedure for the United States District Courts (March 1964) continued to propose allowing governments depositions. Subdivision (g) was substantially modified, however.

The following additional requirements shall apply if the deposition is taken at the instance of the government or a witness. Both the defendant and his attorney shall be given reasonable advance notice of the time and place set for the examination. The officer having custody of a defendant shall be notified of the time and place set for the examination, and shall produce him at the examination and keep him in the presence of the witness during the examination. A defendant not in custody shall have the right to be present at the examination but his failure to appear after notice and tender of expenses shall constitute a waiver of that right. The government shall pay to the defendant's attorney and to a defendant not in custody expenses of travel and subsistence for attendance at the examination. The government shall make available to the defendant for his examination and use at the taking of the deposition any statement of the witness being deposed which is in the possession of the government and which the government would be required to make available to the defendant if the witness were testifying at the trial.

The proposal to authorize government depositions was rejected by the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure §241 at 477 (1969). 4 Barron, Federal Practice and Procedure (Supp. 1967). The Report of the Judicial Conference, submitted to the Supreme Court for approval late in 1965, contained no proposal for an amendment to rule 15. See 39 F.R.D. 69, 168–211 (1966).

When the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 was originally introduced in the Senate (S. 30) it contained a government deposition provision which was similar to the 1964 proposal of the Criminal Rules Advisory Committee, except that the original bill (S. 30) failed to provide standards to control the use of depositions at the trial. For an explanation and defense of the original proposal see McClellan, The Organized Crime Act (S. 30) or Its Critics: Which Threatens Civil Liberties?, 46 Notre Dame Lawyer 55, 100–108 (1970). This omission was remedied, prior to passage, with the addition of what is now 18 U.S.C. §3503(f) which prescribes the circumstances in which a deposition can be used. The standards are the same as those in former rule 15(e) with the addition of language allowing the use of the deposition when “the witness refuses in the trial or hearing to testify concerning the subject of the deposition or the part offered.”

Before the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 was enacted an additional amendment was added providing that the right of the government to take a deposition is limited to cases in which the Attorney General certifies that the defendant is “believed to have participated in an organized criminal activity” [18 U.S.C. §3503(a)]. The argument in favor of the amendment was that the whole purpose of the act was to deal with organized crime and therefore its provisions, including that providing for government depositions, should be limited to organized crime type cases.

There is another aspect of Advisory Committee history which is relevant. In January 1970, the Advisory Committee circulated proposed changes in rule 16, one of which gives the government, when it has disclosed the identity of its witnesses, the right to take a deposition and use it “in the event the witness has become unavailable without the fault of the government or if the witness has changed his testimony.” [See Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure for the United States District Courts, rule 16(a)(1)(vi) (January 1970).] This provision is now incorporated within rule 16(a)(1)(v).

Because neither the court nor the standing committee gave reasons for rejecting the government deposition proposal, it is not possible to know why they were not approved. To the extent that the rejection was based upon doubts as to the constitutionality of such a proposal, those doubts now seem resolved by California v. Green, 399 U.S. 149, 90 S.Ct. 1930, 26 L.Ed.2d 489 (1970).

On the merits, the proposal to allow the government to take depositions is consistent with the revision of rule 16 and with section 804(b)(1) of the Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates (November 1971) which provides that the following is not excluded by the hearsay rule if the declarant is unavailable:

(1) Former Testimony. Testimony given as a witness at another hearing of the same or a different proceeding, or in a deposition taken in compliance with law in the course of another proceeding, at the instance of or against a party with an opportunity to develop the testimony by direct, cross, or redirect examination, with motive and interest similar to those of the party against whom now offered.

Subdivision (a) is revised to provide that the government as well as the defendant is entitled to take a deposition. The phrase “whenever due to special circumstances of the case it is in the interest of justice,” is intended to make clear that the decision by the court as to whether to order the taking of a deposition shall be made in the context of the circumstances of the particular case. The principal objective is the preservation of evidence for use at trial. It is not to provide a method of pretrial discovery nor primarily for the purpose of obtaining a basis for later cross-examination of an adverse witness. Discovery is a matter dealt with in rule 16. An obviously important factor is whether a deposition will expedite, rather than delay, the administration of criminal justice. Also important is the presence or absence of factors which determine the use of a deposition at the trial, such as the agreement of the parties to use of the deposition; the possible unavailability of the witness; or the possibility that coercion may be used upon the witness to induce him to change his testimony or not to testify. See rule 16(a)(1)(v).

Subdivision (a) also makes explicit that only the “testimony of a prospective witness of a party” can be taken. This means the party's own witness and does not authorize a discovery deposition of an adverse witness. The language “for use at trial” is intended to give further emphasis to the importance of the criteria for use specified in subdivision (e).

In subdivision (b) reference is made to the defendant in custody. If he is in state custody, a writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum (to produce the prisoner for purposes of testimony) may be required to accomplish his presence.

In subdivision (d) the language “except as otherwise provided in these rules” is meant to make clear that the subpoena provisions of rule 17 control rather than the provisions of the civil rules.

The use of the phrase “and manner” in subdivision (d)(2) is intended to emphasize that the authorization is not to conduct an adverse examination of an opposing witness.

In subdivision (e) the phrase “as substantive evidence” is added to make clear that the deposition can be used as evidence in chief as well as for purposes of impeachment.

Subdivision (e) also makes clear that the deposition can be used as affirmative evidence whenever the witness is available but gives testimony inconsistent with that given in the deposition. A California statute which contained a similar provision was held constitutional in California v. Green, 399 U.S. 149, 90 S.Ct. 1930, 26 L.Ed.2d 489 (1970). This is also consistent with section 801(d)(1) of the Rules of Evidence for United States Courts and Magistrates (Nov. 1971).

Subdivision (f) is intended to insure that a record of objections and the grounds for the objections is made at the time the deposition is taken when the witness is available so that the witness can be examined further, if necessary, on the point of the objection so that there will be an adequate record for the court's later ruling upon the objection.

Subdivision (g) uses the “unavailability” definition of the Rules of Evidence for the United States Courts and Magistrates, 804(a) (Nov. 1971).

Subdivision (h) is intended to make clear that the court always has authority to order the taking of a deposition, or to allow the use of a deposition, where there is an agreement of the parties to the taking or to the use.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provides for the taking of depositions. The present rule permits only the defendant to move that a deposition of a prospective witness be taken. The court may grant the motion if it appears that (a) the prospective witness will be unable to attend or be prevented from attending the trial, (b) the prospective witness’ testimony is material, and (c) the prospective witness’ testimony is necessary to prevent a failure of justice.

The Supreme Court promulgated several amendments to Rule 15. The more significant amendments are described below.

Subdivision (a) as proposed to be amended permits either party to move the court for the taking of a deposition of a witness. However, a party may only move to take the deposition of one of its own witnesses, not one of the adversary party's witnesses.

Subdivision (c) as proposed to be amended provides that whenever a deposition is taken at the instance of the government or of an indigent defendant, the expenses of the taking of the deposition must be paid by the government.

Subdivision (e) as proposed to be amended provides that part or all of the deposition may be used at trial as substantive evidence if the witness is “unavailable” or if the witness gives testimony inconsistent with his deposition.

Subdivision (b)[(g)] as proposed to be amended defines “unavailable.” “Unavailable” as a witness includes situations in which the deponent:

(1) is exempted by ruling of the judge on the ground of privilege from testifying concerning the subject matter of his deposition; or

(2) persists in refusing to testify concerning the subject matter of his deposition despite an order of the judge to do so; or

(3) testifies to a lack of memory of the subject matter of his deposition; or

(4) is unable to be present or to testify at the hearing because of death or then existing physical or mental illness or infirmity; or

(5) is absent from the hearing and the proponent of his deposition has been unable to procure his attendance by process or other reasonable means. A deponent is not unavailable as a witness if his exemption, refusal, claim of lack of memory, inability, or absence is due to the procurement or wrongdoing of the proponent of his deposition for the purpose of preventing the witness from attending or testifying.

B. Committee Action. The Committee narrowed the definition of “unavailability” in subdivision (g). The Committee deleted language from that subdivision that provided that a witness was “unavailable” if the court exempts him from testifying at the trial on the ground of privilege. The Committee does not want to encourage the use of depositions at trial, especially in view of the importance of having live testimony from a witness on the witness stand.

The Committee added a provision to subdivision (b) to parallel the provision of Rule 43(b)(2). This is to make it clear that a disruptive defendant may be removed from the place where a deposition is being taken.

The Committee added language to subdivision (c) to make clear that the government must pay for the cost of the transcript of a deposition when the deposition is taken at the instance of an indigent defendant or of the government. In order to use a deposition at trial, it must be transcribed. The proposed rule did not explicitly provide for payment of the cost of transcribing, and the Committee change rectifies this.

The Committee notes that subdivision (e) permits the use of a deposition when the witness “gives testimony at the trial or hearing inconsistent with his deposition.” Since subdivision (e) refers to the rules of evidence, the Committee understands that the Federal Rules of Evidence will govern the admissibility and use of the deposition. The Committee, by adopting subdivision (e) as proposed to be amended by the Supreme Court, intends the Federal Rules of Evidence to govern the admissibility and use of the deposition.

The Committee believes that Rule 15 will not encourage trials by deposition. A deposition may be taken only in “exceptional circumstances” when “it is in the interest of justice that the testimony of a prospective witness of a party be taken and preserved. * * *” A deposition, once it is taken, is not automatically admissible at trial, however. It may only be used at trial if the witness is unavailable, and the rule narrowly defines unavailability. The procedure established in Rule 15 is similar to the procedure established by the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 for the taking and use of depositions in organized crime cases. See 18 U.S.C. 3503.

Conference Committee Notes, House Report No. 94–414; 1975 Amendment

Rule 15 deals with the taking of depositions and the use of depositions at trial. Rule 15(e) permits a deposition to be used if the witness is unavailable. Rule 15(g) defines that term.

The Supreme Court's proposal defines five circumstances in which the witness will be considered unavailable. The House version of the bill deletes a provision that said a witness is unavailable if he is exempted at trial, on the ground of privilege, from testifying about the subject matter of his deposition. The Senate version of the bill by cross reference to the Federal Rules of Evidence, restores the Supreme Court proposal.

The Conference adopts the Senate provision.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 15 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

In Rule 15(a), the list of materials to be produced has been amended to include the expansive term “data” to reflect the fact that in an increasingly technological culture, the information may exist in a format not already covered by the more conventional list, such as a book or document.

The last portion of current Rule 15(b), dealing with the defendant's presence at a deposition, has been moved to amended Rule 15(c).

Revised Rule 15(d) addresses the payment of expenses incurred by the defendant and the defendant's attorney. Under the current rule, if the government requests the deposition, or if the defendant requests the deposition and is unable to pay for it, the court may direct the government to pay for travel and subsistence expenses for both the defendant and the defendant's attorney. In either case, the current rule requires the government to pay for the transcript. Under the amended rule, if the government requested the deposition, the court must require the government to pay reasonable subsistence and travel expenses and the cost of the deposition transcript. If the defendant is unable to pay the deposition expenses, the court must order the government to pay reasonable subsistence and travel expenses and the deposition transcript costs—regardless of who requested the deposition. Although the current rule places no apparent limits on the amount of funds that should be reimbursed, the Committee believed that insertion of the word “reasonable” was consistent with current practice.

Rule 15(f) is intended to more clearly reflect that the admissibility of any deposition taken under the rule is governed not by the rule itself, but instead by the Federal Rules of Evidence.

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Evidence, referred to in subd. (f), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Amendment by Public Law

1984—Subd. (a). Pub. L. 98–473 substituted “detained pursuant to section 3144 of title 18, United States Code” for “committed for failure to give bail to appear to testify at a trial or hearing”.

1975—Pub. L. 94–64 amended subds. (a), (b), (c), and (e) generally, struck out subd. (g), and redesignated subd. (h) as (g).

Effective Date of Amendments Proposed April 22, 1974; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendments of this rule embraced in the order of the United States Supreme Court on Apr. 22, 1974, and the amendments of this rule made by section 3 of Pub. L. 94–64, effective Dec. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

Rule 16. Discovery and Inspection

(a) Government's Disclosure.

(1) Information Subject to Disclosure.

(A) Defendant's Oral Statement. Upon a defendant's request, the government must disclose to the defendant the substance of any relevant oral statement made by the defendant, before or after arrest, in response to interrogation by a person the defendant knew was a government agent if the government intends to use the statement at trial.

(B) Defendant's Written or Recorded Statement. Upon a defendant's request, the government must disclose to the defendant, and make available for inspection, copying, or photographing, all of the following:

(i) any relevant written or recorded statement by the defendant if:

• statement is within the government's possession, custody, or control; and

• the attorney for the government knows—or through due diligence could know—that the statement exists;


(ii) the portion of any written record containing the substance of any relevant oral statement made before or after arrest if the defendant made the statement in response to interrogation by a person the defendant knew was a government agent; and

(iii) the defendant's recorded testimony before a grand jury relating to the charged offense.


(C) Organizational Defendant. Upon a defendant's request, if the defendant is an organization, the government must disclose to the defendant any statement described in Rule 16(a)(1)(A) and (B) if the government contends that the person making the statement:

(i) was legally able to bind the defendant regarding the subject of the statement because of that person's position as the defendant's director, officer, employee, or agent; or

(ii) was personally involved in the alleged conduct constituting the offense and was legally able to bind the defendant regarding that conduct because of that person's position as the defendant's director, officer, employee, or agent.


(D) Defendant's Prior Record. Upon a defendant's request, the government must furnish the defendant with a copy of the defendant's prior criminal record that is within the government's possession, custody, or control if the attorney for the government knows—or through due diligence could know—that the record exists.

(E) Documents and Objects. Upon a defendant's request, the government must permit the defendant to inspect and to copy or photograph books, papers, documents, data, photographs, tangible objects, buildings or places, or copies or portions of any of these items, if the item is within the government's possession, custody, or control and:

(i) the item is material to preparing the defense;

(ii) the government intends to use the item in its case-in-chief at trial; or

(iii) the item was obtained from or belongs to the defendant.


(F) Reports of Examinations and Tests. Upon a defendant's request, the government must permit a defendant to inspect and to copy or photograph the results or reports of any physical or mental examination and of any scientific test or experiment if:

(i) the item is within the government's possession, custody, or control;

(ii) the attorney for the government knows—or through due diligence could know—that the item exists; and

(iii) the item is material to preparing the defense or the government intends to use the item in its case-in-chief at trial.


(G) Expert Witnesses. At the defendant's request, the government must give to the defendant a written summary of any testimony that the government intends to use under Rules 702, 703, or 705 of the Federal Rules of Evidence during its case-in-chief at trial. If the government requests discovery under subdivision (b)(1)(C)(ii) and the defendant complies, the government must, at the defendant's request, give to the defendant a written summary of testimony that the government intends to use under Rules 702, 703, or 705 of the Federal Rules of Evidence as evidence at trial on the issue of the defendant's mental condition. The summary provided under this subparagraph must describe the witness's opinions, the bases and reasons for those opinions, and the witness's qualifications.


(2) Information Not Subject to Disclosure. Except as Rule 16(a)(1) provides otherwise, this rule does not authorize the discovery or inspection of reports, memoranda, or other internal government documents made by an attorney for the government or other government agent in connection with investigating or prosecuting the case. Nor does this rule authorize the discovery or inspection of statements made by prospective government witnesses except as provided in 18 U.S.C. §3500.

(3) Grand Jury Transcripts. This rule does not apply to the discovery or inspection of a grand jury's recorded proceedings, except as provided in Rules 6, 12(h), 16(a)(1), and 26.2.


(b) Defendant's Disclosure.

(1) Information Subject to Disclosure.

(A) Documents and Objects. If a defendant requests disclosure under Rule 16(a)(1)(E) and the government complies, then the defendant must permit the government, upon request, to inspect and to copy or photograph books, papers, documents, data, photographs, tangible objects, buildings or places, or copies or portions of any of these items if:

(i) the item is within the defendant's possession, custody, or control; and

(ii) the defendant intends to use the item in the defendant's case-in-chief at trial.


(B) Reports of Examinations and Tests. If a defendant requests disclosure under Rule 16(a)(1)(F) and the government complies, the defendant must permit the government, upon request, to inspect and to copy or photograph the results or reports of any physical or mental examination and of any scientific test or experiment if:

(i) the item is within the defendant's possession, custody, or control; and

(ii) the defendant intends to use the item in the defendant's case-in-chief at trial, or intends to call the witness who prepared the report and the report relates to the witness's testimony.


(C) Expert Witnesses. The defendant must, at the government's request, give to the government a written summary of any testimony that the defendant intends to use under Rules 702, 703, or 705 of the Federal Rules of Evidence as evidence at trial, if—

(i) the defendant requests disclosure under subdivision (a)(1)(G) and the government complies; or

(ii) the defendant has given notice under Rule 12.2(b) of an intent to present expert testimony on the defendant's mental condition.


This summary must describe the witness's opinions, the bases and reasons for those opinions, and the witness's qualifications[.]


(2) Information Not Subject to Disclosure. Except for scientific or medical reports, Rule 16(b)(1) does not authorize discovery or inspection of:

(A) reports, memoranda, or other documents made by the defendant, or the defendant's attorney or agent, during the case's investigation or defense; or

(B) a statement made to the defendant, or the defendant's attorney or agent, by:

(i) the defendant;

(ii) a government or defense witness; or

(iii) a prospective government or defense witness.


(c) Continuing Duty to Disclose. A party who discovers additional evidence or material before or during trial must promptly disclose its existence to the other party or the court if:

(1) the evidence or material is subject to discovery or inspection under this rule; and

(2) the other party previously requested, or the court ordered, its production.


(d) Regulating Discovery.

(1) Protective and Modifying Orders. At any time the court may, for good cause, deny, restrict, or defer discovery or inspection, or grant other appropriate relief. The court may permit a party to show good cause by a written statement that the court will inspect ex parte. If relief is granted, the court must preserve the entire text of the party's statement under seal.

(2) Failure to Comply. If a party fails to comply with this rule, the court may:

(A) order that party to permit the discovery or inspection; specify its time, place, and manner; and prescribe other just terms and conditions;

(B) grant a continuance;

(C) prohibit that party from introducing the undisclosed evidence; or

(D) enter any other order that is just under the circumstances.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, §3(20)–(28), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 374, 375; Pub. L. 94–149, §5, Dec. 12, 1975, 89 Stat. 806; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994; Apr. 11, 1997, eff. Dec. 1, 1997; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title I, §11019(b), Nov. 2, 2002, 117 Stat. 1825.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Whether under existing law discovery may be permitted in criminal cases is doubtful, United States v. Rosenfeld, 57 F.2d 74 (C.C.A. 2d)—cert. den., 286 U.S. 556. The courts have, however, made orders granting to the defendant an opportunity to inspect impounded documents belonging to him, United States v. B. Goedde and Co., 40 F.Supp. 523, 534 (E.D.Ill.). The rule is a restatement of this procedure. In addition, it permits the procedure to be invoked in cases of objects and documents obtained from others by seizure or by process, on the theory that such evidential matter would probably have been accessible to the defendant if it had not previously been seized by the prosecution. The entire matter is left within the discretion of the court.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The extent to which pretrial discovery should be permitted in criminal cases is a complex and controversial issue. The problems have been explored in detail in recent legal literature, most of which has been in favor of increasing the range of permissible discovery. See, e.g. Brennan, The Criminal Prosecution: Sporting Event or Quest for Truth, 1963 Wash.U.L.Q. 279; Everett, Discovery in Criminal Cases—In Search of a Standard, 1964 Duke L.J. 477; Fletcher, Pretrial Discovery in State Criminal Cases, 12 Stan.L.Rev. 293 (1960); Goldstein, The State and the Accused: Balance of Advantage in Criminal Procedure, 69 Yale L.J. 1149, 1172–1198 (1960); Krantz, Pretrial Discovery in Criminal Cases: A Necessity for Fair and Impartial Justice, 42 Neb.L.Rev. 127 (1962); Louisell, Criminal Discovery: Dilemma Real or Apparent, 49 Calif.L.Rev. 56 (1961); Louisell, The Theory of Criminal Discovery and the Practice of Criminal Law, 14 Vand.L.Rev. 921 (1961); Moran, Federal Criminal Rules Changes: Aid or Illusion for the Indigent Defendant? 51 A.B.A.J. 64 (1965); Symposium, Discovery in Federal Criminal Cases, 33 F.R.D. 47–128 (1963); Traynor, Ground Lost and Found in Criminal Discovery, 39 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 228 (1964); Developments in the Law—Discovery, 74 Harv.L.Rev. 940, 1051–1063. Full judicial exploration of the conflicting policy considerations will be found in State v. Tune, 13 N.J. 203, 98 A.2d 881 (1953) and State v. Johnson, 28 N.J. 133, 145 A.2d 313 (1958); cf. State v. Murphy, 36 N.J. 172, 175 A.2d 622 (1961); State v. Moffa, 36 N.J. 219, 176 A.2d 1 (1961). The rule has been revised to expand the scope of pretrial discovery. At the same time provisions are made to guard against possible abuses.

Subdivision (a).—The court is authorized to order the attorney for the government to permit the defendant to inspect and copy or photograph three different types of material:

(1) Relevant written or recorded statements or confessions made by the defendant, or copies thereof. The defendant is not required to designate because he may not always be aware that his statements or confessions are being recorded. The government's obligation is limited to production of such statements as are within the possession, custody or control of the government, the existence of which is known, or by the exercise of due diligence may become known, to the attorney for the government. Discovery of statements and confessions is in line with what the Supreme Court has described as the “better practice” (Cicenia v. LaGay, 357 U.S. 504, 511 (1958)), and with the law in a number of states. See e.g., Del. Rules Crim. Proc., Rule 16; Ill.Stat. Ch. 38, §729; Md. Rules Proc., Rule 728; State v. McGee, 91 Ariz. 101, 370 P.2d 261 (1962); Cash v. Superior Court, 53 Cal.2d 72, 346 P.2d 407 (1959); State v. Bickham, 239 La. 1094, 121 So.2d 207, cert. den. 364 U.S. 874 (1960); People v. Johnson, 356 Mich. 619, 97 N.W.2d 739 (1959); State v. Johnson, supra; People v. Stokes, 24 Miss.2d 755, 204 N.Y.Supp.2d 827 (Ct.Gen.Sess. 1960). The amendment also makes it clear that discovery extends to recorded as well as written statements. For state cases upholding the discovery of recordings, see, e.g., People v. Cartier, 51 Cal.2d 590, 335 P.2d 114 (1959); State v. Minor, 177 A.2d 215 (Del.Super.Ct. 1962).

(2) Relevant results or reports of physical or mental examinations, and of scientific tests or experiments (including fingerprint and handwriting comparisons) made in connection with the particular case, or copies thereof. Again the defendant is not required to designate but the government's obligation is limited to production of items within the possession, custody or control of the government, the existence of which is known, or by the exercise of due diligence may become known, to the attorney for the government. With respect to results or reports of scientific tests or experiments the range of materials which must be produced by the government is further limited to those made in connection with the particular case. Cf. Fla.Stats. §909.18; State v. Superior Court, 90 Ariz. 133, 367 P.2d 6 (1961); People v. Cooper, 53 Cal.2d 755, 770, 3 Cal.Rptr. 148, 157, 349 P.2d 1964, 973 (1960); People v. Stokes, supra, at 762, 204 N.Y.Supp.2d at 835.

(3) Relevant recorded testimony of a defendant before a grand jury. The policy which favors pretrial disclosure to a defendant of his statements to government agents also supports, pretrial disclosure of his testimony before a grand jury. Courts, however, have tended to require a showing of special circumstances before ordering such disclosure. See, e.g., United States v. Johnson, 215 F.Supp. 300 (D.Md. 1963). Disclosure is required only where the statement has been recorded and hence can be transcribed.

Subdivision (b).—This subdivision authorizes the court to order the attorney for the government to permit the defendant to inspect the copy or photograph all other books, papers, documents, tangible objects, buildings or places, or copies or portions thereof, which are within the possession, custody or control of the government. Because of the necessarily broad and general terms in which the items to be discovered are described, several limitations are imposed:

(1) While specific designation is not required of the defendant, the burden is placed on him to make a showing of materiality to the preparation of his defense and that his request is reasonable. The requirement of reasonableness will permit the court to define and limit the scope of the government's obligation to search its files while meeting the legitimate needs of the defendant. The court is also authorized to limit discovery to portions of items sought.

(2) Reports, memoranda, and other internal government documents made by government agents in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the case are exempt from discovery. Cf. Palermo v. United States, 360 U.S. 343 (1959); Ogden v. United States, 303 F.2d 724 (9th Cir. 1962).

(3) Except as provided for reports of examinations and tests in subdivision (a)(2), statements made by government witnesses or prospective government witnesses to agents of the government are also exempt from discovery except as provided by 18 U.S.C. §3500.

Subdivision (c).—This subdivision permits the court to condition a discovery order under subdivision (a)(2) and subdivision (b) by requiring the defendant to permit the government to discover similar items which the defendant intends to produce at the trial and which are within his possession, custody or control under restrictions similar to those placed in subdivision (b) upon discovery by the defendant. While the government normally has resources adequate to secure the information necessary for trial, there are some situations in which mutual disclosure would appear necessary to prevent the defendant from obtaining an unfair advantage. For example, in cases where both prosecution and defense have employed experts to make psychiatric examinations, it seems as important for the government to study the opinions of the experts to be called by the defendant in order to prepare for trial as it does for the defendant to study those of the government's witnesses. Or in cases (such as antitrust cases) in which the defendant is well represented and well financed, mutual disclosure so far as consistent with the privilege against self-incrimination would seem as appropriate as in civil cases. State cases have indicated that a requirement that the defendant disclose in advance of trial materials which he intends to use on his own behalf at the trial is not a violation of the privilege against self-incrimination. See Jones v. Superior Court, 58 Cal.2d 56, 22 Cal.Rptr. 879, 372 P.2d 919 (1962); People v. Lopez, 60 Cal.2d 223, 32 Cal.Rptr. 424, 384 P.2d 16 (1963); Traynor, Ground Lost and Found in Criminal Discovery. 39 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 228, 246 (1964); Comment, The Self-Incrimination Privilege: Barrier to Criminal Discovery, 51 Calif.L.Rev. 135 (1963); Note, 76 Harv.L.Rev. 828 (1963).

Subdivision (d).—This subdivision is substantially the same as the last sentence of the existing rule.

Subdivision (e).—This subdivision gives the court authority to deny, restrict or defer discovery upon a sufficient showing. Control of the abuses of discovery is necessary if it is to be expanded in the fashion proposed in subdivisions (a) and (b). Among the considerations to be taken into account by the court will be the safety of witnesses and others, a particular danger of perjury or witness intimidation, the protection of information vital to the national security, and the protection of business enterprises from economic reprisals.

For an example of a use of a protective order in state practice, see People v. Lopez, 60 Cal.2d 223, 32 Cal.Rptr. 424, 384 P.2d 16 (1963). See also Brennan, Remarks on Discovery, 33 F.R.D. 56, 65 (1963); Traynor, Ground Lost and Found in Criminal Discovery, 39 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 228, 244, 250.

In some cases it would defeat the purpose of the protective order if the government were required to make its showing in open court. The problem arises in its most extreme form where matters of national security are involved. Hence a procedure is set out where upon motion by the government the court may permit the government to make its showing, in whole or in part, in a written statement to be inspected by the court in camera. If the court grants relief based on such showing, the government's statement is to be sealed and preserved in the records of the court to be made available to the appellate court in the event of an appeal by the defendant, Cf. 18 U.S.C. §3500.

Subdivision (f).—This subdivision is designed to encourage promptness in making discovery motions and to give the court sufficient control to prevent unnecessary delay and court time consequent upon a multiplication of discovery motions. Normally one motion should encompass all relief sought and a subsequent motion permitted only upon a showing of cause. Where pretrial hearings are used pursuant to Rule 17.1, discovery issues may be resolved at such hearings.

Subdivision (g).—The first sentence establishes a continuing obligation on a party subject to a discovery order with respect to material discovered after initial compliance. The duty provided is to notify the other party, his attorney or the court of the existence of the material. A motion can then be made by the other party for additional discovery and, where the existence of the material is disclosed shortly before or during the trial, for any necessary continuance.

