State v. CodiamatAnnotate this Case
The State charged Defendant with harassment. Before trial commenced, the district court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that disjunctive wording in the complaint made it difficult to prepare a defense. The intermediate court of appeals affirmed, concluding that because the complaint charged two forms of non-synonymous conduct disjunctively, the charge did not provide Defendant with adequate notice. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) when charging a defendant under a single subsection of a statute, the charge may be worded disjunctively in the language of the statute as long as the acts charged are reasonably related so that the charge provides sufficient notice to the defendant; and (2) the complaint in this case met due process requirements regardless of whether the disjunctively charged acts were synonymous or non-synonymous.