Case Details


Attorney General Control Of Litigation, Criminal Prosectution, Prosecutorial Discretion

Filing State



Rhode Island Supreme Court




State v. Young, 941 A. 2d 124 (R.I. 2008)


Attorney General is only state official vested with prosecutorial discretion.

Case Description

The state filed charges against a mother for second degree child abuse of her minor child. By the time the case came to trial, the child was an adult, and asked the the charges be dismissed and that she be reunited with her mother. The Family Court dismissed the charges at the pretrial stage without allowing the state to be heard. The state appealed. The court held that by prohibiting the Attorney General from fully prosecuting a felony information, because of a dismissal in violation of the Court’s own rules, the trial justice deprived the state of a fair proceeding. Moreover, ‘‘[i]t is well settled in this state that the Attorney General is the only state official vested with prosecutorial discretion.’’ Therefore, the trial justice could not dismiss the information in the absence of a proper motion and without making appropriate findings.