Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Can a minor file a complaint alone?

Verified 09 November 2020 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Proceedings before criminal courts

Since 20 November 2020, criminal courts may amend the rules of procedure applicable to the cases they deal with in order to continue their activities during the state of health emergency. Changes may include:

  • Access by the public and lawyers to courts and courtrooms
  • Use of the single judge procedure
  • Conduct of the hearing or hearing by audiovisual means of telecommunication
  • Transfer of a case to another court of the same jurisdiction

These possibilities for amending the rules of procedure are provided for in Order No. 2020-1401 of 18 November 2020 .. They will cease one month after the end of the state of health emergency, on March 16, 2021.

A minor victim of a offense may lodge a complaint himself by writing to the public prosecutor or by going (alone or accompanied) to the police or gendarmerie premises.

On site

You must contact a police station or gendarmerie of your choice.

Who shall I contact

You cannot be denied receipt of the complaint.

The complaint is then transmitted to the public prosecutor by the police or the gendarmerie.

By mail

You can lodge a complaint directly with the public prosecutor. We need to send free paper letter the court of the place of the offense or the place of residence of the offender.

The letter must include the following:

  • Civil status and full contact information (address and telephone number) of the complainant
  • Detailed account of the facts, date and place of the offense
  • Assumed author's name if you know him (otherwise the complaint will be filed against X)
  • Names and addresses of potential witnesses to the offense
  • Description and provisional or final injury estimate
  • Evidence: medical certificates, work stoppages, various invoices, findings .....
  • Willingness to take part in civil proceedings

Make a complaint to the public prosecutor

You can send your complaint by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt or by simple letter. You can also file your complaint directly at the court reception. In all cases, a receipt will be given to you as soon as the public prosecutor's office has registered your complaint.

The minor may thus report any offense to the courts. But if he wants to be involved in the rest of the proceedings, he will have to be represented by a major.

Thus, if the complaint is prosecuted, the minor who wishes to obtain compensation must constitute itself civil via persons of legal age acting on its behalf:

An ad hoc administrator shall be appointed by the courts, where the parents cannot defend his interests. This is particularly the case if the parents are involved in the offense, in the event of abuse for example.

Please note

the parents of a minor may also lodge a complaint on his or her behalf, without the child's consent.

In order to protect himself from possible reprisals by the persons involved, the minor complaining or witnessing may declare the address of the police station or the gendarmerie as his home. However, such a statement shall be subject to the authorization of the magistrate in charge of the case.