Welcome to the homepage for the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office.
We hope this website will assist you in learning about our office and the criminal justice system. I feel extremely privileged to serve as your Prosecutor, and consider it a tremendous honor to carry out the mandate of helping to preserve the safety of our community and its citizens. My staff and I strive every day to serve the public with professionalism and integrity, and it is our sincere hope that our efforts will make this a better community in which to live, work and raise our children. I drafted this mission statement shortly after taking office. Collectively, we take it to heart.
The mission of the Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney's Office is to promote the ends of justice by effectively and efficiently prosecuting violations of the law, helping to maintain community security, and advancing a fair and reasoned administration of the law - all while safeguarding the rights of victims and the accused, and maintaining the highest ethical and professional standards.
The Prosecuting Attorney, a constitutional officer and elected official with a four-year term of office, is the chief law enforcement official in the County. Like all 83 counties in Michigan, the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office also has a statutorily-mandated Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. In addition, our office has eleven other Assistant Prosecutors. Beyond the oath taken by every attorney at the start of their practice, every Prosecuting Attorney (the Prosecutor, Chief Assistant and all the Assistants) take an additional oath of office (every four years) as prescribed by the Constitution.
The Prosecuting Attorney's office is responsible for a wide array of legal functions for the County, including:
- Reviewing, authorizing and prosecuting violations of felony and misdemeanor criminal laws of the State of Michigan and County ordinances committed inside the County
- Reviewing, authorizing and prosecuting felony and misdemeanor juvenile delinquency offenses
- Representing the People in criminal matters before the District and Circuit Courts; juvenile delinquency and PPO violations in Probate Court; appeals in the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court; and post-conviction matters (like parole appeals, habeas corpus, etc.) in various courts
- Advocating in contested mental health commitment hearings
- Prosecuting civil forfeiture actions (against assets owned by people who commit crimes).
Most importantly, however, as Prosecuting Attorneys, our principal duty is to be ministers of justice - to seek and achieve justice - not merely to represent the government or the citizens of Monroe County, and certainly not merely to convict at all costs. "A Prosecutor is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the two-fold aim of which is that the guilty shall not escape nor the innocent suffer." Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935). As noted by the United States Supreme Court in the 1972 landmark decision in Brady v. Maryland, "society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of the administration of justice suffers when any accused is treated unfairly." "The responsibility of a public prosecutor differs from that of the usual advocate; his duty is to seek justice not merely to convict." People v Buckey, 242 Mich 1 (1985). In the Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, our goal is to secure and protect appropriate and just convictions and sentences based upon lawfully-obtained and legally-admissible evidence.
Our criminal justice system is based upon fairness and transparency. We take those objectives seriously. For example, in every criminal case, we provide the defendant with all the case evidence - regardless of its exculpatory, inculpatory, or neutral nature. The core of the mission of the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office is "to promote the ends of justice...while safeguarding the rights of victims and the accused."