COMPLAINTS by alicejenny

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									  COMPLAINTS
REGIONAL CLERKS SEMINAR
     March 24, 2010

      Joe Gorfida, Jr.
What is a Complaint?
A sworn allegation charging the
accused with the commission of an
offense. Affords the defendant the
ability to provide a defense to the
alleged charges.
Who can file the Complaint?

.      Police
       City Employee
       Citizen
A sworn Complaint must
be filed with the municipal
court to vest jurisdiction in
the court.
What is written notice
to appear?
Public intoxication and a
written citation.
  When is the defendant
 entitled to the Complaint?
Defendant is entitled to notice of a
Complaint against the defendant not
later than the day before the date of
any proceeding in the prosecution of
defendant under the Complaint.
When a defendant pleads “not
guilty,” the court must file a
Complaint that complies with
the requirements of Chapter 45
of the Code of Criminal
Procedure.
Should a Complaint be
filed even if the defendant
fails to appear?
A citation can serve as the
Complaint?

True or False
Who is responsible for the
wording in the Complaint?
.

     the Judge
     the Clerk
     the Prosecutor
The preparation of the
Complaint is a ministerial
duty – typically done by the
clerk.
IN THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, this Affiant, who
after being by me duly sworn, deposes and says that [HE/SHE] has good
reason to believe and does believe based upon information contained in a
written citation personally prepared by [OFFICER NAME], an [OFFICER
TITLE], known to me to be a credible person who personally
[OBSERVED/INVESTIGATED] said offense, that [DEFENDANT NAME]
hereinafter called Defendant, on or about the [DAY] day of [MONTH] 2010,
and before the making and filing of this complaint, within the territorial limits
of the City of Allen, Collin County, State of Texas, to-wit: [OFFENSE
LOCATION], did then and there knowingly allow to accumulate objectionable,
unsanitary or unsightly matter, to-wit: [NUISANCE MATTER] thereby causing
a nuisance to exist,

CONTRARY TO AND IN VIOLATION OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE
CITY OF ALLEN, TEXAS, AS AMENDED, AND

AGAINST THE PEACE AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE:
Complaint Requirements
.
    1. Name of the accused;
    2. That accused committed
       the offense;
    3. Committed in the territorial
       limits of the City;
    4. Date of the offense; and
 Complaint Requirements
      (Cont’d.).

5. That the affiant has good
   reason to believe and does
   believe the accused has
   committed the offense.
Complaint shall begin with “In
the name and by the authority
of the State of Texas.”

Complaint shall conclude with
“Against the peace and dignity
of the State.”
If the Complaint alleges an
ordinance violation, it shall also
conclude with “Contrary to the
said Ordinance.”
Does the Complaint require
 a culpable mental state?

     Traffic Offense
     Criminal Offense
     Code or Ordinance
      Violations
    Culpable Mental States
    (from highest to lowest)
.
        Intentionally
        Knowingly
        Reckless
        Criminal Negligence
What if the definition of an offense
does not prescribe a culpable
mental state but one is required?

The required culpable mental state
must be intentionally, knowingly,
or recklessly.
Complaint must be signed
   Rubber stamped signature
   Electronic signature (Judge,
    clerk of court, or defendant)
   Not signed = defective
    Complaint
    Sworn to by Affiant
.
     Personal Knowledge
     Hearsay
How to administer an oath
      to an Affiant
.
    1.   Affiant reviews Complaint;
    2.   Affiant & person administrating oath
         both raise their right hands;
    3.   Affiant signs the Complaint; and
    4.   Person administering oath signs
         jurat.
          Court Seal
.

       Required on Complaints
       Impressed on the Complaint
       Court of record requires
        “Municipal     Court     of/in
        ______ Texas”
        Court Seal cont’d.
.
       Non-record courts no specific
        language
       Five point star (statute
        repealed in 1999)
           Objections by
            defendant
.
    Waives and forfeits the right to object
    to a defect, error, irregularity in form,
    or substance of the Complaint if the
    defendant does not object before the
    commencement of the trial on the
    merits.
IN THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, this Affiant, who
after being by me duly sworn, deposes and says that he has good reason to
believe and does believe based upon information contained in a written
citation personally prepared by James Smith a Code Enforcement Officer,
known to me to be a credible person who personally observed said offense,
that Kevin Smith hereinafter called Defendant, on or about February 2010,
and before the making and filing of this complaint, within the territorial
limits of the City of Allen, Collin County, State of Texas, to-wit: 1000
Southwest Dr., did then and there knowingly allow to accumulate
objectionable, unsanitary or unsightly matter, to-wit: scrap metal, thereby
causing a nuisance to exist,

CONTRARY TO AND IN VIOLATION OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF
THE CITY OF ALLEN, TEXAS, AS AMENDED, AND

AGAINST THE PEACE AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE:
IN THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, this Affiant,
who after being by me duly sworn, deposes and says that he has good
reason to believe and does believe based upon information contained in a
written citation personally prepared by Officer James Smith a Code
Enforcement Officer, known to me to be a credible person who personally
observed said offense, that Kevin Smith hereinafter called Defendant, on
or about the 18th day of February, 2010, and before the making and filing
of this complaint, within the territorial limits of the City of Allen, Collin
County, State of Texas, to-wit: 1000 Southwest Dr., did then and there
knowingly allow to accumulate objectionable, unsanitary or unsightly
matter thereby causing a nuisance to exist;

CONTRARY TO AND IN VIOLATION OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF
THE CITY OF ALLEN, TEXAS, AS AMENDED, AND

AGAINST THE PEACE AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE:
QUESTIONS?

								
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