If a policeman refuses to record or investigate a crime, such as a vehicle theft by a family member where the case could be borderline criminal or civil. What can one do to give the police department the confidence that this is a criminal case and not a civil case?

Another aspect to the theft is property within the vehicle. In fact, what if property in the vehicle does not belong to any relation of the family member who took the vehicle. Can the other owners of the property file a criminal theft complaint? Can the owner of the vehicle file a complaint about property that was in it?

1 Answer 1


Apart from hiring an attorney (who will, based on the specifics that you tell him, have a better recommendation), you can appeal to the district attorney, the mayor, a higher officer in the chain of command with the local police, and whatever TV-on-your-side news-guys there are. The decision to prosecute rests with the DA: the police make recommendations. The DA probably has investigators, and all of the above can persuade the police to take a closer look at the case. Ultimately, you cannot force the police to investigate, only the local government that the police are a part of can order the police. An attempt to sue the police for not doing what you think they should do will fail, because the courts have repeated held that barring an illegal basis for non-investigation, investigating purported crimes is discretionary.

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