The second sentence gives wide discretion to the court in dealing with the failure of either party to comply with a discovery order. Such discretion will permit the court to consider the reasons why disclosure was not made, the extent of the prejudice, if any, to the opposing party, the feasibility of rectifying that prejudice by a continuance, and any other relevant circumstances.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment

Rule 16 is revised to give greater discovery to both the prosecution and the defense. Subdivision (a) deals with disclosure of evidence by the government. Subdivision (b) deals with disclosure of evidence by the defendant. The majority of the Advisory Committee is of the view that the two—prosecution and defense discovery—are related and that the giving of a broader right of discovery to the defense is dependent upon giving also a broader right of discovery to the prosecution.

The draft provides for a right of prosecution discovery independent of any prior request for discovery by the defendant. The Advisory Committee is of the view that this is the most desirable approach to prosecution discovery. See American Bar Association, Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial, pp. 7, 43–46 (Approved Draft, 1970).

The language of the rule is recast from “the court may order” or “the court shall order” to “the government shall permit” or “the defendant shall permit.” This is to make clear that discovery should be accomplished by the parties themselves, without the necessity of a court order unless there is dispute as to whether the matter is discoverable or a request for a protective order under subdivision (d)(1). The court, however, has the inherent right to enter an order under this rule.

The rule is intended to prescribe the minimum amount of discovery to which the parties are entitled. It is not intended to limit the judge's discretion to order broader discovery in appropriate cases. For example, subdivision (a)(3) is not intended to deny a judge's discretion to order disclosure of grand jury minutes where circumstances make it appropriate to do so.

Subdivision (a)(1)(A) amends the old rule to provide, upon request of the defendant, the government shall permit discovery if the conditions specified in subdivision (a)(1)(A) exist. Some courts have construed the current language as giving the court discretion as to whether to grant discovery of defendant's statements. See United States v. Kaminsky, 275 F.Supp. 365 (S.D.N.Y. 1967), denying discovery because the defendant did not demonstrate that his request for discovery was warranted; United States v. Diliberto, 264 F.Supp. 181 (S.D.N.Y. 1967), holding that there must be a showing of actual need before discovery would be granted; United States v. Louis Carreau, Inc., 42 F.R.D. 408 (S.D.N.Y. 1967), holding that in the absence of a showing of good cause the government cannot be required to disclose defendant's prior statements in advance of trial. In United States v. Louis Carreau, Inc., at p. 412, the court stated that if rule 16 meant that production of the statements was mandatory, the word “shall” would have been used instead of “may.” See also United States v. Wallace, 272 F.Supp. 838 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); United States v. Wood, 270 F.Supp. 963 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); United States v. Leighton, 265 F.Supp. 27 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); United States v. Longarzo, 43 F.R.D. 395 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); Loux v. United States, 389 F.2d 911 (9th Cir. 1968); and the discussion of discovery in Discovery in Criminal Cases, 44 F.R.D. 481 (1968). Other courts have held that even though the current rules make discovery discretionary, the defendant need not show cause when he seeks to discover his own statements. See United States v. Aadal, 280 F.Supp. 859 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); United States v. Federmann, 41 F.R.D. 339 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); and United States v. Projansky, 44 F.R.D. 550 (S.D.N.Y. 1968).

The amendment making disclosure mandatory under the circumstances prescribed in subdivision (a)(1)(A) resolves such ambiguity as may currently exist, in the direction of more liberal discovery. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §253 (1969, Supp. 1971), Rezneck, The New Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, 54 Geo.L.J. 1276 (1966); Fla.Stat.Ann. §925.05 (Supp. 1971–1972); N.J.Crim.Prac.Rule 35–11(a) (1967). This is done in the view that broad discovery contributes to the fair and efficient administration of criminal justice by providing the defendant with enough information to make an informed decision as to plea; by minimizing the undesirable effect of surprise at the trial; and by otherwise contributing to an accurate determination of the issue of guilt or innocence. This is the ground upon which the American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial (Approved Draft, 1970) has unanimously recommended broader discovery. The United States Supreme Court has said that the pretrial disclosure of a defendant's statements “may be the ‘better practice.’ ” Cicenia v. La Gay, 357 U.S. 504, 511, 78 S.Ct. 1297, 2 L.Ed.2d 1523 (1958). See also Leland v. Oregon, 343 U.S. 790, 72 S.Ct. 1002, 96 L.Ed. 1302 (1952); State v. Johnson, 28 N.J. 133, 145 A.2d 313 (1958).

The requirement that the statement be disclosed prior to trial, rather than waiting until the trial, also contributes to efficiency of administration. It is during the pretrial stage that the defendant usually decides whether to plead guilty. See United States v. Projansky, supra. The pretrial stage is also the time during which many objections to the admissibility of types of evidence ought to be made. Pretrial disclosure ought, therefore, to contribute both to an informed guilty plea practice and to a pretrial resolution of admissibility questions. See ABA, Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §1.2 and Commentary pp. 40–43 (Approved Draft, 1970).

The American Bar Association Standards mandate the prosecutor to make the required disclosure even though not requested to do so by the defendant. The proposed draft requires the defendant to request discovery, although obviously the attorney for the government may disclose without waiting for a request, and there are situations in which due process will require the prosecution, on its own, to disclose evidence “helpful” to the defense. Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963); Giles v. Maryland, 386 U.S. 66, 87 S.Ct. 793, 17 L.Ed.2d 737 (1967).

The requirement in subdivision (a)(1)(A) is that the government produce “statements” without further discussion of what “statement” includes. There has been some recent controversy over what “statements” are subject to discovery under the current rule. See Discovery in Criminal Cases, 44 F.R.D. 481 (1968); C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §253, pp. 505–506 (1969, Supp. 1971). The kinds of “statements” which have been held to be within the rule include “substantially verbatim and contemporaneous” statements, United States v. Elife, 43 F.R.D. 23 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); statements which reproduce the defendant's “exact words,” United States v. Armantrout, 278 F.Supp. 517 (S.D.N.Y. 1968); a memorandum which was not verbatim but included the substance of the defendant's testimony, United States v. Scharf, 267 F.Supp. 19 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); Summaries of the defendant's statements, United States v. Morrison, 43 F.R.D. 516 (N.D.Ill. 1967); and statements discovered by means of electronic surveillance, United States v. Black, 282 F.Supp. 35 (D.D.C. 1968). The court in United States v. Iovinelli, 276 F.Supp. 629, 631 (N.D.Ill. 1967), declared that “statements” as used in old rule 16 is not restricted to the “substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement” or to statements which are a “recital of past occurrences.”

The Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. §3500, defines “statements” of government witnesses discoverable for purposes of cross-examination as: (1) a “written statement” signed or otherwise approved by a witness, (2) “a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other recording, or a transcription thereof, which is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement made by said witness to an agent of the government and recorded contemporaneously with the making of such oral statement.” 18 U.S.C. §3500(e). The language of the Jencks Act has most often led to a restrictive definition of “statements,” confining “statements” to the defendant's “own words.” See Hanks v. United States, 388 F.2d 171 (10th Cir. 1968), and Augenblick v. United States, 377 F.2d 586, 180 Ct.Cl. 131 (1967).

The American Bar Association's Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial (Approved Draft, 1970) do not attempt to define “statements” because of a disagreement among members of the committee as to what the definition should be. The majority rejected the restrictive definition of “statements” contained in the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. §3500(e), in the view that the defendant ought to be able to see his statement in whatever form it may have been preserved in fairness to the defendant and to discourage the practice, where it exists, of destroying original notes, after transforming them into secondary transcriptions, in order to avoid cross-examination based upon the original notes. See Campbell v. United States, 373 U.S. 487, 83 S.Ct. 1356, 10 L.Ed.2d 501 (1963). The minority favored a restrictive definition of “statements” in the view that the use of other than “verbatim” statements would subject witnesses to unfair cross-examination. See American Bar Association's Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial pp. 61–64 (Approved Draft, 1970). The draft of subdivision (a)(1)(A) leaves the matter of the meaning of the term unresolved and thus left for development on a case-by-case basis.

Subdivision (a)(1)(A) also provides for mandatory disclosure of a summary of any oral statement made by defendant to a government agent which the attorney for the government intends to use in evidence. The reasons for permitting the defendant to discover his own statements seem obviously to apply to the substance of any oral statement which the government intends to use in evidence at the trial. See American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §2.1(a)(ii) (Approved Draft, 1970). Certainly disclosure will facilitate the raising of objections to admissibility prior to trial. There have been several conflicting decisions under the current rules as to whether the government must disclose the substance of oral statements of the defendant which it has in its possession. Cf. United States v. Baker, 262 F.Supp. 657 (D.C.D.C. 1966); United States v. Curry, 278 F.Supp. 508 (N.D.Ill. 1967); United States v. Morrison, 43 F.R.D. 516 (ND.Ill. 1967); United States v. Reid, 43 F.R.D. 520 (ND.Ill. 1967); United States v. Armantrout, 278 F.Supp. 517 (S.D.N.Y. 1968); and United States v. Elife, 43 F.R.D. 23 (S.D.N.Y. 1967). There is, however, considerable support for the policy of disclosing the substance of the defendant's oral statement. Many courts have indicated that this is a “better practice” than denying such disclosure. E.g., United States v. Curry, supra; Loux v. United States, 389 F.2d 911 (9th Cir. 1968); and United States v. Baker, supra.

Subdivision (a)(1)(A) also provides for mandatory disclosure of any “recorded testimony” which defendant gives before a grand jury if the testimony “relates to the offense charged.” The present rule is discretionary and is applicable only to those of defendant's statements which are “relevant.”

The traditional rationale behind grand jury secrecy—protection of witnesses—does not apply when the accused seeks discovery of his own testimony. Cf. Dennis v. United States, 384 U.S. 855, 86 S.Ct. 1840, 16 L.Ed.2d 973 (1966); and Allen v. United States, 129 U.S.App.D.C. 61, 390 F.2d 476 (1968). In interpreting the rule many judges have granted defendant discovery without a showing of need or relevance. United States v. Gleason, 259 F.Supp. 282 (S.D.N.Y. 1966); United States v. Longarzo, 43 F.R.D. 395 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); and United States v. United Concrete Pipe Corp., 41 F.R.D. 538 (N.D.Tex. 1966). Making disclosure mandatory without a showing of relevance conforms to the recommendation of the American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §2.1(a)(iii) and Commentary pp. 64–66 (Approved Draft, 1970). Also see Note, Discovery by a Criminal Defendant of His Own Grand-Jury Testimony, 68 Columbia L.Rev. 311 (1968).

In a situation involving a corporate defendant, statements made by present and former officers and employees relating to their employment have been held discoverable as statements of the defendant. United States v. Hughes, 413 F.2d 1244 (5th Cir. 1969). The rule makes clear that such statements are discoverable if the officer or employee was “able legally to bind the defendant in respect to the activities involved in the charges.”

Subdivision (a)(1)(B) allows discovery of the defendant's prior criminal record. A defendant may be uncertain of the precise nature of his prior record and it seems therefore in the interest of efficient and fair administration to make it possible to resolve prior to trial any disputes as to the correctness of the relevant criminal record of the defendant.

Subdivision (a)(1)(C) gives a right of discovery of certain tangible objects under the specified circumstances. Courts have construed the old rule as making disclosure discretionary with the judge. Cf. United States v. Kaminsky, 275 F.Supp. 365 (S.D.N.Y. 1967); Gevinson v. United States, 358 F.2d 761 (5th Cir. 1966), cert. denied, 385 U.S. 823, 87 S.Ct. 51, 17 L.Ed.2d 60 (1966); and United States v. Tanner, 279 F.Supp. 457 (N.D.Ill. 1967). The old rule requires a “showing of materiality to the preparation of his defense and that the request is reasonable.” The new rule requires disclosure if any one of three situations exists: (a) the defendant shows that disclosure of the document or tangible object is material to the defense, (b) the government intends to use the document or tangible object in its presentation of its case in chief, or (c) the document or tangible object was obtained from or belongs to the defendant.

Disclosure of documents and tangible objects which are “material” to the preparation of the defense may be required under the rule of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), without an additional showing that the request is “reasonable.” In Brady the court held that “due process” requires that the prosecution disclose evidence favorable to the accused. Although the Advisory Committee decided not to codify the Brady Rule, the requirement that the government disclose documents and tangible objects “material to the preparation of his defense” underscores the importance of disclosure of evidence favorable to the defendant.

Limiting the rule to situations in which the defendant can show that the evidence is material seems unwise. It may be difficult for a defendant to make this showing if he does not know what the evidence is. For this reason subdivision (a)(1)(C) also contains language to compel disclosure if the government intends to use the property as evidence at the trial or if the property was obtained from or belongs to the defendant. See ABA Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §2.1(a)(v) and Commentary pp. 68–69 (Approved Draft, 1970). This is probably the result under old rule 16 since the fact that the government intends to use the physical evidence at the trial is probably sufficient proof of “materiality.” C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §254 especially n. 70 at p. 513 (1969, Supp. 1971). But it seems desirable to make this explicit in the rule itself.

Requiring disclosure of documents and tangible objects which “were obtained from or belong to the defendant” probably is also making explicit in the rule what would otherwise be the interpretation of “materiality.” See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §254 at p. 510 especially n. 58 (1969, Supp. 1971).

Subdivision (a)(1)(C) is also amended to add the word “photographs” to the objects previously listed. See ABA Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §2.1(a)(v) (Approved Draft, 1970).

Subdivision (a)(1)(D) makes disclosure of the reports of examinations and tests mandatory. This is the recommendation of the ABA Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §2.1(a)(iv) and Commentary pp. 66–68 (Approved Draft, 1970). The obligation of disclosure applies only to scientific tests or experiments “made in connection with the particular case.” So limited, mandatory disclosure seems justified because: (1) it is difficult to test expert testimony at trial without advance notice and preparation; (2) it is not likely that such evidence will be distorted or misused if disclosed prior to trial; and (3) to the extent that a test may be favorable to the defense, its disclosure is mandated under the rule of Brady v. Maryland, supra.

Subdivision (a)(1)(E) is new. It provides for discovery of the names of witnesses to be called by the government and of the prior criminal record of these witnesses. Many states have statutes or rules which require that the accused be notified prior to trial of the witnesses to be called against him. See, e.g., Alaska R.Crim.Proc. 7(c); Ariz.R.Crim.Proc. 153, 17 A.R.S. (1956); Ark.Stat.Ann. §43–1001 (1947); Cal.Pen.Code §995n (West 1957); Colo.Rev.Stat.Ann. §§39–3–6, 39–4–2 (1963); Fla.Stat.Ann. §906.29 (1944); Idaho Code Ann. §19–1404 (1948); Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 38, §114–9 (1970); Ind.Ann.Stat. §9–903 (1856), IC 1971, 35–1–16–3; Iowa Code Ann. §772.3 (1950); Kan.Stat.Ann. §62–931 (1964); Ky.R.Crim. Proc. 6.08 (1962); Mich.Stat.Ann. §28.980, M.C.L.A. §767.40 (Supp.1971); Minn.Stat.Ann. §628.08 (1947); Mo.Ann.Stat. §545.070 (1953); Mont.Rev. Codes Ann. §95–1503 (Supp. 1969); Neb.Rev.Stat. §29–1602 (1964); Nev.Rev.Stat. §173.045 (1967); Okl.Stat. tet. 22, §384 (1951); Ore.Rev.Stat. §132.580 (1969); Tenn. Code Ann. §40–1708 (1955); Utah Code Ann. §77–20–3 (1953). For examples of the ways in which these requirements are implemented, see State v. Mitchell, 181 Kan. 193, 310 P.2d 1063 (1957); State v. Parr, 129 Mont. 175, 283 P.2d 1086 (1955); Phillips v. State, 157 Neb. 419, 59 N.W. 598 (1953).

Witnesses’ prior statements must be made available to defense counsel after the witness testifies on direct examination for possible impeachment purposes during trial: 18 U.S.C. §3500.

The American Bar Association's Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §2.1(a)(i) (Approved Draft, 1970) require disclosure of both the names and the statements of prosecution witnesses. Subdivision (a)(1)(E) requires only disclosure, prior to trial, of names, addresses, and prior criminal record. It does not require disclosure of the witnesses’ statements although the rule does not preclude the parties from agreeing to disclose statements prior to trial. This is done, for example, in courts using the so-called “omnibus hearing.”

Disclosure of the prior criminal record of witnesses places the defense in the same position as the government, which normally has knowledge of the defendant's record and the record of anticipated defense witnesses. In addition, the defendant often lacks means of procuring this information on his own. See American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §2.1(a)(vi) (Approved Draft, 1970).

A principal argument against disclosure of the identity of witnesses prior to trial has been the danger to the witness, his being subjected either to physical harm or to threats designed to make the witness unavailable or to influence him to change his testimony. Discovery in Criminal cases, 44 F.R.D. 481, 499–500 (1968); Ratnoff, The New Criminal Deposition Statute in Ohio—Help or Hindrance to Justice?, 19 Case Western Reserve L.Rev. 279, 284 (1968). See, e.g., United States v. Estep, 151 F.Supp. 668, 672–673 (N.D. Tex. 1957):

Ninety percent of the convictions had in the trial court for sale and dissemination of narcotic drugs are linked to the work and the evidence obtained by an informer. If that informer is not to have his life protected there won't be many informers hereafter.

See also the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Clark in Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53, 66–67, 77 S.Ct. 623, 1 L.Ed.2d 639 (1957). Threats of market retaliation against witnesses in criminal antitrust cases are another illustration. Bergen Drug Co. v. Parke, Davis & Company, 307 F.2d 725 (3d Cir. 1962); and House of Materials, Inc. v. Simplicity Pattern Co., 298 F.2d 867 (2d Cir. 1962). The government has two alternatives when it believes disclosure will create an undue risk of harm to the witness: It can ask for a protective order under subdivision (d)(1). See ABA Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §2.5(b) (Approved Draft, 1970). It can also move the court to allow the perpetuation of a particular witness's testimony for use at trial if the witness is unavailable or later changes his testimony. The purpose of the latter alternative is to make pretrial disclosure possible and at the same time to minimize any inducement to use improper means to force the witness either to not show up or to change his testimony before a jury. See rule 15.

Subdivision (a)(2) is substantially unchanged. It limits the discovery otherwise allowed by providing that the government need not disclose “reports, memoranda, or other internal government documents made by the attorney for the government or other government agents in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the case” or “statements made by government witnesses or prospective government witnesses.” The only proposed change is that the “reports, memoranda, or other internal government documents made by the attorney for the government” are included to make clear that the work product of the government attorney is protected. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §254 n. 92 (1969, Supp. 1971); United States v. Rothman, 179 F.Supp. 935 (W.D.Pa. 1959); Note, “Work Product” in Criminal Discovery, 1966 Wash.U.L.Q. 321; American Bar Association, Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §2.6(a) (Approved Draft, 1970); cf. Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 67 S.Ct. 385, 91 L.Ed. 451 (1947). Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed2d 215 (1963), requires the disclosure of evidence favorable to the defendant. This is, of course, not changed by this rule.

Subdivision (a)(3) is included to make clear that recorded proceedings of a grand jury are explicitly dealt with in rule 6 and subdivision (a)(1)(A) of rule 16 and thus are not covered by other provisions such as subdivision (a)(1)(C) which deals generally with discovery of documents in the possession, custody, or control of the government.

Subdivision (a)(4) is designed to insure that the government will not be penalized if it makes a full disclosure of all potential witnesses and then decides not to call one or more of the witnesses listed. This is not, however, intended to abrogate the defendant's right to comment generally upon the government's failure to call witnesses in an appropriate case.

Subdivision (b) deals with the government's right to discovery of defense evidence or, put in other terms, with the extent to which a defendant is required to disclose its evidence to the prosecution prior to trial. Subdivision (b) replaces old subdivision (c).

Subdivision (b) enlarges the right of government discovery in several ways: (1) it gives the government the right to discovery of lists of defense witnesses as well as physical evidence and the results of examinations and tests; (2) it requires disclosure if the defendant has the evidence under his control and intends to use it at trial in his case in chief, without the additional burden, required by the old rule, of having to show, in behalf of the government, that the evidence is material and the request reasonable; and (3) it gives the government the right to discovery without conditioning that right upon the existence of a prior request for discovery by the defendant.

Although the government normally has resources adequate to secure much of the evidence for trial, there are situations in which pretrial disclosure of evidence to the government is in the interest of effective and fair criminal justice administration. For example, the experimental “omnibus hearing” procedure (see discussion in Advisory Committee Note to rule 12) is based upon an assumption that the defendant, as well as the government, will be willing to disclose evidence prior to trial.

Having reached the conclusion that it is desirable to require broader disclosure by the defendant under certain circumstances, the Advisory Committee has taken the view that it is preferable to give the right of discovery to the government independently of a prior request for discovery by the defendant. This is the recommendation of the American Bar Association Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial, Commentary, pp. 43–46 (Approved Draft, 1970). It is sometimes asserted that making the government's right to discovery conditional will minimize the risk that government discovery will be viewed as an infringement of the defendant's constitutional rights. See discussion in C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §256 (1969, Supp.1971); Moore, Criminal Discovery, 19 Hastings L.J. 865 (1968); Wilder, Prosecution Discovery and the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination, 6 Am.Cr.L.Q. 3 (1967). There are assertions that prosecution discovery, even if conditioned upon the defendants being granted discovery, is a violation of the privilege. See statements of Mr. Justice Black and Mr. Justice Douglas, 39 F.R.D. 69, 272, 277–278 19 (1966); C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §256 (1969, Supp. 1971). Several states require defense disclosure of an intended defense of alibi and, in some cases, a list of witnesses in support of an alibi defense, without making the requirement conditional upon prior discovery being given to the defense. E.g., Ariz.R.Crim.P. 162(B), 17 A.R.S. (1956); Ind.Ann.Stat. §9–1631 to 9–1633 (1956), IC 1971, 35–5–1–1 to 35–5–1–3; Mich.Comp. Laws Ann. §§768.20, 768.21 (1968); N.Y. CPL §250.20 (McKinney's Consol.Laws, c. 11–A, 1971); and Ohio Rev.Code Ann. §2945.58 (1954). State courts have refused to hold these statutes violative of the privilege against self-incrimination. See State v. Thayer, 124 Ohio St. 1, 176 N.E. 656 (1931), and People v. Rakiec, 260 App.Div. 452, 23 N.Y.S.2d 607, aff'd, 289 N.Y. 306, 45 N.E.2d 812 (1942). See also rule 12.1 and Advisory Committee Note thereto.

Some state courts have held that a defendant may be required to disclose, in advance of trial, evidence which he intends to use on his own behalf at trial without violating the privilege against self-incrimination. See Jones v. Superior Court of Nevada County, 58 Cal.2d 56, 22 Cal.Rptr. 879, 372 P.2d 919 (1962); People v. Lopez, 60 Cal.2d 223, 32 Cal.Rptr. 424, 384 P.2d 16 (1963); Comment, The Self-Incrimination Privilege: Barrier to Criminal Discovery?, 51 Calif.L.Rev. 135 (1963); Note, 76 Harv.L.Rev. 838 (1963). The courts in Jones v. Superior Court of Nevada County, supra, suggests that if mandatory disclosure applies only to those items which the accused intends to introduce in evidence at trial, neither the incriminatory nor the involuntary aspects of the privilege against self-incrimination are present.

On balance the Advisory Committee is of the view that an independent right of discovery for both the defendant and the government is likely to contribute to both effective and fair administration. See Louisell, Criminal Discovery and Self-Incrimination: Roger Traynor Confronts the Dilemma, 53 Calif.L.Rev. 89 (1965), for an analysis of the difficulty of weighing the value of broad discovery against the value which inheres in not requiring the defendant to disclose anything which might work to his disadvantage.

Subdivision (b)(1)(A) provides that the defendant shall disclose any documents and tangible objects which he has in his possession, custody, or control and which he intends to introduce in evidence in his case in chief.

Subdivision (b)(1)(B) provides that the defendant shall disclose the results of physical or mental examinations and scientific tests or experiments if (a) they were made in connection with a particular case; (b) the defendant has them under his control; and (c) he intends to offer them in evidence in his case in chief or which were prepared by a defense witness and the results or reports relate to the witness's testimony. In cases where both prosecution and defense have employed experts to conduct tests such as psychiatric examinations, it seems as important for the government to be able to study the results reached by defense experts which are to be called by the defendant as it does for the defendant to study those of government experts. See Schultz, Criminal Discovery by the Prosecution: Frontier Developments and Some Proposals for the Future, 22 N.Y.U.Intra.L.Rev. 268 (1967); American Bar Association, Standards Relating to Discovery and Procedure Before Trial §3.2 (Supp., Approved Draft, 1970).

Subdivision (b)(1)(C) provides for discovery of a list of witnesses the defendant intends to call in his case in chief. State cases have indicated that disclosure of a list of defense witnesses does not violate the defendant's privilege against self-incrimination. See Jones v. Superior Court of Nevada County, supra, and People v. Lopez, supra. The defendant has the same option as does the government if it is believed that disclosure of the identity of a witness may subject that witness to harm or a threat of harm. The defendant can ask for a protective order under subdivision (d)(1) or can take a deposition in accordance with the terms of rule 15.

Subdivision (b)(2) is unchanged, appearing as the last sentence of subdivision (c) of old rule 16.

Subdivision (b)(3) provides that the defendant's failure to introduce evidence or call witnesses shall not be admissible in evidence against him. In states which require pretrial disclosure of witnesses’ identity, the prosecution is not allowed to comment upon the defendant's failure to call a listed witness. See O'Connor v. State, 31 Wis.2d 684, 143 N.W.2d 489 (1966); People v. Mancini, 6 N.Y.2d 853, 188 N.Y.S.2d 559, 160 N.E.2d 91 (1959); and State v. Cocco, 73 Ohio App. 182, 55 N.E.2d 430 (1943). This is not, however, intended to abrogate the government's right to comment generally upon the defendant's failure to call witnesses in an appropriate case, other than the defendant's failure to testify.

Subdivision (c) is a restatement of part of old rule 16(g).

Subdivision (d)(1) deals with the protective order. Although the rule does not attempt to indicate when a protective order should be entered, it is obvious that one would be appropriate where there is reason to believe that a witness would be subject to physical or economic harm if his identity is revealed. See Will v. United States, 389 U.S. 90, 88 S.Ct. 269, 19 L.Ed.2d 305 (1967). The language “by the judge alone” is not meant to be inconsistent with Alderman v. United States, 394 U.S. 165, 89 S.Ct. 961, 22 L.Ed.2d 176 (1969). In Alderman the court points out that there may be appropriate occasions for the trial judge to decide questions relating to pretrial disclosure. See Alderman v. United States, 394 U.S. at 182 n. 14, 89 S.Ct. 961.

Subdivision (d)(2) is a restatement of part of old rule 16(g) and (d).

Old subdivision (f) of rule 16 dealing with time of motions is dropped because rule 12(c) provides the judge with authority to set the time for the making of pretrial motions including requests for discovery. Rule 12 also prescribes the consequences which follow from a failure to make a pretrial motion at the time fixed by the court. See rule 12(f).

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure regulates discovery by the defendant of evidence in possession of the prosecution, and discovery by the prosecution of evidence in possession of the defendant. The present rule permits the defendant to move the court to discover certain material. The prosecutor's discovery is limited and is reciprocal—that is, if the defendant is granted discovery of certain items, then the prosecution may move for discovery of similar items under the defendant's control.

As proposed to be amended, the rule provides that the parties themselves will accomplish discovery—no motion need be filed and no court order is necessary. The court will intervene only to resolve a dispute as to whether something is discoverable or to issue a protective order.

The proposed rule enlarges the scope of the defendant's discovery to include a copy of his prior criminal record and a list of the names and addresses, plus record of prior felony convictions, of all witnesses the prosecution intends to call during its case-in-chief. It also permits the defendant to discover the substance of any oral statement of his which the prosecution intends to offer at trial, if the statement was given in response to interrogation by any person known by defendant to be a government agent.

Proposed subdivision (a)(2) provides that Rule 16 does not authorize the defendant to discover “reports, memoranda, or other internal government documents made by the attorney for the government or other government agents in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the case. . . .”

