Civil Division

About the Division
Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 388.051, the county attorney gives legal opinions and advice to the County Board of Commissioners and any other county officer or official concerning all matters in which the county is or may be interested, or in relation to the official duties of the board or officer.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Attorney’s Office is regularly called upon to assist with interpreting the county’s obligations under state and federal laws, rules and regulations, and applicable court decisions. Examples of the duties of the Civil Division are as follows:
  • The Civil Division provides day-to-day legal services to the Board of Commissioners and its departments, such as general legal advice, drafting correspondence, proposals and contracts, 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.
  • The Civil Division provides litigation services to the county and its departments as well as involved county employees, as authorized by Minnesota Statutes.
  • The Civil Division provides representation to the county related to tax matters dealing with the valuation of real estate.
  • The Civil Division represents the county in acquiring real estate through eminent domain proceedings to meet the needs of the county and its departments.
  • The Civil Division represents the county in 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.
  • The Civil Division represents Social Services in licensing matters involving foster care and day cares, financial assistance appeals, medical assistance reimbursement actions, and any other administrative appeal involving Social Services.
  • The Civil Division assists Environmental Services in the enforcement of public health statutes, ordinances, and zoning violations. These matters involve restaurants, swimming pools, mobile home parks, motels, septic system violations, and sales of tobacco to minors by retailers.
  • The Civil Division provides counsel to the Public Works Department when legal issues arise over county road right-of-ways, bridges, dams, waste management facilities, parks, and other public infrastructure.
  • The Civil Division provides counsel to the Drainage Authority in matters involving county and judicial ditches.