Photo of Law Department Employees

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the City Attorney advise private citizens on legal matters?

No. The City Attorney cannot provide legal advice to private citizens on personal legal matters. The following organizations may be helpful to citizens seeking legal assistance:

Legal Aid (512) 374-2700, Lawyer Referral Service (512) 472-8303 or Toll-free (866) 303-8303

How do I file a claim with the City of Austin?

If you wish to file a claim against the City of Austin you must send a letter within 45 days from the date of incident with the following information:  Date, time, and location of incident, description of what occurred, type of damage(s) or nature of injury, copies of invoices, receipts, and/or estimates, any additional documentation supporting your claim (i.e., photos, diagrams, statements, police report, etc.) and a full mailing address and daytime telephone number. You may mail, fax, or email the following information to:

City of Austin Law Department
Attn: Claims
P.O. Box 1546
Austin, Texas 78767-1546
Phone: (512) 974-2268
Fax: (512) 974-1311

lawclaims@austintexas.gov

 

Once a claim has been filed, what happens next?

After receipt of your claim a letter of acknowledgement will be mailed to you within 3-4 business days.  The letter will have your claim number, your investigator’s name, and contact phone number.  It is our practice when possible to complete our investigation within 30 days of receiving your claim. Some claims may take longer depending on the complexity. After the investigation is complete, a letter approving or denying your claim will be mailed to you. You may call the City Attorney’s Office at (512) 974-2268 if you have any questions.

Where can I get a copy of the Austin City Code?

The City Code may be viewed online or at the Office of the City Clerk, 301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, Texas  78701.

Criminal Prosecution

Can I have a payment plan for my fine in Municipal Court?

A payment plan can only be offered only after a plea has been entered. Please contact the Municipal Court regarding this option.

How can I keep a citation off my record?

If you are eligible, you may take a driving safety course or receive a deferred disposition. Certain conditions such has having a CDL, an allegation of traveling more than 25 miles over the posted speed limit, speeding in a work zone with workers present, and others may make you ineligible for a deferral. Please contact the Municipal Court to find out if you qualify.

How do I contact the Municipal Court?

The Municipal Court is located at 700 E. 7th Street, Austin. The phone number is (512) 974-4800. You may also find it helpful to visit the court’s website at www.austintexas.gov/court for additional information.

How do I obtain a copy of my driving record?

Contact the Department of Public Safety at https://www.dps.texas.gov/.

I have a legal question relating to a matter pending in Municipal Court or I would like advice on how to proceed with my case.

None of the lawyers with the City of Austin Law Department can provide legal advice to citizens. Our sole function is to prosecute people who violate criminal misdemeanor laws and to provide legal representation to the city, its agents, and employees.

I have a warrant for my arrest issued out of Municipal Court.

You will need to contact the court at www.austintexas.gov/court.

I received a subpoena to testify in Municipal Court. What do I do?

A prosecutor evaluates each case and sends a subpoena to witnesses that are needed to testify during trial. Without your presence, the case may not be able to proceed. The date and trial location (courtroom number) will be printed on each subpoena as well as a phone number and an email address. It is important to call the listed phone number or send an email to the listed person as directed on the subpoena to confirm your appearance and ensure the trial has not been reset to another date.  You may contact the prosecutor’s office regarding your notice to appear in court at prosecutor@austintexas.gov.

 

I want to file a complaint against someone.

You will need to make this request at the Municipal Court, 700 E. 7th Street, Austin. A copy of the complaint paperwork may be obtained from the Municipal Court website at www.austintexas.gov/court. You may fill out the paperwork before hand, but please do not sign it until you are at the court where a Deputy Clerk can witness your sworn statement.

I would like a copy of the police report, radar readings, video and any other evidence connected with my case in Municipal Court.

You must make a written motion for discovery requesting all evidence and file it with the Municipal Court, either in person or via fax at (512) 974-4684.

What is the downtown Community Court?

The purpose of the Downtown Austin Community Court is to collaboratively address the quality of life issues of all residents in the downtown Austin community through the swift, creative sentencing of public order offenders. For more information you may visit the DACC website at www.austintexas.gov/department/community-court

Whom do I call regarding landlord/tenant disputes?

You may contact the Austin Tenants’ Council,1640B East 2nd Street, Suite 150 Austin, TX 78702, (512) 474-1961, www.housing-rights.org.

Land Use and Real Estate Division

Does the City of Austin have its own water rights or does it purchase its water?

Both.  The City of Austin has substantial water rights granted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to divert water from the Colorado River.  However, the City’s water rights are not sufficient to meet the City’s water supply needs.  Therefore, the City has a water supply purchase agreement with the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) to back up or supplement the City’s water rights.  In a typical year the City will use water from both its water rights and from its water supply agreement with LCRA.

I want the City to extend water/wastewater service to my property. What can I do?

Service extensions can be requested by contacting Austin Water Utility's Service Extension Request Program at (512) 972-0207.

My water/wastewater bill was too high and I want to dispute it or get more information. What can I do?

A summary of the customer's rights and the City's responsibility shall be provided with the first bill to each customer, and at least every two years thereafter.  Billing and customer service questions can be directed to Austin Energy, who also sends out bills for Austin Water Utility.  (512) 494-9400.  For more information, click here.

Sewage is surfacing at the edge of my property. Who should I call?

For water/wastewater emergencies, contact (512) 972-1000; this number is answered 24 hours a day.

Municipal Operations, Land Use and Real Estate Division

How do I report a potential City of Austin code violation?

You may contact Austin Code or by dialing 3-1-1, or you can file a report online.

How do I report a potential City of Austin code violation?

You may contact Austin Code or by dialing 3-1-1, or you can file a report online.

Municipal Operations

What department handles issues related to traffic signals, stop signs, overflowing sewer lines, sidewalks, trees, and street maintenance?

You may contact the Transportation Department or dial 3-1-1 to report conditions that may require a city response.

Where can I find a signed copy of an agreement, resolution or ordinance?

The Office of the City Clerk maintains records of official City documents. You may contact their Office at (512) 974-2210.