The proposed rule also enlarges the scope of the government's discovery of materials in the custody of the defendant. The government is entitled to a list of the names and addresses of the witnesses the defendant intends to call during his case-in-chief. Proposed subdivision (b)(2) protects the defendant from having to disclose “reports, memoranda, or other internal defense documents . . . made in connection with the investigation or defense of the case. . . .”

Subdivision (d)(1) of the proposed rule permits the court to deny, restrict, or defer discovery by either party, or to make such other order as is appropriate. Upon request, a party may make a showing that such an order is necessary. This showing shall be made to the judge alone if the party so requests. If the court enters an order after such a showing, it must seal the record of the showing and preserve it in the event there is an appeal.

B. Committee Action. The Committee agrees that the parties should, to the maximum possible extent, accomplish discovery themselves. The court should become involved only when it is necessary to resolve a dispute or to issue an order pursuant to subdivision (d).

Perhaps the most controversial amendments to this rule were those dealing with witness lists. Under present law, the government must turn over a witness list only in capital cases. [Section 3432 of title 18 of the United States Code provides: A person charged with treason or other capital offense shall at least three entire days before commencement of trial be furnished with a copy of the indictment and a list of the veniremen, and of the witnesses to be produced on the trial for proving the indictment, stating the place of abode of each venireman and witness.] The defendant never needs to turn over a list of his witnesses. The proposed rule requires both the government and the defendant to turn over witness lists in every case, capital or noncapital. Moreover, the lists must be furnished to the adversary party upon that party's request.

The proposed rule was sharply criticized by both prosecutors and defenders. The prosecutors feared that pretrial disclosure of prosecution witnesses would result in harm to witnesses. The defenders argued that a defendant cannot constitutionally be compelled to disclose his witnesses.

The Committee believes that it is desirable to promote greater pretrial discovery. As stated in the Advisory Committee Note,

  broader discovery by both the defense and the prosecution will contribute to the fair and efficient administration of criminal justice by aiding in informed plea negotiations, by minimizing the undesirable effect of surprise at trial, and by otherwise contributing to an accurate determination of the issue of guilt or innocence. . . .

The Committee, therefore, endorses the principle that witness lists are discoverable. However, the Committee has attempted to strike a balance between the narrow provisions of existing law and the broad provisions of the proposed rule.

The Committee rule makes the procedures defendant-triggered. If the defendant asks for and receives a list of prosecution witnesses, then the prosecution may request a list of defense witnesses. The witness lists need not be turned over until 3 days before trial. The court can modify the terms of discovery upon a sufficient showing. Thus, the court can require disclosure of the witness lists earlier than 3 days before trial, or can permit a party not to disclose the identity of a witness before trial.

The Committee provision promotes broader discovery and its attendant values—informed disposition of cases without trial, minimizing the undesirable effect of surprise, and helping insure that the issue of guilt or innocence is accurately determined. At the same time, it avoids the problems suggested by both the prosecutors and the defenders.

The major argument advanced by prosecutors is the risk of danger to their witnesses if their identities are disclosed prior to trial. The Committee recognizes that there may be a risk but believes that the risk is not as great as some fear that it is. Numerous states require the prosecutor to provide the defendant with a list of prosecution witnesses prior to trial. [These States include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah. See Advisory Committee Note, House Document 93–292, at 60.] The evidence before the Committee indicates that these states have not experienced unusual problems of witness intimidation. [See the comments of the Standing Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure of the State Bar of California in Hearings II, at 302.]

Some federal jurisdictions have adopted an omnibus pretrial discovery procedure that calls upon the prosecutor to give the defendant its witness lists. One such jurisdiction is the Southern District of California. The evidence before the Committee indicates that there has been no unusual problems with witness intimidation in that district. Charles Sevilla, Chief Trial Attorney for the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., which operates in the Southern District of California, testified as follows:

The Government in one of its statements to this committee indicated that providing the defense with witness lists will cause coerced witness perjury. This does not happen. We receive Government witness lists as a matter of course in the Southern District, and it's a rare occasion when there is any overture by a defense witness or by a defendant to a Government witness. It simply doesn't happen except on the rarest of occasion. When the Government has that fear it can resort to the protective order. [Hearings II, at 42.]

Mr. Sevilla's observations are corroborated by the views of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California:

Concerning the modifications to Rule 16, we have followed these procedures informally in this district for a number of years. We were one of the districts selected for the pilot projects of the Omnibus Hearing in 1967 or 1968. We have found that the courts in our district will not require us to disclose names of proposed witnesses when in our judgment to do so would not be advisable. Otherwise we routinely provide defense counsel with full discovery, including names and addresses of witnesses. We have not had any untoward results by following this program, having in mind that the courts will, and have, excused us from discovery where the circumstances warrant. [Hearings I, at 109.]

Much of the prosecutorial criticism of requiring the prosecution to give a list of its witnesses to the defendant reflects an unwillingness to trust judges to exercise sound judgment in the public interest. Prosecutors have stated that they frequently will open their files to defendants in order to induce pleas. [See testimony of Richard L. Thornburgh, United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, in Hearings I, at 150.]

Prosecutors are willing to determine on their own when they can do this without jeopardizing the safety of witnesses. There is no reason why a judicial officer cannot exercise the same discretion in the public interest.

The Committee is convinced that in the usual case there is no serious risk of danger to prosecution witnesses from pretrial disclosure of their identities. In exceptional instances, there may be a risk of danger. The Committee rule, however, is capable of dealing with those exceptional instances while still providing for disclosure of witnesses in the usual case.

The Committee recognizes the force of the constitutional arguments advanced by defenders. Requiring a defendant, upon request, to give to the prosecution material which may be incriminating, certainly raises very serious constitutional problems. The Committee deals with these problems by having the defendant trigger the discovery procedures. Since the defendant has no constitutional right to discover any of the prosecution's evidence (unless it is exculpatory within the meaning of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963)), it is permissible to condition his access to nonexculpatory evidence upon his turning over a list of defense witnesses. Rule 16 currently operates in this manner.

The Committee also changed subdivisions (a)(2) and (b)(2), which set forth “work product” exceptions to the general discovery requirements. The subsections proposed by the Supreme Court are cast in terms of the type of document involved (e. g., report), rather than in terms of the content (e. g., legal theory). The Committee recast these provisions by adopting language from Rule 26(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The Committee notes that subdivision (a)(1)(C) permits the defendant to discover certain items that “were obtained from or belong to the defendant.” The Committee believes that, as indicated in the Advisory Committee Note [House Document 93–292, at 59], items that “were obtained from or belong to the defendant” are items that are material to the preparation of his defense.

The Committee added language to subdivision (a)(1)(B) to conform it to provisions in subdivision (a)(1)(A). The rule as changed by the Committee requires the prosecutor to give the defendant such copy of the defendant's prior criminal record as is within the prosecutor's “possession, custody, or control, the existence of which is known, or by the exercise of due diligence may become known” to the prosecutor. The Committee also made a similar conforming change in subdivision (a)(1)(E), dealing with the criminal records of government witnesses. The prosecutor can ordinarily discharge his obligation under these two subdivisions, (a)(1)(B) and (E), by obtaining a copy of the F.B.I. “rap sheet.”

The Committee made an additional change in subdivision (a)(1)(E). The proposed rule required the prosecutor to provide the defendant with a record of the felony convictions of government witnesses. The major purpose for letting the defendant discover information about the record of government witnesses, is to provide him with information concerning the credibility of those witnesses. Rule 609(a) of the Federal Rules of Evidence permits a party to attack the credibility of a witness with convictions other than just felony convictions. The Committee, therefore, changed subdivision (a)(1)(E) to require the prosecutor to turn over a record of all criminal convictions, not just felony convictions.

The Committee changed subdivision (d)(1), which deals with protective orders. Proposed (d)(1) required the court to conduct an ex parte proceeding whenever a party so requested. The Committee changed the mandatory language to permissive language. A Court may, not must, conduct an ex parte proceeding if a party so requests. Thus, if a party requests a protective or modifying order and asks to make its showing ex parte, the court has two separate determinations to make. First, it must determine whether an ex parte proceeding is appropriate, bearing in mind that ex parte proceedings are disfavored and not to be encouraged. [An ex parte proceeding would seem to be appropriate if any adversary proceeding would defeat the purpose of the protective or modifying order. For example, the identity of a witness would be disclosed and the purpose of the protective order is to conceal that witness’ identity.] Second, it must determine whether a protective or modifying order shall issue.

Conference Committee Notes, House Report No. 94–414; 1975 Amendment

Rule 16 deals with pretrial discovery by the defendant and the government. The House and Senate versions of the bill differ on Rule 16 in several respects.

A. Reciprocal vs. Independent Discovery for the Government.—The House version of the bill provides that the government's discovery is reciprocal. If the defendant requires and receives certain items from the government, then the government is entitled to get similar items from the defendant. The Senate version of the bill gives the government an independent right to discover material in the possession of the defendant.

The Conference adopts the House provisions.

B. Rule 16(a)(1)(A).—The House version permits an organization to discover relevant recorded grand jury testimony of any witness who was, at the time of the acts charged or of the grand jury proceedings, so situated as an officer or employee as to have been able legally to bind it in respect to the activities involved in the charges. The Senate version limits discovery of this material to testimony of a witness who was, at the time of the grand jury proceeding, so situated as an officer or employee as to have been legally to bind the defendant in respect to the activities involved in the charges.

The Conferees share a concern that during investigations, ex-employees and ex-officers of potential corporate defendants are a critical source of information regarding activities of their former corporate employers. It is not unusual that, at the time of their testimony or interview, these persons may have interests which are substantially adverse to or divergent from the putative corporate defendant. It is also not unusual that such individuals, though no longer sharing a community of interest with the corporation, may nevertheless be subject to pressure from their former employers. Such pressure may derive from the fact that the ex-employees or ex-officers have remained in the same industry or related industry, are employed by competitors, suppliers, or customers of their former employers, or have pension or other deferred compensation arrangements with former employers.

The Conferees also recognize that considerations of fairness require that a defendant corporation or other legal entity be entitled to the grand jury testimony of a former officer or employee if that person was personally involved in the conduct constituting the offense and was able legally to bind the defendant in respect to the conduct in which he was involved.

The Conferees decided that, on balance, a defendant organization should not be entitled to the relevant grand jury testimony of a former officer or employee in every instance. However, a defendant organization should be entitled to it if the former officer or employee was personally involved in the alleged conduct constituting the offense and was so situated as to have been able legally to bind the defendant in respect to the alleged conduct. The Conferees note that, even in those situations where the rule provides for disclosure of the testimony, the Government may, upon a sufficient showing, obtain a protective or modifying order pursuant to Rule 16(d)(1).

The Conference adopts a provision that permits a defendant organization to discover relevant grant jury testimony of a witness who (1) was, at the time of his testimony, so situated as an officer or employee as to have been able legally to bind the defendant in respect to conduct constituting the offense, or (2) was, at the time of the offense, personally involved in the alleged conduct constituting the offense and so situated as an officer or employee as to have been able legally to bind the defendant in respect to that alleged conduct in which he was involved.

C. Rules 16(a)(1)(E) and (b)(1)(C) (witness lists).—The House version of the bill provides that each party, the government and the defendant, may discover the names and addresses of the other party's witnesses 3 days before trial. The Senate version of the bill eliminates these provisions, thereby making the names and addresses of a party's witnesses nondiscoverable. The Senate version also makes a conforming change in Rule 16(d)(1). The Conference adopts the Senate version.

A majority of the Conferees believe it is not in the interest of the effective administration of criminal justice to require that the government or the defendant be forced to reveal the names and addresses of its witnesses before trial. Discouragement of witnesses and improper contact directed at influencing their testimony, were deemed paramount concerns in the formulation of this policy.

D. Rules 16(a)(2) and (b)(2).—Rules 16(a)(2) and (b)(2) define certain types of materials (“work product”) not to be discoverable. The House version defines work product to be “the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of the attorney for the government or other government agents.” This is parallel to the definition in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Senate version returns to the Supreme Court's language and defines work product to be “reports, memoranda, or other internal government documents.” This is the language of the present rule.

The Conference adopts the Senate provision.

The Conferees note that a party may not avoid a legitimate discovery request merely because something is labelled “report”, “memorandum”, or “internal document”. For example if a document qualifies as a statement of the defendant within the meaning of the Rule 16(a)(1)(A), then the labelling of that document as “report”, “memorandum”, or “internal government document” will not shield that statement from discovery. Likewise, if the results of an experiment qualify as the results of a scientific test within the meaning of Rule 16(b)(1)(B), then the results of that experiment are not shielded from discovery even if they are labelled “report”, “memorandum”, or “internal defense document”.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (a)(3). The added language is made necessary by the addition of Rule 26.2 and new subdivision (i) of Rule 12, which contemplate the production of statements, including those made to a grand jury, under specified circumstances.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

The amendment to Rule 16(a)(1)(A) expands slightly government disclosure to the defense of statements made by the defendant. The rule now requires the prosecution, upon request, to disclose any written record which contains reference to a relevant oral statement by the defendant which was in response to interrogation, without regard to whether the prosecution intends to use the statement at trial. The change recognizes that the defendant has some proprietary interest in statements made during interrogation regardless of the prosecution's intent to make any use of the statements.

The written record need not be a transcription or summary of the defendant's statement but must only be some written reference which would provide some means for the prosecution and defense to identify the statement. Otherwise, the prosecution would have the difficult task of locating and disclosing the myriad oral statements made by a defendant, even if it had no intention of using the statements at trial. In a lengthy and complicated investigation with multiple interrogations by different government agents, that task could become unduly burdensome.

The existing requirement to disclose oral statements which the prosecution intends to introduce at trial has also been changed slightly. Under the amendment, the prosecution must also disclose any relevant oral statement which it intends to use at trial, without regard to whether it intends to introduce the statement. Thus, an oral statement by the defendant which would only be used for impeachment purposes would be covered by the rule.

The introductory language to the rule has been modified to clarify that without regard to whether the defendant's statement is oral or written, it must at a minimum be disclosed. Although the rule does not specify the means for disclosing the defendant's statements, if they are in written or recorded form, the defendant is entitled to inspect, copy, or photograph them.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

New subdivisions (a)(1)(E) and (b)(1)(C) expand federal criminal discovery by requiring disclosure of the intent to rely on expert opinion testimony, what the testimony will consist of, and the bases of the testimony. The amendment is intended to minimize surprise that often results from unexpected expert testimony, reduce the need for continuances, and to provide the opponent with a fair opportunity to test the merit of the expert's testimony through focused cross-examination. See Eads, Adjudication by Ambush: Federal Prosecutors’ Use of Nonscientific Experts in a System of Limited Criminal Discovery, 67 N. C. L. Rev. 577, 622 (1989).

Like other provisions in Rule 16, subdivision (a)(1)(E) requires the government to disclose information regarding its expert witnesses if the defendant first requests the information. Once the requested information is provided, the government is entitled, under (b)(1)(C) to reciprocal discovery of the same information from the defendant. The disclosure is in the form of a written summary and only applies to expert witnesses that each side intends to call. Although no specific timing requirements are included, it is expected that the parties will make their requests and disclosures in a timely fashion.

With increased use of both scientific and nonscientific expert testimony, one of counsel's most basic discovery needs is to learn that an expert is expected to testify. See Gianelli, Criminal Discovery, Scientific Evidence, and DNA, 44 Vand. L. Rev. 793 (1991); Symposium on Science and the Rules of Legal Procedure, 101 F.R.D. 599 (1983). This is particularly important if the expert is expected to testify on matters which touch on new or controversial techniques or opinions. The amendment is intended to meet this need by first, requiring notice of the expert's qualifications which in turn will permit the requesting party to determine whether in fact the witness is an expert within the definition of Federal Rule of Evidence 702. Like Rule 702, which generally provides a broad definition of who qualifies as an “expert,” the amendment is broad in that it includes both scientific and nonscientific experts. It does not distinguish between those cases where the expert will be presenting testimony on novel scientific evidence. The rule does not extend, however, to witnesses who may offer only lay opinion testimony under Federal Rule of Evidence 701. Nor does the amendment extend to summary witnesses who may testify under Federal Rule of Evidence 1006 unless the witness is called to offer expert opinions apart from, or in addition to, the summary evidence.

Second, the requesting party is entitled to a summary of the expected testimony. This provision is intended to permit more complete pretrial preparation by the requesting party. For example, this should inform the requesting party whether the expert will be providing only background information on a particular issue or whether the witness will actually offer an opinion. In some instances, a generic description of the likely witness and that witness's qualifications may be sufficient, e.g., where a DEA laboratory chemist will testify, but it is not clear which particular chemist will be available.

Third, and perhaps most important, the requesting party is to be provided with a summary of the bases of the expert's opinion. Rule 16(a)(1)(D) covers disclosure and access to any results or reports of mental or physical examinations and scientific testing. But the fact that no formal written reports have been made does not necessarily mean that an expert will not testify at trial. At least one federal court has concluded that that provision did not otherwise require the government to disclose the identify of its expert witnesses where no reports had been prepared. See, e.g., United States v. Johnson, 713 F.2d 654 (11th Cir. 1983, cert. denied, 484 U.S. 956 (1984) (there is no right to witness list and Rule 16 was not implicated because no reports were made in the case). The amendment should remedy that problem. Without regard to whether a party would be entitled to the underlying bases for expert testimony under other provisions of Rule 16, the amendment requires a summary of the bases relied upon by the expert. That should cover not only written and oral reports, tests, reports, and investigations, but any information that might be recognized as a legitimate basis for an opinion under Federal Rule of Evidence 703, including opinions of other experts.

The amendments are not intended to create unreasonable procedural hurdles. As with other discovery requests under Rule 16, subdivision (d) is available to either side to seek ex parte a protective or modifying order concerning requests for information under (a)(1)(E) or (b)(1)(C).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

The amendment is intended to clarify that the discovery and disclosure requirements of the rule apply equally to individual and organizational defendants. See In re United States, 918 F.2d 138 (11th Cir. 1990) (rejecting distinction between individual and organizational defendants). Because an organizational defendant may not know what its officers or agents have said or done in regard to a charged offense, it is important that it have access to statements made by persons whose statements or actions could be binding on the defendant. See also United States v. Hughes, 413 F.2d 1244, 1251–52 (5th Cir. 1969), vacated as moot, 397 U.S. 93 (1970) (prosecution of corporations “often resembles the most complex civil cases, necessitating a vigorous probing of the mass of detailed facts to seek out the truth”).

The amendment defines defendant in a broad, nonexclusive fashion. See also 18 U.S.C. §18 (the term “organization” includes a person other than an individual). And the amendment recognizes that an organizational defendant could be bound by an agent's statement, see, e.g., Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2), or be vicariously liable for an agent's actions. The amendment contemplates that, upon request of the defendant, the Government will disclose any statements within the purview of the rule and made by persons whom the government contends to be among the classes of persons described in the rule. There is no requirement that the defense stipulate or admit that such persons were in a position to bind the defendant.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1997 Amendment

Subdivision (a)(1)(E). Under Rule 16(a)(1)(E), as amended in 1993, the defense is entitled to disclosure of certain information about expert witnesses which the government intends to call during the trial. And if the government provides that information, it is entitled to reciprocal discovery under (b)(1)(C). This amendment is a parallel reciprocal disclosure provision which is triggered by a government request for information concerning defense expert witnesses as to the defendant's mental condition, which is provided for in an amendment to (b)(1)(C), infra.

Subdivision (b)(1)(C). Amendments in 1993 to Rule 16 included provisions for pretrial disclosure of information, including names and expected testimony of both defense and government expert witnesses. Those disclosures are triggered by defense requests for the information. If the defense makes such requests and the government complies, the government is entitled to similar, reciprocal discovery. The amendment to Rule 16(b)(1)(C) provides that if the defendant has notified the government under Rule 12.2 of an intent to rely on expert testimony to show the defendant's mental condition, the government may request the defense to disclose information about its expert witnesses. Although Rule 12.2 insures that the government will not be surprised by the nature of the defense or that the defense intends to call an expert witness, that rule makes no provision for discovery of the identity, the expected testimony, or the qualifications of the expert witness. The amendment provides the government with the limited right to respond to the notice provided under Rule 12.2 by requesting more specific information about the expert. If the government requests the specified information, and the defense complies, the defense is entitled to reciprocal discovery under an amendment to subdivision (a)(1)(E), supra.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 16 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Current Rule 16(a)(1)(A) is now located in Rule 16(a)(1)(A), (B), and (C). Current Rule 16(a)(1)(B), (C), (D), and (E) have been relettered.

Amended Rule 16(b)(1)(B) includes a change that may be substantive in nature. Rule 16(a)(1)(E) and 16(a)(1)(F) require production of specified information if the government intends to “use” the information “in its case-in-chief at trial.” The Committee believed that the language in revised Rule 16(b)(1)(B), which deals with a defendant's disclosure of information to the government, should track the similar language in revised Rule 16(a)(1). In Rule 16(b)(1)(B)(ii), the Committee changed the current provision which reads: “the defendant intends to introduce as evidence” to the “defendant intends to use the item . . .” The Committee recognized that this might constitute a substantive change in the rule but believed that it was a necessary conforming change with the provisions in Rule 16(a)(1)(E) and (F), noted supra, regarding use of evidence by the government.

In amended Rule 16(d)(1), the last phrase in the current subdivision—which refers to a possible appeal of the court's discovery order—has been deleted. In the Committee's view, no substantive change results from that deletion. The language is unnecessary because the court, regardless of whether there is an appeal, will have maintained the record.

Finally, current Rule 16(e), which addresses the topic of notice of alibi witnesses, has been deleted as being unnecessarily duplicative of Rule 12.1.

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Evidence, referred to in subds. (a)(1)(G) and (b)(1)(C), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Amendment by Public Law

2002—Subd. (a)(1)(G). Pub. L. 107–273, §11019(b)(1), amended subpar. (G) generally.

Subd. (b)(1)(C). Pub. L. 107–273, §11019(b)(2), amended subpar. (C) generally.

1975—Subd. (a)(1). Pub. L. 94–64 amended subpars. (A), (B), and (D) generally, and struck out subpar. (E).

Subd. (a)(4). Pub. L. 94–149 struck out par. (4) “Failure to Call Witness. The fact that a witness’ name is on a list furnished under this rule shall not be grounds for comment upon a failure to call the witness.”

Subd. (b)(1). Pub. L. 94–64 amended subpars. (A) and (B) generally, and struck out subpar. (C).

Subd. (b)(3). Pub. L. 94–149 struck out par. (3) “Failure to Call Witness. The fact that a witness’ name is on a list furnished under this rule shall not be grounds for a comment upon a failure to call a witness.”

Subd. (c). Pub. L. 94–64 amended subd. (c) generally.

Subd. (d)(1). Pub. L. 94–64 amended par. (1) generally.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Pub. L. 107–273, div. C, title I, §11019(c), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1826, provided that: “The amendments made by subsection (b) [amending this rule] shall take effect on December 1, 2002.”

Effective Date of Amendments Proposed April 22, 1974; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendments of this rule embraced in the order of the United States Supreme Court on Apr. 22, 1974, and the amendments of this rule made by section 3 of Pub. L. 94–64, effective Dec. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

Rule 17. Subpoena

(a) Content. A subpoena must state the court's name and the title of the proceeding, include the seal of the court, and command the witness to attend and testify at the time and place the subpoena specifies. The clerk must issue a blank subpoena—signed and sealed—to the party requesting it, and that party must fill in the blanks before the subpoena is served.

(b) Defendant Unable to Pay. Upon a defendant's ex parte application, the court must order that a subpoena be issued for a named witness if the defendant shows an inability to pay the witness's fees and the necessity of the witness's presence for an adequate defense. If the court orders a subpoena to be issued, the process costs and witness fees will be paid in the same manner as those paid for witnesses the government subpoenas.

(c) Producing Documents and Objects.

(1) In General. A subpoena may order the witness to produce any books, papers, documents, data, or other objects the subpoena designates. The court may direct the witness to produce the designated items in court before trial or before they are to be offered in evidence. When the items arrive, the court may permit the parties and their attorneys to inspect all or part of them.

(2) Quashing or Modifying the Subpoena. On motion made promptly, the court may quash or modify the subpoena if compliance would be unreasonable or oppressive.

(3) Subpoena for Personal or Confidential Information About a Victim. After a complaint, indictment, or information is filed, a subpoena requiring the production of personal or confidential information about a victim may be served on a third party only by court order. Before entering the order and unless there are exceptional circumstances, the court must require giving notice to the victim so that the victim can move to quash or modify the subpoena or otherwise object.


(d) Service. A marshal, a deputy marshal, or any nonparty who is at least 18 years old may serve a subpoena. The server must deliver a copy of the subpoena to the witness and must tender to the witness one day's witness-attendance fee and the legal mileage allowance. The server need not tender the attendance fee or mileage allowance when the United States, a federal officer, or a federal agency has requested the subpoena.

(e) Place of Service.

(1) In the United States. A subpoena requiring a witness to attend a hearing or trial may be served at any place within the United States.

(2) In a Foreign Country. If the witness is in a foreign country, 28 U.S.C. §1783 governs the subpoena's service.


(f) Issuing a Deposition Subpoena.

(1) Issuance. A court order to take a deposition authorizes the clerk in the district where the deposition is to be taken to issue a subpoena for any witness named or described in the order.

(2) Place. After considering the convenience of the witness and the parties, the court may order—and the subpoena may require—the witness to appear anywhere the court designates.


(g) Contempt. The court (other than a magistrate judge) may hold in contempt a witness who, without adequate excuse, disobeys a subpoena issued by a federal court in that district. A magistrate judge may hold in contempt a witness who, without adequate excuse, disobeys a subpoena issued by that magistrate judge as provided in 28 U.S.C. §636(e).

(h) Information Not Subject to a Subpoena. No party may subpoena a statement of a witness or of a prospective witness under this rule. Rule 26.2 governs the production of the statement.

(As amended Dec. 27, 1948, eff. Oct. 20, 1949; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, §3(29), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 375; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Dec. 1, 1980; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). This rule is substantially the same as Rule 45(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix].

Note to Subdivision (b). This rule preserves the existing right of an indigent defendant to secure attendance of witnesses at the expense of the Government, 28 U.S.C. [former] 656 (Witnesses for indigent defendants). Under existing law, however, the right is limited to witnesses who are within the district in which the court is held or within one hundred miles of the place of trial. No procedure now exists whereby an indigent defendant can procure at Government expense the attendance of witnesses found in another district and more than 100 miles of the place of trial. This limitation is abrogated by the rule so that an indigent defendant will be able to secure the attendance of witnesses at the expense of the Government no matter where they are located. The showing required by the rule to justify such relief is the same as that now exacted by 28 U.S.C. [former] 656.

Note to Subdivision (c). This rule is substantially the same as Rule 45(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix].

Note to Subdivision (d). This rule is substantially the same as Rule 45(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix]. The provision permitting persons other than the marshal to serve the subpoena, and requiring the payment of witness fees in Government cases is new matter.

Note to Subdivision (e)(1). This rule continues existing law, 28 U.S.C. [former] 654 (Witnesses; subpoenas; may run into another district). The rule is different in civil cases in that in such cases, unless a statute otherwise provides, a subpoena may be served only within the district or within 100 miles of the place of trial, 28 U.S.C. [former] 654; Rule 45(e)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix].

Note to Subdivision (e)(2). This rule is substantially the same as Rule 45(e)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix]. See Blackmer v. United States, 284 U.S. 421, upholding the validity of the statute referred to in the rule.

Note to Subdivision (f). This rule is substantially the same as Rule 45(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C, Appendix].

Note to Subdivision (g). This rule is substantially the same as Rule 45(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C, Appendix].

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1948 Amendment

The amendment is to substitute proper reference to Title 28 in place of the repealed act.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Subdivision (b).—Criticism has been directed at the requirement that an indigent defendant disclose in advance the theory of his defense in order to obtain the issuance of a subpoena at government expense while the government and defendants able to pay may have subpoenas issued in blank without any disclosure. See Report of the Attorney General's Committee on Poverty and the Administration of Criminal Justice (1963) p. 27. The Attorney General's Committee also urged that the standard of financial inability to pay be substituted for that of indigency. Id. at 40–41. In one case it was held that the affidavit filed by an indigent defendant under this subdivision could be used by the government at his trial for purposes of impeachment. Smith v. United States, 312 F.2d 867 (D.C.Cir. 1962). There has also been doubt as to whether the defendant need make a showing beyond the face of his affidavit in order to secure issuance of a subpoena. Greenwell v. United States, 317 F.2d 108 (D.C.Cir. 1963).

