Sign In
City of Philadelphia

Private Criminal Complaint

  • When a person asks about filing a private complaint, they must have a form of identification, the full name and address (either work or home address) of the person they want to file charges against, and the police report number of the incident they wish to file charges about (this number is known as the DC or District Control Number).
  • The person filing the charges is known as the “Affiant.” The Affiant is asked to fill out paperwork describing the facts and circumstances of the offense. The Affiant should also bring with them any photos, videos, medical records, or other documents supporting their claim that a crime was committed. If another person was present at the time of the offense, the Affiant should bring their witness with them to fill out paperwork describing what he or she saw or heard.
  • After filling out the paperwork, an Assistant District Attorney will review the proposed complaint and any documentation provided by the Affiant and decide whether the complaint is approved and if charges will be filed.
  • If the proposed complaint is approved, then the Affiant will complete the interview process at the Private Criminal Complaint Unit and take the completed paperwork to the Philadelphia Municipal Court Administration Offices at 1339 Chestnut Street, 10th floor to formally file the complaint. The Affiant will be required to pay a $39.10 filing fee at the time they present their paperwork for formal filing.
  • Once the approved complaint is filed with the Philadelphia Municipal Court, the Affiant will receive a court date which is approximately four to six weeks from the date the complaint is filed with the Municipal Court. The defendant named in the complaint will not be arrested. Instead, they will receive notice of the criminal charges filed against them. The first court date will be held in the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice (CJC), 1301 Filbert Street, where a Trial Commissioner will preside over the proceedings.
  • The Affiant will be eligible for a stay away order against the defendant and the Commissioner will present the option of court-supervised arbitration to resolve the matter between both parties. If a resolution cannot be reached by the parties, the case will be given a future court date before a Municipal Court Judge for trial.
  • If the proposed complaint is not approved by an Assistant District Attorney, the Affiant may choose to appeal that decision. The proposed complaint will be submitted to the President Judge of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia for her review and decision.