USA Statutes : oregon
Title : TITLE 14 PROCEDURE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS GENERALLY
Chapter : Chapter 132 Grand Jury, Indictments and Other Accusatory Instruments
A grand jury is a body of seven persons drawn
from the jurors in attendance upon the circuit court at a particular jury
service term, having the qualifications prescribed by ORS 10.030 and
sworn to inquire of crimes committed or triable within the county from
which they are selected. [Amended by 1985 c.703 §22](1) Under the direction of the court, the clerk
shall draw names at random from the names of jurors in attendance upon
the court until the names of seven jurors are drawn and accepted by the
court. The seven persons thus chosen shall constitute the grand jury.
(2) When the court, in its discretion, considers that one or more
additional grand juries is needed for the administration of justice, one
or more additional grand juries shall be selected in the manner provided
in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) Any law applicable to the grand jury is equally applicable to
any additional grand jury selected under subsection (2) of this section,
except that whenever any duties or functions are imposed upon the grand
jury, it shall be sufficient if such duties or functions are performed by
one of the grand juries selected under this section.
(4) Any inquiry or investigation required by law to be made by a
grand jury shall be void, unless such inquiry or investigation was made
entirely by the same grand jury. [Amended by 1959 c.59 §1; 1985 c.703 §23]
Neither the grand jury panel nor any individual juror may be challenged.
A judge of the court or clerk of court, as defined in ORS 10.010, may at
any time after a juror is drawn and before the juror is sworn excuse the
juror from jury service for any reason prescribed in ORS 10.050. [Amended
by 1973 c.836 §36; 1979 c.728 §5; 1985 c.703 §24; 1999 c.1085 §2] The court shall appoint a foreman and
an alternate foreman of the grand jury from the persons chosen to
constitute that body. The alternate foreman shall have the duties and
powers of the foreman in the absence of the foreman. [Amended by 1973
c.836 §37] (1) Before the members of
the grand jury enter upon the discharge of their duties, the following
oath must be administered to them by or under the direction of the court:
You, as grand jurors for the County of______, do solemnly swear
that you will diligently inquire into, and true presentment or indictment
make of, all crimes against this state committed or triable within this
county that shall come to your knowledge; that you will keep secret the
proceedings before you, the counsel of the state, your own counsel and
that of your fellows; that you will indict no person through envy, hatred
or malice nor leave any person not indicted through fear, favor,
affection or hope of reward; but that you will indict upon the evidence
before you according to the truth and the laws of this state, so help you
(2) In administering this oath, the blank therein must be filled
with the name of the county in which the court is sitting; and if any
juror prefers, the juror must be allowed to affirm thereto, in which
case, instead of the final phrase thereof there must be added, “and this
you promise under the pains and penalties of perjury.” [Amended by 1973
c.836 §38] When the grand jury is formed, the court
shall charge it and give it such information as the court deems proper
concerning the nature of its powers and duties, or charges for crime
returned to the court or likely to come before the grand jury. The members of the grand jury shall appoint one of
their number as clerk. The clerk shall keep minutes of their proceedings
(except the votes of the individual jurors) and of the substance of the
evidence given before them.(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this
section, no person other than the district attorney or a witness actually
under examination shall be present during the sittings of the grand jury.
(2) Upon a motion filed by the district attorney in the circuit
court, the circuit judge may appoint a reporter who shall attend the
sittings of the grand jury to take and report the testimony in any
matters pending before the grand jury, and may appoint a parent, guardian
or other appropriate person 18 years of age or older to accompany any
child 12 years of age or younger, or any person with mental retardation,
during an appearance before the grand jury. The circuit judge, upon the
district attorney’s showing to the court that it is necessary for the
proper examination of a witness appearing before the grand jury, may
appoint a guard, medical or other special attendant or nurse, who shall
be present in the grand jury room and shall attend such sittings.
