Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 540
Grand Juries and Their Proceedings

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Selection of grand jurors, summons and jury qualificationform--notification of persons not qualified to serve--alternategrand jurors--length of service--compensation.

540.021. 1. Upon order of the presiding judge of the circuit court, or a judge designated by the presiding judge, names of prospective grand jurors shall be randomly selected from the master jury list in the manner determined by the board of jury commissioners. A summons for grand jury service and a juror qualification form shall be mailed or personally served to those persons selected in the form and as required by section 494.415 for petit jurors.

2. If it is determined from an examination of the juror qualification form that a person is not qualified to serve as a grand juror, that person shall be notified in a manner directed by the board of jury commissioners, and shall not be required to comply with the summons for grand jury service. The names of disqualified persons shall be deleted from the grand jury list.

3. Those prospective grand jurors not disqualified from grand jury service shall constitute the grand jury list. If later determined to be ineligible or disqualified, their names shall be deleted from the master jury list.

4. Those persons summoned for grand jury service shall be placed under the control and supervision of the presiding judge of the circuit court, or a judge designated by the presiding judge, who shall select twelve persons to serve as grand jurors. Alternate grand jurors as determined by the judge shall also be selected, to serve as a grand juror upon the death, disqualification, or inability of one of the persons selected as a regular grand juror. The names of those persons selected as grand jurors and alternate grand jurors shall be deleted from the grand jury list.

5. The presiding judge of the circuit court, or a judge designated by the presiding judge, shall have the authority to convene, recess, and adjourn a grand jury as, in his discretion, he deems necessary, and at times and places as he specifies. No grand jury shall be required to serve for longer than a six-month period, except such term may be extended for a period not to exceed sixty days, solely for the purpose of considering and completing matters already before the grand jury. No new matters shall be presented to the grand jury during its extended service. Nothing contained in this section prevents the convening of another grand jury during such extended service.

6. Compensation shall be allowed grand jurors in the same amount as is provided by law for petit jurors pursuant to section 494.455.

(L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al., A.L. 2003 H.B. 613)

Duties of grand jury.

540.031. A grand jury may make inquiry into and return indictments for all grades of crimes and shall make inquiry into all possible violations of the criminal laws as the court may direct. The grand jury may examine public buildings and report on their conditions.

(L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al., A.L. 2005 S.B. 289)

Qualifications and exemptions from service.

540.045. 1. The provisions of sections 494.400 to 494.505 relating to the qualifications and disqualifications of petit jurors and exemptions from service as a petit juror are applicable to grand jurors drawn and selected under the provisions of this chapter.

2. In addition thereto, any person who has served as a member or alternate of a grand jury, or alternate, within ten years next preceding his selection shall not be eligible for service as a grand juror.

(L. 1959 S.B. 246 § 4 (§540.025), A.L. 1984 S.B. 602, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Disqualification of grand juror--new juror summoned.

540.050. If any person is summoned as a grand juror who is not qualified as required by law, he may be challenged and discharged if such challenge is verified according to law or by his own oath. In such case, and also in case of nonattendance of any grand juror after he shall have been qualified, or in case any grand juror is excused by the court from further service for any cause, the court shall cause another grand juror to be summoned and sworn.

(RSMo 1939 § 710, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 8759; 1919 § 6620; 1909 § 7271

Challenge of grand jurors--grounds.

540.060. Before a grand juror is sworn, any person held to answer a criminal charge may object to the competency of the grand juror on the ground that the grand juror is the prosecutor or complainant upon any charge against such person, or that the grand juror is a witness on the part of the prosecutor and has been summoned or bound in a recognizance as such. If such objection is established, the person so challenged shall be excused.

(RSMo 1939 § 3903, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3514; 1919 § 3859; 1909 § 5067

Challenge for other causes not allowed.

540.070. No challenge to the array of grand jurors, or to any person summoned as a grand juror, shall be allowed except as provided in section 540.045 and in section 540.050.

