Case Details


Attorney General Does Not Have The Authority To Appear In A Criminal Case And Assume Control And Direction Of The Case On Behalf Of The State.

Filing State



Idaho Supreme Court




Newman v. Vance, 922 P.2d 395, 129 Idaho 98 (Idaho 1996)


Attorney General may not exclude a county prosecutor from prosecution of a criminal case, despite language in Idaho Statutes stating that the Attorney General has “supervicsory authority” over all county prosecutors.

Case Description

A county prosecutor asked the Attorney General for assistance in prosecuting three murders. The Attorney General agreed to provide assistance, but stated that he would be the final decision-maker on the case. The prosecutor declined the assistance because she wanted to retain control of the case. The Attorney General then sought to take over the cases. The Idaho Supreme Court held that the Idaho Code “contemplates a collaborative effort between the Attorney General and the Prosecuting Attorney, not the functioning of one to the exclusion of the other.” Although legislation had recently given the AG control over all attorneys representing state agencies, it did not change the relationship between the county prosecutors and the Attorney General.