Section 2 Legal Services
Policy 2-1 INITIATION OF CIVIL SUITS AND SUBSEQUENT LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
DISTRIBUTION: Mayor and City Council
SUBJECT: Initiation of civil suits and subsequent legal proceedings
PURPOSE: To establish a policy on initiation of civil suits in the name
of the City and
delegating certain authority in the prosecution and defense of civil suits and subsequent legal
BACKGROUND: The City of Lawton is involved in civil suits and other legal
a recurring basis. These proceedings may have a significant impact on the City, financially and
otherwise. A Council Policy addressing this matter was formulated in January, 1975; however,
that policy requires revision and update to reflect current conditions and concerns.
PROCEDURES: 1. Prior to the initiation of any civil
suit, appeal, petition for review of an
appellate courts decision, or proceeding before any administrative boards or agencies in the name
of the City or any of its Boards and Commissions, prior approval shall be obtained from the City
Council either by minute action or by resolution.The City Attorney is authorized to initiate an
action in the District Court of Comanche County for the collection of money owed to the City in
an amount not to exceed $1,000.00 without the prior approval of the Council. The Council shall
be advised of the suit and the circumstances by memorandum or as soon as practicable.
2. Pursuant to Section 11-5-501 of the Lawton City Code, in the event a claim brought under Section 11-5-501 to recover service fees for the costs associated with the deployment of City Fire Department assets is denied either in full or in part by an insurance company, or if there is no effective insurance policy, no action shall be taken to directly seek reimbursement from a responsible "at-fault" party or any other individual without prior approval from the City Council. Approval by the City Council may be by either minute action or resolution.
2. 3. In the event that time is of the essence and that an appeal, petition for
administrative proceeding must be timely filed before a regular or special council meeting can be
convened, the City Manager may authorize the filing of an appeal, petition for review, or
administrative proceeding, subject to further ratification by the City Council.
3. 4. Once a civil suit, appeal, petition for review, or administrative proceeding
is filed in the
name of the City, the City Attorney shall vigorously prosecute said actions consistent with the
rules of civil procedures, applicable court rules, or applicable administrative rules of
4. 5. The City Attorney will vigorously defend all civil suits in which the City
and its agencies
and their respective officials and employees are named defendants in their official capacity and
in their course of employment. Once a suit is concluded, the City Attorney will pursue post trial
actions for the benefit of the City to include recovery of costs and legal expenses
by law. In the event the initial amount owed to the City or the costs incurred by the City in
prosecution or defense of the action are less than $500.00, the City Attorney is authorized to
waive such collection in which event the Council and all effected departments
shall be notified
of this determination.
5. 6. The City Attorneys Office is assigned the responsibility for implementing
this policy and all
other departments which might be affected by actions of this nature coordinate and refer such
action to the Office of the City Attorney.
RESCISSION: This policy became effective on March 1, 2013. This
and replaces Council Policy 2-1 Dated November 1, 1999.
CECIL E. POWELL FRED L. FITCH
December 11, 2001 February 14, 2012