The amendment makes several changes. The references to a judge are deleted since applications should be made to the court. An ex parte application followed by a satisfactory showing is substituted for the requirement of a request or motion supported by affidavit. The court is required to order the issuance of a subpoena upon finding that the defendant is unable to pay the witness fees and that the presence of the witness is necessary to an adequate defense.

Subdivision (d).—The subdivision is revised to bring it into conformity with 28 U.S.C. §1825.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Subdivisions (a) and (g) are amended to reflect the existence of the “United States magistrate,” a phrase defined in rule 54.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment

Subdivision (f)(2) is amended to provide that the court has discretion over the place at which the deposition is to be taken. Similar authority is conferred by Civil Rule 45(d)(2). See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §278 (1969).

Ordinarily the deposition should be taken at the place most convenient for the witness but, under certain circumstances, the parties may prefer to arrange for the presence of the witness at a place more convenient to counsel.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 17 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure deals with subpoenas. Subdivision (f)(2) as proposed by the Supreme Court provides:

The witness whose deposition is to be taken may be required by subpoena to attend at any place designated by the trial court.

B. Committee Action. The Committee added language to the proposed amendment that directs the court to consider the convenience of the witness and the parties when compelling a witness to attend where a deposition will be taken.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (h). This addition to rule 17 is necessary in light of proposed rule 26.2, which deals with the obtaining of statements of government and defense witnesses.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

The Rule is amended to conform to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 [P.L. 101–650, Title III, Section 321] which provides that each United States magistrate appointed under section 631 of title 28, United States Code, shall be known as a United States magistrate judge.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 17 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

A potential substantive change has been made in Rule 17(c)(1); the word “data” has been added to the list of matters that may be subpoenaed. The Committee believed that inserting that term will reflect the fact that in an increasingly technological culture, the information may exist in a format not already covered by the more conventional list, such as a book or document.

Rule 17(g) has been amended to recognize the contempt powers of a court (other than a magistrate judge) and a magistrate judge.

Committee Notes on Rules—2008 Amendment

Subdivision (c)(3). This amendment implements the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, codified at 18 U.S.C. §3771(a)(8), which states that victims have a right to respect for their “dignity and privacy.” The rule provides a protective mechanism when the defense subpoenas a third party to provide personal or confidential information about a victim. Third party subpoenas raise special concerns because a third party may not assert the victim's interests, and the victim may be unaware of the subpoena. Accordingly, the amendment requires judicial approval before service of a subpoena seeking personal or confidential information about a victim from a third party. The phrase “personal or confidential information,” which may include such things as medical or school records, is left to case development.

The amendment provides a mechanism for notifying the victim, and makes it clear that a victim may move to quash or modify the subpoena under Rule 17(c)(2)—or object by other means such as a letter—on the grounds that it is unreasonable or oppressive. The rule recognizes, however, that there may be exceptional circumstances in which this procedure may not be appropriate. Such exceptional circumstances would include, evidence that might be lost or destroyed if the subpoena were delayed or a situation where the defense would be unfairly prejudiced by premature disclosure of a sensitive defense strategy. The Committee leaves to the judgment of the court a determination as to whether the judge will permit the question whether such exceptional circumstances exist to be decided ex parte and authorize service of the third-party subpoena without notice to anyone.

The amendment applies only to subpoenas served after a complaint, indictment, or information has been filed. It has no application to grand jury subpoenas. When the grand jury seeks the production of personal or confidential information, grand jury secrecy affords substantial protection for the victim's privacy and dignity interests.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. The proposed amendment omits the language providing for ex parte issuance of a court order authorizing a subpoena to a third party for private or confidential information about a victim. The last sentence of the amendment was revised to provide that unless there are exceptional circumstances the court must give the victim notice before a subpoena seeking the victim's personal or confidential information can be served upon a third party. It was also revised to add the language “or otherwise object” to make it clear that the victim's objection might be lodged by means other than a motion, such as a letter to the court.

Amendment by Public Law

1975—Subd. (f)(2). Pub. L. 94–64 amended par. (2) generally.

Effective Date of 1979 Amendment

Amendment of this rule by addition of subd. (h) by order of the United States Supreme Court of Apr. 30, 1979, effective Dec. 1, 1980, see section 1(1) of Pub. L. 96–42, July 31, 1979, 93 Stat. 326, set out as a note under section 2074 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of Amendments Proposed April 22, 1974; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendments of this rule embraced in the order of the United States Supreme Court on Apr. 22, 1974, and the amendments of this rule made by section 3 of Pub. L. 94–64, effective Dec. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

Supersedure

Provision of subd. (d) of this rule that witness shall be tendered the fee for 1 day's attendance and mileage allowed by law as superseded by section 1825 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, see such section and Reviser's Note thereunder.

Rule 17.1. Pretrial Conference

On its own, or on a party's motion, the court may hold one or more pretrial conferences to promote a fair and expeditious trial. When a conference ends, the court must prepare and file a memorandum of any matters agreed to during the conference. The government may not use any statement made during the conference by the defendant or the defendant's attorney unless it is in writing and is signed by the defendant and the defendant's attorney.

(Added Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; amended Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966

This new rule establishes a basis for pretrial conferences with counsel for the parties in criminal cases within the discretion of the court. Pretrial conferences are now being utilized to some extent even in the absence of a rule. See, generally, Brewster, Criminal Pre-Trials—Useful Techniques, 29 F.R.D. 442 (1962); Estes, Pre-Trial Conferences in Criminal Cases, 23 F.R.D. 560 (1959); Kaufman, Pre-Trial in Criminal Cases, 23 F.R.D. 551 (1959); Kaufman, Pre-Trial in Criminal Cases, 42 J.Am.Jud.Soc. 150 (1959); Kaufman, The Appalachian Trial: Further Observations on Pre-Trial in Criminal Cases, 44 J.Am.Jud.Soc. 53 (1960); West, Criminal Pre-Trials—Useful Techniques, 29 F.R.D. 436 (1962); Handbook of Recommended Procedures for the Trial of Protracted Cases, 25 F.R.D. 399–403, 468–470 (1960). Cf. Mo.Sup.Ct. Rule 25.09; Rules Governing the N.J. Courts, §3:5–3.

The rule is cast in broad language so as to accommodate all types of pretrial conferences. As the third sentence suggests, in some cases it may be desirable or necessary to have the defendant present. See Committee on Pretrial Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States, Recommended Procedures in Criminal Pretrials, 37 F.R.D. 95 (1965).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 17.1 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Current Rule 17.1 prohibits the court from holding a pretrial conference where the defendant is not represented by counsel. It is unclear whether this would bar such a conference when the defendant invokes the constitutional right to self-representation. See Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975). The amended version makes clear that a pretrial conference may be held in these circumstances. Moreover, the Committee believed that pretrial conferences might be particularly useful in those cases where the defendant is proceeding pro se.

TITLE V. VENUE

Rule 18. Place of Prosecution and Trial

Unless a statute or these rules permit otherwise, the government must prosecute an offense in a district where the offense was committed. The court must set the place of trial within the district with due regard for the convenience of the defendant, any victim, and the witnesses, and the prompt administration of justice.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

1. The Constitution of the United States, Article III. Section 2, Paragraph 3, provides:

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Amendment VI provides:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law * * *

28 U.S.C. former §114 (now §§1393, 1441) provides:

All prosecutions for crimes or offenses shall be had within the division of such districts where the same were committed, unless the court, or the judge thereof, upon the application of the defendant, shall order the cause to be transferred for prosecution to another division of the district.

The word “prosecutions,” as used in this statute, does not include the finding and return of an indictment. The prevailing practice of impaneling a grand jury for the entire district at a session in some division and of distributing the indictments among the divisions in which the offenses were committed is deemed proper and legal, Salinger v. Loisel, 265 U.S. 224, 237. The court stated that this practice is “attended with real advantages.” The rule is a restatement of existing law and is intended to sanction the continuance of this practice. For this reason, the rule requires that only the trial be held in the division in which the offense was committed and permits other proceedings to be had elsewhere in the same district.

2. Within the framework of the foregoing constitutional provisions and the provisions of the general statute, 28 U.S.C. 114 [now 1393, 1441], supra, numerous statutes have been enacted to regulate the venue of criminal proceedings, particularly in respect to continuing offenses and offenses consisting of several transactions occurring in different districts. Armour Packing Co. v. United States, 209 U.S. 56, 73–77; United States v. Johnson, 323 U.S. 273. These special venue provisions are not affected by the rule. Among these statutes are the following:


U.S.C., Title 8:

 Section 138 [see 1326, 1328, 1329] (Importation of aliens for immoral purposes; attempt to reenter after deportation; penalty)


U.S.C., Title 15:

 Section 78aa (Regulation of Securities Exchanges; jurisdiction of offenses and suits)

 Section 79y (Control of Public Utility Holding Companies; jurisdiction of offenses and suits)

 Section 80a–43 (Investment Companies; jurisdiction of offenses and suits)

 Section 80b–14 (Investment Advisers; jurisdiction of offenses and suits)

 Section 298 (Falsely Stamped Gold or Silver, etc., violations of law; penalty; jurisdiction of prosecutions)

 Section 715i (Interstate Transportation of Petroleum Products; restraining violations; civil and criminal proceedings; jurisdiction of District Courts; review)

 Section 717u (Natural Gas Act; jurisdiction of offenses; enforcement of liabilities and duties)


U.S.C., Title 18:

 Section 39 [now 5, 3241] (Enforcement of neutrality; United States defined; jurisdiction of offenses; prior offenses; partial invalidity of provisions)

 Section 336 [now 1302] (Lottery, or gift enterprise circulars not mailable; place of trial)

 Section 338a [now 876, 3239] (Mailing threatening communications)

 Section 338b [now 877, 3239] (Same; mailing in foreign country for delivery in the United States)

 Section 345 [now 1717] (Using or attempting to use mails for transmission of matter declared nonmailable by title; jurisdiction of offense)

 Section 396e [now 1762] (Transportation or importation of convict-made goods with intent to use in violation of local law; jurisdiction of violations)

 Section 401 [now 2421] (White slave traffic; jurisdiction of prosecutions)

 Section 408 [now 10, 2311 to 2313] (Motor vehicles; transportation, etc., of stolen vehicles)

 Section 408d [now 875, 3239] (Threatening communications in interstate commerce)

 Section 408e [now 1073] (Moving in interstate or foreign commerce to avoid prosecution for felony or giving testimony)

 Section 409 [now 659, 660, 2117] (Larceny, etc., of goods in interstate or foreign commerce; penalty)

 Section 412 [now 660] (Embezzlement, etc., by officers of carrier; jurisdiction; double jeopardy)

 Section 418 [now 3237] (National Stolen Property Act; jurisdiction)

 Section 419d [now 3237] (Transportation of stolen cattle in interstate or foreign commerce; jurisdiction of offense)

 Section 420d [now 1951] (Interference with trade and commerce by violence, threats, etc., jurisdiction of offenses)

 Section 494 [now 1654] (Arming vessel to cruise against citizen; trials)

 Section 553 [now 3236] (Place of committal of murder or manslaughter determined)


U.S.C., Title 21:

 Section 17 (Introduction into, or sale in, State or Territory or District of Columbia of dairy or food products falsely labeled or branded; penalty; jurisdiction of prosecutions)

 Section 118 (Prevention of introduction and spread of contagion; duty of district attorneys)


U.S.C., Title 28:

 Section 101 [now 18 U.S.C. 3235] (Capital cases)

 Section 102 [now 18 U.S.C. 3238] (Offenses on the high seas)

 Section 103 [now 18 U.S.C. 3237] (Offenses begun in one district and completed in another)

 Section 121 [now 18 U.S.C. 3240] (Creation of new district or division)


U.S.C., Title 47:

        

 Section 33 (Submarine Cables; jurisdiction and venue of actions and offenses)

 Section 505 (Special Provisions Relating to Radio; venue of trials)


U.S.C., Title 49:

 Section 41 [now 11902, 11903, 11915, 11916] (Legislation Supplementary to Interstate Commerce Act; liability of corporation carriers and agents; offenses and penalties—(1) Liability of corporation common carriers; offenses; penalties; Jurisdiction)

 Section 623 [repealed] (Civil Aeronautics Act; venue and prosecution of offenses)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The amendment eliminates the requirement that the prosecution shall be in a division in which the offense was committed and vests discretion in the court to fix the place of trial at any place within the district with due regard to the convenience of the defendant and his witnesses.

The Sixth Amendment provides that the defendant shall have the right to a trial “by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law. * * *” There is no constitutional right to trial within a division. See United States v. Anderson, 328 U.S. 699, 704, 705 (1946); Barrett v. United States, 169 U.S. 218 (1898); Lafoon v. United States, 250 F.2d 958 (5th Cir. 1958); Carrillo v. Squier, 137 F.2d 648 (9th Cir. 1943); McNealey v. Johnston, 100 F.2d 280, 282 (9th Cir. 1938). Cf. Platt v. Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., 376 U.S. 240 (1964).

The former requirement for venue within the division operated in an irrational fashion. Divisions have been created in only half of the districts, and the differentiation between those districts with and those without divisions often bears no relationship to comparative size or population. In many districts a single judge is required to sit in several divisions and only brief and infrequent terms may be held in particular divisions. As a consequence under the original rule there was often undue delay in the disposition of criminal cases—delay which was particularly serious with respect to defendants who had been unable to secure release on bail pending the holding of the next term of court.

If the court is satisfied that there exists in the place fixed for trial prejudice against the defendant so great as to render the trial unfair, the court may, of course, fix another place of trial within the district (if there be such) where such prejudice does not exist. Cf. Rule 21 dealing with transfers between districts.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

This amendment is intended to eliminate an inconsistency between rule 18, which in its present form has been interpreted not to allow trial in a division other than that in which the offense was committed except as dictated by the convenience of the defendant and witnesses, Dupoint v. United States, 388 F.2d 39 (5th Cir. 1968), and the Speedy Trial Act of 1974. This Act provides:

In any case involving a defendant charged with an offense, the appropriate judicial officer, at the earliest practicable time, shall, after consultation with the counsel for the defendant and the attorney for the Government, set the case for trial on a day certain, or list it for trial on a weekly or other short-term trial calendar at a place within the judicial district so as to assure a speedy trial.

18 U.S.C. §3161(a). This provision is intended to “permit the trial of a case at any place within the judicial district. This language was included in anticipation of problems which might occur in districts with statutory divisions, where it could be difficult to set trial outside the division.” H.R.Rep. No. 93–1508, 93d Cong., 2d Sess. 29 (1974).

The change does not offend the venue or vicinage provisions of the Constitution. Article III, §2, clause 3 places venue (the geographical location of the trial) “in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed,” while the Sixth Amendment defines the vicinage (the geographical location of the jurors) as “the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law.” The latter provision makes “no reference to a division within a judicial district.” United States v. James, 528 F.2d 999 (5th Cir. 1976). “It follows a fortiori that when a district is not separated into divisions, * * * trial at any place within the district is allowable under the Sixth Amendment * * *.” United States v. Fernandez, 480 F.2d 726 (2d Cir. 1973). See also Zicarelli v. Gray, 543 F.2d 466 (3d Cir. 1976) and cases cited therein.

Nor is the change inconsistent with the Declaration of Policy in the Jury Selection and Service Act of 1968, which reads:

It is the policy of the United States that all litigants in Federal courts entitled to trial by jury shall have the right to grand and petit juries selected at random from a fair cross section of the community in the district or division wherein the court convenes.

28 U.S.C. §1861. This language does not mean that the Act requires “the trial court to convene not only in the district but also in the division wherein the offense occurred,” as:

There is no hint in the statutory history that the Jury Selection Act was intended to do more than provide improved judicial machinery so that grand and petit jurors would be selected at random by the use of objective qualification criteria to ensure a representative cross section of the district or division in which the grand or petit jury sits. United States v. Cates, 485 F.2d 26 (1st Cir. 1974).

The amendment to rule 18 does not eliminate either of the existing considerations which bear upon fixing the place of trial within a district, but simply adds yet another consideration in the interest of ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Speedy Trial Act of 1974. The amendment does not authorize the fixing of the place of trial for yet other reasons. Cf. United States v. Fernandez, 480 F.2d 726 (2d Cir. 1973) (court in the exercise of its supervisory power held improper the fixing of the place of trial “for no apparent reason other than the convenience of the judge”).

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 18 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Committee Notes on Rules—2008 Amendment

The rule requires the court to consider the convenience of victims—as well as the defendant and witnesses—in setting the place for trial within the district. The Committee recognizes that the court has substantial discretion to balance any competing interests.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. There were no changes in the text of the rule. The Committee Note was amended to delete a statutory reference that commentators found misleading, and to draw attention to the court's discretion to balance the competing interests, which may be more important as the court must consider a new set of interests.

Rule 19. [Reserved]

Rule 20. Transfer for Plea and Sentence

(a) Consent to Transfer. A prosecution may be transferred from the district where the indictment or information is pending, or from which a warrant on a complaint has been issued, to the district where the defendant is arrested, held, or present if:

(1) the defendant states in writing a wish to plead guilty or nolo contendere and to waive trial in the district where the indictment, information, or complaint is pending, consents in writing to the court's disposing of the case in the transferee district, and files the statement in the transferee district; and

(2) the United States attorneys in both districts approve the transfer in writing.


(b) Clerk's Duties. After receiving the defendant's statement and the required approvals, the clerk where the indictment, information, or complaint is pending must send the file, or a certified copy, to the clerk in the transferee district.

(c) Effect of a Not Guilty Plea. If the defendant pleads not guilty after the case has been transferred under Rule 20(a), the clerk must return the papers to the court where the prosecution began, and that court must restore the proceeding to its docket. The defendant's statement that the defendant wished to plead guilty or nolo contendere is not, in any civil or criminal proceeding, admissible against the defendant.

(d) Juveniles.

(1) Consent to Transfer. A juvenile, as defined in 18 U.S.C. §5031, may be proceeded against as a juvenile delinquent in the district where the juvenile is arrested, held, or present if:

(A) the alleged offense that occurred in the other district is not punishable by death or life imprisonment;

(B) an attorney has advised the juvenile;

(C) the court has informed the juvenile of the juvenile's rights—including the right to be returned to the district where the offense allegedly occurred—and the consequences of waiving those rights;

(D) the juvenile, after receiving the court's information about rights, consents in writing to be proceeded against in the transferee district, and files the consent in the transferee district;

(E) the United States attorneys for both districts approve the transfer in writing; and

(F) the transferee court approves the transfer.


(2) Clerk's Duties. After receiving the juvenile's written consent and the required approvals, the clerk where the indictment, information, or complaint is pending or where the alleged offense occurred must send the file, or a certified copy, to the clerk in the transferee district.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, §3(30), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 375; Apr. 28, 1982, eff. Aug. 1, 1982; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

This rule introduces a new procedure in the interest of defendants who intend to plead guilty and are arrested in a district other than that in which the prosecution has been instituted. This rule would accord to a defendant in such a situation an opportunity to secure a disposition of the case in the district where the arrest takes place, thereby relieving him of whatever hardship may be involved in a removal to the place where the prosecution is pending. In order to prevent possible interference with the administration of justice, however, the consent of the United States attorneys involved is required.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Rule 20 has proved to be most useful. In some districts, however, literal compliance with the procedures spelled out by the rule has resulted in unnecessary delay in the disposition of cases. This delay has been particularly troublesome where the defendant has been arrested prior to the filing of an indictment or information against him. See e.g., the procedure described in Donovan v. United States, 205 F.2d 557 (10th Cir. 1953). Furthermore, the benefit of the rule has not been available to juveniles electing to be proceeded against under 18 U.S.C. §§5031–5037. In an attempt to clarify and simplify the procedure the rule has been recast into four subdivisions.

Subdivision (a).—This subdivision is intended to apply to the situation in which an indictment or information is pending at the time at which the defendant indicates his desire to have the transfer made. Two amendments are made to the present language of the rule. In the first sentence the words “or held” and “or is held” are added to make it clear that a person already in state or federal custody within a district may request a transfer of federal charges pending against him in another district. See 4 Barron, Federal Practice and Procedure 146 (1951). The words “after receiving a copy of the indictment or information” are deleted.

The defendant should be permitted, if he wishes, to initiate transfer proceedings under the Rule without waiting for a copy of the indictment or information to be obtained. The defendant is protected against prejudice by the fact that under subdivision (c) he can, in effect, rescind his action by pleading not guilty after the transfer has been completed.

Subdivision (b).—This subdivision is intended to apply to the situation in which no indictment or information is pending but the defendant has been arrested on a warrant issued upon a complaint in another district. Under the procedure set out he may initiate the transfer proceedings without waiting for the filing of an indictment or information in the district where the complaint is pending. Also it is made clear that the defendant may validate an information previously filed by waiving indictment in open court when he is brought before the court to plead. See United States v. East, 5 F.R.D. 389. (N.D. Ind. 1946); Potter v. United States, 36 F.R.D. 394 (W.D. Mo. 1965). Here again the defendant is fully protected by the fact that at the time of pleading in the transferee court he may then refuse to waive indictment and rescind the transfer by pleading not guilty.

Subdivision (c).—The last two sentences of the original rule are included here. The last sentence is amended to forbid use against the defendant of his statement that he wishes to plead guilty or nolo contendere whether or not he was represented by counsel when it was made. Since under the amended rule the defendant may make his statement prior to receiving a copy of the indictment or information, it would be unfair to permit use of that statement against him.

Subdivision (d).—Under 18 U.S.C. §5033 a juvenile who has committed an act in violation of the law of the United States in one district and is apprehended in another must be returned to the district “having cognizance of the alleged violation” before he can consent to being proceeded against as a juvenile delinquent. This subdivision will permit a juvenile after he has been advised by counsel and with the approval of the court and the United States attorney to consent to be proceeded against in the district in which he is arrested or held. Consent is required only of the United States attorney in the district of the arrest in order to permit expeditious handling of juvenile cases. If it is necessary to recognize special interests of particular districts where offenses are committed—e.g., the District of Columbia with its separate Juvenile Court (District of Columbia Code §11–1551(a))—the Attorney General may do so through his Administrative control over United States Attorneys.

Subdivision (e).—This subdivision is added to make it clear that a defendant who appears in one district in response to a summons issued in the district where the offense was committed may initiate transfer proceedings under the rule.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment

Rule 20 is amended to provide that a person “present” in a district other than the district in which he is charged with a criminal offense may, subject to the other provisions of rule 20, plead guilty in the district in which he is “present.” See rule 6(b), Rules of Procedure for the Trial of Minor Offenses Before Magistrates.

Under the former rule, practice was to have the district in which the offense occurred issue a bench warrant authorizing the arrest of the defendant in the district in which he was located. This is a procedural complication which serves no interest of either the government or the defense and therefore can properly be dispensed with.

Making the fact that a defendant is “present” in the district an adequate basis for allowing him to plead guilty there makes it unnecessary to retain subdivision (e) which makes appearance in response to a summons equivalent to an arrest. Dropping (e) will eliminate some minor ambiguity created by that subdivision. See C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §322 n. 26, p. 612 (1969, Supp. 1971).

There are practical advantages which will follow from the change. In practice a person may turn himself in in a district other than that in which the prosecution is pending. It may be more convenient to have him plead in the district in which he is present rather than having him or the government incur the expense of his return to the district in which the charge is pending.

The danger of “forum shopping” can be controlled by the requirement that both United States Attorneys agree to the handling of the case under provisions of this rule.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 20 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure deals with transferring a defendant from one district to another for the purpose of pleading and being sentenced. It deals with the situation where a defendant is located in one district (A) and is charged with a crime in another district (B). Under the present rule, if such a defendant desires to waive trial and plead guilty or nolo contendere, a judge in district B would issue a bench warrant for the defendant, authorizing his arrest in district A and his transport to district B for the purpose of pleading and being sentenced.

The Supreme Court amendments permit the defendant in the above example to plead guilty or nolo contendere in district A, if the United States Attorneys for districts A and B consent.

B. Committee Action. The Committee has added a conforming amendment to subdivision (d), which establishes procedures for dealing with defendants who are juveniles.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1982 Amendment

This amendment to subdivision (b) is intended to expedite transfer proceedings under Rule 20. At present, considerable delay—sometimes as long as three or four weeks—occurs in subdivision (b) cases, that is, where no indictment or information is pending. This time is spent on the transmittal of defendant's statement to the district where the complaint is pending, the filing of an information or return of an indictment there, and the transmittal of papers in the case from that district to the district where the defendant is present. Under the amendment, the defendant, by also waiving venue, would make it possible for charges to be filed in the district of his arrest or presence. This would advance the interests of both the prosecution and defendant in a timely entry of a plea of guilty. No change has been made in the requirement that the transfer occur with the consent of both United States attorneys.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 20 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

New Rule 20(d)(2) applies to juvenile cases and has been added to parallel a similar provision in new Rule 20(b). The new provision provides that after the court has determined that the provisions in Rule 20(d)(1) have been completed and the transfer is approved, the file (or certified copy) must be transmitted from the original court to the transferee court.

Amendment by Public Law

1975—Subd. (d). Pub. L. 94–64 amended subd. (d) generally.

Effective Date of Amendments Proposed April 22, 1974; Effective Date of 1975 Amendments

Amendments of this rule embraced in the order of the United States Supreme Court on Apr. 22, 1974, and the amendments of this rule made by section 3 of Pub. L. 94–64, effective Dec. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

Rule 21. Transfer for Trial

(a) For Prejudice. Upon the defendant's motion, the court must transfer the proceeding against that defendant to another district if the court is satisfied that so great a prejudice against the defendant exists in the transferring district that the defendant cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial there.

(b) For Convenience. Upon the defendant's motion, the court may transfer the proceeding, or one or more counts, against that defendant to another district for the convenience of the parties, any victim, and the witnesses, and in the interest of justice.

(c) Proceedings on Transfer. When the court orders a transfer, the clerk must send to the transferee district the file, or a certified copy, and any bail taken. The prosecution will then continue in the transferee district.

(d) Time to File a Motion to Transfer. A motion to transfer may be made at or before arraignment or at any other time the court or these rules prescribe.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 28, 2010, eff. Dec. 1, 2010.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivisions (a) and (b). 1. This rule introduces an addition to existing law. “Lawyers not thoroughly familiar with Federal practice are somewhat astounded to learn that they may not move for a change of venue, even if they are able to demonstrate that public feeling in the vicinity of the crime may render impossible a fair and impartial trial. This seems to be a defect in the federal law, which the proposed rules would cure.” Homer Cummings, 29 A.B.A.Jour. 655; Medalie, 4 Lawyers Guild R. (3)1, 5.

2. The rule provides for two kinds of motions that may be made by the defendant for a change of venue. The first is a motion on the ground that so great a prejudice exists against the defendant that he cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial in the district or division where the case is pending. Express provisions to a similar effect are found in many State statutes. See, e.g., Ala. Code (1940), Title 15, sec. 267; Cal.Pen.Code (Deering, 1941), sec. 1033; Conn.Gen.Stat. (1930), sec. 6445; Mass.Gen.Laws (1932) c. 277, sec. 51 (in capital cases); N.Y. Code of Criminal Procedure, sec. 344. The second is a motion for a change of venue in cases involving an offense alleged to have been committed in more than one district or division. In such cases the court, on defendant's motion, will be authorized to transfer the case to another district or division in which the commission of the offense is charged, if the court is satisfied that it is in the interest of justice to do so. The effect of this provision would be to modify the existing practice under which in such cases the Government has the final choice of the jurisdiction where the prosecution should be conducted. The matter will now be left in the discretion of the court.

3. The rule provides for a change of venue only on defendant's motion and does not extend the same right to the prosecution, since the defendant has a constitutional right to a trial in the district where the offense was committed. Constitution of the United States, Article III, Sec. 2, Par. 3; Amendment VI. By making a motion for a change of venue, however, the defendant waives this constitutional right.

