City of Somers Point, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Somers Point 1-27-2000 by Ord. No. 1-2000. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Municipal Court — See Ch. 10.
Planning Board — See Ch. 41.
Residency requirements — See Ch. 51.
Zoning Board of Adjustment — See Ch. 66.

§ 16-1 Establishment.

There shall be a Department of Law, the Director of which shall be the City Attorney.

§ 16-2 Appointment of City Attorney.

The City Attorney shall be appointed by City Council at its annual reorganization meeting by resolution by a majority vote of its members, for the term of one year, or such other term as is permitted by law and as Council may in its discretion decide, commencing the first day of January of the year of appointment and until a successor has been appointed and qualified. For purposes of the appointment to this position, the attorney already appointed by City Council as Municipal Solicitor for the current year in which this chapter is adopted shall serve in the position of and be the City Attorney. The City Attorney shall be an attorney at law of New Jersey, but need not be a resident of the city. The City Attorney may be a part-time or full-time employee of the city and receive a salary, as authorized by agreement and funded by ordinance, and/or the City Attorney may be an independent contractor compensated for his/her fees and costs for services rendered in sums or at rates agreed to by the City Attorney and as deemed reasonable and approved by City Council.

§ 16-3 Powers and duties.

The City Attorney shall have all the powers and perform all the duties as are provided for the office of city attorney by New Jersey Statutes, general law of the state, ordinances and resolutions of the city. This statement shall not be construed in such a fashion so as to preclude City Council from engaging other attorneys for special matters or assignments. By way of illustration, but not by way of directive or limitation, City Council may choose to engage special counsel for bond work, tax matters, special litigation or other special matters, or City Council may elect to contract certain services to a state-qualified joint insurance fund that chooses its own attorneys for its contract work. Otherwise, the City Attorney shall represent the city in all matters and in all judicial and administrative proceedings in which the city or any of its officers or agencies may be a part or may have an interest. The City Attorney shall also give legal counsel and advice where required or when requested by City Council, or any member thereof, and shall in general serve as the legal advisor to City Council and the officers of the city on all matters of city business. The general powers and duties of the City Attorney may, by way of further illustration, but not by way of limitation, include within the scope of such powers and duties:
A. 
Review and/or preparation of contracts, agreements, bond documents, notes, performance bonds, letters of credit or similar financial documents, deeds, leases, easements, mortgages, title documents and other real estate documents, bills of sale, transfer documents, bid or specification documents, resolutions, ordinances and other documents of action by City Council and the other officers of the city pertaining to or touching upon the legal affairs of the city.
B. 
All aspects of the handling of court or administrative lawsuits and proceedings by, against or involving the city, including but not limited to all pleadings, preparation for and attendance at motions, hearings, arbitrations, mediations, panel proceedings, conferences, trials, appeals and, subject to approval by City Council, the compromise, settlement or dismissal of such matters.
C. 
Attendances at all real estate closings, regular and special City Council meetings (or meetings of other city agencies as requested and with approval of City Council) and conferences with City Council and its committees, or any member, and any other city officer as requested and with the approval of City Council. This may also include attendances by the City Attorney at conferences, meetings or events away from city facilities or away from the city, as a representative of the city, on request and with approval of City Council.
D. 
All office work, phone calls and other activities necessary to accomplish the duties of the City Attorney.
E. 
All claims monitoring and administrative and legal processing relative to claims against the city in coordination with any city self-insurance or joint insurance fund plan, with periodic status reports to City Council as may be requested by it.
F. 
All legal research, preparation and drafting of legal memorandums and reports as requested and authorized by City Council, or any member, or any city officer with the approval of City Council, or a member, in the administration of municipal affairs.
G. 
The supervision and the direction of the work of other attorneys in the Department of Law and any additional attorneys and technical and professional assistances as the Council may authorize for special or regular employment in or for the city except where indicated hereafter or as may be excepted by City Council.

§ 16-4 City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney.

