Application for criminal complaint procedures

Learn how to request a criminal complaint when police are not involved

Application for criminal complaint

In order to start a criminal case against someone when the police are not involved, you first must go to the local Police Station in the city/town closest to where the incident/offense took place, obtain a Police Incident Report form, fill out the form, and submit the form to the Police. Then take a copy of the completed Incident Report form to the courthouse located closest to where the incident/offense occurred.

At the court, you must complete an application for criminal complaint. The cost to file the application with the court is $15.00. After the application form is filed with the court, a hearing will be scheduled and the defendant (the person being complained about) will be notified by mail. Both parties are required to attend the hearing. The application must include the correct address of the defendant so that he/she can be summonsed to appear at the correct courthouse. If a correct address is not provided, the hearing will not proceed. If the complainant (the person who filed the application) fails to appear at the hearing, the application may be denied.

At the hearing, if the clerk-magistrate finds probable cause (sufficient evidence), the criminal complaint will issue.  If probable cause is not found, no criminal complaint will issue.

The defendant may or may not hire an attorney for the hearing. An attorney is not appointed for this proceeding. Applications for Criminal Complaint can be filed in the court located closest to where the incident/offense occurred.

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