(RSMo 1939 § 3904, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3515; 1919 § 3860; 1909 § 5068

Oath of grand jurors.

540.080. Grand jurors may be sworn in the following form:

Do you solemnly swear you will diligently inquire and true presentment make, according to your charge, of all offenses against the laws of the state committed or triable in this county of which you have or can obtain legal evidence; the counsel of your state, your fellows and your own, you shall truly keep secret? You further swear that you will present no one for any hatred, malice or ill will; neither will you leave unpresented any one for love, fear, favor or affection, or for any reward or the hope or promise thereof, but that you will present things truly as they come to your knowledge, to the best of your understanding, according to the laws of this state, so help you God.

(RSMo 1939 § 3905, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3516; 1919 § 3861; 1909 § 5069

Foreperson of grand jury, appointment.

540.090. From the persons selected to serve as grand jurors, the court shall appoint a foreperson. If such foreperson is discharged or excused before the grand jury is dismissed, the court shall appoint another foreperson.

(RSMo 1939 § 3902, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3513; 1919 § 3858; 1909 § 5066

Clerk of grand jury, appointment.

540.100. Every grand jury may appoint one of their number to be a clerk thereof, to preserve minutes of their proceedings and of the evidence given before them. The minutes shall be given to the prosecuting or circuit attorney when the grand jury is discharged from further service.

(RSMo 1939 § 3911, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3522; 1919 § 3867; 1909 § 5075

Reporter to record testimony--oath.

540.105. An official reporter of the circuit court, when directed by the judge thereof, shall take down and transcribe for the use of the prosecuting or circuit attorney any or all evidence given before the grand jury. Before taking down any such evidence, however, such reporter shall be sworn by the foreperson of such grand jury not to divulge any of the proceedings or testimony before the grand jury or the names of any witnesses except to the prosecuting or circuit attorney or to any attorney lawfully assisting him in the prosecution of an indictment brought by such grand jury.

(L. 1951 p. 460, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Grand jury proceeding to be recorded, when--transcript to defendant.

540.106. Any grand jury proceeding that includes testimony or other information from a witness who is granted immunity from prosecution shall be a recorded proceeding. In the event a person is indicted as a result of such immunized testimony, the prosecutor shall provide a transcription of such testimony to all defendants.

(L. 1997 H.B. 339)

Foreperson--powers and duties--oath.

540.110. The foreperson of every grand jury, from the time of his appointment to his discharge, shall be authorized to administer any oath, declaration or affirmation, in the manner prescribed by law, to any witness who shall appear before such grand jury, for the purpose of giving evidence in any matter cognizable by them. In addition to the usual oath, the foreperson, before such witness shall testify, shall administer to him or her the following oath:

Do you further solemnly swear, or affirm, that you will not after your examination here, directly or indirectly, divulge or make known to any person or persons the fact that this grand jury has or has had under consideration the matters concerning which you shall be examined, or any other fact or thing which may come to your knowledge while before this body, or concerning which you shall here testify, unless lawfully required to testify in relation thereto?

(RSMo 1939 § 3906, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3517; 1919 § 3862; 1909 § 5070

Penalty for violation of oath.

540.120. Any person having taken the oath required pursuant to section 540.110, who shall willfully violate the same, shall be adjudged guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(RSMo 1939 § 3907, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3518; 1919 § 3863; 1909 § 5071

Prosecuting or circuit attorney to attend.

540.130. Whenever required by any grand jury, it shall be the duty of the prosecuting or circuit attorney in the county, or in a city not within a county, to attend them for the purpose of examining witnesses in their presence, or giving them advice upon any legal matter.

(RSMo 1939 § 3912, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3523; 1919 § 3868; 1909 § 5076

Rights and privileges of prosecuting or circuit attorney.

540.140. The prosecuting or circuit attorney shall be allowed at all times to appear before the grand jury on his request, for the purpose of giving information relative to any matter cognizable by them, and shall be permitted to interrogate witnesses before them, when they or he shall deem it necessary. No prosecuting or circuit attorney or any other officer or person, except the grand jurors, shall be permitted to be present during the expression of their opinions or the giving of* their votes on any matter before them.

