Contact Information

Contact Information

City Attorney's Office

Crime Victim Liaison


City Attorney's Office


Mission statement

To enhance public safety and quality of life for Bloomington residents through fair and effective prosecution of crimes and civil administrative offenses occurring in the community, to protect the City's assets by proactively providing timely and effective legal counsel to the City, its elected officials, staff and boards and commissions, and to assist in the vigorous defense of claims brought or threatened against the City, all in a highly cost-effective, collaborative, and focused manner.

Where to call for assistance

General duties

The City Attorney's Office is responsible for the prosecution of non-felony cases committed by adults occurring in the City. The City Attorney's Office also provides legal representation and general counsel services to all City departments, the City Council, and all City boards and commissions. The City Attorney is Melissa Manderschied. The City Attorney is assisted by a Deputy City Attorney and four Assistant City Attorneys in the Criminal Division, a Deputy City Attorney and two Assistant City Attorneys in the Civil Division. In addition, the Office is assisted by a Risk and Litigation Manager, a Compliance Manager, a Compliance Paralegal, a Crime Victim Liaison, a Civil Paralegal, a Criminal Paralegal, an Office Support Specialist, a Legal Administrative Assistant and two Office Assistants.

The City Attorney's Office does not provide legal advice or representation in private legal matters.

Criminal Division

The Deputy City Attorney and Assistant City Attorneys handling criminal prosecution appear in Hennepin County District Court, Division IV Court located at the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis. Typical misdemeanor offenses include driving under the influence of alcohol, domestic assault, violation of orders for protection, simple assault, trespassing, shoplifting, disorderly conduct, theft or damage to property where the value of the property is less than $1000, careless and reckless driving, and petty traffic offenses.

All felony level offenses are handled by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, 612-348-5550,

All juvenile matters are handled by the Hennepin County Juvenile Division, 612-348-7916. If the juvenile offense is either a petty misdemeanor or DWI, the Bloomington City Attorney's Office will prosecute.

Civil Division

The Deputy City Attorney and Assistant City Attorneys work with the City Attorney to provide legal advice and services to the City's elected officials, various City departments and all City boards and commissions. These matters include:

  • Drafting City ordinances, policies, procedures, and some state legislation, that are capable of fair and even-handed enforcement and which provide clear direction to residents and businesses of their rights and responsibilities;
  • Communicating with City residents and businesses, where there appears to be a property management problem that could potentially involve enforcement actions against them, to identify best practices and other solutions to achieve long-term compliance with applicable laws;
  • Drafting written legal opinions and training materials to advise and guide the City’s elected officials, supervisors and volunteer commission and board members with respect to the state and federal statutory and constitutional provisions relating to the performance of their job duties;
  • Reviewing and drafting City employment rules and policies in a manner that provides clear notice to employees of their rights and responsibilities, complies with all applicable state and federal laws and promotes the City’s mission to be a productive organization of providing quality services;
  • Applying the City and State land use and zoning laws to specific cases;
  • Negotiating and structuring public financing for public infrastructure essential to large scale private developments that will increase the City’s tax base and job force;
  • Negotiating and finalizing City real estate transactions by mutually agreed upon terms of sale or acquisition or by eminent domain;
  • Enforcing the City and State Building, Health and Sanitation Codes, including the declaration of premises as unfit for human habitation, removal of hazardous buildings, the temporary closure of pools or restaurants where conditions threaten the public's health;
  • Negotiating, drafting and reviewing all City contracts, development agreements and professional service agreements;
  • Negotiating telecommunications agreements and other private requests to use City property or right-of-way.
  • Enforcing City and State licensing laws;
  • Participating in the defense of all civil claims against the City in state and federal courts.
Compliance Division

The Compliance Manager works with the City Attorney to enhance the image and livability of Bloomington through education and fair enforcement of the certain City ordinances that are managed within the City Clerk and Attorney's Offices.  These matters include:

  •  Coordinating and managing City activities related to compliance education and outreach.
  •  Tracking data and metrics, and delivering results to the resident of Bloomington.
  •  Working with vulnerable populations, businesses, city staff, customers of businesses, and employees of businesses.
  •  Managing City relations with advocacy community.
  •  Receiving and responding to informational inquiries.
  •  Conducting compliance investigations and delivering written findings, issuing fines and penalties when applicable.
  •  Managing internal relations with City departments to promote awareness and compliance with ordinances.

Frequently asked questions

FAQ - General
FAQ - crime victims and witnesses
FAQ - neighborhood quality-of-life issues
FAQ - criminal defendants