(3) The district attorney may designate an interpreter who is
certified under ORS 45.291 to interpret the testimony of witnesses
appearing before the grand jury. The district attorney may designate a
qualified interpreter, as defined in ORS 45.288, if the circuit court
determines that a certified interpreter is not available and that the
person designated by the district attorney is a qualified interpreter as
defined in ORS 45.288. An interpreter designated under this subsection
may be present in the grand jury room and attend the sittings of the
(4) No person other than members of the grand jury shall be present
when the grand jury is deliberating or voting upon a matter before it.
(5) As used in this section, “mental retardation” has the meaning
given that term in ORS 427.005. Mental retardation may be shown by
attaching to the motion of the district attorney:
(a) Documentary evidence of intellectual functioning; or
(b) The affidavit of a qualified person familiar with the person
with mental retardation. “Qualified person” includes, but is not limited
to, a teacher, therapist or physician. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §39; 1983
c.375 §1; 1991 c.406 §1; 2001 c.243 §1] The foreman of the grand
jury or, in the absence of the foreman, any other grand juror shall
administer an oath to any witness appearing before the grand jury.
[Amended by 1973 c.836 §40]After the formation of the grand jury and before it is
discharged, the court may:
(1) Discharge a grand juror who:
(a) Becomes sick, is out of the county or fails to appear when the
grand jury is summoned to reconvene;
(b) Is related, by affinity or consanguinity within the third
degree, to the accused who is under investigation by the grand jury, or
held for the commission of a crime; or
(c) Is unable to continue in the discharge of duties.
(2) Order that another person be drawn at random and sworn from the
jurors then in attendance upon the court, or if no other jurors are there
in attendance, from the master jury list of the county, to take the place
of a discharged juror.
(3) Allow at least five grand jurors to proceed upon good cause
shown. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §41; 1985 c.703 §25] When the jury service term
is completed the grand jury must be discharged by the court; but the
judge may, by an order made either in open court or at chambers anywhere
in the judicial district and entered of record, stating the reasons,
continue the grand jury in session for such period of time as the judge
deems advisable. [Amended by 1959 c.638 §13; 1973 c.836 §42; 1985 c.540
§30; 1985 c.703 §26]GRAND JUROR IN LATER PROCEEDINGS A grand juror
cannot be questioned for anything the grand juror says or any vote the
grand juror gives, while acting as such, relative to any matter legally
pending before the grand jury, except for a perjury or false swearing of
which the grand juror may have been guilty in giving testimony before
such jury. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §43]A member of a grand jury may be required by any court to disclose:
(1) The testimony of a witness examined before the grand jury, for
the purpose of ascertaining whether it is consistent with that given by
the witness before the court.
(2) The testimony given before such grand jury by any person, upon
a charge against such person for perjury or false swearing or upon trial
therefor. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §44]GRAND JURY PROCEDURES The grand jury
shall retire into a private room and may inquire into crimes committed or
triable in the county and present them to the court, either by
presentment or indictment, as provided in ORS 132.310 to 132.390.
[Amended by 1973 c.836 §45] (1) Except as provided in
subsections (2) to (10) of this section, in the investigation of a charge
for the purpose of indictment, the grand jury shall receive no other
evidence than such as might be given on the trial of the person charged
with the crime in question.
(2) A report or a copy of a report made by a physicist, chemist,
medical examiner, physician, firearms identification expert, examiner of
questioned documents, fingerprint technician, or an expert or technician
in some comparable scientific or professional field, concerning the
results of an examination, comparison or test performed by such person in
connection with a case which is the subject of a grand jury proceeding,
shall, when certified by such person as a report made by such person or
as a true copy thereof, be received in evidence in the grand jury
(3) An affidavit of a witness who is unable to appear before the
grand jury shall be received in evidence in the grand jury proceeding if,
upon application by the district attorney, the presiding judge for the
judicial district in which the grand jury is sitting authorizes such
receipt after good cause has been shown for the witness’ inability to
appear. An affidavit taken in another state or territory of the United
States, the District of Columbia or in a foreign country must be
authenticated as provided in ORS 194.505 to 194.575 before it can be used
in this state.
