Jeff Stephenson, Director
The Civil Division of the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office provides a wide array of legal services to the County Board and its departments, which provide critical public services.
Since the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners by the County’s Home Rule Charter is provided with all the powers necessary or convenient for the purpose of operating the County, the Civil Division, through its attorneys, is regularly called upon to advise the County Board related to interpreting its obligations under the Home Rule Charter, state and federal laws, rules and regulations, and applicable court decisions. Examples of the activities of the Civil Division are as follows:
- The Civil Division provides day-to-day legal services to the Board and its departments, such as general legal advice, drafting correspondence, proposals and contracts, providing Board documentation, approving County documents as to legality, advising on Data Practices and drafting and reviewing operational policies and procedures as to conformance with the law.
- As with any large business or governmental enterprise it is also necessary for the Civil Division to provide litigation services to the County and its departments as well as involved County employees as authorized by Minnesota statutes.
- The Civil Division also provides representation to the County related to tax petition matters dealing with the valuation of real estate. Also, as the needs of the County and its departments require, the Civil Division acquires real estate through eminent domain proceedings and drafts complex construction, purchasing, and information technology contracts.
- Risk management services are also provided by the Civil Division, along with claims administration, the obtaining of insurance and workers compensation defense, the latter two services by contract. Also provided are civil forfeiture actions, designed to take away guns, money, vehicles, and other property used in the commission of a crime and to divert such unlawfully used property into funding for law enforcement programs.
In summary, the Civil Division finds itself involved in virtually every aspect of the County’s activities, striving to provide the highest quality civil legal services for the benefit of its County clients and the citizens of Ramsey County.