Citizen Has No Right To Appeal Dismissal for Lack of P/C – State v. Preto (UNP)

In municipal court, a person who wishes to file a complaint may do so and the court will accept the complaint for filing. However, the no process in the form of a summons or warrant may issue unless a finding of probable cause has been made first by a judicial officer. In State v. Preto, an UNPUBLISHED decision, the municipal court judge declined to issue process on a citizen complaint because he felt that the affidavit of probable cause did not establish probable cause to believe an offense had occurred. The citizen sought to appeal to the Law Division. The Law Division dismissed the appeal, reasoning that a private citizen has no right to appeal such a determination. The Appellate Division affirmed this ruling. Such appeals are the proper area of concern for a public prosecutor. A private citizen has no standing to appeal such a ruling.

Download a copy of State v. Preto, an UNPUBLISHED decision

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