RULE 8. JOINDER OF OFFENSES OR DEFENDANTS
1 (a) Joinder of offenses.
3 (1) In General. The indictment, information, or complaint may charge a
4 defendant in separate counts with two or more offenses if the offenses charged
5 whether felonies, misdemeanors or infractions are of the same or similar
6 character or are based on the same act or transaction, or are connected with or
7 constitute parts of a common scheme or plan.
8 (2) Joinder Required Before Filing. If two or more charges against a single
9 defendant may be joined under Rule 8(a)(1), the charges must be consolidated in a
10 single charging document before filing.
11 (b) Joinder of defendants.
12 The indictment, information, or complaint may charge two or more
13 defendants if they are alleged to have participated in the same act or transaction, or
14 in the same series of acts or transactions constituting one or more offenses. The
15 defendants may be charged in one or more counts together or separately. All of the
16 defendants need not be charged in each count.
17 EXPLANATORY NOTE
18 Rule 8 was amended, effective March 1, 2006;___________________.
19 Rule 8 follows Fed.R.Crim.P. 8, in substance and controls with respect to
20 all actions involving the joinder of offenses or defendants arising in this state. This
21 rule should be read in conjunction with Rules 13 and 14 since the same underlying
22 principles apply in each. They are designed to promote economy and efficiency
23 and avoid multiplicity of trials in those situations in which these objectives can be
24 reached without substantial prejudice to the rights of the defendants. The unifying
25 theme in this rule is trial convenience, even though trial convenience in criminal
26 procedure is not a goal upon which all parties can uniformly agree.
27 Subdivision (a) has been modified slightly from its federal counterpart to
28 allow joinder of offenses in the complaint as well as the indictment and
29 information. The test for determining the identity of offenses charged in two or
30 more indictments or in two or more counts in a single indictment is whether the
31 same evidence is required to establish several indictments or several counts. If
32 each indictment or count requires proof of a fact or element not required by the
33 others, then the charges are separate.
34 Subdivision (a) was amended, effective________________, to add a new
35 paragraph requiring charges that may be joined against a single defendant to be
36 consolidated into a single charging document indictment, information, or
37 complaint before filing.
38 Subdivision (b) includes the complaint as a charging document together
39 with the indictment and information upon which joinder of defendants is
40 permitted. The test prescribed for joinder of defendants as well as joinder of
41 offenses is whether each of such offenses or defendants is linked together by their
42 participation in the common transaction or act.
43 Rule 8 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the December
44 1, 2002, revision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The language and
45 organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and
46 to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
47 Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of __________________;
48 January 29-30, 2004, pages 25-26; March 23-25, 1972, pages 15-16; May 15-16,
49 1969, page 13; May 3-4, 1968, pages 5-6; 18 U.S.C.A., Fed.R.Crim.P., page 512:
50 Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal, § 141-145 (1969); 8 Moore's
51 Federal Practice, Chapter 8 (Cipes, 2d Ed. 1970); Barron, Federal Practice and
52 Procedure: Criminal, § 1931-1932 (1951); A.B.A. Standards for Criminal Justice,
53 Standards Relating to Joinder and Severance, §§ 1.1, 1.2, 3.1 (Approved Draft,
55 Statutes Affected:
56 Superseded: N.D.C.C. §§ 29-11-10.1, 29-11-49, 29-11-51.
57 Cross Reference: N.D.R.Crim.P. 13 (Joint Trial of Separate Cases);
58 N.D.R.Crim.P. 14 (Relief from Prejudicial Joinder).