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UNITED STATES v. AMOCO

October 20, 1966

United States
v.
The American Oil Company et al.


Wortendyke, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WORTENDYKE

WORTENDYKE, District Judge:

This action arises upon an indictment, filed April 8, 1965, charging the defendant corporations and unnamed co-conspirators with having engaged in a combination and conspiracy (1) in unreasonable restraint of interstate trade in gasoline in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, *fn1" and (2) to monopolize interstate trade and commerce in gasoline in violation of Section 2 of the Act. The defendants are also charged, in Count III of the indictment, with having attempted to monopolize interstate trade and commerce in gasoline in violation of Section 2 of the Act.

 Defendants heretofore moved to dismiss Count I of the indictment for failure to state the essential facts constituting the offense charged therein with sufficient definiteness, certainty and clarity. Certain of the defendants heretofore moved to dismiss Counts II and III of the indictment upon the asserted ground that neither of those counts charged an offense by reason of failure to allege the essential elements of the offenses charged, and failure to allege with sufficient definiteness, certainty and clarity what in fact the said defendants did, or agreed to do, which constituted the violations charged in said counts. All of said prior motions were denied upon this Court's opinion filed on January 26, 1966.

 All of the defendants have now moved the Court, pursuant to Rule 7(f), F.R. Cr. P., for an order directing that the Government furnish to the defendants a Bill of Particulars of the claims of the Government comprehended within the allegations of each of the counts of the indictment. The defendants also move the Court for an order directing that such particulars as may be furnished by the Government be impounded until the further order of this Court, to be entered after trial of this action and final judgment therein.

 The pending motions have been submitted to the Court without oral argument upon the written motions and briefs in behalf of the parties.

 Motion for Bill of Particulars

 This motion is grounded upon the contention of the defendants that the particulars which they seek are required in order to: (1) adequately apprise each defendant of the Government's claim as to the nature and cause of the accusation against it, (2) permit each defendant to adequately prepare its defenses, (3) avoid prejudicial surprise at the trial, (4) avoid confusion at, and clarify the issues for, trial and (5) protect each defendant against a second prosecution for the same offense.

 The motion papers have conveniently related the particulars sought to the respective counts of the indictment, and to the respective allegations therein, by designating the respective counts, lettering the respective allegations, and enumerating under each lettered allegation the respective particulars sought with respect thereto. Such designations will be used in this opinion for convenience in disposing of the respective inquiries.

 In its memorandum in opposition to the motion for a Bill of Particulars, the Government has expressed its consent to answer some of the inquiries constituting the demands for particulars, and has used the count, letter, and numeral designation for each of the demands to which its consent relates. The Court, therefore, is only called upon to rule upon the demands which the Government contends are improper.

 Count I

 A(2): This demand is proper and should be complied with to the extent that it requests the Government to state each act performed by each co-conspirator in furtherance of the offense charged in the First Count, to include the time when and the place where each such act occurred, and the identity of all persons participating therein. Such information should be furnished. However, the same demand requests the Government to specify separately, as to each co-conspirator, each statement made in furtherance of the offense charged, and to disclose the substance of the statement if oral, and the identification of the documents embodying such statement if written. The request for statements, as well as the request for the contents thereof, seeks information beyond the appropriate limits of a Bill of Particulars and is properly refused.

 B(2): Insofar as this demand seeks disclosure of the length of time during which the conspirators have been engaged in the alleged conspiracy and, if not so engaged throughout the duration of the conspiracy, the times of each co-conspirator's joinder and withdrawal from the conspiracy, the inquiry should be responded to.

 B(3): If, by the "act" by which each conspirator joined the alleged conspiracy, the defendants mean a meeting of persons, or course of correspondence, or exchange of documents resulting in a combination, the information should be furnished. If, however, no such "act" transpired, the Government should so state.


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