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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 private citizen present evidence to a grand jury? What is the process?

If a private citizen has evidence that someone violated criminal laws by what mechanism can such a citizen present the evidence to a grand jury? Is there a formal request process?

Response:

Many states (and I think Texas is one) have laws which establish a procedure by which a citizen can bring evidence to a grand jury's attention, without going through a prosecutor. To find out if Texas has such a law, you can check on FindLaw, www.findlaw.com - look for the Texas statutes that govern grand jury practice and the Texas rules of court dealing with grand juries. Or, you can try calling a Texas law professor who teaches Criminal Procedure and ask him or her about this. Or, as a final alternative, you can call the clerk of the court where the grand jury sits and ask the clerk how you would go about getting evidence directly to the grand jury.

Even if Texas does not have a statute or court rule establishing a formal procedure for this, you can always contact the clerk of the court that supervises the grand jury in your county/area and ask if you can submit evidence to the grand jury. The clerk can tell you how, and if, you do that.

Good luck.

SWB

2002

  

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