4. This rule is in addition to and does not supersede existing statutes enabling a party to secure a change of judge on the ground of personal bias or prejudice, 28 U.S.C. 25 [now 144]; or enabling the defendant to secure a change of venue as of right in certain cases involving offenses committed in more than one district, 18 U.S.C. 338a(d) [now 876, 3239] (Mailing threatening communications); Id. sec. 403d(d) [now 875, 3239] (Threatening communications in interstate commerce).

Note to Subdivision (c). Cf. 28 U.S.C. 114 [now 1393, 1441] and Rule 20, supra.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Subdivision (a).—All references to divisions are eliminated in accordance with the amendment to Rule 18 eliminating division venue. The defendant is given the right to a transfer only when he can show that he cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial at any place fixed by law for holding court in the district. Transfers within the district to avoid prejudice will be within the power of the judge to fix the place of trial as provided in the amendments to Rule 18. It is also made clear that on a motion to transfer under this subdivision the court may select the district to which the transfer may be made. Cf. United States v. Parr, 17 F.R.D. 512, 519 (S.D.Tex. (1955); Parr v. United States, 351 U.S. 513 (1956).

Subdivision (b).—The original rule limited change of venue for reasons other than prejudice in the district to those cases where venue existed in more than one district. Upon occasion, however, convenience of the parties and witnesses and the interest of justice would best be served by trial in a district in which no part of the offense was committed. See, e.g., Travis v. United States, 364 U.S. 631 (1961), holding that the only venue of a charge of making or filing a false non-Communist affidavit required by §9(h) of the National Labor Relations Act is in Washington, D.C. even though all the relevant witnesses may be located at the place where the affidavit was executed and mailed. See also Barber, Venue in Federal Criminal Cases: A Plea for Return to Principle, 42 Tex.L.Rev. 39 (1963); Wright, Proposed Changes in Federal Civil, Criminal and Appellate Procedure, 35 F.R.D. 317, 329 (1964). The amendment permits a transfer in any case on motion of the defendant on a showing that it would be for the convenience of parties and witnesses, and in the interest of justice. Cf. 28 U.S.C. §1404(a), stating a similar standard for civil cases. See also Platt v. Minnesota Min. & Mfg. Co., 376 U.S.C. 240 (1964). Here, as in subdivision (a), the court may select the district to which the transfer is to be made. The amendment also makes it clear that the court may transfer all or part of the offenses charged in a multi-count indictment or information. Cf. United States v. Choate, 276 F.2d 724 (5th Cir. 1960). References to divisions are eliminated in accordance with the amendment to Rule 18.

Subdivision (c).—The reference to division is eliminated in accordance with the amendment to Rule 18.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 21 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Amended Rule 21(d) consists of what was formerly Rule 22. The Committee believed that the substance of Rule 22, which addressed the issue of the timing of motions to transfer, was more appropriate for inclusion in Rule 21.

Committee Notes on Rules—2010 Amendment

Subdivision (b). This amendment requires the court to consider the convenience of victims—as well as the convenience of the parties and witnesses and the interests of justice—in determining whether to transfer all or part of the proceeding to another district for trial. The Committee recognizes that the court has substantial discretion to balance any competing interests.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. No changes were made after the amendment was released for public comment.

Rule 22. [Transferred]

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

Rule 22 has been abrogated. The substance of the rule is now located in Rule 21(d).

TITLE VI. TRIAL

Rule 23. Jury or Nonjury Trial

(a) Jury Trial. If the defendant is entitled to a jury trial, the trial must be by jury unless:

(1) the defendant waives a jury trial in writing;

(2) the government consents; and

(3) the court approves.


(b) Jury Size.

(1) In General. A jury consists of 12 persons unless this rule provides otherwise.

(2) Stipulation for a Smaller Jury. At any time before the verdict, the parties may, with the court's approval, stipulate in writing that:

(A) the jury may consist of fewer than 12 persons; or

(B) a jury of fewer than 12 persons may return a verdict if the court finds it necessary to excuse a juror for good cause after the trial begins.


(3) Court Order for a Jury of 11. After the jury has retired to deliberate, the court may permit a jury of 11 persons to return a verdict, even without a stipulation by the parties, if the court finds good cause to excuse a juror.


(c) Nonjury Trial. In a case tried without a jury, the court must find the defendant guilty or not guilty. If a party requests before the finding of guilty or not guilty, the court must state its specific findings of fact in open court or in a written decision or opinion.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Pub. L. 95–78, §2(b), July 30, 1977, 91 Stat. 320; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. This rule is a formulation of the constitutional guaranty of trial by jury, Constitution of the United States, Article III, Sec. 2, Par. 3: “The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury * * *”; Amendment VI: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury * * *.” The right to a jury trial, however, does not apply to petty offenses, District of Columbia v. Clawans, 300 U.S. 617; Schick v. United States, 195 U.S. 65; Frankfurter and Corcoran, 39 Harv.L.R. 917. Cf. Rule 38(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix].

2. The provision for a waiver of jury trial by the defendant embodies existing practice, the constitutionality of which has been upheld, Patton v. United States, 281 U.S. 276; Adams v. United States ex rel. McCann, 317 U.S. 269; Cf. Rules 38 and 39 of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix]. Many States by express statutory provision permit waiver of jury trial in criminal cases. See A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure Commentaries, pp. 807–811.

Note to Subdivision (b). This rule would permit either a stipulation before the trial that the case be tried by a jury composed of less than 12 or a stipulation during the trial consenting that the case be submitted to less than 12 jurors. The second alternative is useful in case it becomes necessary during the trial to excuse a juror owing to illness or for some other cause and no alternate juror is available. The rule is a restatement of existing practice, the constitutionality of which was approved in Patton v. United States, 281 U.S. 276.

Note to Subdivision (c). This rule changes existing law in so far as it requires the court in a case tried without a jury to make special findings of fact if requested. Cf. Connecticut practice, under which a judge in a criminal case tried by the court without a jury makes findings of fact, State v. Frost, 105 Conn. 326.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

This amendment adds to the rule a provision added to Civil Rule 52(a) in 1946.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1977 Amendment

The amendment to subdivision (b) makes it clear that the parties, with the approval of the court, may enter into an agreement to have the case decided by less than twelve jurors if one or more jurors are unable or disqualified to continue. For many years the Eastern District of Virginia has used a form entitled, “Waiver of Alternate Jurors.” In a substantial percentage of cases the form is signed by the defendant, his attorney, and the Assistant United States Attorney in advance of trial, generally on the morning of trial. It is handled automatically by the courtroom deputy clerk who, after completion, exhibits it to the judge.

This practice would seem to be authorized by existing rule 23(b), but there has been some doubt as to whether the pretrial stipulation is effective unless again agreed to by a defendant at the time a juror or jurors have to be excused. See 8 J. Moore, Federal Practice  23.04 (2d. ed. Cipes, 1969); C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §373 (1969). The proposed amendment is intended to make clear that the pretrial stipulation is an effective waiver, which need not be renewed at the time the incapacity or disqualification of the juror becomes known.

In view of the fact that a defendant can make an effective pretrial waiver of trial by jury or by a jury of twelve, it would seem to follow that he can also effectively waive trial by a jury of twelve in situations where a juror or jurors cannot continue to serve.

As has been the practice under rule 23(b), a stipulation addressed to the possibility that some jurors may later be excused need not be open-ended. That is, the stipulation may be conditioned upon the jury not being reduced below a certain size. See, e.g., Williams v. United States, 332 F.2d 36 (7th Cir. 1964) (agreement to proceed if no more than 2 jurors excused for illness); Rogers v. United States, 319 F.2d 5 (7th Cir. 1963) (same).

Subdivision (c) is changed to make clear the deadline for making a request for findings of fact and to provide that findings may be oral. The oral findings, of course, become a part of the record, as findings of fact are essential to proper appellate review on a conviction resulting from a nonjury trial. United States v. Livingston, 459 F.2d 797 (3d Cir. 1972).

The meaning of current subdivision (c) has been in some doubt because there is no time specified within which a defendant must make a “request” that the court “find the facts specially.” See, e.g., United States v. Rivera, 444 F.2d 136 (2d Cir. 1971), where the request was not made until the sentence had been imposed. In the opinion the court said:

This situation might have raised the interesting and apparently undecided question of when a request for findings under Fed. R. Crim. P. 23(c) is too late, since Rivera's request was not made until the day after sentence was imposed. See generally Benchwick v. United States, 297 F.2d 330, 335 (9th Cir. 1961); United States v. Morris, 263 F.2d 594 (7th Cir. 1959).

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, Senate Report No. 95–354; 1977 Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court

Subsection (b) of section 2 of the bill simply approves the Supreme Court proposed changes in subdivisions (b) and (c) of rule 23 for the reasons given by the Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure to the Judicial Conference.

Congressional Approval of Proposed 1977 Amendments

Section 2(b) of Pub. L. 95–78 provided that: “The amendments proposed by the Supreme Court [in its order of Apr. 26, 1977] to subdivisions (b) and (c) of rule 23 of such Rules of Criminal Procedure [subd. (b) and (c) of this rule] are approved.”

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (b). The amendment to subdivision (b) addresses a situation which does not occur with great frequency but which, when it does occur, may present a most difficult issue concerning the fair and efficient administration of justice. This situation is that in which, after the jury has retired to consider its verdict and any alternate jurors have been discharged, one of the jurors is seriously incapacitated or otherwise found to be unable to continue service upon the jury. The problem is acute when the trial has been a lengthy one and consequently the remedy of mistrial would necessitate a second expenditure of substantial prosecution, defense and court resources. See, e.g., United States v. Meinster, 484 F.Supp. 442 (S.D.Fla. 1980), aff'd sub nom. United States v. Phillips, 664 F.2d 971 (5th Cir. 1981) (juror had heart attack during deliberations after “well over four months of trial”); United States v. Barone, 83 F.R.D. 565 (S.D. Fla. 1979) (juror removed upon recommendation of psychiatrist during deliberations after “approximately six months of trial”).

It is the judgment of the Committee that when a juror is lost during deliberations, especially in circumstances like those in Barone and Meinster, it is essential that there be available a course of action other than mistrial. Proceeding with the remaining 11 jurors, though heretofore impermissible under rule 23(b) absent stipulation by the parties and approval of the court, United States v. Taylor, 507 F.2d 166 (5th Cir. 1975), is constitutionally permissible. In Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78 (1970), the Court concluded

  the fact that the jury at common law was composed of precisely 12 is an historical accident, unnecessary to effect the purposes of the jury system and wholly without significance “except to mystics.” * * * To read the Sixth Amendment as forever codifying a feature so incidental to the real purpose of the Amendment is to ascribe a blind formalism to the Framers which would require considerably more evidence than we have been able to discover in the history and language of the Constitution or in the reasoning of our past decisions. * * * Our holding does no more than leave these considerations to Congress and the States, unrestrained by an interpretation of the Sixth Amendment which would forever dictate the precise number which can constitute a jury.

Williams held that a six-person jury was constitutional because such a jury had the “essential feature of a jury,” i.e., “the interposition between the accused and his accuser of the common-sense judgment of a group of laymen, and in the community participation and shared responsibility which results from that group's determination of guilt or innocence,” necessitating only a group “large enough to promote group deliberation, free from outside attempts at intimidation, and to provide a fair possibility for obtaining a representative cross section of the community.” This being the case, quite clearly the occasional use of a jury of slightly less than 12, as contemplated by the amendment to rule 23(b), is constitutional. Though the alignment of the Court and especially the separate opinion by Justice Powell in Apodoca v. Oregon, 406 U.S. 404 (1972), makes it at best uncertain whether less-than-unanimous verdicts would be constitutionally permissible in federal trials, it hardly follows that a requirement of unanimity of a group slightly less than 12 is similarly suspect.

The Meinster case clearly reflects the need for a solution other than mistrial. There twelve defendants were named in a 36-count, 100-page indictment for RICO offenses and related violations, and the trial lasted more than four months. Before the jury retired for deliberations, the trial judge inquired of defense counsel whether they would now agree to a jury of less than 12 should a juror later be unable to continue during the deliberations which were anticipated to be lengthy. All defense counsel rejected that proposal. When one juror was excused a day later after suffering a heart attack, all defense counsel again rejected the proposal that deliberations continue with the remaining 11 jurors. Thus, the solution now provided in rule 23(b), stipulation to a jury of less than 12, was not possible in that case, just as it will not be possible in any case in which defense counsel believe some tactical advantage will be gained by retrial. Yet, to declare a mistrial at that point would have meant that over four months of trial time would have gone for naught and that a comparable period of time would have to be expended on retrial. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the impact such a retrial would have upon that court's ability to comply with speedy trial limits in other cases, such a result is most undesirable.

That being the case, it is certainly understandable that the trial judge in Meinster (as in Barone) elected to substitute an alternate juror at that point. Given the rule 23(b) bar on a verdict of less than 12 absent stipulation, United States v. Taylor, supra, such substitution seemed the least objectionable course of action. But in terms of what change in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure is to be preferred in order to facilitate response to such situations in the future, the judgment of the Advisory Committee is that it is far better to permit the deliberations to continue with a jury of 11 than to make a substitution at that point.

In rejecting the substitution-of-juror alternative, the Committee's judgment is in accord with that of most commentators and many courts.

There have been proposals that the rule should be amended to permit an alternate to be substituted if a regular juror becomes unable to perform his duties after the case has been submitted to the jury. An early draft of the original Criminal Rules had contained such a provision, but it was withdrawn when the Supreme Court itself indicated to the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules doubts as to the desirability and constitutionality of such a procedure. These doubts are as forceful now as they were a quarter century ago. To permit substitution of an alternate after deliberations have begun would require either that the alternate participate though he has missed part of the jury discussion, or that he sit in with the jury in every case on the chance he might be needed. Either course is subject to practical difficulty and to strong constitutional objection.

Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure, §388 (1969). See also Moore, Federal Practice par. 24.05 (2d ed. Cipes 1980) (“The inherent coercive effect upon an alternate who joins a jury leaning heavily toward a guilty verdict may result in the alternate reaching a premature guilty verdict”); 3 ABA Standards for Criminal Justice §15–2.7, commentary (2d ed. 1980) (“It is not desirable to allow a juror who is unfamiliar with the prior deliberations to suddenly join the group and participate in the voting without the benefit of earlier group discussion”); United States v. Lamb, 529 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1975); People v. Ryan, 19 N.Y.2d 100, 224 N.E.2d 710 (1966). Compare People v. Collins, 17 Cal.3d 687, 131 Cal.Rptr. 782, 522 P.2d 742 (1976); Johnson v. State, 267 Ind. 256, 396 N.E.2d 623 (1977).

The central difficulty with substitution, whether viewed only as a practical problem or a question of constitutional dimensions (procedural due process under the Fifth Amendment or jury trial under the Sixth Amendment), is that there does not appear to be any way to nullify the impact of what has occurred without the participation of the new juror. Even were it required that the jury “review” with the new juror their prior deliberations or that the jury upon substitution start deliberations anew, it still seems likely that the continuing jurors would be influenced by the earlier deliberations and that the new juror would be somewhat intimidated by the others by virtue of being a newcomer to the deliberations. As for the possibility of sending in the alternates at the very beginning with instructions to listen but not to participate until substituted, this scheme is likewise attended by practical difficulties and offends “the cardinal principle that the deliberations of the jury shall remain private and secret in every case.” United States v. Virginia Erection Corp., 335 F.2d 868 (4th Cir. 1964).

The amendment provides that if a juror is excused after the jury has retired to consider its verdict, it is within the discretion of the court whether to declare a mistrial or to permit deliberations to continue with 11 jurors. If the trial has been brief and not much would be lost by retrial, the court might well conclude that the unusual step of allowing a jury verdict by less than 12 jurors absent stipulation should not be taken. On the other hand, if the trial has been protracted the court is much more likely to opt for continuing with the remaining 11 jurors.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 23 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

In current Rule 23(b), the term “just cause” has been replaced with the more familiar term “good cause,” that appears in other rules. No change in substance is intended.

Effective Date of 1977 Amendment

Amendment of this rule by order of the United States Supreme Court on Apr. 26, 1976, approved by Pub. L. 95–78, effective Oct. 1, 1977, see section 4 of Pub. L. 95–78, set out as an Effective Date of Pub. L. 95–78 note under section 2074 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Rule 24. Trial Jurors

(a) Examination.

(1) In General. The court may examine prospective jurors or may permit the attorneys for the parties to do so.

(2) Court Examination. If the court examines the jurors, it must permit the attorneys for the parties to:

(A) ask further questions that the court considers proper; or

(B) submit further questions that the court may ask if it considers them proper.


(b) Peremptory Challenges. Each side is entitled to the number of peremptory challenges to prospective jurors specified below. The court may allow additional peremptory challenges to multiple defendants, and may allow the defendants to exercise those challenges separately or jointly.

(1) Capital Case. Each side has 20 peremptory challenges when the government seeks the death penalty.

(2) Other Felony Case. The government has 6 peremptory challenges and the defendant or defendants jointly have 10 peremptory challenges when the defendant is charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than one year.

(3) Misdemeanor Case. Each side has 3 peremptory challenges when the defendant is charged with a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment of one year or less, or both.


(c) Alternate Jurors.

(1) In General. The court may impanel up to 6 alternate jurors to replace any jurors who are unable to perform or who are disqualified from performing their duties.

(2) Procedure.

(A) Alternate jurors must have the same qualifications and be selected and sworn in the same manner as any other juror.

(B) Alternate jurors replace jurors in the same sequence in which the alternates were selected. An alternate juror who replaces a juror has the same authority as the other jurors.


(3) Retaining Alternate Jurors. The court may retain alternate jurors after the jury retires to deliberate. The court must ensure that a retained alternate does not discuss the case with anyone until that alternate replaces a juror or is discharged. If an alternate replaces a juror after deliberations have begun, the court must instruct the jury to begin its deliberations anew.

(4) Peremptory Challenges. Each side is entitled to the number of additional peremptory challenges to prospective alternate jurors specified below. These additional challenges may be used only to remove alternate jurors.

(A) One or Two Alternates. One additional peremptory challenge is permitted when one or two alternates are impaneled.

(B) Three or Four Alternates. Two additional peremptory challenges are permitted when three or four alternates are impaneled.

(C) Five or Six Alternates. Three additional peremptory challenges are permitted when five or six alternates are impaneled.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 26, 1999, eff. Dec. 1, 1999; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). This rule is similar to Rule 47(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix] and also embodies the practice now followed by many Federal courts in criminal cases. Uniform procedure in civil and criminal cases on this point seems desirable.

Note to Subdivision (b). This rule embodies existing law, 28 U.S.C. 424 [now 1870] (Challenges), with the following modifications. In capital cases the number of challenges is equalized as between the defendant and the United States so that both sides have 20 challenges, which only the defendant has at present. While continuing the existing rule that multiple defendants are deemed a single party for purposes of challenges, the rule vests in the court discretion to allow additional peremptory challenges to multiple defendants and to permit such challenges to be exercised separately or jointly. Experience with cases involving numerous defendants indicates the desirability of this modification.

Note to Subdivision (c). This rule embodies existing law, 28 U.S.C. [former] 417a (Alternate jurors), as well as the practice prescribed for civil cases by Rule 47(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix], except that the number of possible alternate jurors that may be impaneled is increased from two to four, with a corresponding adjustment of challenges.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Experience has demonstrated that four alternate jurors may not be enough for some lengthy criminal trials. See e.g., United States v. Bentvena, 288 F.2d 442 (2d Cir. 1961); Reports of the Proceedings of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1961, p. 104. The amendment to the first sentence increases the number authorized from four to six. The fourth sentence is amended to provide an additional peremptory challenge where a fifth or sixth alternate juror is used.

The words “or are found to be” are added to the second sentence to make clear that an alternate juror may be called in the situation where it is first discovered during the trial that a juror was unable or disqualified to perform his duties at the time he was sworn. See United States v. Goldberg, 330 F.2d 30 (3rd Cir. 1964), cert. den. 377 U.S. 953 (1964).

Congressional Disapproval of Proposed 1977 Amendment

Section 2(c) of Pub. L. 95–78, July 30, 1977, 91 Stat. 320, effective Oct. 1, 1977, provided that: “The amendment proposed by the Supreme Court [in its order of Apr. 26, 1977] to rule 24 of such Rules of Criminal Procedure is disapproved and shall not take effect.”

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—1999 Amendment

As currently written, Rule 24(c) explicitly requires the court to discharge all of the alternate jurors—who have not been selected to replace other jurors—when the jury retires to deliberate. That requirement is grounded on the concern that after the case has been submitted to the jury, its deliberations must be private and inviolate. United States v. Houlihan, 92 F.3d 1271, 1285 (1st Cir. 1996), citing United States v. Virginia Election Corp., 335 F.2d 868, 872 (4th Cir. 1964).

Rule 23(b) provides that in some circumstances a verdict may be returned by eleven jurors. In addition, there may be cases where it is better to retain the alternates when the jury retires, insulate them from the deliberation process, and have them available should one or more vacancies occur in the jury. That might be especially appropriate in a long, costly, and complicated case. To that end the Committee believed that the court should have the discretion to decide whether to retain or discharge the alternates at the time the jury retires to deliberate and to use Rule 23(b) to proceed with eleven jurors or to substitute a juror or jurors with alternate jurors who have not been discharged.

In order to protect the sanctity of the deliberative process, the rule requires the court to take appropriate steps to insulate the alternate jurors. That may be done, for example, by separating the alternates from the deliberating jurors and instructing the alternate jurors not to discuss the case with any other person until they replace a regular juror. See, e.g., United States v. Olano, 507 U.S. 725 (1993) (not plain error to permit alternate jurors to sit in during deliberations); United States v. Houlihan, 92 F.3d 1271, 1286–88 (1st Cir. 1996) (harmless error to retain alternate jurors in violation of Rule 24(c); in finding harmless error the court cited the steps taken by the trial judge to insulate the alternates). If alternates are used, the jurors must be instructed that they must begin their deliberations anew.

Finally, subsection (c) has been reorganized and restyled.

GAP Report—Rule 24(c). The final sentence of Rule 24(c) was moved from the committee note to the rule to emphasize that if an alternate replaces a juror during deliberations, the court shall instruct the jury to begin its deliberations anew.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 24 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

In restyling Rule 24(a), the Committee deleted the language that authorized the defendant to conduct voir dire of prospective jurors. The Committee believed that the current language was potentially ambiguous and could lead one incorrectly to conclude that a defendant, represented by counsel, could personally conduct voir dire or additional voir dire. The Committee believed that the intent of the current provision was to permit a defendant to participate personally in voir dire only if the defendant was acting pro se. Amended Rule 24(a) refers only to attorneys for the parties, i.e., the defense counsel and the attorney for the government, with the understanding that if the defendant is not represented by counsel, the court may still, in its discretion, permit the defendant to participate in voir dire. In summary, the Committee intends no change in practice.

Finally, the rule authorizes the court in multi-defendant cases to grant additional peremptory challenges to the defendants. If the court does so, the prosecution may request additional challenges in a multi-defendant case, not to exceed the total number available to the defendants jointly. The court, however, is not required to equalize the number of challenges where additional challenges are granted to the defendant.

Rule 25. Judge's Disability

(a) During Trial. Any judge regularly sitting in or assigned to the court may complete a jury trial if:

(1) the judge before whom the trial began cannot proceed because of death, sickness, or other disability; and

(2) the judge completing the trial certifies familiarity with the trial record.


(b) After a Verdict or Finding of Guilty.

(1) In General. After a verdict or finding of guilty, any judge regularly sitting in or assigned to a court may complete the court's duties if the judge who presided at trial cannot perform those duties because of absence, death, sickness, or other disability.

(2) Granting a New Trial. The successor judge may grant a new trial if satisfied that:

(A) a judge other than the one who presided at the trial cannot perform the post-trial duties; or

(B) a new trial is necessary for some other reason.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

This rule is similar to Rule 63 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix]. See also, 28 U.S.C. [former] 776 (Bill of exceptions; authentication; signing of by judge).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

In September, 1963, the Judicial Conference of the United States approved a recommendation of its Committee on Court Administration that provision be made for substitution of a judge who becomes disabled during trial. The problem has become serious because of the increase in the number of long criminal trials. See 1963 Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, p. 114, reporting a 25% increase in criminal trials lasting more than one week in fiscal year 1963 over 1962.

Subdivision (a).—The amendment casts the rule into two subdivisions and in subdivision (a) provides for substitution of a judge during a jury trial upon his certification that he has familiarized himself with the record of the trial. For similar provisions see Alaska Rules of Crim. Proc., Rule 25; California Penal Code, §1053.

Subdivision (b).—The words “from the district” are deleted to permit the local judge to act in those situations where a judge who has been assigned from within the district to try the case is, at the time for sentence, etc., back at his regular place of holding court which may be several hundred miles from the place of trial. It is not intended, of course, that substitutions shall be made where the judge who tried the case is available within a reasonable distance from the place of trial.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 25 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Rule 25(b)(2) addresses the possibility of a new trial when a judge determines that no other judge could perform post-trial duties or when the judge determines that there is some other reason for doing so. The current rule indicates that those reasons must be “appropriate.” The Committee, however, believed that a better term would be “necessary,” because that term includes notions of manifest necessity. No change in meaning or practice is intended.

Rule 26. Taking Testimony

In every trial the testimony of witnesses must be taken in open court, unless otherwise provided by a statute or by rules adopted under 28 U.S.C. §§2072–2077.

(As amended Nov. 20, 1972, eff. July 1, 1975; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

1. This rule contemplates the development of a uniform body of rules of evidence to be applicable in trials of criminal cases in the Federal courts. It is based on Funk v. United States, 290 U.S. 371, and Wolfle v. United States, 291 U.S. 7, which indicated that in the absence of statute the Federal courts in criminal cases are not bound by the State law of evidence, but are guided by common law principles as interpreted by the Federal courts “in the light of reason and experience.” The rule does not fetter the applicable law of evidence to that originally existing at common law. It is contemplated that the law may be modified and adjusted from time to time by judicial decisions. See Homer Cummings, 29 A.B.A.Jour. 655; Vanderbilt, 29 A.B.A.Jour. 377; Holtzoff, 12 George Washington L.R. 119, 131–132; Holtzoff, 3 F.R.D. 445, 453; Howard, 51 Yale L.Jour. 763; Medalie, 4 Lawyers Guild R. (3)1, 5–6.

2. This rule differs from the corresponding rule for civil cases (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 43(a) [28 U.S.C., Appendix]), in that this rule contemplates a uniform body of rules of evidence to govern in criminal trials in the Federal courts, while the rule for civil cases prescribes partial conformity to State law and, therefore, results in a divergence as between various districts. Since in civil actions in which Federal jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship, the State substantive law governs the rights of the parties, uniformity of rules of evidence among different districts does not appear necessary. On the other hand, since all Federal crimes are statutory and all criminal prosecutions in the Federal courts are based on acts of Congress, uniform rules of evidence appear desirable if not essential in criminal cases, as otherwise the same facts under differing rules of evidence may lead to a conviction in one district and to an acquittal in another.

3. This rule expressly continues existing statutes governing the admissibility of evidence and the competency and privileges of witnesses. Among such statutes are the following:


U.S.C., Title 8:

 Section 138 [see 1326, 1328, 1329] (Importation of aliens for immoral purposes; attempt to re-enter after deportation; penalty)


U.S.C., Title 28:

 Section 632 [now 18 U.S.C. 3481] (Competency of witnesses governed by State laws; defendants in criminal cases)

 Section 633 [former] (Competency of witnesses governed by State laws; husband or wife of defendant in prosecution for bigamy)

 Section 634 [former] (Testimony of witnesses before Congress)

 Section 638 [now 1731] (Comparison of handwriting to determine genuineness)

 Section 695 [now 1732] (Admissibility)

 Section 695a [now 18 U.S.C. 3491] (Foreign documents)


U.S.C., Title 46:

 Section 193 (Bills of lading to be issued; contents)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

The first sentence is retained, with appropriate narrowing of the title, since its subject is not covered in the Rules of Evidence. The second sentence is deleted because the Rules of Evidence govern admissibility of evidence, competency of witnesses, and privilege. The language is broadened, however, to take account of the Rules of Evidence and any other rules adopted by the Supreme Court.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 26 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Rule 26 is amended, by deleting the word “orally,” to accommodate witnesses who are not able to present oral testimony in open court and may need, for example, a sign language interpreter. The change conforms the rule, in that respect, to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 43.

