Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(c), provides, among other things, that the
of the grand jury "shall sign all indictments." This requirement
by his signature below the endorsement, "A True Bill." Jones v.
169 F.2d 853, 855 (8th Cir. 1948). The fact that by inadvertence
is unsigned when handed to the clerk is not fatal where the
thereafter in open court and signs it in the presence of the grand
See United States v. Long, 118 F. Supp. 857 (D.P.R.
Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(c), provides that the indictment and
be signed by the attorney for the government." If the attorney for
government refuses to sign, which is within his or her discretion,
there is no
indictment. This provision of Rule 7 recognizes the power of
"to permit or not to permit the initiation of a prosecution."
United States v. Cox, 342 F.2d 167 (5th Cir.), cert.
U.S. 935 (1965); In Re Grand Jury January, 1969, 315 F.
Supp. 662 (D.Md.
1970). See also United States v. Adu, 82 F.3d 119,
123 (6th Cir.
Fed.R.Crim. P. 1(b) defines the phrase "attorney for the
include the Attorney General, an authorized assistant of the Attorney
General, a United States Attorney, an authorized assistant of a United
States Attorney, and certain other persons in cases arising under the laws
of Guam. An
be signed in the name of the United States Attorney by an assistant
authorized to sign the United States Attorney's name. See
v. United States, 159 F.2d 599 (4th Cir. 1946); United
Funkhouser, 198 F. Supp. 708 (D.Md. 1961), opinion
F.2d 940 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 370 U.S. 939, reh'g
U.S. 854 (1962). In turn there is nothing impermissible in having
a high ranking
Justice Department official's signature on an indictment.
States v. Climatemp, Inc., 482 F. Supp. 376 (N.D. Ill. 1979).
The fact that the name of the attorney for the government is
does not affect the indictment when the question is not raised
See Wiltsey v. United States, 222 F.2d 600 (4th Cir.
courts have reasoned that the signature of the United States
Attorney, like the
caption, is not a part of the indictment and serves only to
authenticity of the indictment and the government's consent to
manner in which it is signed is therefore not such a defect as
[updated October 2012]