Editor’s Note: A citizen’s complaint is unrelated to criminal procedure in that it cannot act as a charging document. Rather, it is an allegation of misconduct by a person (typically a resident) against another person (typically either a public official or city employee).
A prosecutor reviews and approves a citizen’s complaint beforemoving forward with more formal charges. Rather than being a part of the judicial process, the citizen’s complaint is generally considered a part of maintaining public relations and the confidence of local citizens. See Ryan Kellus Turner, Complaints, Complaints, Complaints: Don’t Let the Language of the Law Confuse You, THE RECORDER (July 2004).