When does the mandatory joinder rule, R. 3:15-1(b), bar a second trial?
Defendant and Evon Easton were indicted for conspiracy to defraud Allstate Insurance Company. Evon Easton, alone, was also charged with attempting to obtain money by false pretenses, giving false information to law enforcement officers and misconduct in office. A jury found Evon Easton not guilty of misconduct in office, but was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining charges.
Thereafter, a second indictment was returned against defendant, Evon Easton and a third person, Donald Clements, charging them with conspiracy to defraud Allstate Insurance Company, and against only defendant and Evon Easton with attempting to obtain money by false pretenses and giving false information to law enforcement officers. All of the charges in the second indictment allegedly occurred between May 1, 1977 and March 1, 1979, the same period as that in the first indictment.
Subsequently the first indictment was dismissed on application of the State, Donald Clements obtained a dismissal of the second indictment as to him on motion, and Evon Easton was granted admission to the pretrial intervention program.
Only defendant now faces trial on the second indictment. He moves for dismissal on the basis of R. 3:15-1(b), which provides:
(b) Mandatory Joinder. . . . a defendant shall not be subject to separate trials for multiple indictable offenses based on the same conduct or arising from the same criminal episode or transaction if such offenses are known to the appropriate prosecuting attorney at the time of the commencement of the first trial.
The mandatory joinder rule was adopted July 29, 1977 and made effective September 6, 1977. Its genesis is State v. Gregory , 66 N.J. 510 (1975), which said:
In the civil field we have long required that the entire controversy be disposed of in a single proceeding and we have not hesitated to bar a second proceeding by a party who unfairly withheld a fragment of his claim for a later proceeding. See Falcone v. Middlesex County Med. Soc. , 47 N.J. 92 (1966). There would seem to be even more reason for this approach in the criminal field. [At 518].
Gregory was indicted for the sale of heroin, tried and convicted. Subsequently he was charged in a second indictment with possession of heroin and possession of such heroin with intent to distribute. The heroin in the second indictment was seized the same day as when the sale in the first indictment occurred, but did not include the heroin involved in the sale. Double jeopardy and collateral estoppel principles were held to be inapplicable (because the heroin relating to the sale was carefully excluded from the second trial), but the court adopted the recommendations of the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code , § 1.07(2), and barred a second trial "where the prosecuting
attorney knows of the [other] offenses when he begins the first trial." (At 519). However, "the precise contours and details of the compulsory joinder rule . . . [is] left to our Criminal ...