Defendant Must Waive Jury Trial Anew After Complaint Amended

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: criminal procedure, jury trial waiver.

State of Minnesota v. Antoine Rumel Little. MN criminal procedure, jury trial waiver

In this appeal from Olmstead County, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the criminal sexual conduct conviction of Antoine Rumel Little and remanded the case for a new trial. The high court, in an opinion by Justic Page, held:

1. Existing case law plainly requireds a court to obtain a renewed jury-trial waiver when the State amends its complaint to add an additional charge after the defendant has made an initial jury-trial waiver.

2. Defense counsel's statement regarding an earlier jury-trial waiver did not satisfy the personal waiver requirements of Rule 26.01 of the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure.

3. On the record presented, the district court committed plain error that affected appellant's substantial rights, and which the supreme court must address to protect the fairness and integrity of the judicial proceedings.

Justice Stras wrote a separate opinion concurring and dissenting. He agreed that the trial court erred. However, he took the position that the error was harmless, since there was no evidence that Little would have requested a jury if the proper procedure had been followed.

No. A11-2319 (Minn. Aug. 13, 2014)

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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