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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.

Are there standard forms of indictments or complaints?

Is there any form of "complaint," as it were, that is used to bring someone before a grand jury? Is there any standard form of indictment? Are you aware of any web-sites that would have examples of these?

Response: Bringing someone before a grand jury is done by means of a subpoena, not an indictment. I'm not aware of any sites that have form federal grand jury subpoenas--you can either try to find one with a search engine or you could go to a law library and ask a reference librarian to find a form for you (they'll have plenty). In some states, like California, a grand jury inquiry can be initiated by a complaint filed by a citizen. If you'd like to see the form for such a complaint, check here: http://grandjury.co.la.ca.us/ 

Finally, there is no standard form indictment in the federal system, though the Department of Justice has forms for drafting charges in an indictment. Many states have form indictments in their statutes; you'd have to check the statutes for your jurisdiction. 

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