The Prosecuting Attorney, an 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 & misdemeanor juvenile delinquency offenses
representing the County in criminal matters before the District and Circuit Courts; juvenile delinquency, and miscellaneous probate matters in the Family Court; appeals in the Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court; post-conviction matters (like parole appeals)
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." Our goal is to secure and protect appropriate and just convictions 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."