Why might a citizen complaint be refused?

Because an accepted complaint results in a criminal accusation, and in any criminal prosecution the State has the burden to prove each element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor must determine if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the crime. That means there must be evidence to support each element of the alleged offense. If any element is lacking sufficient support, no prosecution will be undertaken.

There are also limits on the Court’s jurisdiction, concerning both the types of criminal charges (the Court handles only Class C misdemeanors) and location (the offense must have occurred in the City of Garland), so the citizen complaint may be refused if a higher level offense is described, if no Class C misdemeanor occurred, or if the offense happened elsewhere. Often a citizen complaint may be denied merely for lack of information - failing to give enough information to identify the correct offender, or failing to describe the alleged offense in sufficient detail. The person filing the citizen complaint is notified if the complaint is refused.

Show All Answers

1. What is a citizen complaint?
2. Why might a citizen complaint be refused?
3. What happens if a citizen complaint is accepted?
4. When a citizen complaint is accepted, does the person filing it have to present the case to the Court?
5. What can a person do to make it more likely that a citizen complaint is accepted?
6. What should a person do if their complaint is rejected?