RULE 14. RELIEF FROM PREJUDICIAL JOINDER
(a) Relief. If
it appears that a defendant or the prosecution is prejudiced by
a the joinder of
offenses or of defendants in an indictment, an information,
or a complaint, or by such joinder
a consolidation for trial together appears to prejudice a defendant
or the prosecution, the
court may order an election or separate trials of counts, grant a
severance of defendants sever
the defendants' trials, or provide whatever any other relief
that justice requires.
(b) Defendant's Statements.
In Before ruling on a
defendant's motion to sever, by a
defendant for severance the court may order the prosecuting attorney to deliver to the
for in camera inspection in camera any defendant's statements
or confessions made by the
defendants which that the prosecution intends to introduce in
use as evidence at the trial.
Rule 14 was amended, effective March 1, 2006.
Rule 14 follows Fed.R.Crim.P. 14
, in substance and controls with
respect to the
discretionary power of the courts of this State state to grant relief from
It differs from the Federal Rule federal rule in that it includes the
complaint with the
indictment and information. For consistency with these Rules rules, it
also substitutes the
words "prosecuting attorney" and "prosecution" , for the words "attorney for the
government" and "government."
Rule 14 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the December 1, 2002, revision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
Rule 14 is a restatement of prior existing
Federal federal law
under which severance and
other similar relief was entirely discretionary with the court. Rule 14 is designed to promote
economy and efficiency and to avoid a multiplicity of trials, where these objectives can be
achieved without substantial prejudice to the right of defendants to a fair trial. [Bruton v.
United States, 391 U.S. 123, 88 S. Ct. 1620, 20 L. Ed. 2d 476 (1968).]
The An issue raised in N.D.R.Crim.P.
Rule 14 is when should the trial of multiple
defendants be separated so that prejudice to the defendants will be avoided. Even though a
danger of prejudice exists in all trials involving multiple defendants, the general rule is that
public policy considerations in the administration of justice require that the severance be
denied in the absence of a clear-cut showing of prejudice against which the trial court will
not be able to afford protection. Under N.D.R.Crim.P. Rule 14, the
duty of the court to grant
a severance is a continuing one, which must be exercised in light of developments during the
trial. If the original joinder was improper, N.D.R.Crim.P. Rule 14
confers no discretion . In
that event -- a severance must be ordered and failure to sever constitutes
reversible error. If
the original joinder was proper, then N.D.R.Crim.P. Rule 14 permits a
severance in the
discretion of the court.
Rule 14 must be considered in light of
N.D.R.Crim.P. Rule 8
because in drafting
N.D.R.Crim.P. Rule 8(a), the draftsmen followed the Civil
Rules civil rules in providing for
free joinder at the pleading stage while retaining within the court broad power to shape the
trial so as to avoid prejudice. The three most common situations in which
relief from prejudicial joinder are: (1) confession of a co-defendant, (2) testimony of a
co-defendant, and (3) conspiracy cases.
Rule 14 is similar to N.D.R.Civ.P. 42 (Consolidation; Separate Trials), in granting to the court the discretion to order a separate trial in order to avoid prejudice to the defendant and to protect the defendant's substantive rights.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 27-28, 2005, page 11;
May 11-12, 1972, pages 16-17; May 3-4, 1968, page 6;
Fed.R.Crim.P. 14 , page 645;
Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal, § 211-227k (1969); 8 Moore's
Federal Practice, Chapter 14 (Cipes, 2d Ed. 1970); Barron, Federal Practice and Procedure:
Criminal, § 2011 (4 Cum. Supp. 112, Wright, 1964).
SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. §§ 29-11-10.1, 29-11-50.
CROSS REFERENCES: N.D.R.Crim.P. 8 (Joinder of Offenses
N.D.R.Crim.P. 13 ( Trial Together of Indictments or Informations or
Complaints Joint Trial
of Separate Cases).