Salt Lake City

City Attorney's Office

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the City Attorney and the District Attorney?

The City Attorney is the attorney for Salt Lake City 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 Mayor, the City Council, City officials, staff, departments, boards, commissions, and related City entities such as the Redevelopment Agency.

The District Attorney is an elected official of Salt Lake County government serving all of Salt Lake County.

What is the difference between the City Attorney's Office and the City Prosecutor's Office?

The City Prosecutor’s Office, (385) 468-7900, 35 East 500 South, 2nd Floor, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, is a part of the City Attorney’s Office.

The City Prosecutor’s Office handles only criminal law matters, primarily misdemeanors in the Salt Lake City Justice Court. The City Prosecutor’s Office also handles certain criminal law matters in the Utah Third District Court.

The other parts of the City Attorney’s Office handle civil law matters and do not become involved with criminal law matters.

Who does the City Attorney work for?

The City Attorney is appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the City Council. Under the Salt Lake City Code, the City Attorney shall be the chief legal officer of the city and shall be responsible to the mayor and the city council for the proper administration of the legal affairs of the executive and legislative branches of city government. The client of the City Attorney is Salt Lake City, acting through the Mayor and City Council. Attorneys in the City Attorney’s Office represent City officials, departments, agencies and employees in the course of their official acts or business.

Can the City Attorney's Office represent private citizens who do not have funds to hire a private attorney?

No, the City Attorney’s Office may not represent individuals in private legal matters. The City Attorney’s client is Salt Lake City Corporation as a municipal government, not individual members of the public.

There are many ways to find a lawyer to represent you. One you may want to consider is the lawyer referral service named LegalMatch ( and click on Find a lawyer or (866) 678-5342). The City does not endorse LegalMatch and provides this information solely as a convenience to you.

Should I report possible crimes or code violations to the City Attorney's Office?

No. Reports of possible crimes should be made to the Salt Lake City Police Department, (801) 799-3000, P.O. Box 145497, 315 East 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5497.

Reports of possible building, housing or zoning code violations should be made to the Salt Lake City Department of Community and Economic Development, (801) 535-6230, P.O. Box 145486, 451 South State Street, Room 404, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5486.

I believe I have been damaged by the actions or negligence of the City or one of its employees and I have a claim for money damages. How do I do that?

Click here to find out how to file a claim against the City.