Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does the City Attorney's Office do?
The City Attorney’s Office represents Tooele City Corporation in all of its legal needs including: contracts, real estate transactions, prosecution of misdemeanor crimes, claims and lawsuits, land use law, human resources law, legislation, etc.
Who does the City Attorney represent?
The City Attorney represents Tooele City Corporation and its officers (Mayor, City Council, department heads) and agencies (Planning Commission, Redevelopment Agency, Municipal Building Authority).
Does the City Attorney represent the public?
The City Attorney represents the public in the general sense that he represents Tooele City Corporation and its officers and agencies. The City Attorney does not, however, represent individual members of the public with their private legal questions or needs.
Can the City Attorney represent me?
The City Attorney cannot represent individual members of the public. Individual members of the public should seek the advice of private attorneys for help with their legal questions or needs.
My landlord has given me an eviction notice. What can I do?
The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice. You should consult with a private attorney. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, you can contact Utah Legal Services to see if you qualify for their assistance.
City Records
How do I get a copy of City records?
If you want to inspect or copy City records, fill out a Request for Records form and deliver it to the City Recorder’s Office. Be as specific as possible so we know what records you want. We have ten days to respond, sometimes more, and will charge a copying fee.

If I have a sewer backup, will the City pay?

The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice.  But if you have experienced a loss caused by an obstruction in a city sewer main (e.g., sewer backup), or caused by a break in a city water main, you may submit to the City an Application for No-fault Utility Assistance.  This is not a claim against the City, but an application for assistance from the City.  The assistance program is set forth in Tooele City Code Chapter 8-14.  The Application for assistance is located on the Forms tab of the City Attorney webpage.  Follow the instructions on the Application carefully, and provide as much detailed information as possible, including photographs and receipts.  The City will determine your eligibility for City assistance, and your completed Application will be forwarded to the Utah Local Governments Trust for evaluation and possible payment.  The maximum assistance payment available is $15,000 per incident.  In the event of a sewer main obstruction or water main break, the City frequently calls a private mitigation company to extract water from a home or business and to clean floors, walls, and other items.  The Utah Local Governments Trust will pay the mitigation company cost, up to $15,000.  The Trust will inform you of your eligibility for assistance beyond the mitigation company services.  Assistance payments, if any, will be paid to you by the Trust.  Mitigation company costs will be paid before any payment is made to you; both are paid out of the maximum $15,000 available.  By way of example, if the Trust pays $10,000 to a mitigation company for mitigation services performed at your home or business, the maximum remaining assistance available to you for other damages will be $5,000.

What recourse do I haveĀ  if the City did something that damaged me or my property?
The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice. But if you want to file a claim against the City because you or your property were damaged and you think it was the City’s fault, you may submit the Claim Form found on the City Attorney web page.

Follow the instructions carefully, and provide as much detailed information as possible including photos and receipts. Most frequently, we will forward your claim to the City’s insurance company for investigation and a determination of fault.  Generally, the City is not at fault unless the City was negligent. The City’s insurance company adjuster will contact you about your claim. Tooele City will not pay a claim unless it is determined that the City was negligent.
Will the City pay if I ruined my car tire and rim on a pot hole?
Generally the City will not pay for damages caused by a driver hitting a pot hole in a city street. The City is vigilant about patching pot holes as quickly as we can after we find out about them and given the limited resources we have. We rely on drivers to pay close attention to the conditions of the roads upon which they are driving.
Crime Victim
If I am a victim of a crime, who can answer my questions?
If you are a victim of a crime and want information, please call the police department at 435.882.8900 and ask to speak with a victim advocate. The victim advocate can provide you with information and resources that will help you.
If I am a crime victim, can the Attorney's Office represent me during the prosecution of the perpetrator?
The City Attorney’s Office cannot represent individual members of the public. We make every effort to take the circumstances and perspectives of crime victims into account, but we cannot be a crime victim’s lawyer. If you feel you would like legal representation as a victim of crime, you can hire a private lawyer to represent you, or you can contact the Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic.
If I have been abused by my domestic partner, can the City help me?
If you have been abused by your domestic partner, please call the police immediately. Give them as much information as you can. Ask the police officer to put you in touch with the domestic violence victim advocate. The victim advocate can give you information and resources to support you.
What should I do if I think a child is being abused or neglected, or in danger of being abused or neglected?
If you believe that a child is being abused or neglected, or is in danger of being abused or neglected, you should call the police immediately. It’s the law. It can be hard to turn people in for abuse, especially if you know them or if you are not absolutely certain about the abuse. We believe it is always “better to be safe than sorry”. Calling the police fulfills your legal obligation to report abuse. Let the police sort out for sure who did what to whom. You can rest in the knowledge that you acted in the best interest of an at-risk child. Doing nothing can place a child at further risk, which is why the law requires you to report.
Criminal Prosecution
If I have been charged with a crime, what should I do?
The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice because we are prosecuting you. If you have questions, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney.
What should I do if I can't afford to hire a lawyer?
The City Attorney’s Office cannot give you legal advice. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, you may ask the Court to appoint one for you. The Court will determine if you qualify for an appointed lawyer, and whether you will have to pay anything back for having an appointed lawyer.
Do I get to choose which lawyer the Court appoints for me?
If I have a court date, what should I do?
If you have been given a date to appear in Court, you need to keep it. You are either a defendant who has been summoned to appear before the Court, or you are a witness who has been subpoenaed to give testimony to the Court. Make sure you keep your court date. If you are a defendant, the City Attorney’s Office cannot answer your questions because we are prosecuting you; you need to ask your attorney. If you are a witness, you may call the City Attorney’s Office with questions about being a witness. We do not represent witnesses, but we can explain to you what to expect as a witness.
What is a pre-trial conference?
A pre-trial conference, scheduled by the Court, is an opportunity for the criminal defense attorney and the defendant to meet with the City prosecutor to discuss the possible resolution of a criminal case. If a case cannot be resolved at the pre-trial conference, the attorneys will ask the Court for a trial date.
Can I speak with a prosecutor prior to the pre-trial conference?
No. If you have additional information or evidence regarding a given case, you may deliver it to the police department at 50 North Garden Street in Tooele and ask for it to be included in the case file. The police will forward the information to the prosecutor.
How do I get criminal charges dropped?
The City Attorney’s Office decides whether or not to file criminal charges. Decisions are based on the available evidence. While we care about the perspectives of witnesses and victims, witnesses and victims cannot “drop charges” or demand that a case be dismissed.
How can I get my arrest or conviction expunged?
To see if you qualify for an expungement, you may contact the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI)
If I am a real estate developer, do I need to post a bond with my project for things like streets and water lines?

Yes.  Streets and water lines are examples of public improvements, along with sewer lines, street lights, curb and gutter, street signs, park strip trees, and other items.  Before a developer can record a subdivision plat, all public improvements must be either constructed or bonded for, or some combination of both equaling 100%.  A developer may construct most public improvements without bonding.  The City, however, requires a bond for all connections to existing City utility infrastructure and for all work in existing City rights-of-way.  The City accepts three types of bonds: cash, letter of credit, and bank-guaranteed escrow.  The bond agreement forms for each of these bonds are located on the Forms tab of the City Attorney webpage.  The City does not accept surety or property bonds or unguaranteed escrow accounts for public improvements.