Procedures for Preparing Documentation for
Humane, Private Investigations and Prosecutions for Crimes
(Updated May 3, 2015)
(Please provide comments and additional items to RefinethePlan@PeopleNow.org)
Following provides information about preparing the documents required for humane, private (not secret) investigations and prosecutions for crimes.
Rules 3 and 4 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure require that a complaint, which is a written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged, must be made under oath before a magistrate judge or, if none is reasonably available, before a state or local judicial officer. ... If the complaint or one or more affidavits filed with the complaint establish probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant committed it, the judge must issue an arrest warrant to an officer authorized to execute it.
Normally FBI agents investigate and prepare criminal complaints and affidavits in support of a criminal complaint in Federal Courts. However, if drafts of these documents are prepared for the FBI agents, there is a better chance that they will go forward with the complaint and speed up the process.
Also, anyone may file a written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged with one or more affidavits which establish probable cause and make it under oath before a magistrate judge.
Additional, separate affidavits may be prepared in support of the criminal complaint.
Non lawyers can help prepare major portions of these documents.
Portions of relevant articles, reports, and books may be used in these documents.
Information for these documents may be submitted anonymously.
Also, anyone may prepare a written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged and make it under oath before a magistrate judge. The judge could
Prepare as appropriate:
1. Written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged. The essential facts to be included in the written statement constituting the offense charged is below. This list, paraphrases the information that a previous FBI web site requested be included in a request for an investigation. (It is expected that other investigative authorities such as local and state police detectives would like to have the same or similar information.)
a. The "Subject(s)" of the requested investigation/prosecution with his/her identifying information including full name, address, phone numbers, and job/position as appropriate and if available. Normally once an investigation is started, subjects becomes “targets” of an investigation and once indicted by a grand jury a “defendant.”
b. A chronology of events including date(s), time(s), and location(s) of incident(s). Normally in numbered paragraphs with numbered exhibits and descriptions of other evidence as appropriate.
c. "Victim(s)" of the crime(s) with identifying information as appropriate and available.
d. "Witness(es)" to the crime(s) and those with knowledge of the crime(s) with identifying information as appropriate and available.
e. "Attorney(s)" for victims of the crimes with identifying information as appropriate and available.
f. Any previous “report numbers and charges” with respect to the incident.
g. The “criminal offenses” that the subject of the investigation has allegedly committed. The FBI does not normally ask that criminal offenses be provided with such requests. However, by providing them, investigators and prosecutors are more likely to act.
2. Combination Multi-Count Criminal Complaints, Affidavits in Support of Criminal Complaints and Applications for Warrants. Click here for a sample complaint (this document is modeled after the Criminal Complaint, Affidavit and Warrant used against Former Governor Blagojevich.), this particular format /combines the criminal complaint, affidavit and warrant into one document. It is proposed as a sample for preparing similar documents for other individuals.
3. Separate affidavits in support of the criminal complaint.
4. Victim impact statements. Comprehensive victim impact statements should be prepared
early in the process and submitted with the
a. The Department of Justice provides a form for victim impact statement at http://www.justice.gov/criminal/vns/forms/victim-impact-statement-06.pdf and its Office for Victims of Crimes (OVC) (http://www.ovc.gov/) describes a victim impact statement as: A written or verbal statement of a victim’s views about the physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual impact of a crime on his or her life, and the lives of families and loved ones, which is offered to the court or other decision-making body mostly during sentencing or release consideration hearings. Victim impact statements may include the victim’s opinion about the risk the accused or convicted defendant may pose if released, and/or the victim’s recommendation of an appropriate sentence.
The OVC and it agents provides assistance to victims of crimes, information About Victims' Rights and on its website states:
The core rights for victims of crime include:
The right to attend criminal justice proceedings;
The right to apply for compensation;
The right to be heard and participate in criminal justice proceedings;
The right to be informed of proceedings and events in the criminal justice process, of legal
rights and remedies, and of available services;
The right to protection from intimidation and harassment;
The right to restitution from the offender;
The right to prompt return of personal property seized as evidence;
The right to a speedy trial; and
The right to enforcement of these rights.
Some jurisdictions require that victim impact statements be presented during the trial to be valid.
5. Letters Requesting Investigations & Prosecutions by Federal Authorities forwarding the above documents as attachments (click here for a sample letter) and addressed to an FBI field office and a United States Attorney.
6. Letters Requesting Investigations & Prosecutions by Local Authorities will be about the same as the one Federal Authorities (item 6. above) except they are to be addressed to a county chief of police and a county district attorney. Similar letters can be addressed to other local, state, federal investigators and prosecutors.
7. Grand Jury Indictments. Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure requires that Felony offenses, which are offenses punishable by death or by imprisonment for more than one year, must be prosecuted by an indictment [which is presented to a grand jury]. In General. The indictment or information must be a plain, concise, and definite written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged and must be signed by an attorney for the government. It need not contain a formal introduction or conclusion. A count may incorporate by reference an allegation made in another count. A count may allege that the means by which the defendant committed the offense are unknown or that the defendant committed it by one or more specified means. For each count, the indictment or information must give the official or customary citation of the statute, rule, regulation, or other provision of law that the defendant is alleged to have violated.
Normally prosecutors assisted by investigators prepare proposed indictments to be used to go before a grand jury. However, if draft proposed indictments are prepared for the prosecutor or an attorney for the government., there is a better chance that they will go forward with indictments.
A one-count Sample Proposed Indictment for a Grand Jury that could be refined and presented to a grand jury is from the outstanding book the United States v Bush et al. by Elizabeth de la Vega a former U. S. attorney.
The actual multi-count indictment used to have former Governor Blagojevich is at: Indictment of Former Governor Blagojevich et al.