Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, February 10, 2006

Sharpe: Rule 12 dismissal must be based on face of the indictment, not trial evidence

In U.S. v. Sharpe, No. 05-11553 (Feb. 7, 2005), the Court, on a government appeal, reversed the district court’s grant of a post-trial motion to dismiss an indictment, pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 12(b)(3)(B) for failure to state an offense.
The defendant, after the jury’s conviction, made untimely Rule 29 motions for judgment of acquittal. The district court converted the motions into Rule 12(b) motions to dismiss the indictment, and granted them. However, in so ruling, the district court "considered the overall sufficiency of the evidence presented by the government at trial," when it should have determined the sufficiency of the indictment from "the face of the indictment."
The Court reviewed the allegations of the indictment, and concluded that they sufficed to allege mail fraud.