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 and approved by City Council, 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 misdemeanor ordinance violations and municipal civil traffic infractions brought under City Ordinances; conducting legal research and providing legal opinions; and responding to various citizen inquiries and complaints.

The staff of the City Attorney’s Office is comprised as follows:
  • Elizabeth Rae, City Attorney
  • Dawn King, Deputy City Attorney
  • Marcileen Pruitt, Assistant City Attorney
  • Bonnie Fitch, Assistant City Attorney
  • Legal Support Team of Two (2) Employees
Residents and businesses often call our office asking for legal advice; seeking information regarding personal legal issues; and, requesting lawyer referrals. Please note that the City Attorney's office cannot give legal advice in such matters. We recommend that any resident with such needs contact his or her own attorney or legal advisor. However, a resident may wish to contact the City of Southfield's Human Services Department for various free legal aid programs and options or the Oakland County Bar Association at 248-338-3400 or visit www.ocba.org.