Office of the City Attorney

The City Attorney's Office performs legal services for the City and provides legal counsel to every aspect of City government. 

As required by the City Charter, the office represents the City in:
  • Preparation and review of contracts and other legal documents
  • Provides advice and opinions to the Mayor, City Commission, and all City agencies
  • Requests by the Mayor or City Commissioners, the office drafts ordinances, and resolutions to present to the Commission
  • Prosecution of persons accused of violating City ordinances (parking and traffic tickets, housing violations, criminal enforcement misdemeanors)
  • Representation of the City and City officials in lawsuits


The City Attorney's Office does not provide legal advice to members of the public.

COVID-19 UPDATE - 61st District Court Operations Changes

Beginning March 18, 2020 through April 5, 2020 the 61st District Court is suspending many of its operations.

If you have a pending court case, or want to file a new case, please read the order (link below) from Chief Judge Michael J. Distel.

D-61-Emergency-Notice-Revised-3.17.20.pdf(PDF, 888KB)

  • The public is strongly encouraged not to attend court proceedings unless absolutely necessary or unless ordered by the Court.



The following court hearings will still take place:

  • Felony and misdemeanor arraignments of defendants held in custody (conducted by video);

  • Arraignments on felonies and serious criminal offenses for individuals released from custody prior to video arraignment (as ordered by the Court at the time of release from custody);

  • Probable Cause conferences;

  • Scheduled Preliminary Examinations;

  • Trials for incarcerated individuals;

  • Sentencing for incarcerated individuals; and

  • other emergency proceedings as necessary.


Additional Information:

  • Court payments can be made and court records can be accessed at

  • Court window services will be closed. All new Landlord Tenant, General Civil, and Small Claims complaints will only be accepted by mail or by depositing it in the Civil Dropbox located outside the entrance to Suite 1400.


Helpful Information Numbers:

If you have any questions about your court case, please call one of these numbers

  • 61st District Court Criminal/Traffic Division: 616-632-5525
  • 61st District Court Civil Division: 616-632-5555
  • 61st District Court Probation: 616-632-5650
  • City Attorney's Office Criminal Enforcement (City cases only): 616-632-5721

City Attorney Anita Hitchcock oversees a law department of 17 attorneys and administrative staff, which requires solid problem solving skills while using sound judgment and an ability to be patient while honing a great skill of multi-tasking.  Want to know more about our City Attorney?

City Attorney Anita Hitchcock

Municipal Affairs Division - provides legal advice and counsel to the Mayor, City Commissioners, City Manager and all departments, Boards and Commissions of the City. 616-456-3181 

Civil Litigation Division - defends the City, its officers and employees in State and Federal lawsuits and administrative proceedings. 616-456-3181

Freedom of Information Act Coordinator -manages receipt and response to all Freedom of Information Act requests. 616-456-3181

Enforcement Division - prosecutes City Ordinance violations in Grand Rapids District and Kent County Juvenile Courts and provide training and consultation to City Departments which enforce ordinances. 616-456-3388

Looking to request copies of City records? The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows you to request copies or access to most City records.

Freedom Of Information Act Form (FOIA)

We designed our form to collect the information we need to process your request. Still, you might want more details about our FOIA process. That's why we publish our Freedom of Information Act Procedures and Guidelines online.

Were you injured on City property or by a City vehicle? Did you hit a pothole and damage your vehicle? Was there a sewage backup into your basement? You may be eligible for a reimbursement of expenses for any of these situations.

File a Claim with the City

The City of Grand Rapids charter is a legal document establishing our municipality as a city. Municipal Code Corporation (Municode) publishes the City Grand Rapids legal documents.

Visit Municode to view the City Charter:  

 City of Grand Rapids Charter

The city of Grand rapids has rules, regulations, and codes enacted into law by our governing body the City Commission.

Grand Rapids City Codes - Municode

The Office of the City Manager develops policies which align to the oversight of City operations.  

Looking for a specific policy? Use the search "By Phrase or Keyword" option. 

Administrative Policies

The Commission has its own set of polices.  Looking for a specific policy? Use the search "By Phrase or Keyword" option.  

City Commission Policies