File a citizen complaint

You can file a citizen complaint about insurance violations, noisy animals, traffic code, city code, and criminal violations.

  1. Gather the accurate information necessary to make a complaint. You must be able to identify the person you are accusing, as well as provide:

    • The name of the person
    • Contact information for the person
    • Your own contact information
    • Details about the violation or incident

  2. Pick the right affidavit form for your complaint. An affidavit is a legal form, signed under oath. The facts presented in the affidavit will form the basis of any further investigation.

  3. Submit the form.

    You must sign the form with a notary. If you want to submit the form in person, simply wait to sign until you are at a Municipal Court location. If you submit by mail or email, you must bring the filled-out form to a notary before signing.

  4. A prosecutor will contact you about your complaint. If this does not happen, contact Municipal Court 21-30 days after submitting the forms. To do this, call (512) 974-4800 or send an email to court@austintexas.gov.

More information

Terminology

Complainant: The person filing the complaint of violation.

Defendant: The person who is being accused of a violation.

Subpoena: An order to go to court.

Requirements for filing a complaint

  • The complainant must give a fair, honest, and complete account of all facts and circumstances known to them at the time they make the complaint.
  • On the form, an asterisk “*” denotes a required field. If the required fields are not completed with all necessary information, the Austin Prosecutor’s Office may not accept your complaint nor proceed with any criminal charges.

The complaint process

  • If the accused person contests the charges and a trial is held, the complainant must appear in court to testify against the defendant.
  • If the defendant is found guilty, the maximum sentence that may be assessed in Municipal Court is typically a fine to $500.00 plus court costs and fees; however, there are some charges that carry maximum fines of up to $2000.00. There can be no jail time. The defendant may appeal the case to a higher court.
  • Once a case is filed, only a Municipal Court judge, upon recommendation of a prosecutor, has the authority to dismiss the case.
  • The prosecutor reserves the right to subpoena the person who filed the complaint and to enforce the subpoena by ordering a peace officer to bring them to court.

Counter-complaints

  • The defendant may file a counter-complaint if the complainant has also been involved in some illegal activity.
  • Any statement the counter-complainant makes when they file a counter-complaint or in the future to a prosecutor or other investigator may be used against them.
  • The prosecutor represents the state and no attorney-client relationship is established when you speak to them.

Contact information

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