There is hereby created within the Department of Law the office of City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney. For purposes of appointment to this position, the attorney already appointed by City Council as Municipal Prosecutor for the current year in which this chapter is adopted shall serve in the position of and be the City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney. The City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney shall be an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey who shall be appointed by resolution by City Council at its annual reorganization meeting by a majority vote of its members. The term of the City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney shall commence on the first day of January of the year of appointment and shall continue for a period of one year, or such other term as is permitted by law as Council may in its discretion decide, and until a successor has been appointed and qualified. The City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney shall prosecute on behalf of the state or the city any case to be tried before the Municipal Court whenever requested to do so by the Judge, the Chief of Police or the City Attorney, and shall assume any and all duties as may from time to time be assigned to the office of City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney by charter, administrative code, the general and inherent police powers of the city as exercised by City Council or any rule, regulation, resolution or ordinance adopted or promulgated by City Council. The salary, compensation, employment or engagement of the City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney may be agreed to between the City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney and City Council in similar fashion as the method above described for the office of City Attorney. The City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney shall assist the City Attorney in the performance of the latter's duties at the direction of the City Attorney.

§ 16-5 Substitute prosecutor.

There is hereby created within the Department of Law a Substitute Prosecutor who shall be appointed by City Council for a term not in excess of one year. The salary, compensation, employment or engagement of the Substitute Prosecutor may be agreed to between the Substitute Prosecutor and City Council in similar fashion as the method above described for the positions of City Attorney and City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney. The Substitute Prosecutor shall be an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey and shall serve as Prosecutor in any matter assigned by the City Prosecutor where there would be a conflict of interest for the City Prosecutor to handle the matter.

§ 16-6 Planning Board Attorney.

There is hereby recognized by the Department of Law for administrative purposes, but independent in every way from the Department of Law, the office of Planning Board Attorney. The Planning Board is authorized by statute to and shall annually appoint and fix the compensation of, or agree upon the rate of compensation for, the Planning Board Attorney in an amount not exceeding the amount appropriated by Council for that purpose. City Council shall or may authorize additional compensation for the handling of special, unexpected or time-consuming matters, including litigated matters. The Planning Board Attorney shall be an attorney licensed in the State of New Jersey but shall not serve as another attorney in the Department of Law.

§ 16-7 Zoning Board of Adjustment Attorney.

There is hereby recognized by the Department of Law for administrative purposes, but independent in every way from the Department of Law, the office of Zoning Board of Adjustment Attorney. The Zoning Board of Adjustment is authorized by statute to and shall annually appoint and fix the compensation of, or agree upon the rate of compensation for, the Zoning Board of Adjustment Attorney in an amount not exceeding the amount appropriated by Council for that purpose. City Council shall or may authorize additional compensation for the handling of special, unexpected or time-consuming matters, including litigated matters. The Zoning Board of Adjustment Attorney shall be an attorney licensed in the State of New Jersey but shall not serve as another attorney in the Department of Law.

§ 16-8 Public Defender.

There is hereby created within the Department of Law for administrative purposes, but independent in every way from the Department of Law, a City Public Defender, who shall be appointed by City Council for a term of one year. For purposes of appointment to this position, the attorney already appointed by City Council as Municipal Public Defender for the current year in which this chapter is adopted shall serve in the office of and be the City Public Defender, The salary, compensation, employment or engagement of the City Public Defender may be agreed to between the City Public Defender and City Council in similar fashion as the method above described for the office of City Attorney and City Prosecutor-Assistant City Attorney. The City Public Defender shall be an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey and shall represent those defendants appearing in Municipal Court who are determined by the Court to be indigent and whose representation is assigned to the City Public Defender by the Court.

§ 16-9 Miscellaneous.

All pertinent current correspondence and pleadings, and other pertinent documents and records, relating to the performance of the duties of the attorneys of the Department of Law, or other special attorneys employed or engaged by City Council for any reason, shall be and remain city property. Any attorney departing the Department of Law for any reason, and any other attorney specially employed or engaged by City Council for any reason, shall promptly surrender such property to the city and supply the appropriate attorney in the Department of Law with a signed substitution of attorney for any matter then pending in any Court or administrative proceeding.