United States v. Bernard (8th Cir. August 2022)

The Federal Docket

August 22, 2022

The Eighth Circuit reversed a district court’s order denying the Government’s motion to dismiss several charges in an indictment against a defendant pursuant to their plea agreement. After the defendant pleaded guilty to the least serious offense, the district court rejected the Government and the defendant’s agreement to dismiss the other charges and scheduled a trial on the remaining charges.

After finding it had jurisdiction under the collateral-order doctrine, the Eighth Circuit held that the district court erred in denying the motion based on finding that dismissing the remaining charges would be “clearly contrary to manifest public interest.” Here, the Court reasoned, the district court “merely disagreed with the prosecutor’s assessment of what penalty the defendant ought to face,” and it lacked authority to second guess the Government’s charging decisions without a firmer basis.

On appeal from the District of South Dakota
Opinion by Stras, joined by Grasz and Kobes

Click here to read the opinion.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

Scroll to Top