Register a Formal Complaint for Prosecution
Complaint Process: Basic Steps
- Report the suspected violation to the Police using the online form or by phone at 864.1810.
- Notify the City Prosecuting Attorney at 864.1892.
- Provide as much detail and supporting evidence as possible when reporting.
If you believe an individual(s) has committed an offense against you within the City of Springfield, you may register a complaint with the City Prosecutor's Office.
Registering a complaint does not mean that your case automatically goes to court. It does mean a Prosecuting Attorney will review your complaint. It is the Prosecuting Attorney's determination if the case will be filed with the court.
Report a Complaint: Initial Steps
- Report the suspected violation to the Police. This can be done with an online complaint form or by calling 417.864.1810.
- Provide the Police with all information about evidence you may have, such as photographs, recordings, video tapes, names and addresses of witnesses, and written statements from witnesses. You should provide this information so that details can be provided in the Police report.
- Provide as much detail as possible to the Police so that the Prosecutor will have the information needed to evaluate the case to determine if a violation of City ordinance has occurred.
- Obtain the police report number. (PD#______________)
- Call the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney at 417.864.1892 and provide:
- police report number
- your name
- your phone number
If a decision to file or not file charges cannot be made from review of the report, you may be asked to provide additional information or make an appointment with a paralegal for an interview. The paralegal will ask you questions concerning the incident and the person(s) involved. You may have already given the same information to the Police, but more detailed information may be needed.
The report and other evidence and information will be presented by the paralegal to a Prosecuting Attorney for review. The Prosecuting Attorney may determine that (1) the evidence does not show an ordinance violation occurred; (2) evidence is sufficient and a ticket can be signed; or (3) further investigation is needed.
The Prosecuting Attorney will decide whether or not your case can be successfully prosecuted based upon the evidence presented. The evidence must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant violated the City's ordinance with which he/she may be charged. You will be notified by mail of the Prosecutor's decision to decline or to file your complaint. A decision is usually made within one week from the date the Police report is received by the Prosecutor's Office unless further investigation is required.
If the case is set for trial, witnesses will be sent subpoenas by mail. It is very important you keep the Prosecutor's Office informed of your current address and phone number, as well as the current address and phone number of your witnesses.
You must appear at trial in response to the subpoena. A large amount of time and effort is spent in preparation for prosecution of the complaint you signed. Your participation is vital to successful completion of the case.
If you do not appear to testify, the judge may dismiss your case. Once your case has been dismissed, you may not file another complaint for the same incident.
The Prosecutor will speak to you and your witnesses briefly in the court room before trail to verify the information provided in the Police report.
The judge will usually make a decision after all testimony has been heard in court. In some instances, however, the judge may delay a decision in order to review the testimony and evidence.