For the above-stated reasons, Collitt's motion for severance and a separate trial will be denied.
Motion for Bill of Particulars
A bill of particulars is intended to inform a defendant of the nature of the charges pending against him in order that he might adequately prepare his defense, avoid surprise during the trial and protect himself against a second prosecution for an inadequately described offense. The use of a bill of particulars is only necessary when the indictment itself is too vague and indefinite to accomplish these objectives. United States v. Addonizio, 451 F.2d 49, 63-64 (3d Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 405 U.S. 936, 30 L. Ed. 2d 812, 92 S. Ct. 949 (1972).
In the instant case, Collitt seeks to obtain 22 separate items of information through a bill of particulars. The rule is still clear that a defendant is entitled neither to a wholesale discovery of the Government's evidence nor to a list of the Government's prospective witnesses. United States v. Addonizio, supra at 64. This Court believes that the indictment itself, along with the Government's response to this motion, provides Collitt with such clear and definite information as to make a bill of particulars unnecessary. Only two of the requests require specific mention.
In paragraph 21 of the Motion for Bill of Particulars, Collitt asks the Government to state whether it is "in possession of Grand Jury Minutes pertaining to witnesses [ sic ] testimony before the Special Investigating Grand Jury, June Term, 1972, together with previously recorded written statements under oath, by witnesses it intends to call." We believe this request is beyond the scope of a bill of particulars. A bill of particulars is not an all-purpose discovery tool, but rather a device with the limited function of clarifying the charges pending against an individual. Information of the type requested in paragraph 21 is more properly sought by a discovery motion filed pursuant to Fed.R.Crim.P. 16. In fact, Collitt has filed a separate Motion for Inspection of Grand Jury Notes of Testimony (see discussion infra).
Collitt also asks the Government, in paragraph 20 of the motion, to state whether it "is in possession of any information, which tends to affect the credibility of any of the witnesses the Government intends to produce, at the time of trial, including records of criminal offenses committed by any of the witnesses." Again, we think this information is without the bounds of a proper bill of particulars. The Court does generally believe, however, that disclosure of a Government witness' criminal record is proper. United States v. Leta, 60 F.R.D. 127, 131 (M.D.Pa. 1973). Since the information is only to be used for impeachment purposes, we will not require the Government to produce the records prior to trial. However, the Court will order the Government to disclose the record of any felony conviction of each prosecution witness, insofar as the Government possesses or has access to such information, at or before the conclusion of the direct examination of the witness.
The motion for a bill of particulars will be denied.
Motion for Inspection of Grand Jury Notes of Testimony
Collitt seeks permission for he and his counsel to examine the minutes of the federal grand jury which returned this indictment and, also, the testimony given before the June, 1972, grand jury conducted by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office which investigated cigarette smuggling. The transcripts of the latter proceedings were released to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by a March 19, 1975, Order of Judge Takiff of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
Pre-trial discovery of testimony given before a federal grand jury is governed by Fed.R.Crim.P. 6(e). United States v. Budzanoski, 462 F.2d 443, 454 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 949, 34 L. Ed. 2d 220, 93 S. Ct. 271 (1972). Disclosure is permitted by that Rule "when so directed by the court preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding or when permitted by the court at the request of the defendant upon a showing that grounds may exist for a motion to dismiss the indictment because of matters occurring before the grand jury." Thus, pre-trial discovery of the testimony of a witness is permissible when it relates to the dismissal of the indictment or upon a showing of substantial likelihood of gross or prejudicial irregularities in the conduct of the grand jury. United States v. Budzanoski, supra at 454. These are instances in which the general requirement that a "particularized need" for the grand jury testimony be demonstrated by the defendant is satisfied.
Dennis v. United States, 384 U.S. 855, 870, 16 L. Ed. 2d 973, 86 S. Ct. 1840 (1966).
The Court believes Collitt has failed to demonstrate any particularized need for the grand jury transcripts. His argument that he has been deprived of the opportunity to ascertain the basis of the charges against him and that he is unable to determine whether there was probable cause for his arrest, since he was not given a preliminary hearing, is a general broadside attack against grand jury secrecy and the indictment system. It is not a specific and factually based showing of a need particularly related to the defense of his case. The desire to inspect the transcripts now for possible use as an impeachment tool at trial is an unjustified attempt to obtain "an extraordinary source of discovery." United States v. Jaskiewicz, 272 F. Supp. 214, 216 (E.D.Pa. 1967). Pretrial inspection of the testimony of all witnesses before the grand jury, some or all of whom may never testify at trial, is not justified by any particularized need.
Disclosure of state grand jury transcripts in a federal prosecution is controlled by the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500. That statute prohibits the subpoena, discovery or inspection of the statement of a prospective Government witness, which is in the possession of the United States, "until said witness has testified on direct examination in the trial of the case." Collitt's motion to inspect the state grand jury transcripts is, thus, premature.
For the above-stated reasons, Collitt's motion for inspection of the grand jury notes of testimony will be denied.
An appropriate Order will be entered.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 405 F. Supp.]
AND NOW, TO WIT, this 3rd day of October, 1975, IT IS ORDERED that:
1. The motion of defendant George Collitt to quash the indictment is denied.
2. The motion of defendant George Collitt for severance and separate trial is denied.
3. The motion of defendant George Collitt for a bill of particulars is denied.
4. The motion of defendant George Collitt for inspection of grand jury notes of testimony is denied.
5. The Government shall disclose to each defendant the record of any felony conviction of each prosecution witness, insofar as the Government possesses or has access to such information, at or before the conclusion of the direct examination of the witness at that defendant's trial.
LOUIS C. BECHTLE, J.