Policy: Corporeal Line-Up Administration


The purpose of this policy is to establish the procedures for the Michigan State University Police Department (Department) to follow in setting up and running a corporeal line-up; either as an investigative procedure or when court ordered.


It is the policy of this Department that those coordinating corporeal line-ups follow all existing rules, regulations and laws. It is the policy of the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office that they will not provide a line-up officer, so it will be the responsibility of each department requiring a line-up to handle all details for that line-up.


Ingham County Sheriff’s Office Procedures

Ingham County will provide the line-up room and line-ups will only be held on Thursdays.

The line-up room is reserved by making contact with the Inmate Worker Coordinator at the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, with scheduling on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is preferred that line-ups be scheduled for 0900 hours.

Line-ups not commencing within 10 minutes of its scheduled time, will likely be cancelled due to disruption of the jail schedule.

The investigating agency will be responsible for providing the “Line-Up Officer (LUO).”

The investigating agency is responsible for all reports, forms and photos associated with the line-up and those forms may be found on the Department’s Wiki or similar technology.

The investigating agency is responsible for all photographic and recording equipment.

Line-Up Officer Responsibilities

The LUO must speak with the inmates selected for the line-up to insure voluntary participation; and obtain their full identity for the police report.

The LUO must reserve the line-up room from the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, by contacting the Inmate Worker Coordinator through telephone, e-mail, or in-person contact.

The LUO is required to notify the Prosecutor’s Office of a scheduled line-up, so that office can assign an Assistant Prosecutor to be present during the line-up.

The Prosecutor’s Office will notify pre-trial services, so that an attorney can be appointed to represent the defendant at the line-up.

This attorney is not the same attorney representing the defendant at trial.

The LUO shall also notify the defense attorney representing the defendant at trial.

A few minutes before the actual line-up, the LUO shall arrange for the defendant to meet with the assigned line-up attorney.

The attorney shall be provided with any words or statements that the defendant will be asked to repeat.

Immediately prior to the line-up, the LUO will place all the line-up participants in order.

The assigned attorney will be allowed to view the order and make changes in the order.

Once the order is set, the LUO will take two photographs of the line-up and retain those photos for the supplemental police report.

Witnesses will then be taken into the line-up room and seated prior to calling the line-up participants into the room.

Only five witnesses shall view the line-up at one time.

If more than five witnesses are to view the line-up, then two line-ups will be held in succession.

The LUO shall keep a record of all persons present in the line-up room, as well as all persons standing in the line-up.

The line-up shall be audio recorded and it is the responsibility of the LUO to set up and activate the recording equipment.

Once the witnesses are seated, the LUO will announce to bring the subjects onto the line-up stage.

The LUO will instruct each subject to step forward, turn and walk, return to their position and repeat any words or phrases.

It is suggested that Subjects’ numbers 1 through 3 turn left and walk; and Subjects 4 through 7 turn right and walk.

After the Subjects leave the line-up area, the LUO shall instruct the witnesses to mark their sheets, if appropriate.

The LUO will collect those sheets as the witnesses leave.

The LUO shall initial each sheet collected; record the date, time and the number of the line-up if more than one is being held, i.e., record #1 for the first line-up, #2 for the second line-up, etc.

The LUO will keep all original forms and make appropriate copies for the Prosecutor’s Office.

The Prosecutor’s Office will provide copies of the forms to the defense attorney.

Original forms shall be filed with the original police report.

If there are several police reports, the original shall be filed in one police report with instructions to see the original report placed in any associated reports.

Duties Of Investigative Officer

The Investigative Officer(s) shall be responsible for contacting witnesses and ensuring their appearance at the line-up.

Witnesses shall be present 30 minutes before the line-up.

The Investigative Officer shall ensure that witnesses sign-in to the Sheriff’s Office to receive and wear a visitor’s pass.

The Investigative Officer shall keep all witnesses in the front lobby next to Central Records until called to view the line-up.

The Investigative Officer shall ensure that witnesses sign-out and are assisted in returning to their residence, if requested.