Visitor Question

Ex-husband assaulted me in my home, but he’s not being charged?

Submitted By: Robyn (Dover, Maine)

My ex-husband came to my home and assaulted me by grabbing my forearms and shoving me across the room into my kitchen table and then my refrigerator, causing a large hematoma on my right buttock and bruising on my forearm. I called police but police decided not to arrest him or charge him with assault.

Based on the responding police officer’s report the district attorney declined to prosecute, even with photos of my contusions. My question is: do I have any recourse against the officer or the DA to change the report or criminal prosecution? Can I take any other action against my ex-husband? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Robyn,

It is difficult to understand why the police wouldn’t arrest your ex-husband for assaulting you, and the district attorney’s decision not to prosecute. Contact the district attorney’s office again. You have a right to do so even in light of the the police department’s decision not to arrest your ex-husband.

Bring along photographs of your injuries and copies of medical bills you incurred for your hospital or doctor visits. The district attorney’s office can decide to accept the case and prosecute your ex-husband. This is the true even though they previously declined to prosecute.

The police and district attorney’s office are protected by sovereign immunity. This is a legal doctrine applying to governmental agencies and their employees. Under sovereign immunity, in many cases government agencies and their employees cannot be sued for their acts or omissions, even when those acts or omissions are negligent.

This is especially important for police agencies around the country. If a police officer had to worry about being sued each time he or she made an arrest, or investigated a crime, they might hesitate, placing them in danger of being shot or wounded.

Learn more here: Domestic Violence

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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