(4) A grand jury that is investigating a charge of criminal driving
while suspended or revoked under ORS 811.182 may receive in evidence an
affidavit of a peace officer with a report or copy of a report of the
peace officer concerning the peace officer’s investigation of the
violation of ORS 811.182 by the defendant.
(5) A grand jury may receive testimony of a witness by means of
simultaneous television transmission allowing the grand jury and district
attorney to observe and communicate with the witness and the witness to
observe and communicate with the grand jury and the district attorney.
(6) A grand jury that is investigating a charge of failure to
appear under ORS 133.076, 153.992, 162.195 or 162.205 may receive in
evidence an affidavit of a court employee certifying that the defendant
failed to appear as required by law and setting forth facts sufficient to
support that conclusion.
(7)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a grand
jury may receive in evidence through the testimony of one peace officer
involved in the criminal investigation under grand jury inquiry
information from an official report of another peace officer involved in
the same criminal investigation concerning the other peace officer’s
investigation of the matter before the grand jury. The statement of a
person suspected of committing an offense or inadmissible hearsay of
persons other than the peace officer who compiled the official report may
not be presented to a grand jury under this paragraph.
(b) If the official report contains evidence other than chain of
custody, venue or the name of the person suspected of committing an
offense, the grand jurors must be notified that the evidence is being
submitted by report and that the peace officer who compiled the report
will be made available for testimony at the request of the grand jury.
When a grand jury requests the testimony of a peace officer under this
paragraph, the peace officer may present sworn testimony by telephone if
requiring the peace officer’s presence before the grand jury would
constitute an undue hardship on the peace officer or the agency that
employs or utilizes the peace officer.
(8) A grand jury that is investigating a charge of failure to
report as a sex offender under ORS 181.599 may receive in evidence
certified copies of the form required by ORS 181.603 (2) and sex offender
registration forms and an affidavit of a representative of the Oregon
State Police, as keepers of the state’s sex offender registration
records, certifying that the certified copies of the forms constitute the
complete record for the defendant.
(9) The grand jury is not bound to hear evidence for the defendant,
but it shall weigh all the evidence submitted to it; and when it believes
that other evidence within its reach will explain away the charge, it
should order such evidence to be produced, and for that purpose may
require the district attorney to issue process for the witnesses.
(10) A grand jury that is investigating a charge of driving while
under the influence of intoxicants in violation of ORS 813.010 may
receive in evidence an affidavit of a peace officer regarding any or all
of the following:
(a) Whether the defendant was driving.
(b) Whether the defendant took or refused to take tests under any
provision of ORS chapter 813.
(c) The administration of tests under any provision of ORS chapter
813 and the results of such tests.
(d) The officer’s observations of physical or mental impairment of
the defendant. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §46; 1975 c.576 §1; 1983 c.393 §25;
1995 c.126 §1; 1995 c.781 §38; 1997 c.249 §43; 1999 c.1049 §6; 2001 c.19
§1; 2003 c.645 §3; 2005 c.529 §1] The district
attorney may submit an indictment to the grand jury in any case when the
district attorney has good reason to believe that a crime has been
committed which is triable within the county. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §47] The district
attorney, when required by the grand jury, must prepare indictments or
presentments for it and attend its sittings to advise it in relation to
its duties or to examine witnesses in its presence. (1) If a
grand juror knows or has reason to believe that a crime which is triable
in the county has been committed, the grand juror shall disclose the same
to the fellow jurors, who may thereupon investigate the same.
(2) An indictment or presentment must not be found upon the
statement of a grand juror unless the grand juror is sworn and examined
as a witness.
(3) A grand juror testifying as provided in subsection (2) of this
section shall not vote on the indictment nor be present during
deliberations thereon. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §48] A grand jury may
indict or present facts to the court for instruction as provided in ORS
132.370, with the concurrence of five of its members, if at least five
jurors voting for indictment or presentment heard all the testimony
relating to the person indicted or facts presented. [Amended by 1973
(1) When the grand jury is in doubt whether the facts, as shown by the
evidence before it, constitute a crime in law or whether the same has
ceased to be punishable by reason of lapse of time or a former acquittal
or conviction, it may make a presentment of the facts to the court,
without mentioning the names of individuals, and ask the court for
instructions concerning the law arising thereon.
