Bill of Particulars


Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook

Reproduced with permission from:
Timothy E. Pierce and the Franklin County Public Defender Office

Criminal Rule 7(E) -- Bill of particulars.
Criminal 7(D) -- Bill of particulars may be amended.
R.C. 2941.07 -- Bill of particulars.
R.C. 2941.30 -- Amending an indictment (includes bill of particulars).
State v. Brown, 98 Ohio St. 3d 121, 2002-Ohio-7040 -- Syllabus; "A demand for discovery or a bill of particulars is a tolling event pursuant to R.C. 2945.72(E)."
State v. Hous, Greene App. No. 02CA116, 2004-Ohio-666, ¶11 -- "It is fundamental that a bill of particulars cannot cure a defective indictment" Citing State v. Grinnell (1996), 112 Ohio App. 3d 124. Omission of reference to deadly weapons in purported aggravated burglary indictment rendered indictment defective, notwithstanding mention in bill of particulars and jury instructions. Indictment as sufficient to charge burglary.
State v. Crespo, Mahoning App. No. 03 MA 11, 2004-Ohio-1576 -- Dismissal of the indictment an appropriate remedy after repeated failures to provide a bill of particulars. Lead opinion questions applicability of the least severe sanction rule of Lakewood v. Papadelis (1987), 32 Ohio St. 1 to omissions by the prosecution. Dissenting judge believes this is not a discovery issue at all. Instead the issue is whether the procedural violation of Crim. R. 7 is harmless.
State v. Sellards (1985), 17 Ohio St. 3d 169 -- Syllabus: "In a criminal prosecution the state must, in response to a request for a bill of particulars or demand for discovery, supply specific days and times with regard to an alleged offense where it possesses such information. (State v. Gingell [1982], 7 Ohio App. 3d 364, approved.)"
State v. Lawrinson (1990), 49 Ohio St. 3d 238 -- When warranted by the circumstances, the state must furnish a more specific bill of particulars when it is in possession of the information sought.
State v. Fowler (1963), 174 Ohio St. 362, 366 -- "Where a charge against an accused is drawn in the alternative, then an accused is entitled to be informed by a bill of particulars on which of the alternatives the state intends to proceed or whether it intends to proceed on both."
State v. Chaffin (1972), 30 Ohio St. 2d 13 -- Syllabus: "(1) The purpose of a bill of particulars is to set forth specifically the nature of the offense charged, not to require the state to disclose its evidence. (2) A disclosure by the prosecution in a bill of particulars of evidence relating to a specific offense charged does not bar the state, at trial, from introducing supplemental evidence concerning such specified offense."
State v. Petro (1947), 148 Ohio St. 473 -- Upon request, a bill of particulars must disclose manner or means by which death was caused.
State v. Bennett (1969), 17 Ohio Misc. 196 -- Bill of particulars must disclose identity of person to whom drug sale was made and time and place of the transaction.
State v. Brown (1993), 90 Ohio App. 3d 674, 681-683 -- (1) Bills of particulars are not limited to felony cases. Also see State v. Gaines (1994), 66 Ohio Misc. 2d 149. (2) An "open door" discovery policy does not excuse the prosecutor from providing a bill of particulars, as the discovery may not disclose the prosecution's actual theory of the case.
Barberton v. O'Connor (1985), 17 Ohio St. 3d 218 -- Bill of particulars may be sought in traffic cases to ascertain precise nature of offense charged.
State v. Neiheisel (1986), 29 Ohio Misc. 2d 1 -- Bill of particulars may be sought in a misdemeanor case.
State v. Webb (1991), 72 Ohio App. 3d 749, 752 -- Bill of particulars need not disclose serial numbers of stolen guns unless failure to do so truly prejudices the accused's ability to fairly defend himself.
State v. Lewis (1993), 85 Ohio App. 3d 29, 32 -- A bill of particulars cannot cure a defect in an indictment. Also see State v. Gingell (1982), 7 Ohio App. 3d 364.
State v. Simmans (1970), 21 Ohio St. 2d 258 -- Syllabus: "An indictment which employs fully the words of the statute describing the offense will support the conviction of the accused where no bill of particulars is requested or where no objection to the sufficiency of the indictment is interposed before submission of the case to a jury. (Kennedy v. State, 34 Ohio St. 310, overruled.)"
State v. Silos (1995), 104 Ohio App. 3d 23, -- "A motion to dismiss an indictment tests the sufficiency of the indictment, 'without regard to the quantity or quality of evidence that may be produced by either the state or the defendant.'...The purpose of a bill of particulars is to provide a defendant with greater detail of the nature and causes of the charges against him...It cannot support or defeat a motion to dismiss an indictment because it cannot create or cure a defect in an indictment."
State v. Ensman (1991), 77 Ohio App. 3d 701 -- Amendment of bill of particulars nineteen days before trial to allege culpability as an aider and abettor did not change the name or identity of the crime charged, since an indictment phrased in terms of the principal offense is sufficient to charge complicity as well.
State v. Brown (1994), 99 Ohio App. 3d 604 -- Indictment, successive bills of particulars, and jury instructions shifted somewhat as to specific conduct alleged to have constituted theft in a Medicaid fraud prosecution. Compare majority and dissent analysis of whether nature and identity of the offense was changed, and whether grand jury minutes should have been examined to determine what conduct the grand jury meant to be basis for indictment.
State v. Kersey (1997), 124 Ohio App. 3d 513 -- Instructions on weapon under disability charge expanded upon the time frame set forth in the bill of particulars. Though proper procedure would have been to amend the bill of particulars, no prejudice found given the circumstances of the case.
State v. Stepp (1997), 117 Ohio App. 3d 561, 564-567 -- Neither an indictment nor a bill of particulars is required to set forth a date when a specific date is not an element of the offense. The state must supply specific dates in a bill of particulars when it possesses such information. The failure to supply known dates is fatal to a prosecution only if the absence of specifics prejudices the accused's ability to fairly defend himself. Also see State v. Sellards (1985), 17 Ohio St. 3d 169, 171; State v. Lawrinson (1990), 49 Ohio St. 3d 238, 239; State v. Gingell (1982), 7 Ohio App. 3d 364, 367.
State v. Semenchuk (1997), 122 Ohio App. 3d 30 -- Defendant charged with having a weapon under a disability complained bill of particulars didn't disclose facts making him out to be drug dependent or a chronic alcoholic. Held that object of bill is disclosure of the nature of the offense charged, not disclosure of evidence.
State v. Vitale (1994), 96 Ohio App. 3d 695 -- Indictment alleged date of offense to be on or about June 14th. Bill of particulars further limited time to 12:00 p.m. on that date. Amendment of indictment to specify time between June 14th and June 21st was improper as it must be presumed that the evidence presented to the grand jury did not cover any time other than June 14th.
State v. Hill (1996), 112 Ohio App. 3d 473 -- Bill of particulars and evidence at trial indicated multiple events were encompassed in a single count of rape, and instructions did not narrow focus of jurors. Majority and dissent split on whether this amounted to impermissible duplicity.

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Published by Timothy E. Pierce
Copyright © Franklin County Public Defender and Timothy E. Pierce, 2015
Contents may not be duplicated without express permission.