Section 2 Legal Services
Policy 2-2 REQUESTS FOR LEGAL OPINIONS
COUNCIL POLICY 2-2
DISTRIBUTION: Mayor and City Council
SUBJECT: Requests for Legal Opinions
PURPOSE: To provide Legal Opinions to members of the City Council, the
City Manager and
Departments of the City.
BACKGROUND: The City Attorneys office receives numerous requests
for legal opinions.
Often the request is from an individual Council member, the Mayor, or the Council as a whole,
and at other times from the City Manager, the Assistant City Manager or from a department of
the City. If requested by a Council member or the Mayor, normally the subject matter is of
interest to the Council as a whole; therefore, the opinion will be sent to the Mayor and all
Council members. If requested by the Assistant City Manager or a department, the opinion will
be sent to the City Manager and the requesting department as well as to the Mayor and Council if
deemed necessary to bring the matter to their attention.
PROCEDURES: If the Mayor or a Council member desires an opinion from the
Attorneys Office on an issue, the Mayor or Council member may submit the question directly to
the City Attorney who shall then cause a response to be prepared. If the City Manager, Assistant
City Manager or a department desires that the City Attorneys Office respond to a question the
City Manager or Assistant City Manager may submit the question directly to the City Attorney,
or as directed by the City Manager, who shall then cause a response to be prepared. All
questions submitted by a department to the City Attorneys Office shall be in writing, either by
memorandum or e-mail. The Department Director shall endorse the question to the City
Attorneys Office who shall cause a response to be prepared. To help ensure understanding
the question, requests for an opinion submitted by a Council member, the Mayor or City
Manager are encouraged to be submitted in writing. If the question is submitted orally to the
City Attorney, the question will be reviewed with the requestor prior to issuing a final opinion to
ensure that the proper question is being responded to.
Not all questions posed rise to the level requiring a formal legal opinion.
The City Attorney
shall determine if a question raises an issue of general concern in which event a Memorandum
Legal Opinion will be issued and become a permanent record of the City Attorneys Office. If
question does not rise to the level requiring a formal Memorandum Legal Opinion, then the
response of the City Attorneys Office will be an informal memorandum. The distribution will
be the same in either event as set out in the background information.
Copies of responses to questions posed by the Mayor or a Council member, whether
Memorandum Legal Opinion or an informal memorandum or e-mail prepared by the City
Attorneys Office, shall be provided to the Mayor and all Council members,. Copies of
responses to questions posed by the Assistant City Manager or a department shall be provided to
the City Manager. All responses will be in written form and if the requestor desires the e-mail
format the response will be an attachment to the e-mail of the requestor
EFFECTIVE DATE: This policy becomes effective August 1, 2004.
JOHN P. Purcell, Jr.
July 13, 2004
(2-2, Amended, 07/13/2004, Prior Text)