Mobile Government

Legal


205 Government Street
9th Floor, South Tower
Mobile, Alabama 36644
P.O. Box 1827
Mobile, AL 36633-1827

Main Contact: 251-208-7416

Chief Assistant City Attorney: Florence Kessler -

City Attorney: Ricardo A. Woods -

LEGAL DEPARTMENT


Welcome to the City of Mobile Legal Department. The City Attorney is Ricardo A. Woods who also serves in the capacity of Chief Legal Advisor to the Mayor.


Under the direction of the City Attorney, the Legal Department provides legal advice to all City departments, represents the City on a wide variety of civil matters and prosecutes misdemeanors committed in the City. The Mobile City Council is represented by independent legal counsel, James Rossler.


The mission of the Legal Department is to provide the most efficient and effective legal representation possible to the City and to support the Police Department and City enforcement agencies in the prosecution of Code violations and misdemeanors.


FUNCTIONS:


There are two primary divisions in the Legal Department - Civil and Criminal


CIVIL DIVISION:


Attorneys:

Florence A. Kessler, Chief Assistant City Attorney
E. Ashton Hill, III, Assistant City Attorney
Melissa Mutert, Assistant City Attorney
Keri Renee Coumanis, Assistant City Attorney
E. Erich Bergdolt, Assistant City Attorney


The Civil Division:

- Advises all City departments on federal, state and local laws and statutes including issues involving grants, real estate, zoning, nuisance abatement, taxation and economic development.

- Drafts ordinances and resolutions, bills for the legislature and various other legal documents.

- Provides legal review/assistance to City departments in drafting policies, negotiating contracts, resolving claims, and other matters on which they need legal advice.

- Represents City departments on personnel matters and related cases before the Personnel Board, federal agencies and judicial appeals from these decisions.

- Files tax collection actions and bankruptcy claims.

- Represents City department heads and employees in lawsuits filed against or on behalf of the City.


CRIMINAL DIVISION


Attorneys:
David J. Wible, Assistant City Attorney
Derrick V. Williams, Assistant City Attorney
Lee F. Holland, Assistant City Attorney


The Assistant City Attorneys in the Criminal Division prosecute the more than 35,000 misdemeanors charged in the City of Mobile each year. These include violations of state and local laws, such as littering, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, domestic violence, theft offenses, zoning and building code violations, and many other violations. The Criminal Division works to enhance the safety and quality of life of the people of Mobile by intervening to stop criminal conduct at the misdemeanor level. Defendants found guilty at the Municipal Court level have a right to appeal to the Circuit Court. Assistant City Attorneys (City Prosecutors) represent the City in cases before the Circuit Court on appeal from Municipal Court.


Municipal Court concentrates on four categories of prosecutions:


Domestic Violence


Cases on this docket involve disputes between parties who have a personal relationship (i.e., boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, etc.) over prohibited activities such as harassment, battery, stalking, etc.


Criminal


This docket includes a wide variety of misdemeanors and municipal offenses such as harassment, assault, theft, disorderly conduct and possession of controlled substances.


Environmental


This docket includes misdemeanor and municipal offenses arising from violations of the tax code, litter laws, health and safety laws and ordinances, property maintenance code, Fire Department codes, Health Department codes and planning and zoning codes.


Traffic


This docket includes misdemeanor traffic violations such as moving violations, improper equipment, no driver?s license, no insurance and DUI. Certain DUIs may be sent to the District Attorney to prosecute as felonies.


Circuit Court Appeals


Prosecutors handle all cases on appeal from the Municipal Court to the Circuit Court.


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