true bill

(redirected from true bills)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

True Bill

A term endorsed on an indictment to indicate that a majority of Grand Jury members found that the evidence presented to them was adequate to justify a prosecution.

true bill

n. the written decision of a grand jury (signed by the grand jury foreperson) that it has heard sufficient evidence from the prosecution to believe that an accused person probably committed a crime and should be indicted. Thus, the indictment is sent to the court. (See: indictment)

See: accusation

true bill

(US) the endorsement made on a bill of indictment by a grand jury certifying it to be supported by sufficient evidence to warrant committing the accused to trial.

TRUE BILL, practice. These words are endorsed on a bill of indictment, when a grand jury, after having heard the witnesses for the government, are of opinion that there is sufficient cause to put the defendant on his trial. Formerly, the endorsement was Billa vera, when legal proceedings were in Latin; it is still the practice to write on the back of the bill Ignoramus, when the jury do not find it to be a true bill. Vide Grand Jury.

References in periodicals archive ?
McCulloch was "hiding" behind the decision of the grand jury might have some force if McCulloch had simply announced the return of a no true bill and maintained the customary secrecy of grand jury proceedings.
1882)) ("We are satisfied that no paper can be regarded as an indictment without the signature of the prosecuting attorney, and the certificate of the foreman of the grand jury that it is a true bill.
If I were more clever, I would have asked him to read my prior Article somewhat earlier in the publication process, and I then could have incorporated greater detail about just how a true bill becomes an indictment, eliminating one of his avenues of attack in exchange for a "thank you" buried in some unread footnote.
An affirmative vote of at least 12 members of the grand jury is necessary to the return of a true bill or indictment.
When the grand jury has heard all necessary or available witnesses and is prepared to deliberate on the issue whether to indict or return a no true bill, the foreperson must compel all persons to leave the grand jury room except the members of the grand jury themselves.