FAQ's About the City Attorney

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What is the difference between the City Attorney and the District Attorney?
The City Attorney is appointed by the Newport Beach City Council. The attorneys in the office provide legal advice and services to the City Council, its officials, departments, employees, boards and commissions. The City Attorney enforces the City Municipal Codes. The District Attorney is an elected County official who investigates and prosecutes criminal activities throughout Orange County.  To contact the District Attorney’s Office, Newport Beach Office, call 949-476-4650 or orangecountyda.com.

Who does the City Attorney work for?
Under the City Charter, the City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk are each directly appointed by the City Council and serve at the pleasure of the Council. The City Attorney also provides legal advises and support for all City officers and employees relating to their acts which are within the course and scope of their employment or official duties.

Can the City Attorney provide legal advice to private citizens?
No. The City Attorney is legally prohibited from representing individuals in private legal matters.  Attorneys in the office only represent City officials, departments, agencies and employees in the course of their official acts or business.  For general questions or seeking legal representation, call the Legal Aid Society of Orange County at 800-834-5001 or legal-aid.com or the Orange County Bar Association Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 949-440-6747 or ocbar.org.

How can I get a copy of a Newport Beach Municipal Code?
Go to the City’s website at newportbeachca.gov select City Officials, City Charter/Municipal Code.  Hard copies of codes or a particular ordinance may be obtained from the City Clerk’s Office by calling 949-644-3005.

Who do I call to report a possible crime or City code violation?
Reports or complaints concerning any violation of law occurring in Newport Beach should be made to either the Newport Beach Police Department by calling 949-644-3681, or the Code & Water Quality Enforcement Division of the Community Development Department at 949-644-3215. If the matter is an emergency, call 911.

My neighbor’s tree limbs and branches overhang my property. Can I trim them without my neighbor’s permission?
This is a private civil matter over which the City has no jurisdiction. To obtain specific legal advice on your situation, you should consult a private attorney.  For general questions, of if you are seeking legal representation, call the Legal Aid Society of Orange County at 800-834-5001 or legal-aid.com, or the Orange County Bar Association Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 949-440-6747 or ocbar.org.

Does the City handle landlord/rental issues?
No. This is a private civil matter over which the City has no jurisdiction.  For general questions, please call the Fair Housing Council of Orange County at 714-569-0823 fairhousing.org.

Where do I file a small claims action?
If the incident occurred in the City of Newport Beach, you can file your Small Claims Action at the Orange County Superior Court, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach Facility, located at 4601 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, California 949-476-4764 or occourts.org.

Who do I contact regarding flying aircraft noise regulations, limits or complaints?
You can call John Wayne Airport Administration at 949-252-5185 or ocair.com.

Who do I contact if a business in Orange has defaulted in performing a requested and paid for service.
You can contact the Department of Consumer Affairs 213-974-1452 or dca.ca.gov/ or contact the Better Business Bureau 714-985-8922 or labbb.org.


What is the procedure for filing a claim against the City of Newport Beach?
To file a claim against the City, you must submit the claim, either by mail or personal delivery, at the City Clerk’s Office, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA, 92660, within six months of the date of the incident. You may contact the City Clerk to obtain a claim form to be mailed by calling 949-644-3005.

What is the procedure for submitting a Public Records Act request?
Public Records Act requests may be submitted online or by email, regular U.S. mail or personal delivery, at the City Clerk’s Office, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA, 92660. You may contact the City Clerk to obtain a Public Records Act request form by mail by calling 949-644-3005.

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