[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Vineland 7-21-1952 by Ord. No. 9; amended in its entirety 8-10-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-39 (Ch. 74 of the 1990 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
A Department of Law for the City of Vineland is hereby established.
[Amended 8-26-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-53]
The Department of Law shall be headed by a director, who shall be known as the "City Solicitor." The City Solicitor shall:
Be appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of City Council.
Be appointed for and shall serve during the term of office of the Mayor appointing him and until a successor has been appointed and qualified.
Devote his primary time and effort to the legal needs and demands of the City of Vineland and its employees as a full-time employee employed by the City of Vineland. The Solicitor may devote available time in private practice as long as those legal matters do not interfere or supersede the duties as Solicitor for the City of Vineland. The Solicitor may not be engaged in contested litigation.
Be subject to removal as provided by law.
[Amended 4-9-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13]
The City Solicitor shall have the power and be given the authority to appoint three Associate Solicitors and such other legal assistants as the City shall require.
The Director shall supervise all activities of the Department of Law.
The City Solicitor shall have the power and duty to perform the following functions:
Legal advice. The City Solicitor shall furnish legal advice to the Mayor, City Council and all officers, departments, boards and commissions concerning any matter arising out of the exercise of their official powers or performance of their official duties and, except as otherwise expressly provided, shall supervise, direct and control all legal work of the City and delegate such duties to the Associate Solicitors as he deems in the best interest of the City.
Litigation. The Department of Law shall collect, by suit or otherwise, all debts, taxes and accounts due the City which shall be placed with it for collection by any officer, department, board or commission, and it shall represent the City and every officer, department, board or commission in all litigation. It shall prosecute and defend all legal and equitable actions or proceedings in any court in which the City or any officer thereof, as such, is interested as a party, when so ordered by City Council, and shall appear therein as counsel for the City. The Department of Law shall represent all City-owned utilities in all legal matters and litigation.
Contracts and bonds. The Department of Law shall prepare or approve all contracts, bonds and other instruments in writing in which the City, the public utilities and all departments, boards and commissions are concerned and shall approve all surety bonds required to be given for the protection of the City.
Law enforcement. As directed by the Mayor, the Department of Law shall take such steps and adopt such means as may be reasonably necessary to prosecute and enforce all City ordinances.
Ordinance drafting and codification. Upon request of City Council, the Department of Law shall prepare or assist in preparing any ordinance for introduction into City Council, and when requested by City Council, it shall prepare and submit to City Council for its consideration a comprehensive revision and codification of all of the general ordinances of the City.
Access to records. The City Solicitor shall have the power at any time to access the records of any officer, department, board or commission of the City.
The City Solicitor and all Associate Solicitors shall be attorneys at law licensed to practice in the Superior Court of New Jersey as well as the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. The City Solicitor shall have actively practiced law in the State of New Jersey for a minimum of five years and shall be a resident of the City of Vineland during the term of office.
[Amended 5-23-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-39; 8-26-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-53; 4-9-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-13; 1-14-2014 by Ord. No. 2013-68; 2-14-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-3; 7-28-2020 by Ord. No. 2020-37]
The salary of the City Solicitor shall be set forth by the City Council in the compensation schedules theretofore adopted or hereafter to be adopted in the Schedule of Classified/Unclassified Positions, and Applicable Salary Ranges in the Civil Service of the City of Vineland.
The associate solicitors may be full-time employees or independent contractors as recommended by the City Solicitor and thereafter appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the City Council, to serve as employees during the term of the Mayor. Such associate solicitors serving as full-time employees of the City of Vineland shall be paid a salary set forth by City Council, and the compensation schedule theretofore adopted or hereto to adopt in the schedule in the Classified/Unclassified Positions and Applicable Salary Ranges in the Civil Service in the City of Vineland.
Alternatively, aasociate solicitors shall be paid for services rendered at a reasonable hourly rate and set by the appointing authority, and shall be independent contractors.
To the extent the City Solicitor and/or full-time associate solicitors are required to make disbursements and pay expenses incurred for filing and recording fees and all documented out-of-pocket expenses, any reimbursements therefor shall be in accordance with the Policy and Procedure Manual of the City of Vineland. All associate solicitors shall be entitled to reimbursement for all disbursements paid and expenses incurred for filing and recording fees and all documented out-of-pocket costs as part of their contract as an independent contractor.
Editor’s Note: This ordinance was vetoed by the Mayor on 1-21-2014; however, the City Council overrode the Mayor’s veto by adopting Res. No. 2014-51, which is on file in the City offices, on 1-28-2014.