After 2 or 3 pretrials, my judge just pointed out to me that the foreman forgot to sign the indictment. There is a notation in the grand jury record book that the grand jury voted to true bill this case. Is the notation in the grand jury minute book enough or do I have to represent to the grand jury at the next session? I do not have another grand jury session scheduled until October and jury is already set for December.
A good policy is for the ADA or DA in charge of grand jury presentations to be present after the end of the gj session with the District Clerk to check and double check those indictments and no bills.
Obviously your "indictment" fails to comply with art. 21.01 (9) and the foreman did not comply with art. 20.20. But, it arguably complies with art. 21.01 and the problem is governed by art. 21.19. See Tatmon, 815 S.W.2d 588.
So, why not set the case for the foreman to appear and officialy sign it?
You have the time to re-indict the case and should do so to avoid any grounds for an appeal.
I don't think it qualifies as an indictment until it is signed by the foreman. Under CCP 20.21, 9 grand jurors must be presnt when it is delivered to the district clerk.
Thank you for your responses.
I think that, when push comes to shove, 20.20 - 20.22 would be (and in some cases, has been) held to be directory not mandatory. I wouldn't push the issue unless you were looking for something to write on but I have, on numerous occasions (no cases currently pending) been aware of instances where no members of the GJ were present when the indictments are presented or they were presented by someone other than the foreman.
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