The complaint is a written signed statement of the facts establishing probable cause to believe that the charged offense has been committed and that the defendant committed it, except as modified by Rule 6.01, subd. 4. The probable cause statement can be supplemented by supporting affidavits, statements signed under penalty of perjury pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 358.116, or by sworn witness testimony taken by the issuing judge. The complaint must specify the offense charged, the statute allegedly violated, and the maximum penalty. The complaint must also conform to the requirements in Rule 17.02.
The probable cause statement must be made under oath before a judge, court administrator, or notary public, or signed under penalty of perjury pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 358.116. If sworn witness testimony is taken under subdivision 3, the oath must be administered by a judge, but the oath may be administered by telephone, ITV, or similar device.
If the court takes sworn witness testimony, the court must note that fact on the complaint. The testimony must be recorded by a reporter or recording instrument and must be transcribed and filed.
The judge must determine whether probable cause exists to believe an offense has been committed and the defendant committed it. When the alleged offense is punishable by a fine only, the probable cause determination can be made by the court administrator if authorized by court order.
A complaint must not be issued without the prosecutor's signature, unless a judge certifies on the complaint that the prosecutor is unavailable and that issuance of the complaint should not be delayed.
(Amended effective July 1, 2015; amended effective October 1, 2016.)