Law Department

Description of Duties
  • 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.

Law Department Staff

Name Title Telephone
Thomas DeBoy Deputy Corporation Counsel 716-286-4379
Amber Hill Legal Secretary 716-286-4420
Susan Knotts Principal Account Clerk 716-286-4427

Notice of Claim
The City of Niagara Falls Mayor, Robert Restaino, is pleased to provide a Notice of Claim Form for individuals who wish to make a claim for property damage not exceeding $15,000.00. You may download the form, complete it, and then use it as an original document for purposes of filing your Notice of Claim, but only for property damage totaling no more than $15,000.00.

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.
  • While several officials are authorized to accept service of your Notice of Claim, serving the City Clerk by personal delivery, or by registered mail or certified mail, is the most effective way to complete service.
  • 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.