City Attorney's Office

Did You Know?

  • The City Attorney’s Office was once located on the lower level of City Hall.

  • The staff of the City Attorney’s Office will process requests for adjournments in City misdemeanor/civil matters only if the request is made 24 hours or more BEFORE the scheduled court date/time.

  • The City Attorney’s Office does not provide legal advice and/or legal referrals.

  • The City Attorney’s Office does not handle the prosecution of tickets issued in Southfield by Michigan State troopers, only those issued by City of Southfield police officers.

  • The longest tenure, to date, of an Assistant City Attorney is thirty-six (36) years of service.
Welcome to the City Attorney’s Office.  Our primary responsibility is to serve as the legal authority for the City of Southfield as a municipal entity.  In this role, we provide legal assistance to the various City departments and the City Council in matters pertaining to local, state, and federal laws.

The City Attorney, appointed by the Mayor, is the legal Counsel for the City, responsible for instituting or defending all litigation in which the City is a party, as directed by the City Council.  The City Attorney attends all Council meetings and serves as advisor to other departments when requested.  

The City Attorney has an appointed staff of a Deputy City Attorney  and two Assistant City Attorneys who are employed in various supporting functions such as: employment and labor relations; drafting ordinances; reviewing contracts; attending various Boards and Commissions meetings; prosecuting criminal charges and civil traffic infractions brought under City Ordinances; conducting legal research; and responding to various citizen inquiries and complaints.

The staff of the City Attorney’s Office is comprised as follows:
  • Elizabeth Rae O'Donnell, City Attorney
  • Marcileen Pruitt, Assistant City Attorney
  • Dawn King, Assistant City Attorney II
  • Bonnie Fitch, Attorney I
  • Legal Support Team of Three (3) Employees
Residents and businesses often call our office asking for legal advice; seeking information regarding personal legal issues; and, requesting lawyer referrals.  We recommend that any resident with such needs contact his/her own attorney or legal advisor. Also, if a resident can or cannot afford legal counsel or chooses not to personally hire one, you can contact the City of Southfield’s Human Services Department for various, free legal aid programs and options.