Effective Date of Amendment Proposed November 20, 1972

Amendment of this rule embraced by the order entered by the Supreme Court of the United States on November 20, 1972, effective on the 180th day beginning after January 2, 1975, see section 3 of Pub. L. 93–595, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1959, set out as a note under section 2074 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Rule 26.1. Foreign Law Determination

A party intending to raise an issue of foreign law must provide the court and all parties with reasonable written notice. Issues of foreign law are questions of law, but in deciding such issues a court may consider any relevant material or source—including testimony—without regard to the Federal Rules of Evidence.

(Added Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; amended Nov. 20, 1972, eff. July 1, 1975; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966

The original Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure did not contain a provision explicitly regulating the determination of foreign law. The resolution of issues of foreign law, when relevant in federal criminal proceedings, falls within the general compass of Rule 26 which provides for application of “the [evidentiary] principles of the common law as they may be interpreted by the courts of the United States in the light of reason and experience.” See Green, Preliminary Report on the Advisability and Feasibility of Developing Uniform Rules of Evidence for the United States District Courts 6–7, 17–18 (1962). Although traditional “commonlaw” methods for determining foreign-country law have proved inadequate, the courts have not developed more appropriate practices on the basis of this flexible rule. Cf. Green, op. cit. supra at 26–28. On the inadequacy of common-law procedures for determining foreign law, see, e.g., Nussbaum, Proving the Law of Foreign Countries, 3 Am.J.Comp.L. 60 (1954).

Problems of foreign law that must be resolved in accordance with the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are most likely to arise in places such as Washington, D.C., the Canal Zone, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, where the federal courts have general criminal jurisdiction. However, issues of foreign law may also arise in criminal proceedings commenced in other federal districts. For example, in an extradition proceeding, reasonable ground to believe that the person sought to be extradited is charged with, or was convicted of, a crime under the laws of the demanding state must generally be shown. See Factor v. Laubenheimer, 290 U.S. 276 (1933); Fernandez v. Phillips, 268 U.S. 311 (1925); Bishop International Law: Cases and Materials (2d ed. 1962). Further, foreign law may be invoked to justify non-compliance with a subpoena duces tecum, Application of Chase Manhattan Bank, 297 F.2d 611 (2d Cir. 1962), and under certain circumstances, as a defense to prosecution. Cf. American Banana Co. v. United Fruit Co., 213 U.S. 347 (1909). The content of foreign law may also be relevant in proceedings arising under 18 U.S.C. §§1201, 2312–2317.

Rule 26.1 is substantially the same as Civil Rule 44.1. A full explanation of the merits and practicability of the rule appear in the Advisory Committee's Note to Civil Rule 44.1. It is necessary here to add only one comment to the explanations there made. The second sentence of the rule frees the court from the restraints of the ordinary rules of evidence in determining foreign law. This freedom, made necessary by the peculiar nature of the issue of foreign law, should not constitute an unconstitutional deprivation of the defendant's rights to confrontation of witnesses. The issue is essentially one of law rather than of fact. Furthermore, the cases have held that the Sixth Amendment does not serve as a rigid barrier against the development of reasonable and necessary exceptions to the hearsay rule. See Kay v. United States, 255 F.2d 476, 480 (4th Cir. 1958), cert. den., 358 U.S. 825 (1958); Matthews v. United States, 217 F.2d 409, 418 (5th Cir. 1954); United States v. Leathers, 135 F.2d 507 (2d Cir. 1943); and cf., Painter v. Texas, 85 S.Ct. 1065 (1965); Douglas v. Alabama, 85 S.Ct. 1074 (1965).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Since the purpose is to free the judge, in determining foreign law, from restrictive evidentiary rules, the reference is made to the Rules of Evidence generally.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 26.1 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Evidence, referred to in text, are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of Amendment Proposed November 20, 1972

Amendment of this rule embraced by the order entered by the Supreme Court of the United States on November 20, 1972, effective on the 180th day beginning after January 2, 1975, see section 3 of Pub. L. 93–595, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1959, set out as a note under section 2074 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Rule 26.2. Producing a Witness's Statement

(a) Motion to Produce. After a witness other than the defendant has testified on direct examination, the court, on motion of a party who did not call the witness, must order an attorney for the government or the defendant and the defendant's attorney to produce, for the examination and use of the moving party, any statement of the witness that is in their possession and that relates to the subject matter of the witness's testimony.

(b) Producing the Entire Statement. If the entire statement relates to the subject matter of the witness's testimony, the court must order that the statement be delivered to the moving party.

(c) Producing a Redacted Statement. If the party who called the witness claims that the statement contains information that is privileged or does not relate to the subject matter of the witness's testimony, the court must inspect the statement in camera. After excising any privileged or unrelated portions, the court must order delivery of the redacted statement to the moving party. If the defendant objects to an excision, the court must preserve the entire statement with the excised portion indicated, under seal, as part of the record.

(d) Recess to Examine a Statement. The court may recess the proceedings to allow time for a party to examine the statement and prepare for its use.

(e) Sanction for Failure to Produce or Deliver a Statement. If the party who called the witness disobeys an order to produce or deliver a statement, the court must strike the witness's testimony from the record. If an attorney for the government disobeys the order, the court must declare a mistrial if justice so requires.

(f) “Statement” Defined. As used in this rule, a witness's “statement” means:

(1) a written statement that the witness makes and signs, or otherwise adopts or approves;

(2) a substantially verbatim, contemporaneously recorded recital of the witness's oral statement that is contained in any recording or any transcription of a recording; or

(3) the witness's statement to a grand jury, however taken or recorded, or a transcription of such a statement.


(g) Scope. This rule applies at trial, at a suppression hearing under Rule 12, and to the extent specified in the following rules:

(1) Rule 5.1(h) (preliminary hearing);

(2) Rule 32(i)(2) (sentencing);

(3) Rule 32.1(e) (hearing to revoke or modify probation or supervised release);

(4) Rule 46(j) (detention hearing); and

(5) Rule 8 of the Rules Governing Proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §2255.

(Added Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Dec. 1, 1980; amended Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 24, 1998, eff. Dec. 1, 1998; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979

S. 1437, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. (1977), would place in the criminal rules the substance of what is now 18 U.S.C. §3500 (the Jencks Act). Underlying this and certain other additions to the rules contemplated by S. 1437 is the notion that provisions which are purely procedural in nature should appear in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure rather than in Title 18. See Reform of the Federal Criminal Laws, Part VI: Hearings on S. 1, S. 716, and S. 1400, Subcomm. on Criminal Laws and Procedures, Senate Judiciary Comm., 93rd Cong., 1st Sess. (statement of Judge Albert B. Maris, at page 5503). Rule 26.2 is identical to the S.1437 rule except as indicated by the marked additions and deletions. As those changes show, rule 26.2 provides for production of the statements of defense witnesses at trial in essentially the same manner as is now provided for with respect to the statements of government witnesses. Thus, the proposed rule reflects these two judgments: (i) that the subject matter—production of the statements of witnesses—is more appropriately dealt with in the criminal rules; and (ii) that in light of United States v. Nobles, 422 U.S. 225 (1975), it is important to establish procedures for the production of defense witnesses’ statements as well. The rule is not intended to discourage the practice of voluntary disclosure at an earlier time so as to avoid delays at trial.

In Nobles, defense counsel sought to introduce the testimony of a defense investigator who prior to trial had interviewed prospective prosecution witnesses and had prepared a report embodying the essence of their conversation. When the defendant called the investigator to impeach eyewitness testimony identifying the defendant as the robber, the trial judge granted the prosecutor the right to inspect those portions of the investigator's report relating to the witnesses’ statements, as a potential basis for cross-examination of the investigator. When the defense declined to produce the report, the trail judge refused to permit the investigator to testify. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the trail court's actions, finding that neither the Fifth nor Sixth Amendments nor the attorney work product doctrine prevented disclosure of such a document at trial. Noting “the federal judiciary's inherent power to require the prosecution to produce the previously recorded statements of its witnesses so that the defense may get the full benefit of cross-examinations and the truth-finding process may be enhanced,” the Court rejected the notion “that the Fifth amendment renders criminal discovery ‘basically a one-way street,’ ” and thus concluded that “in a proper case, the prosecution can call upon that same power for production of witness statements that facilitate ‘full disclosure of all the [relevant] facts.’ ”

The rule, consistent with the reasoning in Nobles, is designed to place the disclosure of prior relevant statements of a defense witness in the possession of the defense on the same legal footing as is the disclosure of prior statements of prosecution witnesses in the hands of the government under the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. §3500 (which S. 1437 would replace with the rule set out therein). See United States v. Pulvirenti, 408 F.Supp. 12 (E.D.Mich. 1976), holding that under Nobles “[t]he obligation [of disclosure] placed on the defendant should be the reciprocal of that placed upon the government * * * [as] defined by the Jencks Act.” Several state courts have likewise concluded that witness statements in the hands of the defense at trial should be disclosed on the same basis that prosecution witness statements are disclosed, in order to promote the concept of the trail as a search for truth. See, e.g., People v. Sanders, 110 Ill.App.2d 85, 249 N.E.2d 124 (1969); State v. Montague, 55 N.J. 371, 262 A.2d 398 (1970); People v. Damon, 24 N.Y.2d 256, 299 N.Y.S.2d 830, 247 N.E.2d 651 (1959).

The rule, with minor exceptions, makes the procedure identical for both prosecution and defense witnesses, including the provision directing the court, whenever a claim is made that disclosure would be improper because the statement contains irrelevant matter, to examine the statements in camera and excise such matter as should not be disclosed. This provision acts as a safeguard against abuse and will enable a defendant who believes that a demand is being improperly made to secure a swift and just resolution of the issue.

The treatment as to defense witnesses of necessity differs slightly from the treatment as to prosecution witnesses in terms of the sanction for a refusal to comply with the court's disclosure order. Under the Jencks Act and the rule proposed in S. 1437, if the prosecution refuses to abide by the court's order, the court is required to strike the witness's testimony unless in its discretion it determines that the more serious sanction of a mistrial in favor of the accused is warranted. Under this rule, if a defendant refuses to comply with the court's disclosure order, the court's only alternative is to enter an order striking or precluding the testimony of the witness, as was done in Nobles.

Under subdivision (a) of the rule, the motion for production may be made by “a party who did not call the witness.” Thus, it also requires disclosure of statements in the possession of either party when the witness is called neither by the prosecution nor the defense but by the court pursuant to the Federal Rules of Evidence. Present law does not deal with this situation, which consistency requires be treated in an identical manner as the disclosure of statements of witnesses called by a party to the case.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

New subdivision (g) recognizes other contemporaneous amendments in the Rules of Criminal Procedure which extend the application of Rule 26.2 to other proceedings. Those changes are thus consistent with the extension of Rule 26.2 in 1983 to suppression hearings conducted under Rule 12. See Rule 12(i).

In extending Rule 26.2 to suppression hearings in 1983, the Committee offered several reasons. First, production of witness statements enhances the ability of the court to assess the witnesses’ credibility and thus assists the court in making accurate factual determinations at suppression hearings. Second, because witnesses testifying at a suppression hearing may not necessarily testify at the trial itself, waiting until after a witness testifies at trial before requiring production of that witness's statement would be futile. Third, the Committee believed that it would be feasible to leave the suppression issue open until trial, where Rule 26.2 would then be applicable. Finally, one of the central reasons for requiring production of statements at suppression hearings was the recognition that by its nature, the results of a suppression hearing have a profound and ultimate impact on the issues presented at trial.

The reasons given in 1983 for extending Rule 26.2 to a suppression hearing are equally compelling with regard to other adversary type hearings which ultimately depend on accurate and reliable information. That is, there is a continuing need for information affecting the credibility of witnesses who present testimony. And that need exists without regard to whether the witness is presenting testimony at a pretrial hearing, at a trial, or at a post-trial proceeding.

As noted in the 1983 Advisory Committee Note to Rule 12(i), the courts have generally declined to extend the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. §3500, beyond the confines of actual trial testimony. That result will be obviated by the addition of Rule 26.2(g) and amendments to the Rules noted in that new subdivision.

Although amendments to Rules 32, 32.1, 46, and Rule 8 of the Rules Governing Proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §2255 specifically address the requirement of producing a witness's statement, Rule 26.2 has become known as the central “rule” requiring production of statements. Thus, the references in the Rule itself will assist the bench and bar in locating other Rules which include similar provisions.

The amendment to Rule 26.2 and the other designated Rules is not intended to require production of a witness's statement before the witness actually testifies.

Minor conforming amendments have been made to subsection (d) to reflect that Rule 26.2 will be applicable to proceedings other than the trial itself. And language has been added to subsection (c) to recognize explicitly that privileged matter may be excised from the witness's prior statement.

Committee Notes on Rules—1998 Amendment

The amendment to subdivision (g) mirrors similar amendments made in 1993 to this rule and to other Rules of Criminal Procedure which extended the application of Rule 26.2 to other proceedings, both pretrial and post-trial. This amendment extends the requirement of producing a witness’ statement to preliminary examinations conducted under Rule 5.1.

Subdivision (g)(1) has been amended to reflect changes to Rule 32.

Changes Made to Rule 26.2 After Publication (“GAP Report”). The Committee made no changes to the published draft.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 26.2 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Current Rule 26.2(c) states that if the court withholds a portion of a statement, over the defendant's objection, “the attorney for the government” must preserve the statement. The Committee believed that the better rule would be for the court to simply seal the entire statement as a part of the record, in the event that there is an appeal.

Also, the terminology in Rule 26.2(c) has been changed. The rule now speaks in terms of a “redacted” statement instead of an “excised” statement. No change in practice is intended.

Finally, the list of proceedings in Rule 26.2(g) has been placed in rule-number order.

References in Text

The Rules Governing Proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §2255, referred to in subd. (g)(5), are set out under section 2255 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of Rule

This rule added by order of the United States Supreme Court of Apr. 30, 1979, effective Dec. 1, 1980, see section 1(1) of Pub. L. 96–42, July 31, 1979, 93 Stat. 326, set out as a note under section 2074 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Rule 26.3. Mistrial

Before ordering a mistrial, the court must give each defendant and the government an opportunity to comment on the propriety of the order, to state whether that party consents or objects, and to suggest alternatives.

(Added Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; amended Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993

Rule 26.3 is a new rule designed to reduce the possibility of an erroneously ordered mistrial which could produce adverse and irretrievable consequences. The Rule is not designed to change the substantive law governing mistrials. Instead it is directed at providing both sides an opportunity to place on the record their views about the proposed mistrial order. In particular, the court must give each side an opportunity to state whether it objects or consents to the order.

Several cases have held that retrial of a defendant was barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution because the trial court had abused its discretion in declaring a mistrial. See United States v. Dixon, 913 F.2d 1305 (8th Cir. 1990); United States v. Bates, 917 F.2d 388 (9th Cir. 1990). In both cases the appellate courts concluded that the trial court had acted precipitately and had failed to solicit the parties’ views on the necessity of a mistrial and the feasibility of any alternative action. The new Rule is designed to remedy that situation.

The Committee regards the Rule as a balanced and modest procedural device that could benefit both the prosecution and the defense. While the Dixon and Bates decisions adversely affected the government's interest in prosecuting serious crimes, the new Rule could also benefit defendants. The Rule ensures that a defendant has the opportunity to dissuade a judge from declaring a mistrial in a case where granting one would not be an abuse of discretion, but the defendant believes that the prospects for a favorable outcome before that particular court, or jury, are greater than they might be upon retrial.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 26.3 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Rule 27. Proving an Official Record

A party may prove an official record, an entry in such a record, or the lack of a record or entry in the same manner as in a civil action.

(As amended Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

This rule incorporates by reference Rule 44 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C., Appendix, which provided a simple and uniform method of proving public records and entry or lack of entry therein. The rule does not supersede statutes regulating modes of proof in respect to specific official records. In such cases parties have the option of following the general rule or the pertinent statute. Among the many statutes are:


U.S.C., Title 28:

 Section 661 [now 1733] (Copies of department or corporation records and papers; admissibility; seal)

 Section 662 [now 1733] (Same; in office of General Counsel of the Treasury)

 Section 663 [now 1733] (Instruments and papers of Comptroller of Currency; admissibility)

 Section 664 [now 1733] (Organization certificates of national banks; admissibility)

 Section 665 [now 1733] (Transcripts from books of Treasury in suits against delinquents; admissibility)

 Section 666 [now 1733] (Same; certificate by Secretary or Assistant Secretary)

 Section 668 [now 18 U.S.C. 3497] (Same; indictments for embezzlement of public moneys)

 Section 669 [former] (Copies of returns in returns office admissible)

 Section 670 [now 1743] (Admissibility of copies of statements of demands by Post Office Department)

 Section 671 [now 1733] (Admissibility of copies of post office records and statement of accounts)

 Section 672 [see 1733] (Admissibility of copies of records in General Land Office)

 Section 673 [now 1744] (Admissibility of copies of records, and so forth, of Patent Office)

 Section 674 [now 1745] (Copies of foreign letters patent as prima facie evidence)

 Section 675 [former] (Copies of specifications and drawings of patents admissible)

 Section 676 [now 1736] (Extracts from Journals of Congress admissible when injunction of secrecy removed)

 Section 677 [now 1740] (Copies of records in offices of United States consuls admissible)

 Section 678 [former] (Books and papers in certain district courts)

 Section 679 [former] (Records in clerks’ offices, western district of North Carolina)

 Section 680 [former] (Records in clerks’ offices of former district of California)

 Section 681 [now 1734] (Original records lost or destroyed; certified copy admissible)

 Section 682 [now 1734] (Same; when certified copy not obtainable)

 Section 685 [now 1735] (Same; certified copy of official papers)

 Section 687 [now 1738] (Authentication of legislative acts; proof of judicial proceedings of State)

 Section 688 [now 1739] (Proofs of records in offices not pertaining to courts)

 Section 689 [now 1742] (Copies of foreign records relating to land titles)

 Section 695a–695h [now 18 U.S.C. 3491–3496; 22 U.S.C. 1204; 1741] (Foreign documents)


U.S.C., Title 1:

 Section 30 [now 112] (Statutes at Large; contents; admissibility in evidence)

 Section 30a [now 113] (“Little and Brown's” edition of laws and treaties competent evidence of Acts of Congress)

 Section 54 [now 204] (Codes and Supplements as establishing prima facie the Laws of United States and District of Columbia, citation of Codes and Supplements)

 Section 55 [now 209] (Copies of Supplements to Code of Laws of United States and of District of Columbia Code and Supplements; conclusive evidence of original)


U.S.C., Title 5:

 Section 490 [see 28 U.S.C. 1733] (Records of Department of Interior; authenticated copies as evidence)


U.S.C., Title 8:

 Section 717(b) [see 1435, 1482] (Former citizens of United States excepted from certain requirements; citizenship lost by spouse's alienage or loss of United States citizenship, or by entering armed forces of foreign state or acquiring its nationality)

 Section 727(g) [see 1443] (Administration of naturalization laws; rules and regulations; instruction in citizenship; forms; oaths; depositions; documents in evidence; photographic studio)


U.S.C., Title 15:

 Section 127 [see 1057(e)] (Trade-marks; copies of records as evidence)


U.S.C., Title 20:

 Section 52 (Smithsonian Institution; evidence of title to site and buildings)


U.S.C., Title 25:

 Section 6 (Bureau of Indian Affairs; seal; authenticated and certified documents; evidence)


U.S.C., Title 31:

 Section 46 [see 704] (Laws governing General Accounting Office; copies of books, records, etc., thereof as evidence)


U.S.C., Title 38:

 Section 11g [see 302] (Seal of Veterans’ Administration; authentication of copies of records)


U.S.C., Title 43:

 Section 57 (Authenticated copies or extracts from records as evidence)

 Section 58 (Transcripts from records of Louisiana)

 Section 59 (Official papers in office of surveyor general in California; papers; copies)

 Section 83 (Transcripts of records as evidence)


U.S.C., Title 44:

 Section 300h [now 2112] (National Archives; seal; reproduction of archives; fee; admissibility in evidence of reproductions)

 Section 307 [now 1507] (Filing document as constructive notice; publication in Register as presumption of validity; judicial notice; citation)


U.S.C., Title 47:

 Section 412 (Documents filed with Federal Communications Commission as public records; prima facie evidence; confidential records)


U.S.C., Title 49:

 Section 16 [now 10303] (Orders of Commission and enforcement thereof; forfeitures—(13) copies of schedules, tariffs, contracts, etc., kept as public records; evidence)

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 27 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Rule 28. Interpreters

The court may select, appoint, and set the reasonable compensation for an interpreter. The compensation must be paid from funds provided by law or by the government, as the court may direct.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Nov. 20, 1972, eff. July 1, 1975; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

The power of the court to call its own witnesses, though rarely invoked, is recognized in the Federal courts, Young v. United States, 107 F.2d 490 (C.C.A. 5th); Litsinger v. United States, 44 F.2d 45 (C.C.A. 7th). This rule provides a procedure whereby the court may, if it chooses, exercise this power in connection with expert witnesses. The rule is based, in part, on the Uniform Expert Testimony Act, drafted by the Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Hand Book of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (1937), 337; see, also, Wigmore—Evidence, 3d Ed., sec. 563; A.L.I. Code of Criminal Procedure, secs. 307–309; National Commission on Law of Observance and Enforcement—Report on Criminal Procedure, 37. Similar provisions are found in the statutes of a number of States: Wisconsin—Wis.Stat. (1941), sec. 357.12; Indiana—Ind.Stat.Ann. (Burns, 1933), sec. 9–1702; California—Cal.Pen.Code (Deering, 1941), sec. 1027.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Subdivision (a).—The original rule is made a separate subdivision. The amendment permits the court to inform the witness of his duties in writing since it often constitutes an unnecessary inconvenience and expense to require the witness to appear in court for such purpose.

Subdivision (b).—This new subdivision authorizes the court to appoint and provide for the compensation of interpreters. General language is used to give discretion to the court to appoint interpreters in all appropriate situations. Interpreters may be needed to interpret the testimony of non-English speaking witnesses or to assist non-English speaking defendants in understanding the proceedings or in communicating with assigned counsel. Interpreters may also be needed where a witness or a defendant is deaf.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Subdivision (a). This subdivision is stricken, since the subject of court-appointed expert witnesses is covered in Evidence Rule 706 in detail.

Subdivision (b). The provisions of subdivision (b) are retained. Although Evidence Rule 703 specifies the qualifications of interpreters and the form of oath to be administered to them, it does not cover their appointment or compensation.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 28 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Effective Date of Amendment Proposed November 20, 1972

Amendment of this rule embraced by the order entered by the Supreme Court of the United States on November 20, 1972, effective on the 180th day beginning after January 2, 1975, see section 3 of Pub. L. 93–595, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1959, set out as a note under section 2074 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Rule 29. Motion for a Judgment of Acquittal

(a) Before Submission to the Jury. After the government closes its evidence or after the close of all the evidence, the court on the defendant's motion must enter a judgment of acquittal of any offense for which the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction. The court may on its own consider whether the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction. If the court denies a motion for a judgment of acquittal at the close of the government's evidence, the defendant may offer evidence without having reserved the right to do so.

(b) Reserving Decision. The court may reserve decision on the motion, proceed with the trial (where the motion is made before the close of all the evidence), submit the case to the jury, and decide the motion either before the jury returns a verdict or after it returns a verdict of guilty or is discharged without having returned a verdict. If the court reserves decision, it must decide the motion on the basis of the evidence at the time the ruling was reserved.

(c) After Jury Verdict or Discharge.

(1) Time for a Motion. A defendant may move for a judgment of acquittal, or renew such a motion, within 14 days after a guilty verdict or after the court discharges the jury, whichever is later.

(2) Ruling on the Motion. If the jury has returned a guilty verdict, the court may set aside the verdict and enter an acquittal. If the jury has failed to return a verdict, the court may enter a judgment of acquittal.

(3) No Prior Motion Required. A defendant is not required to move for a judgment of acquittal before the court submits the case to the jury as a prerequisite for making such a motion after jury discharge.


(d) Conditional Ruling on a Motion for a New Trial.

(1) Motion for a New Trial. If the court enters a judgment of acquittal after a guilty verdict, the court must also conditionally determine whether any motion for a new trial should be granted if the judgment of acquittal is later vacated or reversed. The court must specify the reasons for that determination.

(2) Finality. The court's order conditionally granting a motion for a new trial does not affect the finality of the judgment of acquittal.

(3) Appeal.

(A) Grant of a Motion for a New Trial. If the court conditionally grants a motion for a new trial and an appellate court later reverses the judgment of acquittal, the trial court must proceed with the new trial unless the appellate court orders otherwise.

(B) Denial of a Motion for a New Trial. If the court conditionally denies a motion for a new trial, an appellee may assert that the denial was erroneous. If the appellate court later reverses the judgment of acquittal, the trial court must proceed as the appellate court directs.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Pub. L. 99–646, §54(a), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3607; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 25, 2005, eff. Dec. 1, 2005; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). 1. The purpose of changing the name of a motion for a directed verdict to a motion for judgment of acquittal is to make the nomenclature accord with the realities. The change of nomenclature, however, does not modify the nature of the motion or enlarge the scope of matters that may be considered.

2. The second sentence is patterned on New York Code of Criminal Procedure, sec. 410.

3. The purpose of the third sentence is to remove the doubt existing in a few jurisdictions on the question whether the defendant is deemed to have rested his case if he moves for a directed verdict at the close of the prosecution's case. The purpose of the rule is expressly to preserve the right of the defendant to offer evidence in his own behalf, if such motion is denied. This is a restatement of the prevailing practice, and is also in accord with the practice prescribed for civil cases by Rule 50(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix].

Note to Subdivision (b). This rule is in substance similar to Rule 50(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C., Appendix, and permits the court to render judgment for the defendant notwithstanding a verdict of guilty. Some Federal courts have recognized and approved the use of a judgment non obstante veredicto for the defendant in a criminal case, Ex parte United States, 101 F.2d 870 (C.C.A. 7th), affirmed by an equally divided court, United States v. Stone, 308 U.S. 519. The rule sanctions this practice.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Subdivision (a).—A minor change has been made in the caption.

Subdivision (b).—The last three sentences are deleted with the matters formerly covered by them transferred to the new subdivision (c).

Subdivision (c).—The new subdivision makes several changes in the former procedure. A motion for judgment of acquittal may be made after discharge of the jury whether or not a motion was made before submission to the jury. No legitimate interest of the government is intended to be prejudiced by permitting the court to direct an acquittal on a post-verdict motion. The constitutional requirement of a jury trial in criminal cases is primarily a right accorded to the defendant. Cf. Adams v. United States, ex rel. McCann, 317 U.S. 269 (1942); Singer v. United States, 380 U.S. 24 (1965); Note, 65 Yale L.J. 1032 (1956).

The time in which the motion may be made has been changed to 7 days in accordance with the amendment to Rule 45(a) which by excluding Saturday from the days to be counted when the period of time is less than 7 days would make 7 days the normal time for a motion required to be made in 5 days. Also the court is authorized to extend the time as is provided for motions for new trial (Rule 33) and in arrest of judgment (Rule 34).

References in the original rule to the motion for a new trial as an alternate to the motion for judgment of acquittal and to the power of the court to order a new trial have been eliminated. Motions for new trial are adequately covered in Rule 33. Also the original wording is subject to the interpretation that a motion for judgment of acquittal gives the court power to order a new trial even though the defendant does not wish a new trial and has not asked for one.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment

The amendment permits the reservation of a motion for a judgment of acquittal made at the close of the government's case in the the same manner as the rule now permits for motions made at the close of all of the evidence. Although the rule as written did not permit the court to reserve such motions made at the end of the government's case, trial courts on occasion have nonetheless reserved ruling. See, e.g., United States v. Bruno, 873 F.2d 555 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 110 S.Ct. 125 (1989); United States v. Reifsteck, 841 F.2d 701 (6th Cir. 1988). While the amendment will not affect a large number of cases, it should remove the dilemma in those close cases in which the court would feel pressured into making an immediate, and possibly erroneous, decision or violating the rule as presently written by reserving its ruling on the motion.

