The Sheffield Lake Law Department is under the direction of David M. Graves, who also serves as the City Prosecutor. The Department is located at Sheffield Lake City Hall, and can be reached at 949-6162.
The Law Department functions as the attorney for the City of Sheffield Lake, and provides legal advice to the Mayor, City Council, administrative officers and departments, and all of the commissions and boards of the Municipality. The Law Department also represents the City in all court proceedings and hearings before any administrative body.
Additionally, the Department is responsible for preparing legislation, contracts and all legal documents on behalf of the City. The Department is also responsible for the prosecution of criminal matters that occur within the City.
The Law Department serves as legal counsel and advisor to the City, its agencies, departments, commissions and boards. As legal advisor, the Law Department prepares all legal documents legislation and contracts, and renders both formal and informal legal opinions. In addition, the Law Department performs all further duties as set forth in the Charter of the City of Sheffield Lake, the Codified Ordinances of the City of Sheffield Lake and the Ohio Revised Code.
The Civil division represents the City’s interests in all civil and administrative proceedings. It files lawsuits and pursues claims on behalf of the City and it also defends the City, its commissions, boards or officials in any proceeding where they may be named as parties. The Law Department handles damage and injury claims made against the City, defends allegations of civil rights violations and allegations of unconstitutionality, initiates suits for collection of taxes, files actions to enforce City ordinances including Zoning and Building Codes, pursues damage claims by the City against persons who have damaged City property, and represents the City in public nuisance abatements and eminent domain proceedings.
The Law Department also represents the City as a municipal corporation in real estate development transactions and operational matters, and is responsible for certain filing and revivals of liens. It also drafts and approves proposed ordinances, resolutions, deeds, leases, contracts, legal pleadings and briefs.
The Civil Division also processes all insurance claims and recommends payment or settlement of those claims deemed proper.
The City Prosecutor is responsible for the prosecution of all adult misdemeanor and felony criminal actions that occur within the City of Sheffield Lake. Pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code, Sheffield Lake’s criminal cases are heard in the Lorain Municipal Court. However, minor traffic cases, and most cases filed under Sheffield Lake’s Municipal Ordinances, are heard initially by the City’s Magistrate in the Sheffield Lake Mayor’s Court. Defendants who enter a plea of not guilty in Mayor’s Court will have their cases transferred to the Lorain Municipal Court.