What is the difference between the City Attorney and the District Attorney? The City Attorney is the attorney for the City of Anaheim in all of its functions as a municipal corporation. The role of the City Attorney is similar to that of the general counsel of a large private corporation. The attorneys in the Office provide legal advice and services to the City Council, City officials, staff, departments, boards, commissions, and related City entities and enterprises such as the Anaheim Redevelopment Agency and Anaheim Housing Authority. In addition, the City Attorney is responsible for prosecuting all misdemeanor and infraction crimes which occur within the City of Anaheim.
The District Attorney is an elected official serving the entire County of Orange. The District Attorney investigates and prosecutes all felony crimes occurring within the City of Anaheim, and all felony crimes and misdemeanor violations of state law occurring in Orange County outside of the City of Anaheim.
Who does the City Attorney work for? Under the City Charter the City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk and City Treasurer are each directly appointed by the City Council and serve at the pleasure of the Council. The City of Anaheim, acting through the City Council, is the client of the City Attorney. The City Attorney, by law, also represents all City officers and employees relating to their acts which are within the course and scope of their employment or official duties.
Can the City Attorney represent private citizens who do not have funds to hire a private attorney? No. The City Attorney is legally prohibited from representing individuals in private legal matters. Attorneys in the office only represent City officials, departments, agencies and employees in the course of their official acts or business.
Should I report possible crimes or code violations to the City Attorney's Office? The City Attorney's Office does not have any investigators or investigatory powers. Reports or complaints concerning any violation of law occurring in Anaheim should be made to either the Anaheim Police Department (telephone 765-1900) or the Code Enforcement Division of the Planning Department (765-5158).
I believe I have been damaged by the actions or negligence of the City or one of its employees and wish to file a claim for money damages. How do I do that? Generally, a written claim must be filed with the Office of the City Clerk prior to seeking legal redress for damages against the City. Claim forms are available from, and must be filed with, the Office of the City Clerk, 200 S. Anaheim Boulevard, Second Floor, Anaheim, California 92805 (telephone 765-5166). The City will review and, where appropriate, take action on the claim. However, neither the City Attorney nor any other City official or employee can provide legal advice concerning litigation against the City.