Rule 6.121 Joinder and Severance; Multiple Defendants

(A) Permissive Joinder. An information or indictment may charge two or more defendants with the same offense. It may charge two or more defendants with two or more offenses when

(1) each defendant is charged with accountability for each offense, or

(2) the offenses are related as defined in MCR 6.120(B).

When more than one offense is alleged, each offense must be stated in a separate count. Two or more informations or indictments against different defendants may be consolidated for a single trial whenever the defendants could be charged in the same information or indictment under this rule.

(B) Right of Severance; Unrelated Offenses. On a defendant’s motion, the court must sever offenses that are not related as defined in MCR 6.120(B).

(C) Right of Severance; Related Offenses. On a defendant’s motion, the court must sever the trial of defendants on related offenses on a showing that severance is necessary to avoid prejudice to substantial rights of the defendant.

(D) Discretionary Severance. On the motion of any party, the court may sever the trial of defendants on the ground that severance is appropriate to promote fairness to the parties and a fair determination of the guilt or innocence of one or more of the defendants. Relevant factors include the timeliness of the motion, the drain on the parties’ resources, the potential for confusion or prejudice stemming from either the number of defendants or the complexity or nature of the evidence, the convenience of witnesses, and the parties’ readiness for trial.