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Note: The comments and questions on this page came from people who visited this website. Please feel free to send your comments and questions to Professor Brenner (brenner@udayton.edu). She will respond privately, and may ask permission to post your message on this page. No one's e-mail will be used without first obtaining their permission, and names and e-mail addresses are removed before a comment is posted. Starting in 2002, the responses posted to the site indicate which of us replied: The initials SWB mean Professor Brenner wrote the response; the initials LES mean Professor Shaw wrote the response. We are also putting the year down, to indicate when the response was posted. If no initials appear, Professor Brenner wrote the response.

Can a federal agency be indicted?

Can a Federal agency be indicted for criminal behavior, or for civil infractions? 

Response: I honestly don't know--the legal rule in the federal system is that the right to indictment only attaches to individuals, so corporations and other artificial entities do not have a RIGHT to be indicted, but they CAN be indicted, if a prosecutor wants to go that way. I doubt that a federal agency would ever be the subject of an indictment, since the agency itself would not be at fault and is not legally the tool of the offenders in the same way that a corporation can be. I think the prosecutor would, instead, indict the culpable individuals responsible for the agency's crimes. (No indictment lies, by the way, for civil infractions--these have to be pursued by a civil case, initiated by a complaint filed in federal court.)

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