State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-623

§15A‑623.  Grand jury proceedings and operation in general.

(a)        The finding of anindictment, the return of a presentment, and every other affirmative officialaction or decision of the grand jury requires the concurrence of at least 12members of the grand jury.

(b)        The foremanpresides over all hearings and has the power to administer oaths oraffirmations to all witnesses.

(c)        The foreman mustindicate on each bill of indictment or presentment the witness or witnessessworn and examined before the grand jury. Failure to comply with this provisiondoes not vitiate a bill of indictment or presentment.

(d)        During thedeliberations and voting of a grand jury, only the grand jurors may be presentin the grand jury room. During its other proceedings, the following persons, inaddition to a witness being examined, may, as the occasion requires, also bepresent:

(1)        An interpreter, ifneeded.

(2)        A law‑enforcementofficer holding a witness in custody.

Any person other than a witnesswho is permitted in the grand jury room must first take an oath before thegrand jury that he will keep secret all matters before it within his knowledge.

(e)        Grand juryproceedings are secret and, except as expressly provided in this Article,members of the grand jury and all persons present during its sessions shallkeep its secrets and refrain from disclosing anything which transpires duringany of its sessions.

(f)         The presidingjudge may direct that a bill of indictment be kept secret until the defendantis arrested or appears before the court. The clerk must seal the bill ofindictment and no person including a witness may disclose the finding of thebill of indictment, or the proceedings leading to the finding, except whennecessary for the issuance and execution of an order of arrest.

(g)        Any grand juror orother person authorized to attend sessions of the grand jury and bound to keepits secrets who discloses, other than to his attorney, matters occurring beforethe grand jury other than in accordance with the provisions of this section isin contempt of court and subject to proceedings in accordance with law.

(h)        If a grand jury isconvened pursuant to G.S. 15A‑622(h), notwithstanding subsection (d) ofthis section, a prosecutor shall be present to examine witnesses, and a court reportershall be present and record the examination of witnesses. The record shall betranscribed. If the prosecutor determines that it is necessary to compeltestimony from the witness, he may grant use immunity to the witness. The grantof use immunity shall be given to the witness in writing by the prosecutor andshall be signed by the prosecutor. The written grant of use immunity shall alsobe read into the record by the prosecutor and shall include an explanation ofuse immunity as provided in G.S. 15A‑1051. A witness shall have the rightto leave the grand jury room to consult with his counsel at reasonableintervals and for a reasonable period of time upon the request of the witness.Notwithstanding subsection (e) of this section, the record of the examinationof witnesses shall be made available to the examining prosecutor, and he maydisclose contents of the record to other investigative or law‑enforcementofficers, the witness or his attorney to the extent that the disclosure isappropriate to the proper performance of his official duties. The record of theexamination of a witness may be used in a trial to the extent that it isrelevant and otherwise admissible. Further disclosure of grand jury proceedingsconvened pursuant to this act may be made upon written order of a superiorcourt judge if the judge determines disclosure is essential:

(1)        To prosecute awitness who appeared before the grand jury for contempt or perjury; or

(2)        To protect adefendant's constitutional rights or statutory rights to discovery pursuant toG.S. 15A‑903.

Upon the convening of theinvestigative grand jury pursuant to approval by the three‑judge panel,the district attorney shall subpoena the witnesses. The subpoena shall beserved by the investigative grand jury officer, who shall be appointed by thecourt. The name of the person subpoenaed and the issuance and service of thesubpoena shall not be disclosed, except that a witness so subpoenaed maydivulge that information.  The presiding superior court judge shall hear anymatter concerning the investigative grand jury in camera to the extentnecessary to prevent disclosure of its existence.  The court reporter for theinvestigative grand jury shall be present and record and transcribe the incamera proceeding.  The transcription of any in camera proceeding and a copy ofall subpoenas and other process shall be returned to the Chief Justice or tosuch member of the three‑judge panel as the Chief Justice may designate,to be filed with the Clerk of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The subpoenashall otherwise be subject to the provisions of G.S. 15A‑801 and Article43 of Chapter 15A. When an investigative grand jury has completed itsinvestigation of the crimes alleged in the petition, the investigativefunctions of the grand jury shall be dissolved and such investigation shallcease. The District Attorney shall file a notice of dissolution of theinvestigative functions of the grand jury with the Clerk of the North CarolinaSupreme Court. (1973, c. 1286, s. 1; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 843,ss. 3, 6; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1040, ss. 1, 4; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990),c. 1039, s. 4; 1991, c. 686, ss. 2, 3.)