Frequently Asked Questions
the difference between the City Attorney and County Prosecutor?
Attorney is the lawyer for the City of Midland government.
When the City is sued, the City Attorney represents the City in court as the
defense counsel. When the Citys
interests are infringed upon, the City Attorney files suit to protect the City. The City Attorney also serves as legal counsel to the City Council, the City Manager, the City's boards,
commissions and various committees, its departments and staff by drafting ordinances,
regulations and policies, reviewing all contracts and providing other legal assistance.
The Prosecuting Attorney investigates and prosecutes criminal
activity in violation of state laws.
How is the City Attorney selected?
The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council.
Does the City Attorney represent private
No, the City Attorney does not represent individuals in private
legal matters. The City Attorney represents
the City itself, City Council, the City Manager, the City's boards, commissions and
various committees, its departments and staff.
Someone made a complaint about a
code violation on my property and I want to find out who made the complaint. Do I have a right to that information?
No. The City takes the position that such information
is exempt from the disclosure requirements of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. Therefore, the City will not release such
information without a valid court order directing it to do so. Such information could be used to harass citizens
who complain about code violations in their neighborhoods.
I need to do legal research
regarding a private matter. Can I use the law
books in the City Attorneys Office for research?
No. The legal research materials in the City
Attorneys Office are for the use of the City Attorney and its staff only. However, some legal research materials are
available at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library located at 1710 W. St. Andrews, Midland,
My neighbors tree limbs
and branches hang over my property. Can I
trim them without my neighbors permission? If
my neighbors tree limbs and branches fall onto my property, can I make my neighbor
clean them up or pay for any damage incurred?
This is a
private civil matter. The City cannot
intervene unless the City Forester determines that the tree or its limbs present a danger
to life or property. To obtain specific legal
advice about this situation you need to contact a private attorney.
If I have a legal problem or
question, can the City Attorneys Office provide any answers or assistance?
The City Attorney does not represent individuals in private legal
matters and cannot give any legal advice unless the matter involves the City directly or
is in violation of a local ordinance. The City Attorney represents the City itself, City
Council, the City Manager, the City's boards, commissions and various committees, its
departments and staff.
Please see the Referrals section for further guidance.