A federal judge has no power to enjoin prosecutors from filing an indictment on the grounds that doing so would violate an existing amnesty agreement, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, because the equitable powers of the court do not exist when there is “an adequate and complete remedy at law.”

In its 27-page opinion in Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group v. United States, the appellate court held that since the amnesty agreement may be raised as a defense after indictment, the lower court had exceeded its powers in enjoining the prosecution.

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