(2) A presentment cannot be found and made to the court except as
provided in subsection (1) of this section, and, when so found and
presented, the court shall give such instructions to the grand jury
concerning the law of the case as it thinks proper and necessary.
(3) A presentment is made to the court by the foreman in the
presence of the grand jury. But being a mere formal statement of facts
for the purpose of obtaining the advice of the court as to the law
arising thereon, it is not to be filed in court or preserved beyond the
sitting of the grand jury. The grand jury may indict a
person for a crime when it believes the person guilty thereof, whether
such person has been held to answer for such crime or not. [Amended by
1973 c.836 §50] The grand jury may find an
indictment when all the evidence before it, taken together, is such as in
its judgment would, if unexplained or uncontradicted, warrant a
conviction by the trial jury. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §51]” An indictment,
when found, shall be indorsed “a true bill,” and such indorsement signed
by the foreman of the jury. An indictment,
when found and indorsed, as provided in ORS 132.400 and 132.580, shall be
filed with the clerk of the court, in whose office it shall remain as a
public record. Upon being designated by the district attorney as
confidential and until after the arrest of a defendant who has not been
held to answer the charge, the indictment or any order or process in
relation thereto shall not be inspected by any person other than the
judge, the clerk of the court, the district attorney or a peace officer
in the discharge of a duty concerning the indictment, order or process.
[Amended by 1973 c.836 §52; 1999 c.967 §2]No grand juror, reporter or other person except the district
attorney or a peace officer in the exercise of duties in effecting an
arrest shall disclose any fact concerning any indictment while it is not
subject to public inspection. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §53]”
(1) When a person has been held to answer a criminal charge and the
indictment in relation thereto is not found “a true bill,” it must be
indorsed “not a true bill,” which indorsement must be signed by the
foreman and filed with the clerk of the court, in whose office it shall
remain a public record. In the case of an indictment not found “a true
bill” against a person not so held, the same, together with the minutes
of the evidence in relation thereto, must be destroyed by the grand jury.
(2) When an indictment indorsed “not a true bill” has been filed
with the clerk of the court, the effect thereof is to dismiss the charge;
and the same cannot be again submitted to or inquired of by the grand
jury unless the court so orders. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §54](1) At least once yearly, a grand jury shall
inquire into the condition and management of every correctional facility
and youth correction facility as defined in ORS 162.135 in the county.
(2) The grand jury is entitled to free access at all reasonable
times to such correctional facilities and juvenile facilities, and,
without charge, to all public records in the county pertaining thereto.
(3) Other than indictments presented under ORS 132.310 or
presentments presented under ORS 132.370, the grand jury shall issue no
report other than a report of an inquiry made under this section.
[Amended by 1973 c.836 §55; 1985 c.565 §11; 1997 c.249 §44]SUFFICIENCY OF INDICTMENT The forms of pleading,
and the rules by which the sufficiency of pleadings is to be determined,
are those prescribed by the statutes relating to criminal procedure.
[Amended by 1973 c.836 §56](1) The indictment is
sufficient if it can be understood therefrom that:
(a) The defendant is named, or if the name of the defendant cannot
be discovered, that the defendant is described by a fictitious name, with
the statement that the real name of the defendant is to the jury unknown.
(b) The crime was committed within the jurisdiction of the court,
except where, as provided by law, the act, though done without the county
in which the court is held, is triable therein.
(c) The crime was committed at some time prior to the finding of
the indictment and within the time limited by law for the commencement of
an action therefor.
(2) The indictment shall not contain allegations that the defendant
has previously been convicted of the violation of any statute which may
subject the defendant to enhanced penalties, except where the conviction
constitutes a material element of the crime charged.
