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The Legal Department 

The City of Salem Legal Department is comprised of the Attorney division and the Recorder division. 

City Attorney   

The Attorney division provides comprehensive legal services to the City of Salem and the Urban Renewal Agency, including general counsel; civil litigation, including liability defense; and prosecution of misdemeanors under the City’s code and state traffic laws.   General Counsel prepares and reviews legal documents including contracts, ordinances, resolutions, and City Council orders.  They provide legal advice and counsel to the City Council, City Manager, departments, boards and commissions.  They also prepare formal written opinions regarding significant interpretations of federal and state laws, the City Charter, ordinances and other related documents.

Criminal Prosecution provides prosecution services for quality of life crimes such as DUII, trespass, traffic, reckless driving, vagrancy, and other misdemeanor crimes.  These crimes affect more citizens, neighborhoods and businesses than any other.

Civil Litigation initiates claims on the City’s behalf to acquire property to complete City projects and represents the City in bankruptcy, foreclosure and collection actions.  Liability Defense defends claims against the City in state and federal courts; collaborates with Risk Management; provides legal training; and strives to provide departments with appropriate legal advice before legal issues become legal problems.

Because the City Attorney's Office represents the City of Salem (and companion entities such as Housing Authority of the City of Salem and Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Salem) we cannot provide legal advice to private citizens. If you have a legal questions or need legal assistance, below are options that you may choose:

  1. Lawyer Referral Service at 503-684-3763 or 1-800-452-7636
  2. Oregon State Bar www.osbar.org
  3. Marion/Polk Legal Aid, 1655 State Street, Salem, Oregon 97301. 503-581-5265 or 1-800-359-1845
  4. www.OregonLawHelp.org 

Contact Information

City Attorney's Office
555 Liberty Street SE, Room 205
Salem, OR 97301
Phone:  503-588-6003
Fax:  503-361-2202

City Recorder

The City Recorder oversees the keeping of official records and documentation of official acts of the City of Salem such as City Council agendas and minutes, ordinances, resolutions, administrative orders, deeds and easements, agreements and contracts.  In addition to being the City's Elections Officer, the City Recorder is the City's Records Manager and Archivist, as well as maintaining and distributing the Salem Revised Code.

The City Recorder coordinates public records requests.  A request to see or obtain copies of public records can be made by submitting Form A: Public Records Request to the City Recorder's Office.

Contact Information

City Recorder 
555 Liberty Street SE, Room 205
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-588-6097 
Fax: 503-361-2202
E-mail: cityrecorder@cityofsalem.net

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