City Attorney

The City Attorney is directly appointed by the City Council and pursuant to the City Charter serves as the City’s legal advisor  of and attorney and counsel for, the City, and is responsible for administration of all legal affairs of the City.

The City Attorney's Office is responsible for:

  • Providing legal advice and opinions to the City Council, City officials, City departments, City staff, City Boards and City Commissions, such as the Public Utilities Board and Planning Board, related to the establishment, implementation, and enforcement of City policies;
  • Providing risk management services;
  • Drafting, negotiating and reviewing leases, ordinances, deeds, insurance, bonds, resolutions, contracts, and other legal documents; and
  • Representing the City in litigation, administrative hearings, and other legal matters.  

 The City Attorney’s Office does not provide legal advice to private citizens.

--Yibin Shen, City Attorney
Michael Roush, Chief Assistant City Attorney

What is the difference between the City Attorney and the District Attorney?

The City Attorney handles legal matters specific to the City of Alameda.  The District Attorney’s office prosecutes all misdemeanor and felony matters arising under state law occurring within Alameda County.  For inquiries regarding criminal cases involving the District Attorney’s office, please call (510) 272-6222 or visit its website as

Where can I get advice on the City's Rent Program?

The City's Rent Stabilization Program is administered by the Alameda Housing Authority through a contract with the City.  For questions about the Rent Stabilization Program call 510-747-4346 or visit their website at

Where can I report a possible Code Violation?

Code violations are handled by the Code Enforcement division of the Community Development Department.  Their phone number is 510-747-6800

Where do I file a Small Claims Court action in Alameda County?

OAKLAND - Rene Davidson Courthouse, 1225 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA 94612

HAYWARD - Hayward Hall of Justice, 24405 Amador Street, Hayward, CA 94544

Where can I access law books?

Alameda County Law Library, 125 - 12th Street, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 208-4800


211:  2-1-1 is a free, non-emergency, confidential number and service that provides easy access to housing information, and critical health and human services. 211 operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with multi-lingual capabilities.

 Alameda County Bar Association, Lawyer Referral Service & Volunteer Legal Service: (510) 302-2222 ext. 2 - -- For a $35 fee, collected at intake, you will be given a consultation of up to 30 minutes with an attorney and contact information for two attorneys qualified to represent you.

Alameda County Immigration Legal and Education Partnership (ACILEP): (510-241-4011)  ACILEP provides legal services, know your rights education and rapid response services when there is an immigration enforcement action in Alameda County.  

Alameda Housing Authority:  The Housing Authority is the City's Program Administrator for the Rent Review, Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions Ordinance. 510-747-4346 -

Bay Area Legal Aid: (800) 551-5554 -- “BayLegal is committed to providing meaningful access to the civil justice system through quality legal assistance regardless of a client's location, language or disability.”  Bay Area Legal Aid is free to those who qualify.

Centro Legal de la Raza: (510) 437-1554 3022 International Blvd, 4th Floor, Oakland, CA 94601 Email: -- Free legal services for low-income tenants. Find more information including drop-in days and hours here.

Eviction Defense Center: (510) 452-4541 -- for tenants facing eviction or landlord-tenant issues.

Echo Housing: (888) 887-ECHO (3246) - -- ECHO’s Tenant/Landlord Counseling Program provides information to tenants and landlords.  Additionally, ECHO has trained mediators to assist in resolving housing disputes.  For information on Alameda County’s Mandatory Rent Mediation Notification and Rent Mediation Services email them at

Family Violence Law Center (FVLC): (510) 208-0220 - -- Family Violence Law Center is a non-profit organization serving family violence victims and their children throughout Alameda County. If you or someone you know is being abused, please call their crisis line: (800) 947-8301. FVLC does not charge for their services, but they do accept donations.

Lawyers in the Library Program: (510) 757-7713 --  Alameda Free Library hosts volunteer attorneys on the first Wednesday of the month who provide free consultation and referrals on a wide variety of issues including landlord tenant disputes, probate matters, employment problems, and other general consumer issues.

Legal Assistance for Seniors (LAS): (510) 832-3040 -- LAS provides free legal information, representation in court and administrative hearings, referrals to other community resources, and community education and training on legal issues. Additionally, LAS provides legal assistance to seniors 60 and older at the Mastick Senior Center on the third Monday of the month between 1 and 3 PM. For an appointment at Mastick call (510) 747-7506.

SEEDS: 510-548-2377 - Provides Services that Encourage Effective Dialogue and Solutions for businesses, schools, government agencies, and communities





Domestic Violence National Hotline:  800-799-SAFE (7233)

Elder & Disabled Abuse:  510-577-3500 or 866-225-5277 (866-CALL-APS)

Emergency Housing:  510-537-2552 or 800-273-6222

Family Justice Center:  510-267-8800

Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Referral Services:  800-491-9099

Recycling:  877-786-7927

Suicide Crisis:  800-309-2131

Vector Control:  800-832-8678

Veterans Crisis:  800-309-2131 or 800-273-8255 press 1

Risk Management:

Under the direction of the City Attorney's Office, Risk Management is responsible for liability and property claims administration, workers' compensation, and insurance procurement for all City-owned property and equipment.