(3) Words used in a statute to define a crime need not be strictly
pursued in the indictment, but other words conveying the same meaning may
be used. [Amended by 1957 c.657 §1; 1973 c.836 §57] The indictment shall contain substantially the
(1) The name of the circuit court in which it is filed; and
(2) The title of the action; and
(3) A statement that the grand jury accuses the defendant or
defendants of the designated offense or offenses; and
(4) A separate accusation or count addressed to each offense
charged, if there be more than one; and
(5) A statement in each count that the offense charged therein was
committed in a designated county; and
(6) A statement in each count that the offense charged therein was
committed on, or on or about, a designated date, or during a designated
period of time; and
(7) A statement of the acts constituting the offense in ordinary
and concise language, without repetition, and in such manner as to enable
a person of common understanding to know what is intended; and
(8) The signatures of the foreman and of the district attorney; and
(9) The date the indictment is filed with the clerk of the court.
[Amended by 1973 c.836 §58](1) When a person is charged with a crime committed on or
after November 1, 1989, that includes subcategories under the rules of
the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, the state is required to plead
specially in the indictment, in addition to the elements of the crime,
any subcategory fact on which the state intends to rely to enhance the
crime for sentencing purposes. The state shall plead the elements and
subcategory facts in a single count. Nothing in this subsection precludes
the pleading of alternative theories.
(2) The state must prove each subcategory fact beyond a reasonable
doubt and the jury shall return a special verdict of “yes” or “no” on
each subcategory fact submitted. [1995 c.520 §6]Note: 132.557 was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but
was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 132 or any series therein
by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further
explanation.(1) A charging instrument must charge but one offense, and
in one form only, except that:
(a) Where the offense may be committed by the use of different
means, the charging instrument may allege the means in the alternative.
(b) Two or more offenses may be charged in the same charging
instrument in a separate count for each offense if the offenses charged
are alleged to have been committed by the same person or persons and are:
(A) Of the same or similar character;
(B) Based on the same act or transaction; or
(C) Based on two or more acts or transactions connected together or
constituting parts of a common scheme or plan.
(2) If two or more charging instruments are found in circumstances
described in subsection (1)(b) of this section, the court may order them
to be consolidated.
(3) If it appears, upon motion, that the state or defendant is
substantially prejudiced by a joinder of offenses under subsection (1) or
(2) of this section, the court may order an election or separate trials
of counts or provide whatever other relief justice requires.
(4) As used in this section, “charging instrument” means any
written instrument sufficient under the law to charge a person with an
offense, and shall include, but not be limited to, grand jury
indictments, informations, complaints and uniform traffic, game or
boating complaints. [Amended by 1989 c.842 §1; 1993 c.278 §1; 1999 c.1040
§17](1) When an indictment
is found, the names of the witnesses examined before the grand jury that
returned the indictment, either by testimony in the presence of the grand
jury, by affidavit, by means of simultaneous television transmission
under ORS 132.320 (5) or by telephone under ORS 132.320 (7), and the
names of those whose reports were received by such grand jury pursuant to
ORS 132.320 (2) must be inserted at the foot of the indictment, or
indorsed thereon, before it is filed. The indorsement shall show whether
the witness gave testimony before the grand jury in person, by affidavit,
by means of simultaneous television transmission or by telephone or filed
(2) A witness examined before the grand jury whose name is not
indorsed on the indictment shall not be permitted to testify at trial
without the consent of the defendant, unless the court finds that:
(a) The name of the witness was omitted from the indictment by
(b) The name of the witness was furnished to the defendant by the
state at least 10 days before trial; and
(c) The defendant will not be prejudiced by the omission. [Amended
by 1973 c.836 §59; 1995 c.126 §2; 2003 c.645 §8]ACCUSATORY INSTRUMENTS (1) As
used in this section, “domestic violence” has the meaning given that term
in ORS 135.230.
(2) When a crime involves domestic violence, the accusatory
instrument may plead, and the prosecution may prove at trial, domestic
violence as an element of the crime. When a crime is so pleaded, the
words “constituting domestic violence” may be added to the title of the
crime. [2003 c.319 §1]PENALTIESViolation of ORS 132.420 or the prohibitions of ORS 132.410
is punishable as contempt.