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City Attorney

City Attorney - Carol Schwab
(310) 253-5660 - email

The City Attorney's Office provides high quality, timely and cost effective legal guidance, support and representation for all City Officials and City Staff on matters of law pertaining to their duties and responsibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the City Attorney's Office advise citizens in legal matters?
No. The City Attorney's Office represents the City of Culver City as a municipal entity. This office does not give legal advice to or represent individual citizens, or represent them in private legal disputes.

What is the difference between a "public nuisance" and a "private nuisance" and when does the City Attorney's Office become involved?
A "nuisance" is defined as: "Anything which is injurious to health, including, but not limited to, the illegal sale of controlled substances, or is indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, or unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in the customary manner, of any navigable lake, or river, bay, stream, canal, or basin, or any public park, square, street, or highway, is a nuisance."

A "public nuisance" is defined as follows: "A public nuisance is one which affects at the same time an entire community or neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons, although the extent of the annoyance or damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal."

A "private nuisance" is generally considered to be something that affects a single individual or a number of individuals with regard to a private right not enjoyed by the public at large.

The City Attorney's Office investigates allegations of public nuisance in the interests of protecting the public health, safety and welfare of the community, and initiates office conferences and/or prosecution when appropriate. The City Attorney's Office does not become involved in a private nuisance, in which case the parties should seek private counsel.

My neighbor has a fruit tree whose limbs extend over my property boundary line, causing damage to my roof, dropping fruit all over my yard, etc. What can I do?
Neighborhood disputes are best handled by approaching the neighbor and attempting to arrive at a solution acceptable to both. This is an example of a private nuisance in which the City Attorney's Office does not become involved.

My neighbor's dog barks continually. What can you do to help?
All complaints about animals, including barking dogs, should be directed to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control at 310-523-9566. The City contracts with them for all animal matters.

What are the noise laws of the City?
The Culver City Municipal Code contains different laws regarding noise in the City. For a summarized list of noise violations, please call the City Attorney's Office at (310) 253-5685.

What is the difference between the City Attorney's Office and the District Attorney's Office?
The District Attorney's Office is a department of the County of Los Angeles. It engages in criminal prosecution of misdemeanor and felony crimes that occur in Los Angeles County. In prosecution matters, the City Attorney's Office is responsible only for violations of the Culver City Municipal Code only.

A City vehicle or work crew damaged my property. What can I do about it?
If you believe you have a valid claim against the City, you must file a claim form with the City Clerk prior to initiating any other legal action. The claim must be filed within 180 days of the incident.

What options do I have if I see violations in my community?
Make contact with the responsible person.

Describe your perception of the problem. Discuss how the problem affects you and possible solutions. Most people want to be good neighbors and are cooperative once the issue is brought to their attention.

Attend Neighborhood Watch or Homeowner's Association Meetings.

Get involved with solving the problem. Your participation in these types of organizations not only helps out your neighborhood, but also allows you to make a contribution to the overall health of the City.