(RSMo 1939 § 3913, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3524; 1919 § 3869; 1909 § 5077

*Word "of" does not appear in original rolls.

Interpreter--appointment--oath.

540.150. Whenever in the opinion of any grand jury it shall be necessary to have an interpreter of the testimony to be given before them by any witnesses, they may appoint such interpreter and permit him to be present in the grand jury room during the hearing of the testimony of such witnesses. The interpreter shall first be sworn by the foreperson not to divulge any of the proceedings before the grand jury or the names of any witnesses. The foreperson shall further swear the interpreter to correctly interpret all questions to the witness and all the witness' answers into English.

(RSMo 1939 § 3935, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3546; 1919 § 3891

Grand jury entitled to process--exception.

540.160. Whenever thereto required by any grand jury, or the foreperson thereof, or by the prosecuting or circuit attorney, the clerk of the court in which such jury is impaneled shall issue subpoenas and other process to bring witnesses to testify before such grand jury. After the finding and returning of any indictment by the grand jury, such foreperson, prosecuting or circuit attorney, or jury, shall not have the right to cause any subpoena or other process to be issued for any person who is known or believed by such foreperson, prosecuting or circuit attorney or jury to be a witness in behalf of the person or persons so indicted, or who has been subpoenaed as a witness in behalf of such person or persons, or who such foreperson, prosecuting or circuit attorney or jury may have reason to believe will be summoned as a witness in behalf of such person or persons, in regard to the matter or matters charged against such person or persons in such indictment, except upon the written order of the judge of the court into which such indictment is returned.

(RSMo 1939 § 3914, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3525; 1919 § 3870; 1909 § 5078

Subpoenas in vacation, when issued.

540.170. It shall be the duty of the circuit clerk to issue subpoenas for witnesses to be and appear before the grand jury of the circuit court thereafter, at the instance of the prosecuting or circuit attorney, whenever it shall be shown that such witnesses are about to absent themselves to avoid being subpoenaed before the grand jury.

(RSMo 1939 § 3934, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3545; 1919 § 3890; 1909 § 5098

Compulsory process, when issued.

540.180. If any witness, duly summoned to appear and testify before a grand jury, shall fail or refuse to obey, the court shall cause compulsory process to be issued to enforce his attendance, and may punish the delinquent in the same manner and upon like proceedings as provided by law for disobedience of a subpoena issued out of such court in other cases.

(RSMo 1939 § 3915)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3526; 1919 § 3871; 1909 § 5079

Refusal to testify--proceedings.

540.190. If any witness, appearing before a grand jury, refuses to testify or to answer any interrogatories in the course of his examination, the fact and the question refused shall be communicated to the court in writing. The court shall thereupon determine whether the witness is bound to answer or not, and the grand jury shall be immediately informed of the decision.

(RSMo 1939 § 3916, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3527; 1919 § 3872; 1909 § 5080

Witness may be compelled to testify.

540.200. If the court determines that the witness is bound to answer, and he persists in his refusal, he shall be brought before the court, who shall proceed therein in the same manner as if the witness had been interrogated and refused to answer in open court.

(RSMo 1939 § 3917, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3528; 1919 § 3873; 1909 § 5081

Continued refusal to testify--proceedings.

540.210. If any such witness shall be committed for a contempt, on account of his refusal to testify, and shall persist in such refusal until the grand jury is dismissed, or until the expiration of his imprisonment, he shall not be discharged without leave of court and until he enters into a recognizance, with sufficient surety, for his appearance at such time as designated by the court.

(RSMo 1939 § 3918, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3529; 1919 § 3874; 1909 § 5082

Grand juror as witness, when.

540.220. If a grand juror knows of the commission of an indictable offense, or any material fact touching the same, he must declare such fact to his fellows, and be sworn as a witness upon the investigation before them.

