2017 ORS 132.550¹
Contents of indictment

The indictment shall contain substantially the following:

(1) The name of the circuit court in which it is filed;

(2) The title of the action;

(3) A statement that the grand jury accuses the defendant or defendants of the designated offense or offenses;

(4) A separate accusation or count addressed to each offense charged, if there be more than one;

(5) A statement in each count that the offense charged therein was committed in a designated county;

(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;

(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;

(8) The dates of all grand jury proceedings related to the offense or offenses charged;

(9) The signatures of the foreman and of the district attorney; and

(10) The date the indictment is filed with the clerk of the court. [Amended by 1973 c.836 §58; 2007 c.71 §32; 2017 c.650 §7]

Note: The amendments to 132.550 (Contents of indictment) by section 7, chapter 650, Oregon Laws 2017, become operative March 1, 2018. See section 18, chapter 650, Oregon Laws 2017. The text that is operative until March 1, 2018, is set forth for the user’s convenience.

132.550 (Contents of indictment). The indictment shall contain substantially the following:

(1) The name of the circuit court in which it is filed;

(2) The title of the action;

(3) A statement that the grand jury accuses the defendant or defendants of the designated offense or offenses;

(4) A separate accusation or count addressed to each offense charged, if there be more than one;

(5) A statement in each count that the offense charged therein was committed in a designated county;

(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;

(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;

(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.

See also annota­tions under ORS 132.520, 132.530 and 132.540 (Sufficiency of indictment) in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

A mur­der indict­ment charging failure to provide “adequate sustenance, and medical and hygienic care” was sufficiently particular. State v. House, 260 Or 138, 489 P2d 381 (1971)

The names of coparticipants were not necessary to fully inform the defendant of the crime charged. State v. Nussbaum, 261 Or 87, 491 P2d 1013 (1971)

Since the word “theft” is a term of art constituting a single of­fense committed by the doing of an act that results in the “appropria­tion” of prop­erty of an­oth­er with the intent to substantially interfere with the prop­erty rights of an­oth­er an indict­ment alleging that the defendant committed “theft” provides adequate notice of the crime charged. State v. Jim, 13 Or App 201, 508 P2d 462 (1973)

An indict­ment for theft by receiving in the first de­gree was insufficient in absence of allega­tion that the stolen prop­erty was received by buying it, or that the stolen prop­erty was sold after being received. State v. Dechand, 13 Or App 530, 511 P2d 430 (1973)

An indict­ment is merely a formal method of initiating crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings and identifying the crime charged. State v. Shadley, 16 Or App 113, 517 P2d 324 (1973)

Trial courts have little or no discre­tion to hold indict­ment insufficient for failure to include in­for­ma­­tion not constituting essential ele­ment of crime charged. State v. Shadley, 16 Or App 113, 517 P2d 324 (1973)

Where terms used in indict­ment are precisely defined in crim­i­nal statute, indict­ment need not explain terms for defendant to be sufficiently informed of nature of charge. State v. Cannon, 17 Or App 379, 521 P2d 1326 (1974), Sup Ct review denied

Indict­ment charging sec­ond de­gree burglary pursuant to ORS 164.215 (Burglary in the second degree), which failed to specify crime defendant intended to commit when he allegedly unlawfully entered building, was fatally defective. State v. Sanders, 280 Or 685, 572 P2d 1307 (1977)

Indict­ment based on felony mur­der (ORS 163.115 (Murder)) need not include state­ment that victim was not participant in the crime. State v. Reams, 47 Or App 907, 616 P2d 498 (1980), aff’d on other grounds, 292 Or 1, 636 P2d 913 (1981)

Where indict­ment for crim­i­nal nonsupport (ORS 163.555 (Criminal nonsupport)) identified the crime charged and the applicable statute and alleged that defendant had failed to support his mi­nor children and that he had “unlawfully and knowingly” done so and where defendant needed to look only to the statute to which he was di­rected to determine that “unlawfully” meant “without lawful excuse,” the indict­ment was sufficient. State v. Mitchell, 61 Or App 127, 655 P2d 632 (1982), Sup Ct. review denied

Where two counts of indict­ment did not designate county in which of­fense was committed, court erred in not granting demurrer. State v. Dunn, 99 Or App 519, 783 P2d 29 (1989), Sup Ct review denied

Indict­ment need not recite ele­ments of crime to sufficiently identify charged of­fense. State v. Montez, 309 Or 564, 789 P2d 1352 (1990)

Where indict­ment for rack­et­eering states particular circumstances of enterprise and of each predicate of­fense, statutory wording is sufficient state­ment of nexus between predicate of­fenses. State v. Fair, 326 Or 485, 953 P2d 383 (1998)

Whether indict­ment substantially conforming to statutory language is subject to demurrer based on lack of specificity depends on whether discovery is adequate to inform defendant of specific con­duct being alleged. State v. Wright, 167 Or App 297, 999 P2d 1220 (2000), modified 169 Or App 78, 7 P3d 738 (2000), Sup Ct review denied

Count may allege venue for of­fense charged by reference to county designa­tion contained elsewhere in indict­ment. State v. Huckins, 176 Or App 276, 31 P3d 485 (2001)

Defendant may not, on ap­peal, raise unpreserved challenge to sufficiency of facts stated in charging instru­ment. State v. Caldwell, 187 Or App 720, 69 P3d 830 (2003), Sup Ct review denied

Where defendant seeks to require state to make indict­ment more definite and certain, defendant has means other than demurrer to indict­ment to satisfy defendant’s right to know theory, facts and circumstances relied upon by state. State v. Hale, 335 Or 612, 75 P3d 448 (2003)

Completed Cita­tions

State v. Howard, 6 Or App 230, 486 P2d 1301 (1971), Sup Ct review denied; State v. Schulman, 6 Or App 81, 485 P2d 1252 (1971), Sup Ct review denied; State v. Zimmerlee, 261 Or 49, 492 P2d 795 (1972)

Law Review Cita­tions

2 EL 230-274 (1971)

Chapter 132

Notes of Decisions

A circuit court has no authority to order the wholesale recorda­tion and preserva­tion of grand jury testimony under either statutory or common law. State ex rel Johnson v. Roth, 276 Or 883, 557 P2d 230 (1976)

Where defendant was found in contempt for failure to comply with grand jury sub­poe­na, circuit court had no authority to examine grand jury testimony or discuss its content for the sole purpose of determining the sen­tence to impose. State v. Applegate, 41 Or App 287, 597 P2d 1290 (1979), Sup Ct review denied

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 132—Grand Jury, Indictments and Other Accusatory Instruments, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors132.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 132, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano132.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.