The amendment also permits the trial court to balance the defendant's interest in an immediate resolution of the motion against the interest of the government in proceeding to a verdict thereby preserving its right to appeal in the event a verdict of guilty is returned but is then set aside by the granting of a judgment of acquittal. Under the double jeopardy clause the government may appeal the granting of a motion for judgment of acquittal only if there would be no necessity for another trial, i.e., only where the jury has returned a verdict of guilty. United States v. Martin Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S. 564 (1977). Thus, the government's right to appeal a Rule 29 motion is only preserved where the ruling is reserved until after the verdict.

In addressing the issue of preserving the government's right to appeal and at the same time recognizing double jeopardy concerns, the Supreme Court observed:

  We should point out that it is entirely possible for a trial court to reconcile the public interest in the Government's right to appeal from an erroneous conclusion of law with the defendant's interest in avoiding a second prosecution. In United States v. Wilson, 420 U.S. 332 (1975), the court permitted the case to go to the jury, which returned a verdict of guilty, but it subsequently dismissed the indictment for preindictment delay on the basis of evidence adduced at trial. Most recently in United States v. Ceccolini, 435 U.S. 268 (1978), we described similar action with approval: ‘The District Court had sensibly made its finding on the factual question of guilt or innocence, and then ruled on the motion to suppress; a reversal of these rulings would require no further proceeding in the District Court, but merely a reinstatement of the finding of guilt.’ Id. at 271.

United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 100 n. 13 (1978). By analogy, reserving a ruling on a motion for judgment of acquittal strikes the same balance as that reflected by the Supreme Court in Scott.

Reserving a ruling on a motion made at the end of the government's case does pose problems, however, where the defense decides to present evidence and run the risk that such evidence will support the government's case. To address that problem, the amendment provides that the trial court is to consider only the evidence submitted at the time of the motion in making its ruling, whenever made. And in reviewing a trial court's ruling, the appellate court would be similarly limited.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 29 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

In Rule 29(a), the first sentence abolishing “directed verdicts” has been deleted because it is unnecessary. The rule continues to recognize that a judge may sua sponte enter a judgment of acquittal.

Rule 29(c)(1) addresses the issue of the timing of a motion for judgment of acquittal. The amended rule now includes language that the motion must be made within 7 days after a guilty verdict or after the judge discharges the jury, whichever occurs later. That change reflects the fact that in a capital case or in a case involving criminal forfeiture, for example, the jury may not be discharged until it has completed its sentencing duties. The court may still set another time for the defendant to make or renew the motion, if it does so within the 7-day period.

Committee Notes on Rules—2005 Amendment

Rule 29(c) has been amended to remove the requirement that the court must act within seven days after a guilty verdict or after the court discharges the jury, if it sets another time for filing a motion for a judgment of acquittal. This amendment parallels similar changes to Rules 33 and 34. Further, a conforming amendment has been made to Rule 45(b)(2).

Currently, Rule 29(c) requires the defendant to move for a judgment of acquittal within seven days of the guilty verdict, or after the court discharges the jury, whichever occurs later, or some other time set by the court in an order issued within that same seven-day period. Similar provisions exist in Rules 33 and 34. Courts have held that the seven-day rule is jurisdictional. Thus, if a defendant files a request for an extension of time to file a motion for a judgment of acquittal within the seven-day period, the court must rule on that motion or request within the same seven-day period. If for some reason the court does not rule on the request within the seven days, it loses jurisdiction to act on the underlying substantive motion. See, e.g., United States v. Smith, 331 U.S. 469, 473–474 (1947) (rejecting argument that trial court had power to grant new trial on its own motion after expiration of time in Rule 33); United States v. Marquez, 291 F.3d 23, 27–28 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (citing language of Rule 33, and holding that “district court forfeited the power to act when it failed to . . . fix a new time for filing a motion for a new trial within seven days of the verdict”).

Assuming that the current rule was intended to promote finality, there is nothing to prevent the court from granting a significant extension of time, so long as it does so within the seven-day period. Thus, the Committee believed that the rule should be amended to be consistent with all of the other timing requirements in the rules, which do not force the court to act on a motion to extend the time for filing within a particular period of time or lose jurisdiction to do so.

Accordingly, the amendment deletes the language regarding the court's acting within seven days to set the time for filing. Read in conjunction with the conforming amendment to Rule 45(b), the defendant is still required to file a timely motion for a judgment of acquittal under Rule 29 within the seven-day period specified. The defendant may, under Rule 45, seek an extension of time to file the underlying motion as long as the defendant does so within the seven-day period. But the court itself is not required to act on that motion within any particular time. Further, under Rule 45(b)(1)(B), if for some reason the defendant fails to file the underlying motion within the specified time, the court may nonetheless consider that untimely motion if the court determines that the failure to file it on time was the result of excusable neglect.

Changes Made After Publication and Comment. The Committee made no substantive changes to Rule 29 following publication.

Committee Notes on Rules—2009 Amendment

Former Rules 29, 33, and 34 adopted 7-day periods for their respective motions. This period has been expanded to 14 days. Experience has proved that in many cases it is not possible to prepare a satisfactory motion in 7 days, even under the former rule that excluded intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. This led to frequent requests for continuances, and the filing of bare bones motions that required later supplementation. The 14-day period—including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays as provided by Rule 45(a)—sets a more realistic time for the filing of these motions.

Amendment by Public Law

1986—Subd. (d). Pub. L. 99–646 added subd. (d).

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Section 54(b) of Pub. L. 99–646 provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this rule] shall take effect 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 10, 1986].”

Rule 29.1. Closing Argument

Closing arguments proceed in the following order:

(a) the government argues;

(b) the defense argues; and

(c) the government rebuts.

(Added Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; amended Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974

This rule is designed to control the order of closing argument. It reflects the Advisory Committee's view that it is desirable to have a uniform federal practice. The rule is drafted in the view that fair and effective administration of justice is best served if the defendant knows the arguments actually made by the prosecution in behalf of conviction before the defendant is faced with the decision whether to reply and what to reply.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court, Rule 29.1 is a new rule that was added to regulate closing arguments. It prescribes that the government shall make its closing argument and then the defendant shall make his. After the defendant has argued, the government is entitled to reply in rebuttal.

B. Committee Action. The Committee endorses and adopts this proposed rule in its entirety. The Committee believes that as the Advisory Committee Note has stated, fair and effective administration of justice is best served if the defendant knows the arguments actually made by the prosecution in behalf of conviction before the defendant is faced with the decision whether to reply and what to reply. Rule 29.1 does not specifically address itself to what happens if the prosecution waives its initial closing argument. The Committee is of the view that the prosecutor, when he waives his initial closing argument, also waives his rebuttal. [See the remarks of Senior United States Circuit Judge J. Edward Lumbard in Hearings II, at 207.]

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 29.1 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Effective Date

This rule effective Dec. 1, 1975, see section 2 of Pub. L. 94–64, set out as a note under rule 4 of these rules.

Rule 30. Jury Instructions

(a) In General. Any party may request in writing that the court instruct the jury on the law as specified in the request. The request must be made at the close of the evidence or at any earlier time that the court reasonably sets. When the request is made, the requesting party must furnish a copy to every other party.

(b) Ruling on a Request. The court must inform the parties before closing arguments how it intends to rule on the requested instructions.

(c) Time for Giving Instructions. The court may instruct the jury before or after the arguments are completed, or at both times.

(d) Objections to Instructions. A party who objects to any portion of the instructions or to a failure to give a requested instruction must inform the court of the specific objection and the grounds for the objection before the jury retires to deliberate. An opportunity must be given to object out of the jury's hearing and, on request, out of the jury's presence. Failure to object in accordance with this rule precludes appellate review, except as permitted under Rule 52(b).

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 25, 1988, eff. Aug. 1, 1988; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

This rule corresponds to Rule 51 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix], the second sentence alone being new. It seemed appropriate that on a point such as instructions to juries there should be no difference in procedure between civil and criminal cases.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

The amendment requires the court, on request of any party, to require the jury to withdraw in order to permit full argument of objections to instructions.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

In its current form, Rule 30 requires that the court instruct the jury after the arguments of counsel. In some districts, usually where the state practice is otherwise, the parties prefer to stipulate to instruction before closing arguments. The purpose of the amendment is to give the court discretion to instruct the jury before or after closing arguments, or at both times. The amendment will permit courts to continue instructing the jury after arguments as Rule 30 had previously required. It will also permit courts to instruct before arguments in order to give the parties an opportunity to argue to the jury in light of the exact language used by the court. See generally Raymond, Merits and Demerits of the Missouri System in Instructing Juries, 5 St. Louis U.L.J. 317 (1959). Finally, the amendment plainly indicates that the court may instruct both before and after arguments, which assures that the court retains power to remedy omissions in pre-argument instructions or to add instructions necessitated by the arguments.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1988 Amendment

The amendment is technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 30 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only, except as noted below.

Rule 30(a) reflects a change in the timing of requests for instructions. As currently written, the trial court may not direct the parties to file such requests before trial without violating Rules 30 and 57. While the amendment falls short of requiring all requests to be made before trial in all cases, the amendment permits a court to do so in a particular case or as a matter of local practice under local rules promulgated under Rule 57. The rule does not preclude the practice of permitting the parties to supplement their requested instructions during the trial.

Rule 30(d) clarifies what, if anything, counsel must do to preserve a claim of error regarding an instruction or failure to instruct. The rule retains the requirement of a contemporaneous and specific objection (before the jury retires to deliberate). As the Supreme Court recognized in Jones v. United States, 527 U.S. 373 (1999), read literally, current Rule 30 could be construed to bar any appellate review absent a timely objection when in fact a court may conduct a limited review under a plain error standard. The amendment does not address the issue of whether objections to the instructions must be renewed after the instructions are given, in order to preserve a claim of error. No change in practice is intended by the amendment.

Rule 31. Jury Verdict

(a) Return. The jury must return its verdict to a judge in open court. The verdict must be unanimous.

(b) Partial Verdicts, Mistrial, and Retrial.

(1) Multiple Defendants. If there are multiple defendants, the jury may return a verdict at any time during its deliberations as to any defendant about whom it has agreed.

(2) Multiple Counts. If the jury cannot agree on all counts as to any defendant, the jury may return a verdict on those counts on which it has agreed.

(3) Mistrial and Retrial. If the jury cannot agree on a verdict on one or more counts, the court may declare a mistrial on those counts. The government may retry any defendant on any count on which the jury could not agree.


(c) Lesser Offense or Attempt. A defendant may be found guilty of any of the following:

(1) an offense necessarily included in the offense charged;

(2) an attempt to commit the offense charged; or

(3) an attempt to commit an offense necessarily included in the offense charged, if the attempt is an offense in its own right.


(d) Jury Poll. After a verdict is returned but before the jury is discharged, the court must on a party's request, or may on its own, poll the jurors individually. If the poll reveals a lack of unanimity, the court may direct the jury to deliberate further or may declare a mistrial and discharge the jury.

(As amended Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 24, 1998, eff. Dec. 1, 1998; Apr. 17, 2000, eff. Dec. 1, 2000; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). This rule is a restatement of existing law and practice. It does not embody any regulation of sealed verdicts, it being contemplated that this matter would be governed by local practice in the various district courts. The rule does not affect the existing statutes relating to qualified verdicts in cases in which capital punishment may be imposed, 18 U.S.C. 408a [now 1201] (Kidnapped persons); sec. 412a [now 1992] (Wrecking trains); sec. 567 [now 1111] (Verdicts; qualified verdicts).

Note to Subdivision (b). This rule is a restatement of existing law, 18 U.S.C. [former] 566 (Verdicts; several joint defendants).

Note to Subdivision (c). This rule is a restatement of existing law, 18 U.S.C. [former] 565 (Verdicts; less offense than charged).

Note to Subdivision (d). This rule is a restatement of existing law and practice, Mackett v. United States, 90 F.2d 462, 465 (C.C.A. 7th); Bruce v. Chestnut Farms Chevy Chase Dairy, 126 F.2d 224, App.D.C.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Subdivision (e) is new. It is intended to provide procedural implementation of the recently enacted criminal forfeiture provision of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Title IX, §1963, and the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, Title II, §408(a)(2).

The assumption of the draft is that the amount of the interest or property subject to criminal forfeiture is an element of the offense to be alleged and proved. See Advisory Committee Note to rule 7(c)(2).

Although special verdict provisions are rare in criminal cases, they are not unknown. See United States v. Spock, 416 F. 2d 165 (1st Cir. 1969), especially footnote 41 where authorities are listed.

Committee Notes on Rules—1998 Amendment

The right of a party to have the jury polled is an “undoubted right.” Humphries v. District of Columbia, 174 U.S. 190, 194 (1899). Its purpose is to determine with certainty that “each of the jurors approves of the verdict as returned; that no one has been coerced or induced to sign a verdict to which he does not fully assent.” Id.

Currently, Rule 31(d) is silent on the precise method of polling the jury. Thus, a court in its discretion may conduct the poll collectively or individually. As one court has noted, although the prevailing view is that the method used is a matter within the discretion of the trial court, United States v. Miller, 59 F.3d 417, 420 (3d Cir. 1995) (citing cases), the preference, nonetheless of the appellate and trial courts, seems to favor individual polling. Id. (citing cases). That is the position taken in the American Bar Association Standards for Criminal Justice §15–4.5. Those sources favoring individual polling observe that conducting a poll of the jurors collectively saves little time and does not always adequately insure that an individual juror who has been forced to join the majority during deliberations will voice dissent from a collective response. On the other hand, an advantage to individual polling is the “likelihood that it will discourage post-trial efforts to challenge the verdict on allegations of coercion on the part of some of the jurors.” Miller, Id. at 420 (citing Audette v. Isaksen Fishing Corp., 789 F.2d 956, 961, n. 6 (1st Cir. 1986)).

The Committee is persuaded by the authorities and practice that there are advantages of conducting an individual poll of the jurors. Thus, the rule requires that the jurors be polled individually when a polling is requested, or when polling is directed sua sponte by the court. The amendment, however, leaves to the court the discretion as to whether to conduct a separate poll for each defendant, each count of the indictment or complaint, or on other issues.

Changes Made to Rule 31 After Publication (“GAP Report”). The Committee changed the rule to require that any polling of the jury must be done before the jury is discharged and it incorporated suggested style changes submitted by the Style Subcommittee.

Committee Notes on Rules—2000 Amendment

The rule is amended to reflect the creation of new Rule 32.2, which now governs criminal forfeiture procedures.

GAP Report—Rule 31. The Committee made no changes to the published draft amendment to Rule 31.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 31 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Rule 31(b) has been amended to clarify that a jury may return partial verdicts, either as to multiple defendants or multiple counts, or both. See, e.g., United States v. Cunningham, 145 F.3d 1385, 1388–90 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (partial verdicts on multiple defendants and counts). No change in practice is intended.

TITLE VII. POST-CONVICTION PROCEDURES

Rule 32. Sentencing and Judgment

(a) [Reserved.]

(b) Time of Sentencing.

(1) In General. The court must impose sentence without unnecessary delay.

(2) Changing Time Limits. The court may, for good cause, change any time limits prescribed in this rule.


(c) Presentence Investigation.

(1) Required Investigation.

(A) In General. The probation officer must conduct a presentence investigation and submit a report to the court before it imposes sentence unless:

(i) 18 U.S.C. §3593(c) or another statute requires otherwise; or

(ii) the court finds that the information in the record enables it to meaningfully exercise its sentencing authority under 18 U.S.C. §3553, and the court explains its finding on the record.


(B) Restitution. If the law permits restitution, the probation officer must conduct an investigation and submit a report that contains sufficient information for the court to order restitution.


(2) Interviewing the Defendant. The probation officer who interviews a defendant as part of a presentence investigation must, on request, give the defendant's attorney notice and a reasonable opportunity to attend the interview.


(d) Presentence Report.

(1) Applying the Advisory Sentencing Guidelines. The presentence report must:

(A) identify all applicable guidelines and policy statements of the Sentencing Commission;

(B) calculate the defendant's offense level and criminal history category;

(C) state the resulting sentencing range and kinds of sentences available;

(D) identify any factor relevant to:

(i) the appropriate kind of sentence, or

(ii) the appropriate sentence within the applicable sentencing range; and


(E) identify any basis for departing from the applicable sentencing range.


(2) Additional Information. The presentence report must also contain the following:

(A) the defendant's history and characteristics, including:

(i) any prior criminal record;

(ii) the defendant's financial condition; and

(iii) any circumstances affecting the defendant's behavior that may be helpful in imposing sentence or in correctional treatment;


(B) information that assesses any financial, social, psychological, and medical impact on any victim;

(C) when appropriate, the nature and extent of nonprison programs and resources available to the defendant;

(D) when the law provides for restitution, information sufficient for a restitution order;

(E) if the court orders a study under 18 U.S.C. §3552(b), any resulting report and recommendation;

(F) a statement of whether the government seeks forfeiture under Rule 32.2 and any other law; and

(G) any other information that the court requires, including information relevant to the factors under 18 U.S.C. §3553(a).


(3) Exclusions. The presentence report must exclude the following:

(A) any diagnoses that, if disclosed, might seriously disrupt a rehabilitation program;

(B) any sources of information obtained upon a promise of confidentiality; and

(C) any other information that, if disclosed, might result in physical or other harm to the defendant or others.


(e) Disclosing the Report and Recommendation.

(1) Time to Disclose. Unless the defendant has consented in writing, the probation officer must not submit a presentence report to the court or disclose its contents to anyone until the defendant has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere, or has been found guilty.

(2) Minimum Required Notice. The probation officer must give the presentence report to the defendant, the defendant's attorney, and an attorney for the government at least 35 days before sentencing unless the defendant waives this minimum period.

(3) Sentence Recommendation. By local rule or by order in a case, the court may direct the probation officer not to disclose to anyone other than the court the officer's recommendation on the sentence.


(f) Objecting to the Report.

(1) Time to Object. Within 14 days after receiving the presentence report, the parties must state in writing any objections, including objections to material information, sentencing guideline ranges, and policy statements contained in or omitted from the report.

(2) Serving Objections. An objecting party must provide a copy of its objections to the opposing party and to the probation officer.

(3) Action on Objections. After receiving objections, the probation officer may meet with the parties to discuss the objections. The probation officer may then investigate further and revise the presentence report as appropriate.


(g) Submitting the Report. At least 7 days before sentencing, the probation officer must submit to the court and to the parties the presentence report and an addendum containing any unresolved objections, the grounds for those objections, and the probation officer's comments on them.

(h) Notice of Possible Departure from Sentencing Guidelines. Before the court may depart from the applicable sentencing range on a ground not identified for departure either in the presentence report or in a party's prehearing submission, the court must give the parties reasonable notice that it is contemplating such a departure. The notice must specify any ground on which the court is contemplating a departure.

(i) Sentencing.

(1) In General. At sentencing, the court:

(A) must verify that the defendant and the defendant's attorney have read and discussed the presentence report and any addendum to the report;

(B) must give to the defendant and an attorney for the government a written summary of—or summarize in camera—any information excluded from the presentence report under Rule 32(d)(3) on which the court will rely in sentencing, and give them a reasonable opportunity to comment on that information;

(C) must allow the parties’ attorneys to comment on the probation officer's determinations and other matters relating to an appropriate sentence; and

(D) may, for good cause, allow a party to make a new objection at any time before sentence is imposed.


(2) Introducing Evidence; Producing a Statement. The court may permit the parties to introduce evidence on the objections. If a witness testifies at sentencing, Rule 26.2(a)–(d) and (f) applies. If a party fails to comply with a Rule 26.2 order to produce a witness's statement, the court must not consider that witness's testimony.

(3) Court Determinations. At sentencing, the court:

(A) may accept any undisputed portion of the presentence report as a finding of fact;

(B) must—for any disputed portion of the presentence report or other controverted matter—rule on the dispute or determine that a ruling is unnecessary either because the matter will not affect sentencing, or because the court will not consider the matter in sentencing; and

(C) must append a copy of the court's determinations under this rule to any copy of the presentence report made available to the Bureau of Prisons.


(4) Opportunity to Speak.

(A) By a Party. Before imposing sentence, the court must:

(i) provide the defendant's attorney an opportunity to speak on the defendant's behalf;

(ii) address the defendant personally in order to permit the defendant to speak or present any information to mitigate the sentence; and

(iii) provide an attorney for the government an opportunity to speak equivalent to that of the defendant's attorney.


(B) By a Victim. Before imposing sentence, the court must address any victim of the crime who is present at sentencing and must permit the victim to be reasonably heard.

(C) In Camera Proceedings. Upon a party's motion and for good cause, the court may hear in camera any statement made under Rule 32(i)(4).


(j) Defendant's Right to Appeal.

(1) Advice of a Right to Appeal.

(A) Appealing a Conviction. If the defendant pleaded not guilty and was convicted, after sentencing the court must advise the defendant of the right to appeal the conviction.

(B) Appealing a Sentence. After sentencing—regardless of the defendant's plea—the court must advise the defendant of any right to appeal the sentence.

(C) Appeal Costs. The court must advise a defendant who is unable to pay appeal costs of the right to ask for permission to appeal in forma pauperis.


(2)Clerk's Filing of Notice. If the defendant so requests, the clerk must immediately prepare and file a notice of appeal on the defendant's behalf.


(k) Judgment.

(1) In General. In the judgment of conviction, the court must set forth the plea, the jury verdict or the court's findings, the adjudication, and the sentence. If the defendant is found not guilty or is otherwise entitled to be discharged, the court must so order. The judge must sign the judgment, and the clerk must enter it.

(2) Criminal Forfeiture. Forfeiture procedures are governed by Rule 32.2.

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Apr. 22, 1974, eff. Dec. 1, 1975; Pub. L. 94–64, §3(31)–(34), July 31, 1975, 89 Stat. 376; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Aug. 1, 1979, and Dec. 1, 1980; Pub. L. 97–291, §3, Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1249; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §215(a), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2014; Pub. L. 99–646, §25(a), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3597; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 25, 1989, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXIII, §230101(b), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2078; Apr. 23, 1996, eff. Dec. 1, 1996; Pub. L. 104–132, title II, §207(a), Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1236; Apr. 17, 2000, eff. Dec. 1, 2000; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1, 2007; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009; Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec. 1, 2011.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

Note to Subdivision (a). This rule is substantially a restatement of existing procedure. Rule I of the Criminal Appeals Rules of 1933, 292 U.S. 661. See Rule 43 relating to the presence of the defendant.

Note to Subdivision (b). This rule is substantially a restatement of existing procedure. Rule I of the Criminal Appeals Rules of 1933, 292 U.S. 661.

Note to Subdivision (c). The purpose of this provision is to encourage and broaden the use of presentence investigations, which are now being utilized to good advantage in many cases. See, “The Presentence Investigation” published by Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Division of Probation.

Note to Subdivision (d). This rule modifies existing practice by abrogating the ten-day limitation on a motion for leave to withdraw a plea of guilty. See Rule II (4) of the Criminal Appeals Rules of 1933, 292 U.S. 661.

Note to Subdivision (e). See 18 U.S.C. 724 et seq. [now 3651 et seq.].

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Subdivision (a)(1).—The amendment writes into the rule the holding of the Supreme Court that the court before imposing sentence must afford an opportunity to the defendant personally to speak in his own behalf. See Green v. United States, 365 U.S. 301 (1961); Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424 (1962). The amendment also provides an opportunity for counsel to speak on behalf of the defendant.

Subdivision (a)(2).—This amendment is a substantial revision and a relocation of the provision originally found in Rule 37(a)(2): “When a court after trial imposes sentence upon a defendant not represented by counsel, the defendant shall be advised of his right to appeal and if he so requests, the clerk shall prepare and file forthwith a notice of appeal on behalf of the defendant.” The court is required to advise the defendant of his right to appeal in all cases which have gone to trial after plea of not guilty because situations arise in which a defendant represented by counsel at the trial is not adequately advised by such counsel of his right to appeal. Trial counsel may not regard his responsibility as extending beyond the time of imposition of sentence. The defendant may be removed from the courtroom immediately upon sentence and held in custody under circumstances which make it difficult for counsel to advise him. See, e.g., Hodges v. United States, 368 U.S. 139 (1961). Because indigent defendants are most likely to be without effective assistance of counsel at this point in the proceedings, it is also provided that defendants be notified of the right of a person without funds to apply for leave to appeal in forma pauperis. The provision is added here because this rule seems the most appropriate place to set forth a procedure to be followed by the court at the time of sentencing.

Subdivision (c)(2).—It is not a denial of due process of law for a court in sentencing to rely on a report of a presentence investigation without disclosing such report to the defendant or giving him an opportunity to rebut it. Williams v. New York, 337 U.S. 241 (1949); Williams v. Oklahoma, 358 U.S. 576 (1959). However, the question whether as a matter of policy the defendant should be accorded some opportunity to see and refute allegations made in such reports has been the subject of heated controversy. For arguments favoring disclosure, see Tappan, Crime, Justice, and Correction, 558 (1960); Model Penal Code, 54–55 (Tent. Draft No. 2, 1954); Thomsen, Confidentiality of the Presentence Report: A Middle Position, 28 Fed.Prob., March 1964, p. 8; Wyzanski, A Trial Judge's Freedom and Responsibility, 65 Harv.L.Rev. 1281, 1291–2 (1952); Note, Employment of Social Investigation Reports in Criminal and Juvenile Proceedings, 58 Colum.L.Rev. 702 (1958); cf. Kadish, The Advocate and the Expert: Counsel in the Peno-Correctional Process, 45 Minn.L.Rev. 803, 806, (1961). For arguments opposing disclosure, see Barnett and Gronewold, Confidentiality of the Presentence Report, 26 Fed.Prob. March 1962, p. 26; Judicial Conference Committee on Administration of the Probation System, Judicial Opinion on Proposed Change in Rule 32(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure—a Survey (1964); Keve, The Probation Officer Investigates, 6–15 (1960); Parsons, The Presentence Investigation Report Must be Preserved as a Confidential Document, 28 Fed.Prob. March 1964, p. 3; Sharp, The Confidential Nature of Presentence Reports, 5 Cath.U.L.Rev. 127 (1955); Wilson, A New Arena is Emerging to Test the Confidentiality of Presentence Reports, 25 Fed.Prob. Dec. 1961, p. 6; Federal Judge's Views on Probation Practices, 24 Fed.Prob. March 1960, p. 10.

In a few jurisdictions the defendant is given a right of access to the presentence report. In England and California a copy of the report is given to the defendant in every case. English Criminal Justice Act of 1948, 11 & 12 Geo. 6, c. 58, §43; Cal.Pen.C. §1203. In Alabama the defendant has a right to inspect the report. Ala. Code, Title 42, §23. In Ohio and Virginia the probation officer reports in open court and the defendant is given the right to examine him on his report. Ohio Rev. Code, §2947.06; Va. Code, §53–278.1. The Minnesota Criminal Code of 1963, §609.115(4), provides that any presentence report “shall be open for inspection by the prosecuting attorney and the defendant's attorney prior to sentence and on the request of either of them a summary hearing in chambers shall be held on any matter brought in issue, but confidential sources of information shall not be disclosed unless the court otherwise directs.” Cf. Model Penal Code §7.07(5) (P.O.D. 1962): “Before imposing sentence, the Court shall advise the defendant or his counsel of the factual contents and the conclusions of any presentence investigation or psychiatric examination and afford fair opportunity, if the defendant so requests, to controvert them. The sources of confidential information need not, however, be disclosed.”

Practice in the federal courts is mixed, with a substantial minority of judges permitting disclosure while most deny it. See the recent survey prepared for the Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia by the Junior Bar Section of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, reported in Conference Papers on Discovery in Federal Criminal Cases, 33 F.R.D. 101, 125–127 (1963). See also Gronewold, Presentence Investigation Practices in the Federal Probation System, Fed.Prob. Sept. 1958, pp. 27, 31. For divergent judicial opinions see Smith v. United States, 223 F.2d 750, 754 (5th Cir. 1955) (supporting disclosure); United States v. Durham, 181 F.Supp. 503 (D.D.C. 1960) (supporting secrecy).