(RSMo 1939 § 3930)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3541; 1919 § 3886; 1909 § 5094

Indictment of grand juror--proceedings.

540.230. Any grand juror may be indicted or presented by the grand jury of which he is a member. When any information shall be given against a grand juror, it shall be the duty of the foreperson at once to notify the prosecuting or circuit attorney of the fact. If, on examination, there are grounds for proceedings against such juror, the foreperson shall inform the judge of the court thereof, who shall discharge the juror, and if necessary, cause another to be summoned and sworn.

(RSMo 1939 § 3919, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3530; 1919 § 3875; 1909 § 5083

Bills of indictment.

540.240. All grand juries are hereby authorized to find and present bills of indictment for either felonies or misdemeanors committed against the laws of the state.

(RSMo 1939 § 3908)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3519; 1919 § 3864; 1909 § 5072

True bill--concurrence by nine grand jurors.

540.250. No indictment can be found without the concurrence of at least nine grand jurors. When so found, and not otherwise, the foreperson of the grand jury shall certify under his hand that such indictment is a true bill, by the following endorsement thereon, thus: "A true bill. A B, foreperson".

(RSMo 1939 § 3926, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3537; 1919 § 3882; 1909 § 5090

Indictment not a true bill, when.

540.260. When there is not a concurrence of nine grand jurors in finding an indictment, the foreperson shall certify, under his hand, that such an indictment is not a true bill.

(RSMo 1939 § 3927, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3538; 1919 § 3883; 1909 § 5091

Indictments--presented to court--filed.

540.270. Indictments found and presentments made by a grand jury shall be presented by their foreperson, in their presence, to the court, and shall be there filed and remain as records of such court.

(RSMo 1939 § 3928, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3539; 1919 § 3884; 1909 § 5092

Grand jurors required to testify, when.

540.300. Members of the grand jury may be required by any court to testify whether the testimony of a witness examined before such jury is consistent with or different from the evidence given by such witness before such court. They may also be required to disclose the testimony given before them by any person, upon a complaint against such person for perjury, or upon his trial for such offense.

(RSMo 1939 § 3922, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3533; 1919 § 3878; 1909 § 5086

Cannot be compelled to disclose vote.

540.310. No member of a grand jury shall be obliged or allowed to testify or declare in what manner he or any other member of the grand jury voted on any question before them, or what opinions were expressed by any juror in relation to any such question.

(RSMo 1939 § 3923)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3534; 1919 § 3879; 1909 § 5087

Grand juror not to disclose evidence--penalty.

540.320. No grand juror shall disclose any evidence given before the grand jury, nor the name of any witness who appeared before them, except when lawfully required to testify as a witness in relation thereto; nor shall he disclose the fact of any indictment having been found against any person for a felony, not in actual confinement, until the defendant shall have been arrested thereon. Any juror violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(RSMo 1939 § 3924, A.L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al.)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3535; 1919 § 3880; 1909 § 5088

Charge to grand jury.

540.330. In charging grand juries, the court shall apprise them of the provisions of sections 540.300 to 540.320, in relation to disclosures, and in what cases and under what circumstances any disclosures may or may not be made.

(RSMo 1939 § 3925)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3536; 1919 § 3881; 1909 § 5089

Lists of tangible personal property--authority of grand jury (firstclass counties).

540.331. The circuit judge exercising criminal jurisdiction shall give the lists prepared in accordance with section 137.155 or 137.360, in charge of the grand jury, who shall have the authority to examine such list of property with a view of inquiring into the correctness of such list. No such list shall be altered, changed or amended after it is filed with the county clerk, except by order of the county commission. Any person who alters, changes or amends any such list without such order shall upon conviction be deemed guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Every county clerk or deputy county clerk who shall knowingly permit any such list to be altered, changed or amended without such order shall forfeit one hundred dollars, to be recovered by suit upon his official bond.

(L. 1989 S.B. 127, et al. § 540.330)


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