File a Complaint
Our office continues to be closed for walk-in services. Our office will be taking complaints and intakes by phone. You can contact our office at (330) 489-3395 for assistance.
Complaint Filing Procedures & Services
Citizens with a criminal complaint should first contact their local Police Department (or Stark County Sheriff's office - where there is no local Police Department) for their assistance and investigation. In some cases, due to manpower restrictions or police response priorities, the Police Department or Sheriff's office may be unavailable or unable to help. In such a case, the Canton Prosecutor's Office is available for the filing of private criminal complaints with the possibility of filing criminal charges if necessary.
Where & When to File
If the incident of complaint occurred within the Canton Municipal Court’s service area, and involves a person 18 years or older, a complaint may be filed with the Canton City Prosecutor’s Office. The office is located on the Seventh Floor of Canton City Hall, 218 Cleveland Avenue SW, Canton, OH 44702. The office is open for complaints via phone from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.
What to Expect
Upon contacting the City Prosecutor’s Office, a prosecutor or legal intern will complete a complaint form with you. During the course of your interview, the staff member will ask you questions to determine if your complaint actually alleges criminal activity. The Prosecutor’s Office handles only criminal complaints, examples of which include: domestic violence, assault, theft, telephone harassment and vandalism.
Once you file a complaint with a staff member, he or she will make a determination as to whether criminal charges should be filed or whether other action is necessary. This can be in the form of a letter being sent to the individual being complained about or setting a date for a Prosecutor’s Hearing. The hearing is held in Law Department offices and each side is given the opportunity to explain their positions. Witnesses can be informally questioned and a determination can be made whether there is sufficient evidence to file a criminal complaint. There is no cost for a letter written by the Prosecutor’s office for a Prosecutor’s Hearing. There is, however, an administrative fee of $76 payable to Canton Municipal Clerk of Courts for processing and filing a private criminal complaint.
The City Prosecutor’s Office can authorize criminal charges only where there is legally sufficient evidence to demonstrate that a crime was committed by the person or persons accused. The Prosecutor’s Office cannot issue restraining orders. In Domestic Violence cases, the Judge may issue a temporary protection order (TPO) but only after Domestic Violence charges are actually filed and a hearing is held. If other criminal charges are filed, our office may be able to issue TPOs, please call for more information.
In the event that a staff member determines that the complaint is civil in nature, you will be advised to seek private legal counsel. Civil Complaints include matters dealing with breach of contract, bad debts and landlord/tenant disputes. If you do not have an attorney you may call the Stark County Bar Association Lawyer’s Referral Service at 330-453-0685, or visit their website at starkctybar.com.
Property Damage & Personal Injury
The Canton Law Department Criminal Division cannot collect money for property damage or personal injury. Such actions are civil in nature and can be handled by filing a Civil Complaint in Canton Municipal Court. View the Civil Court Fees (PDF) or can be obtained by calling the Municipal Clerk of Courts’ Office at 330-489-3204.