Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – City Attorney


  1. How do I file a claim against the City?

    You may download and complete the claim form by clicking on this link, Claim Form and Instructions. You may also pick up a claim form and instructions from the City Clerk's office.  PLEASE NOTE:  THE FORM AND INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN UPDATED AS OF JAN. 2016.

  2. Where do I serve a lawsuit against the City of Berkeley?

    The City Clerk is the Agent for Service of Process for the City of Berkeley.  Please contact the City Clerk's office, 2180 Milvia St., 1st Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 981-6900

  3. Should a document subpoena for City records be served on the City Attorney's Office?

    No.  Document subpoenas should be served at the front desk of the City Department that has custody of records that are being requested.  The location of each City Department's front desk is on the City of Berkeley website.

  4. Is this the same office as the District Attorney's Office?

    No.  The Alameda County District Attorney's office handles criminal matters.   The District Attorney's office number is (510) 272-6222.

  5. The Permit Department won't approve my permit.

    If you are having problems with a particular Department, you are encouraged to contact the Director of that Department.  The City Attorney's role is to advise the specific Department, not individuals interacting with the Department.

  6. What can I do about my neighbor's trees that are blocking my view?

    Berkeley Municipal Code Chapter 12.45 includes a dispute resolution process for those that feel their views and/or access to light are impacted by the growth of neighboring trees.   The City Attorney's Office does not get involved in disputes between neighbors under the Ordinance.

  7. Can you recommend a lawyer?  I cannot afford an attorney.  Will you represent me in my lawsuit? 

    The City Attorney's Office cannot recommend a lawyer or give a citizen legal advice.   For referrals, you can contact the Lawyer Referral Service sponsored by the State Bar of California at 1-866-442-2529 or 866-44-CA-LAW (toll free in California).