Law Department

Image of Craig H. Johnson Corporation Counsel

Craig H. Johnson
Corporation Counsel 286-4422

Law Department – Personnel

Name Title Telephone
Thomas O’Donnell First Deputy Corporation Counsel  286-4409
Christopher Mazur Deputy Corporation Counsel  286-4423
Douglas Janese Assistant Corporation Counsel  286-4379
Wendy Fortin Principal Account Clerk  286-4427
Linda Roulley Legal Secretary  286-4420

Description of Services:

  • Provides comprehensive legal services to the Mayor, City Council, City Administrator and all City departments and agencies.
  • Prosecutes and/or defends all actions or proceedings brought by or against the City and its agencies.
  • Studies, reviews and submits opinions to City and its agencies.
  •  Prepares reports and/or resolutions requested by the Mayor, City Administrator and City Council.
  •  Prepares and approves as to form, ordinances and local laws.
  • Keeps informed on the conduct and operations of all franchised public utilities.
  • Negotiates, prepares and reviews all bargaining contracts or memoranda of agreement with employee representatives.
  • Examines and approves title to all real property acquired by the City, conducts condemnation proceedings on land required for public use, and prepares papers and proceedings of sale of City owned properties.
  • Advises on the taxability of property, defends Certiorari proceedings on assessment reductions, collects delinquent taxes through foreclosures, and prosecutes for monies due to the City.
  • Prepares foreclosure sale at public auction
  • Examines accounts receivable, particularly in the areas of back taxes and demolition costs, and makes efforts to collect outstanding monies on behalf of the City.
  • Reviews all contracts between city departments and vendors.
  • Processes and investigates all claims against the City, past due accounts of all City departments, and various employee claims.

Notice of Claim

The City of Niagara Falls, Mayor Paul A. Dyster is pleased to provide a notice of Claim form which may be reproduced by you and used as a hard copy for purposes of filing a Notice of Claim. There are two forms on the website, one is for a Notice of Claim for personal injury, damage to property or loss of property, the other is for a motor vehicle claim arising under the no fault insurance law.

A number of restrictions should be noted:

  • Service by telefax or internet is not permitted by law. The only permitted method of service is by personal delivery, or by registered mail or certified mail.
  • Service can be made upon the City of Niagara Falls only upon the Mayor, Corporation Counsel, Controller or City Clerk.
  • Only one copy of the claim need be filed. However, you should retain a copy for your own records to establish the contents and the date when served.
  • The Notice of Claim is required to be filed within 90-days from the date of loss. These are 90 calendar days, and not business days. Also note that 90-days is usually a shorter period than three (3) months and service must be completed by the 90th day in order to be valid. As in all things, it is recommended that service be completed well in advance of the last day to avoid questions of legal sufficiency of service.

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