Article 7.

Liability of Prosecuting Witness for Costs.

§ 6-49.  Prosecuting witness liable for costs in certain cases; court determines prosecuting witness.

In all criminal actions in any court, if the defendant is acquitted, nolle prosequi entered, or judgment against him is arrested, or if the defendant is discharged from arrest for want of probable cause, the costs, including the fees of all witnesses whom the judge before whom the trial took place shall certify to have been proper for the defense and prosecution, shall be paid by the prosecuting witness, whether marked on the bill or warrant or not, whenever the judge is of the opinion that there was not reasonable ground for the prosecution, or that it was not required by the public interest. If a greater number of witnesses have been summoned than were, in the opinion of the court, necessary to support the charge, the court may, even though it is of the opinion that there was reasonable ground for the prosecution, order the prosecuting witness to pay the attendance fees of such witnesses, if it appear that they were summoned at the prosecuting witness's special request.

Every judge is authorized to determine who the prosecuting witness  is at any stage of a criminal proceeding, whether before or after the bill of indictment has been found, or the defendant acquitted: Provided, that no person shall be made a prosecuting witness after the finding of the bill, unless he shall have been notified to show cause why he should not be made the prosecuting witness of record. (1799, c. 4, s. 19, P.R.; 1880, c. 558, P.R.; R.C., c. 35, s. 37; 1868-9, c. 277; 1874-5, c. 151; 1879, c. 49; Code, s. 737; 1889, c. 34; Rev., s. 1295; C.S., s. 1271; 1947, c. 781; 1953, c. 675, s. 1; 1971, c. 269, s. 11.)


§ 6-50.  Imprisonment of prosecuting witness for willful nonpayment of costs if prosecution frivolous.

Every such prosecuting witness may be adjudged not only to pay the costs, but he shall also be imprisoned for the willful nonpayment thereof, when the judge before whom the case was tried shall adjudge that the prosecution was frivolous or malicious. (1800, c. 558; R.C., c. 35, s. 37; 1879, c. 49; 1881, c. 176; Code, s. 738; Rev., s. 1297; C.S., s. 1272; 1971, c. 269, s. 11.1.)