Substantial objections to compelling disclosure in every case have been advanced by federal judges, including many who in practice often disclose all or parts of presentence reports. See Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Probation System, Judicial Opinion on Proposed Change in Rule 32(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure—A Survey (1964). Hence, the amendment goes no further than to make it clear that courts may disclose all or part of the presentence report to the defendant or to his counsel. It is hoped that courts will make increasing use of their discretion to disclose so that defendants generally may be given full opportunity to rebut or explain facts in presentence reports which will be material factors in determining sentences. For a description of such a practice in one district, see Thomsen, Confidentiality of the Presentence Report: A Middle Position, 28 Fed.Prob., March 1964, p. 8.

It is also provided that any material disclosed to the defendant or his counsel shall be disclosed to the attorney for the government. Such disclosure will permit the government to participate in the resolution of any factual questions raised by the defendant.

Subdivision (f).—This new subdivision writes into the rule the procedure which the cases have derived from the provision in 18 U.S.C. §3653 that a person arrested for violation of probation “shall be taken before the court” and that thereupon the court may revoke the probation. See Escoe v. Zerbst, 295 U.S. 490 (1935); Brown v. United States, 236 F.2d 253 (9th Cir. 1956) certiorari denied 356 U.S. 922 (1958). Compare Model Penal Code §301.4 (P.O.D. 1962); Hink, The Application of Constitutional Standards of Protection to Probation, 29 U.Chi.L.Rev. 483 (1962).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment

Subdivision (b)(2) is new. It is intended to provide procedural implementation of the recently enacted criminal forfeiture provisions of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Title IX, §1963, and the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, Title II, §408(a)(2).

18 U.S.C. §1963(c) provides for property seizure and disposition. In part it states:

(c) Upon conviction of a person under this section, the court shall authorize the Attorney General to seize all property or other interest declared forfeited under this section upon such terms and conditions as the court shall deem proper.

Although not specifically provided for in the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, the provision of Title II, §408(a)(2) forfeiting “profits” or “interest” will need to be implemented procedurally, and therefore new rule 32(b)(2) will be applicable also to that legislation.

For a brief discussion of the procedural implications of a criminal forfeiture, see Advisory Committee Note to rule 7(c)(2).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1974 Amendment

Subdivision (a)(1) is amended by deleting the reference to commitment or release pending sentencing. This issue is dealt with explicitly in the proposed revision of rule 46(c).

Subdivision (a)(2) is amended to make clear that there is no duty on the court to advise the defendant of the right to appeal after sentence is imposed following a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.

To require the court to advise the defendant of a right to appeal after a plea of guilty, accepted pursuant to the increasingly stringent requirements of rule 11, is likely to be confusing to the defendant. See American Bar Association Standards Relating to Criminal Appeals §2.1(b) (Approved Draft, 1970), limiting the court's duty to advice to “contested cases.”

The Advisory Committee is of the opinion that such advice, following a sentence imposed after a plea of guilty, will merely tend to build false hopes and encourage frivolous appeals, with the attendant expense to the defendant or the taxpayers.

Former rule 32(a)(2) imposes a duty only upon conviction after “trial on a plea of not guilty.” The few federal cases dealing with the question have interpreted rule 32(a)(2) to say that the court has no duty to advise defendant of his right to appeal after conviction following a guilty plea. Burton v. United States, 307 F.Supp. 448, 450 (D.Ariz. 1970); Alaway v. United States, 280 F.Supp. 326, 336 (C.D.Calif. 1968); Crow v. United States, 397 F.2d 284, 285 (10th Cir. 1968).

Prior to the 1966 amendment of rule 32, the court's duty was even more limited. At that time [rule 37(a)(2)] the court's duty to advise was limited to those situations in which sentence was imposed after trial upon a not guilty plea of a defendant not represented by counsel. 8A J. Moore, Federal Practice  32.01[3] (2d ed. Cipes 1969); C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §528 (1969); 5 L. Orfield, Criminal Procedure Under the Federal Rules §32:11 (1967).

With respect to appeals in forma pauperis, see appellate rule 24.

Subdivision (c)(1) makes clear that a presentence report is required except when the court otherwise directs for reasons stated of record. The requirement of reasons on the record for not having a presentence report is intended to make clear that such a report ought to be routinely required except in cases where there is a reason for not doing so. The presentence report is of great value for correctional purposes and will serve as a valuable aid in reviewing sentences to the extent that sentence review may be authorized by future rule change. For an analysis of the current rule as it relates to the situation in which a presentence investigation is required, see C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §522 (1969); 8A J. Moore, Federal Practice 32.03[1] (2d ed. Cipes 1969).

Subdivision (c)(1) is also changed to permit the judge, after obtaining defendant's consent, to see the presentence report in order to decide whether to accept a plea agreement, and also to expedite the imposition of sentence in a case in which the defendant has indicated that he may plead guilty or nolo contendere.

Former subdivision (c)(1) provides that “The report shall not be submitted to the court * * * unless the defendant has pleaded guilty * * *.” This precludes a judge from seeing a presentence report prior to the acceptance of the plea of guilty. L. Orfield, Criminal Procedure Under the Federal Rules §32:35 (1967); 8A J. Moore, Federal Practice  32.03[2], p. 32–22 (2d ed. Cipes 1969); C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §523, p. 392 (1969); Gregg v. United States, 394 U.S. 489, 89 S.Ct. 1134, 22 L.Ed.2d 442 (1969).

Because many plea agreements will deal with the sentence to be imposed, it will be important, under rule 11, for the judge to have access to sentencing information as a basis for deciding whether the plea agreement is an appropriate one.

It has been suggested that the problem be dealt with by allowing the judge to indicate approval of the plea agreement subject to the condition that the information in the presentence report is consistent with what he has been told about the case by counsel. See American Bar Association, Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §3.3 (Approved Draft, 1963); President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice. The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society 136 (1967).

Allowing the judge to see the presentence report prior to his decision as to whether to accept the plea agreement is, in the view of the Advisory Committee, preferable to a conditional acceptance of the plea. See Enker, Perspectives on Plea Bargaining, Appendix A of President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, Task Force Report: The Courts at 117 (1967). It enables the judge to have all of the information available to him at the time he is called upon to decide whether or not to accept the plea of guilty and thus avoids the necessity of a subsequent appearance whenever the information is such that the judge decides to reject the plea agreement.

There is presently authority to have a presentence report prepared prior to the acceptance of the plea of guilty. In Gregg v. United States, 394 U.S. 489, 491, 89 S.Ct. 1134 22 L.Ed.2d 442 (1969), the court said that the “language [of rule 32] clearly permits the preparation of a presentence report before guilty plea or conviction * * *.” In footnote 3 the court said:

The history of the rule confirms this interpretation. The first Preliminary Draft of the rule would have required the consent of the defendant or his attorney to commence the investigation before the determination of guilt. Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure, Fed.Rules Crim.Proc., Preliminary Draft 130, 133 (1943). The Second Preliminary Draft omitted this requirement and imposed no limitation on the time when the report could be made and submitted to the court. Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure, Fed.Rules Crim.Proc. Second Preliminary Draft 126–128 (1944). The third and final draft, which was adopted as Rule 32, was evidently a compromise between those who opposed any time limitation, and those who preferred that the entire investigation be conducted after determination of guilt. See 5 L. Orfield, Criminal Procedure Under the Federal Rules §32.2 (1967).

Where the judge rejects the plea agreement after seeing the presentence report, he should be free to recuse himself from later presiding over the trial of the case. This is left to the discretion of the judge. There are instances involving prior convictions where a judge may have seen a presentence report, yet can properly try a case on a plea of not guilty. Webster v. United States, 330 F.Supp. 1080 (D.C., 1971). Unlike the situation in Gregg v. United States, subdivision (e)(3) provides for disclosure of the presentence report to the defendant, and this will enable counsel to know whether the information thus made available to the judge is likely to be prejudicial. Presently trial judges who decide pretrial motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence are not, for that reason alone, precluded from presiding at a later trial.

Subdivision (c)(3)(A) requires disclosure of presentence information to the defense, exclusive of any recommendation of sentence. The court is required to disclose the report to defendant or his counsel unless the court is of the opinion that disclosure would seriously interfere with rehabilitation, compromise confidentiality, or create risk of harm to the defendant or others.

Any recommendation as to sentence should not be disclosed as it may impair the effectiveness of the probation officer if the defendant is under supervision on probation or parole.

The issue of disclosure of presentence information to the defense has been the subject of recommendations from the Advisory Committee in 1944, 1962, 1964, and 1966. The history is dealt with in considerable detail in C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal §524 (1969), and 8A J. Moore, Federal Practice  32.03[4] (2d ed. Cipes 1969).

In recent years, three prestigious organizations have recommended that the report be disclosed to the defense. See American Bar Association, Standards Relating to Sentencing Alternatives and Procedures §4.4 (Approved Draft, 1968); American Law Institute Model Penal Code §7.07(5) (P.O.D. 1962); National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Model Sentencing Act §4 (1963). This is also the recommendation of the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice. The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society (1967) at p. 145.

In the absence of compelling reasons for nondisclosure of special information, the defendant and his counsel should be permitted to examine the entire presentence report.

The arguments for and against disclosure are well known and are effectively set forth in American Bar Association Standards Relating to Sentencing Alternatives and Procedures, §4.4 Commentary at pp. 214–225 (Approved Draft, 1968). See also Lehrich, The Use and Disclosure of Presentence Reports in the United States, 47 F.R.D. 225 (1969).

A careful account of existing practices in Detroit, Michigan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin is found in R. Dawson, Sentencing (1969).

Most members of the federal judiciary have, in the past, opposed compulsory disclosure. See the view of District Judge Edwin M. Stanley, American Bar Association Standards Relating to Sentencing Alternatives and Procedures. Appendix A. (Appendix A also contains the results of a survey of all federal judges showing that the clear majority opposed disclosure.)

The Advisory Committee is of the view that accuracy of sentencing information is important not only to the defendant but also to effective correctional treatment of a convicted offender. The best way of insuring accuracy is disclosure with an opportunity for the defendant and counsel to point out to the court information thought by the defense to be inaccurate, incomplete, or otherwise misleading. Experience in jurisdictions which require disclosure does not lend support to the argument that disclosure will result in less complete presentence reports or the argument that sentencing procedures will become unnecessarily protracted. It is not intended that the probation officer would be subjected to any rigorous examination by defense counsel, or that he will even be sworn to testify. The proceedings may be very informal in nature unless the court orders a full hearing.

Subdivision (c)(3)(B) provides for situations in which the sentencing judge believes that disclosure should not be made under the criteria set forth in subdivision (c)(3)(A). He may disclose only a summary of that factual information “to be relied on in determining sentence.” This is similar to the proposal of the American Bar Association Standards Relating to Sentencing Alternatives and Procedures §4.4(b) and Commentary at pp. 216–224.

Subdivision (c)(3)(D) provides for the return of disclosed presentence reports to insure that they do not become available to unauthorized persons. See National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Model Sentencing Act §4 (1963): “Such reports shall be part of the record but shall be sealed and opened only on order of the court.”

Subdivision (c)(3)(E) makes clear that diagnostic studies under 18 U.S.C. §§4208(b), 5010(c), or 5034 are covered by this rule and also that 18 U.S.C. §4252 is included within the disclosure provisions of subdivision (c). Section 4252 provides for the presentence examination of an “eligible offender” who is believed to be an addict to determine whether “he is an addict and is likely to be rehabilitated through treatment.”

Both the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 [§3775(b)] and the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 [§409(b)] have special provisions for presentence investigation in the implementation of the dangerous special offender provision. It is however, unnecessary to incorporate them by reference in rule 32 because each contains a specific provision requiring disclosure of the presentence report. The judge does have authority to withhold some information “in extraordinary cases” provided notice is given the parties and the court's reasons for withholding information are made part of the record.

Subdivision (e) is amended to clarify the meaning.

Notes of Committee on the Judiciary, House Report No. 94–247; 1975 Amendment

A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure deals with sentencing matters.

Proposed subdivision (a)(2) provides that the court is not dutybound to advise the defendant of a right to appeal when the sentence is imposed following a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.

Proposed subdivision (e) provides that the probation service must make a presentence investigation and report unless the court orders otherwise “for reasons stated on the record.” The presentence report will not be submitted to the court until after the defendant pleads nolo contendere or guilty, or is found guilty, unless the defendant consents in writing. Upon the defendant's request, the court must permit the defendant to read the presentence report, except for the recommendation as to sentence. However, the court may decline to let the defendant read the report if it contains (a) diagnostic opinion that might seriously disrupt a rehabilitation program, (b) sources of information obtained upon a promise of confidentiality, or (c) any other information that, if disclosed, might result in harm to the defendant or other persons. The court must give the defendant an opportunity to comment upon the presentence report. If the court decides that the defendant should not see the report, then it must provide the defendant, orally or in writing, a summary of the factual information in the report upon which it is relying in determining sentence. No party may keep the report or make copies of it.

B. Committee Action. The Committee added language to subdivision (a)(1) to provide that the attorney for the government may speak to the court at the time of sentencing. The language does not require that the attorney for the government speak but permits him to do so if he wishes.

The Committee recast the language of subdivision (c)(1), which defines when presentence reports must be obtained. The Committee's provision makes it more difficult to dispense with a presentence report. It requires that a presentence report be made unless (a) the defendant waives it, or (b) the court finds that the record contains sufficient information to enable the meaningful exercise of sentencing discretion and explains this finding on the record. The Committee believes that presentence reports are important aids to sentencing and should not be dispensed with easily.

The Committee added language to subdivision (c)(3)(A) that permits a defendant to offer testimony or information to rebut alleged factual inaccuracies in the presentence report. Since the presentence report is to be used by the court in imposing sentence and since the consequence of any significant inaccuracy can be very serious to the defendant, the Committee believes that it is essential that the presentence report be completely accurate in every material respect. The Committee's addition to subdivision (c)(3)(A) will help insure the accuracy of the presentence report.

The Committee added language to subdivision (c)(3)(D) that gives the court the discretion to permit either the prosecutor or the defense counsel to retain a copy of the presentence report. There may be situations when it would be appropriate for either or both of the parties to retain the presentence report. The Committee believes that the rule should give the court the discretion in such situations to permit the parties to retain their copies.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1979 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (c)(3)(E). The amendment to rule 32(c)(3)(E) is necessary in light of recent changes in the applicable statutes.

Note to Subdivision (f). This subdivision is abrogated. The subject matter is now dealt with in greater detail in proposed new rule 32.1.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Note to Subdivision (a)(1). Subdivision (a)(1) has been amended so as to impose upon the sentencing court the additional obligation of determining that the defendant and his counsel have had an opportunity to read the presentence investigation report or summary thereof. This change is consistent with the amendment of subdivision (c)(3), discussed below, providing for disclosure of the report (or, in the circumstances indicated, a summary thereof) to both defendant and his counsel without request. This amendment is also consistent with the findings of a recent empirical study that under present rule 32 meaningful disclosure is often lacking and “that some form of judicial prodding is necessary to achieve full disclosure.” Fennell & Hall, Due Process at Sentencing: An Empirical and Legal Analysis of the Disclosure of Presentence Reports in Federal Courts, 93 Harv.L.Rev. 1613, 1651 (1980):

The defendant's interest in an accurate and reliable presentence report does not cease with the imposition of sentence. Rather, these interests are implicated at later stages in the correctional process by the continued use of the presentence report as a basic source of information in the handling of the defendant. If the defendant is incarcerated, the presentence report accompanies him to the correctional institution and provides background information for the Bureau of Prisons’ classification summary, which, in turn, determines the defendant's classification within the facility, his ability to obtain furloughs, and the choice of treatment programs. The presentence report also plays a crucial role during parole determination. Section 4207 of the Parole Commission and Reorganization Act directs the parole hearing examiner to consider, if available, the presentence report as well as other records concerning the prisoner. In addition to its general use as background at the parole hearing, the presentence report serves as the primary source of information for calculating the inmate's parole guideline score.

Though it is thus important that the defendant be aware now of all these potential uses, the Advisory Committee has considered but not adopted a requirement that the trial judge specifically advise the defendant of these matters. The Committee believes that this additional burden should not be placed upon the trial judge, and that the problem is best dealt with by a form attached to the presentence report, to be signed by the defendant, advising of these potential uses of the report. This suggestion has been forwarded to the Probation Committee of the Judicial Conference.

Note to Subdivision (c)(3)(A), (B) & (C). Three important changes are made in subdivision (c)(3): disclosure of the presentence report is no longer limited to those situations in which a request is made; disclosure is now provided to both defendant and his counsel; and disclosure is now required a reasonable time before sentencing. These changes have been prompted by findings in a recent empirical study that the extent and nature of disclosure of the presentence investigation report in federal courts under current rule 32 is insufficient to ensure accuracy of sentencing information. In 14 districts, disclosure is made only on request, and such requests are received in fewer than 50% of the cases. Forty-two of 92 probation offices do not provide automatic notice to defendant or counsel of the availability of the report; in 18 districts, a majority of the judges do not provide any notice of the availability of the report, and in 20 districts such notice is given only on the day of sentencing. In 28 districts, the report itself is not disclosed until the day of sentencing in a majority of cases. Thirty-one courts generally disclose the report only to counsel and not to the defendant, unless the defendant makes a specific request. Only 13 districts disclose the presentence report to both defendant and counsel prior to the day of sentencing in 90% or more of the cases. Fennell & Hall, supra, at 1640–49.

These findings make it clear that rule 32 in its present form is failing to fulfill its purpose. Unless disclosure is made sufficiently in advance of sentencing to permit the assertion and resolution of claims of inaccuracy prior to the sentencing hearing, the submission of additional information by the defendant when appropriate, and informed comment on the presentence report, the purpose of promoting accuracy by permitting the defendant to contest erroneous information is defeated. Similarly, if the report is not made available to the defendant and his counsel in a timely fashion, and if disclosure is only made on request, their opportunity to review the report may be inadequate. Finally, the failure to disclose the report to the defendant, or to require counsel to review the report with the defendant, significantly reduces the likelihood that false statements will be discovered, as much of the content of the presentence report will ordinarily be outside the knowledge of counsel.

The additional change to subdivision (c)(3)(C) is intended to make it clear that the government's right to disclosure does not depend upon whether the defendant elects to exercise his right to disclosure.

Note to Subdivision (c)(3)(D). Subdivision (c)(3)(D) is entirely new. It requires the sentencing court, as to each matter controverted, either to make a finding as to the accuracy of the challenged factual proposition or to determine that no reliance will be placed on that proposition at the time of sentencing. This new provision also requires that a record of this action accompany any copy of the report later made available to the Bureau of Prisons or Parole Commission.

As noted above, the Bureau of Prisons and the Parole Commission make substantial use of the presentence investigation report. Under current practice, this can result in reliance upon assertions of fact in the report in the making of critical determinations relating to custody or parole. For example, it is possible that the Bureau or Commission, in the course of reaching a decision on such matters as institution assignment, eligibility for programs, or computation of salient factors, will place great reliance upon factual assertions in the report which are in fact untrue and which remained unchallenged at the time of the sentencing because defendant or his counsel deemed the error unimportant in the sentencing context (e.g., where the sentence was expected to conform to an earlier plea agreement, or where the judge said he would disregard certain controverted matter in setting the sentence).

The first sentence of new subdivision (c)(3)(D) is intended to ensure that a record is made as to exactly what resolution occurred as to controverted matter. The second sentence is intended to ensure that this record comes to the attention of the Bureau or Commission when these agencies utilize the presentence investigation report. In current practice, “less than one-fourth of the district courts (twenty of ninety-two) communicate to the correctional agencies the defendant's challenges to information in the presentence report and the resolution of these challenges.” Fennell & Hall, supra, at 1680.

New subdivision (c)(3)(D) does not impose an onerous burden. It does not even require the preparation of a transcript. As is now the practice in some courts, these findings and determinations can be simply entered onto a form which is then appended to the report.

Note to Subdivision (c)(3)(E) & (F). Former subdivisions (c)(3)(D) and (E) have been renumbered as (c)(3)(E) and (F). The only change is in the former, necessitated because disclosure is now to defendant and his counsel.

The issue of access to the presentence report at the institution was discussed by the Advisory Committee, but no action was taken on that matter because it was believed to be beyond the scope of the rule-making power. Rule 32 in its present form does not speak to this issue, and thus the Bureau of Prisons and the Parole Commission are free to make provision for disclosure to inmates and their counsel.

Note to Subdivision (d). The amendment to Rule 32(d) is intended to clarify (i) the standard applicable to plea withdrawal under this rule, and (ii) the circumstances under which the appropriate avenue of relief is other than a withdrawal motion under this rule. Both of these matters have been the source of considerable confusion under the present rule. In its present form, the rule declares that a motion to withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere may be made only before sentence is imposed, but then states the standard for permitting withdrawal after sentence. In fact, “there is no limitation upon the time within which relief thereunder may, after sentencing, be sought.” United States v. Watson, 548 F.2d 1058 (D.C.Cir. 1977). It has been critically stated that “the Rule offers little guidance as to the applicable standard for a pre-sentence withdrawal of plea,” United States v. Michaelson, 552 F.2d 472 (2d Cir. 1977), and that as a result “the contours of [the presentence] standard are not easily defined.” Bruce v. United States, 379 F.2d 113 (D.C.Cir. 1967).

By replacing the “manifest injustice” standard with a requirement that, in cases to which it applied, the defendant must (unless taking a direct appeal) proceed under 28 U.S.C. §2255, the amendment avoids language which has been a cause of unnecessary confusion. Under the amendment, a defendant who proceeds too late to come under the more generous “fair and just reason” standard must seek relief under §2255, meaning the applicable standard is that stated in Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424 (1962): “a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice” or “an omission inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of fair procedure.”

Some authority is to be found to the effect that the rule 32(d) “manifest injustice” standard is indistinguishable from the §2255 standard. In United States v. Hamilton, 553 F.2d 63 (10th Cir. 1977), for example, the court, after first concluding defendant was not entitled to relief under the §2255 “miscarriage of justice” test, then held that “[n]othing is to be gained by the invocation of Rule 32(d)” and its manifest injustice” standard. Some courts, however, have indicated that the rule 32(d) standard provides a somewhat broader basis for relief than §2255. United States v. Dabdoub-Diaz, 599 F.2d 96 (5th Cir. 1979); United States v. Watson, 548 F.2d 1058 (D.C.Cir. 1977): Meyer v. United States, 424 F.2d 1181 (8th Cir.1970); United States v. Kent, 397 F.2d 446 (7th Cir. 1968). It is noteworthy, however, that in Dabdoub-Diaz, Meyer and Kent the defendant did not prevail under either §2255 or Rule 32(d), and that in Watson, though the §2255 case was remanded for consideration as a 32(d) motion, defendant's complaint (that he was not advised of the special parole term, though the sentence he received did not exceed that he was warned about by the court) was one as to which relief had been denied even upon direct appeal from the conviction. United States v. Peters, No. 77–1700 (4th Cir. Dec. 22, 1978).

Indeed, it may more generally be said that the results in §2255 and 32(d) guilty plea cases have been for the most part the same. Relief has often been granted or recognized as available via either of these routes for essentially the same reasons: that there exists a complete constitutional bar to conviction on the offense charged, Brooks v. United States, 424 F.2d 425 (5th Cir. 1970) (§2255), United States v. Bluso, 519 F.2d 473 (4th Cir. 1975) (Rule 32); that the defendant was incompetent at the time of his plea, United States v. Masthers, 539 F.2d 721 (D.C.Cir. 1976) (§2255), Kienlen v. United States, 379 F.2d 20 (10th Cir. 1967) (Rule 32); and that the bargain the prosecutor made with defendant was not kept, Walters v. Harris, 460 F.2d 988 (4th Cir. 1972) (§2255), United States v. Hawthorne, 502 F.2d 1183 (3rd Cir. 1974) (Rule 32). Perhaps even more significant is the fact that relief has often been denied under like circumstances whichever of the two procedures was used: a mere technical violation of Rule 11, United States v. Timmreck, 441 U.S. 780 (1979) (§2255), United States v. Saft, 558 F.2d 1073 (2d Cir. 1977) (Rule 32); the mere fact defendants expected a lower sentence, United States v. White, 572 F.2d 1007 (4th Cir. 1978) (§2255), Masciola v. United States, 469 F.2d 1057 (3rd Cir. 1972) (Rule 32); or mere familial coercion, Wojtowicz v. United States, 550 F.2d 786 (2d Cir. 1977) (§2255), United States v. Bartoli, 572 F.2d 188 (8th Cir. 1978) (Rule 32).

The one clear instance in which a Rule 32(d) attack might prevail when a §2255 challenge would not is present in those circuits which have reached the questionable result that post-sentence relief under 32(d) is available not merely upon a showing of a “manifest injustice” but also for any deviation from literal compliance with Rule 11. United States v. Cantor, 469 F.2d 435 (3d Cir. 1972). See Advisory Committee Note to Rule 11(h), noting the unsoundness of that position.

The change in Rule 32(d), therefore, is at best a minor one in terms of how post-sentence motions to withdraw pleas will be decided. It avoids the confusion which now obtains as to whether a §2255 petition must be assumed to also be a 32(d) motion and, if so, whether this bears significantly upon how the matter should be decided. See, e.g., United States v. Watson, supra. It also avoids the present undesirable situation in which the mere selection of one of two highly similar avenues of relief, rule 32(d) or §2255, may have significant procedural consequences, such as whether the government can take an appeal from the district court's adverse ruling (possible under §2255 only). Moreover, because §2255 and Rule 32(d) are properly characterized as the “two principal procedures for collateral attack of a federal plea conviction,” Borman, The Hidden Right to Direct Appeal From a Federal Conviction, 64 Cornell L.Rev. 319, 327 (1979), this amendment is also in keeping with the proposition underlying the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Timmreck, supra, namely, that “the concern with finality served by the limitation on collateral attack has special force with respect to convictions based on guilty pleas.” The amendment is likewise consistent with ALI Code of Pre-Arraignment Procedure §350.9 (1975) (“Allegations of noncompliance with the procedures provided in Article 350 shall not be a basis for review of a conviction after the appeal period for such conviction has expired, unless such review is required by the Constitution of the United States or of this State or otherwise by the law of this State other than Article 350”); ABA Standards Relating to the Administration of Criminal Justice §14–2.1 (2d ed. 1978) (using “manifest injustice” standard, but listing six specific illustrations each of which would be basis for relief under §2255); Unif.R.Crim.P. 444(e) (Approved Draft, 1974) (using “interest of justice” test, but listing five specific illustrations each of which would be basis for relief under §2255).

The first sentence of the amended rule incorporates the “fair and just” standard which the federal courts, relying upon dictum in Kercheval v. United States, 274 U.S. 220 (1927), have consistently applied to presentence motions. See, e.g., United States v. Strauss, 563 F.2d 127 (4th Cir. 1977); United States v. Bradin, 535 F.2d 1039 (8th Cir. 1976); United States v. Barker, 514 F.2d 208 (D.C.Cir. 1975). Under the rule as amended, it is made clear that the defendant has the burden of showing a “fair and just” reason for withdrawal of the plea. This is consistent with the prevailing view, which is that “the defendant has the burden of satisfying the trial judge that there are valid grounds for withdrawal,” see United States v. Michaelson, supra, and cases cited therein. (Illustrative of a reason which would meet this test but would likely fall short of the §2255 test is where the defendant now wants to pursue a certain defense which he for good reason did not put forward earlier, United States v. Barker, supra.)

Although “the terms ‘fair and just’ lack any pretense of scientific exactness,” United States v. Barker, supra, guidelines have emerged in the appellate cases for applying this standard. Whether the movant has asserted his legal innocence is an important factor to be weighed, United States v. Joslin, 434 F.2d 526 (D.C.Cir. 1970), as is the reason why the defenses were not put forward at the time of original pleading. United States v. Needles, 472 F.2d 652 (2d Cir. 1973). The amount of time which has passed between the plea and the motion must also be taken into account.

  A swift change of heart is itself strong indication that the plea was entered in haste and confusion * * *. By contrast, if the defendant has long delayed his withdrawal motion, and has had the full benefit of competent counsel at all times, the reasons given to support withdrawal must have considerably more force.

United States v. Barker, supra.

If the defendant establishes such a reason, it is then appropriate to consider whether the government would be prejudiced by withdrawal of the plea. Substantial prejudice may be present for a variety of reasons. See United States v. Jerry, 487 F.2d 600 (3d Cir. 1973) (physi