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Frequently Asked Questions

City Attorney

I would like to submit an Open Records Request, what do I need to do?

If you are looking to submit an Open Records Request please visit the Open Records Requests management and tracking system.

What are the differences between the City Attorney, the County Attorney, and the District Attorney?

The City Attorney is the lawyer for the city government. When the city is sued, the City Attorney appears in court as defense counsel. When the city’s interests are infringed, the City Attorney files suit to protect them. The City Attorney also serves as legal counsel to all City officials and departments in the course of their official business, drafting ordinances and regulations, reviewing contracts and providing other legal advice. To learn more about the specific duties of the City Attorney’s office, see the City Attorney's homepage.

The County Attorney is the lawyer for the county government.

The District Attorney investigates and prosecutes criminal activity on behalf of the State of Texas.

Does the City Attorney represent private citizens?

No. The City Attorney does not represent individuals in private legal matters. Attorneys in the office represent City officials and departments in the course of their official business. Referrals for other legal matters:
Criminal Prosecution: District Attorney’s Office: (915) 546-2059
County Attorney’s Office (Juvenile matters): (915) 546-2082
Criminal Representation: Public Defender’s Office: (915) 546-8185
Legal Advice and Representation for private or personal legal matters: El Paso Legal Assistance Society : (915) 544-3022 Texas
Rural Legal Aid: (915) 532-4328
El Paso Bar Association: (915) 532-7052
Office of the Attorney General-Child Support Enforcement: (915) 779-2388
County Attorney’s Office-Protective Orders: (915) 546-2153

How does one file a claim against the City?

No suit shall be instituted against the City unless the claimant shall aver and prove that, previous to filing the original petition, the claim was presented to the Council and the Council failed either to grant or act upon the claim in a timely fashion. This provision shall not apply in instances in which injunction or any other of the extraordinary writs are sought.

3.28.010 Property damage and personal injury suits--Notification--Information required.
The city shall not be liable to any person for injuries suffered to his person or the person of another unless the injured person, or someone on his behalf, shall within ninety days or within six months for good cause shown from the date the damage occurred or the injury was received, give notice in writing to the mayor of the following facts:
  1. A. The date and time when the damage or injury occurred and the place where the damage occurred or where the injured person was at the time the injury was received;
  2. B. The nature and extent of the damage or injury together with a specific and detailed statement of how and under what circumstances the injury occurred;
  3. C. The names of all the persons who according to the knowledge or information of the claimant witnessed the happening of the damage or of the injury or any part thereof and the name of the doctors, if any, to whose care the injured person is committed.
3.28.020 Wrongful death suits--Notification--Information required. The city shall not be liable for damages for wrongful death unless the person, or one of the persons, entitled to recover such damages shall, within ninety days or within six months for good cause shown from the date of the injury or accident causing such death, give notice to the mayor substantially as required by Section 3.28.010 in personal injury cases; or unless the person who was injured and died as a result thereof, or someone for him, had given the notice required by Section 3.28.010.

3.28.030 Property damage, personal injury suits, and wrongful death suits notification--Swearing to notice required.
The written notice and statement required under Sections 3.28.010 and 3.28.020 shall be sworn to by the person claiming damages or by someone authorized by him to do so on his behalf.

Procedures to follow when filing a claim:

Provide the information required in Chapter 3.28 Claims Against the City, referenced above, in writing and sign the letter before a Notary Public; and
Mail letter to the Office of the Mayor, P.O. Box 1890, El Paso, Texas, 79901, with the following attachments
i.) three property damage estimates,
ii.) photographs of damage, if any,
iii.) accident report, if available,
iv.) photocopy of Certificate of Title of damaged vehicle,
v.) photocopy of medical bills, if any, and
vi.) doctor’s narrative.

Does the City hire outside counsel?

From time to time, the El Paso City Attorney's Office may need to retain the services of outside counsel. If you or your firm are interested in serving as outside counsel for the City of El Paso, please submit a cover letter which identifies areas of legal expertise to:
  1. El Paso City Attorney's Office
  2. P.O. Box 1890
  3. El Paso, Texas 79901
Please be advised that the standard conflict of interests checks will be done. Outside Counsel will be asked to sign a letter of engagement or professional services agreement.