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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the City Attorney's Office do?

The City Attorney’s Office represents Tooele City Corporation in all of its legal needs, including contracts, real estate transactions, prosecution of misdemeanor crimes, claims and lawsuits, land use law, human resources law, legislation, etc.

Who does the City Attorney represent?

The City Attorney represents Tooele City Corporation and its officers (Mayor, City Council, department heads) and agencies (Planning Commission, Redevelopment Agency, Municipal Building Authority.

Does the City Attorney represent the public?

The City Attorney represents the public in the general sense that he represents Tooele City Corporation and its officers and agencies.  The City Attorney does not, however, represent individual members of the public with their private legal questions or needs.

Can the City Attorney represent me?

The City Attorney cannot represent individual members of the public.  Individual members of the public should seek the advice of private attorneys for help with their legal questions or needs. 

My landlord has given me an eviction notice. What can I do?

The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice.  You should consult with a private attorney.  If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, you can contact Utah Legal Services to see if you qualify for their assistance:  www.utahlegalservices.org.

 

I want a copy of City records. How do I get them?

If you want to inspect or copy City records, fill out a Request for Records form and deliver it to the City Recorder’s Office.  Be as specific as possible so we know what records you want.  We have ten days to respond, sometimes more, and will charge a copying fee.

>  Request for Records Form

>  City Fees (Records)

I had a sewer backup. Will the City pay?

The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice.  But if you want to file a no-fault claim against the City for a sewer backup, you will need to fill out the Sewer Backup Claim Form and deliver it to the City Recorder’s Office.  Follow the instructions carefully, and provide as much information as possible.  We will investigate the claim as promptly as possible.  The City Public Works Department frequently calls a private mitigation company to extract wastewater from your home or businesses and to clean floors, walls, and other items: the City will pay for this cost up to $10,000.  If we determine that your no-fault claim qualifies under City Code Chapter 8-14, the City will compensate you for your damages, minus amounts paid to the mitigation company, up to $10,000.  The City also uses the services of a private insurance adjuster to determine the value of a claim.  If you accept any payment under the no-fault ordinance, you will not be able to seek additional payments from the City through a law suit or a fault-based claim.

The City did something that damaged me or my property. What recourse do I have?

The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice.  But if you want to file a claim against the City because you or your property were damaged and you think it was the City’s fault, you may submit the Claim Form found on the City Attorney web page.

Follow the instructions carefully, and provide as much information as possible.  Most frequently, we will forward your claim to the City’s insurance company for investigation and a determination of fault.  Generally, the City is not at fault unless the City was negligent.  The City’s insurance company adjuster will contact you about your claim.  Tooele City will not pay a claim unless it is determined that the City was negligent.

I ruined my car tire and rim on a pot hole. Will the City pay?

Generally the City will not pay for damages caused by a driver hitting a pot hole in a city street.  The City is vigilant about patching pot holes as quickly as we can after we find out about them and given the limited resources we have.  We rely on drivers to pay close attention to the conditions of the roads upon which they are driving.

I am a victim of a crime. Who can answer my questions?

If you are a victim of a crime and want information, please call the police department at (435) 882-8900 and ask to speak with a victim advocate.  The victim advocate can provide you with information and resources that will help you.

I am a crime victim. Can the City Attorney's Office represent me during the prosecution of the perpetrator?

The City Attorney’s Office cannot represent individual members of the public.  We make every effort to take the circumstances and perspectives of crime victims into account, but we cannot be a crime victim’s lawyer.  If you feel you would like legal representation as a victim of crime, you can hire a private lawyer to represent you, or you can contact the Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic.

I have been abused by my domestic partner. Can you help me?

If you have been abused by your domestic partner, please call the police immediately.  Give them as much information as you can.  Ask the police officer to put you in touch with the domestic violence victim advocate.  The victim advocate can give you information and resources to support you.

I think a child is being abused or neglected, or in danger of being abused or neglected. What should I do?

If you believe that a child is being abused or neglected, or is danger of being abused or neglected, you should call the police immediately.  It’s the law.  It can be hard to turn people in for abuse, especially if you know them or if you are not absolutely certain about the abuse.  In the opinion of the City Attorney’s Office, it is always “better to be safe than sorry”.  Calling the police fulfills your legal obligation to report abuse.  Let the police sort out for sure who did what to whom.  You can rest in the knowledge that you acted in the best interest of an at-risk child.  Doing nothing can place a child at further risk; that’s why the law requires you to report.

I have been charged with a crime. What should I do?

The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice because we are prosecuting you.  If you have questions, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney.

I can’t afford to hire a lawyer. What should I do?

The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice.  If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, you may ask the Court to appoint one for you.  The Court will determine if you qualify for an appointed lawyer, and whether you will have to pay anything back for having an appointed lawyer.

Do I get to choose which lawyer the Court appoints for me?

No.

I have a court date? What should I do?

If you have been given a date to appear in Court, you need to keep it.  You are either a defendant who has been summoned to appear before the Court, or you are a witness who has been subpoenaed to give testimony to the Court.  Make sure you keep your court date.  If you are a defendant, the City Attorney’s Office cannot answer your questions because we are prosecuting you; you need to ask your attorney.  If you are a witness, you may call the City Attorney’s Office with questions about being a witness.  We do not represent witnesses, but we can explain to you what to expect as a witness.

What is a pre-trial conference?

A pre-trial conference, scheduled by the Court, is an opportunity for the criminal defense attorney and the defendant to meet with the City prosecutor to discuss the possible resolution of a criminal case.  If a case cannot be resolved at the pre-trial conference, the attorneys will ask the Court for a trial date.

Can I speak with a prosecutor prior to the pre-trial conference?

No.  If you have additional information or evidence regarding a given case, you may deliver it to the police department at 323 North Main Street in Tooele and ask for it to be included in the case file.  The police will forward the information to the prosecutor.

How do I get criminal charges dropped?

The City Attorney’s Office decides whether or not to file criminal charges.  Decisions are based on the available evidence.  While we care about the perspectives of witnesses and victims, witnesses and victims cannot “drop charges” or demand that a case be dismissed.

How can I get my arrest or conviction expunged?

To see if you qualify for an expungement, you may contact the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) at (801) 965-4445 or visit their offices at 3888 West 5400 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84129.  The BCI website is: http://publicsafety.utah.gov/bci/.

I am a real estate developer. Do I need to post a bond with my project for things like streets and water lines?

Yes.  Streets and water lines are examples of public improvements, along with sewer lines, street lights, curb and gutter, street signs, park strip trees, and other items.  Public improvement bonds are required for all developments.  Tooele City accepts three types of bonds: cash; letter of credit; and, bank-guaranteed escrow.  The bond agreement forms for each of these bonds are found on the City Attorney webpage.  The City does not accept surety or property bonds or unguaranteed escrows for public improvements.

 

Disclaimer:  The City Attorney’s Office represents Tooele City Corporation and cannot give legal advice to individual members of the public.

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