Kimbrough v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Heather Kimbrough and Melissa Mayfield were charged by indictment with a violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The indictment alleged that Kimbrough and Mayfield, being associated with an enterprise, violated the Act by participating in the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity, and it identified the alleged enterprise and pattern of racketeering activity. But other than the allegation that Kimbrough and Mayfield participated in the enterprise “through” a pattern of racketeering activity, the indictment said nothing at all about the alleged connection between the enterprise and the racketeering. Seeking more detail about that alleged connection, Kimbrough and Mayfield filed special demurrers. The trial court, however, denied the special demurrers, and Kimbrough and Mayfield appealed. The Court of Appeals held that the indictment contained enough detail about the connection between the enterprise and the racketeering activity to survive a special demurrer, and it affirmed the denial of Kimbrough and Mayfield’s special demurrers. The Supreme Court issued a writ of certiorari to review that decision, and reversed: “To be clear, we do not mean to suggest that a RICO indictment must contain pages and pages of extensive detail about the connection between the enterprise and the pattern of racketeering activity. We hold only that the sparse allegations of this indictment - which says nothing at all about the nature of the connection - are insufficient to enable the defendants to prepare for trial. Accordingly, the special demurrers ought to have been sustained, and the Court of Appeals erred when it affirmed the denial of the special demurrers.” In that respect, the judgment of the Court of Appeals was reversed.