City Attorney

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City Attorney

The City Attorney’s Office represents and advises the Mayor, City Council, City boards and commissions, and City officials and departments in legal matters pertaining to their office and City operations, which include municipal utilities, airports, and public transportation systems.

The City Attorney’s Office prepares legal opinions, ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and other documents requested by the Council and City organizations; implements the legal aspects of policies and programs established by the City; handles criminal prosecution as part of the Office’s code enforcement responsibilities; serves as counsel for the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency; defends the City in civil litigation; and monitors cases assigned to contract legal counsel.

City Attorney Staff

The City Attorney’s Office includes code enforcement, covering rental housing inspections, substandard housing, public nuisance and blight, vacant buildings, illegal dumping, tire dumping, conditional use permit and zoning violations, dangerous buildings, weed abatement, and the Neighborhood Revitalization Team.

See the Office Administration section, below, for additional information and employment opportunities.

Legal Resources

Management Team

Douglas T. Sloan
City Attorney

Douglas T. Sloan was appointed City Attorney in March 2013. The City Attorney represents the City, through the City Council, Mayor, City Manager, and staff, in all City legal matters. The City Attorney also oversees the office of 22 lawyers in house, over 129 employees total, including Code Enforcement, and directs many outside attorneys in representing the City in litigation, personnel, and transactional matters.  Prior to being appointed City Attorney, he served as an Assistant City Attorney, supervising the Economic Development and Finance Unit from June 2006.

A 1987 graduate of the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, Mr. Sloan has been practicing law for over 30 years. He has been admitted to practice in Missouri, Kansas, and California, and has handled trial and appellate matters in state courts, the United States District Courts, and the 8th, 9th, and 10th United States Circuit Courts of Appeals. As an Assistant City Attorney, he was a supervisor, working on environmental clean-up matters, complex litigation and business agreements, eminent domain, real estate, redevelopment, code enforcement, and oversight of contract counsel. Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, he practiced in the private sector in Missouri, Kansas, and California. He was with the Fresno firm of Dowling & Aaron, handling all aspects of complex litigation and real estate issues. He also was with the firm of Forrest, Henderson, Sloan & Davis, where handled complex litigation, including lead trial and appellate counsel in the case of AHDC v. City of Fresno.

Katherine Doerr
Chief Assistant City Attorney

Katie has served the Fresno City Attorney’s Office since 2007. She was appointed Assistant City Attorney in October 2014 to head the Transactions Unit, covering a wide range of areas including land use, real property, contracts, finance, and related municipal law. Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, Katie practiced business and employment litigation at a local law firm. Katie graduated from U.C. Davis School of Law in 2004, after receiving her degree in Philosophy from U.C. San Diego. Katie is a member of the Fresno County Bar Association and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Fresno County Young Lawyer’s Association, as well as serving on the League of California Cities Legal Advocacy Committee. A Fresno native, Katie enjoys spending time in the mountains with her husband Joe and two sons, and competes in hunter/jumper horse shows throughout the western United States.

Erica M. Camarena
Chief Assistant City Attorney

Erica manages the Code Enforcement division of the City Attorney’s Office. She supervises the managers of Code Enforcement, Rental Housing, and the Neighborhood Revitalization Team. She also oversees the Code Enforcement legal team, focusing on achieving compliance through agreements with property owners, administrative action, and court actions, including injunctions and petitions for receivership.

Erica earned her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Fresno before graduating from San Joaquin College of Law.  Erica’s experience developed while clerking for the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.  Her interest evolved into the area of entertainment contracts and Native-American Indian law while clerking in the legal department of Table Mountain Casino.  Formerly an Associate with the law firm of Weakley, Arendt & McGuire, Erica defended various municipalities in wrongful death and personal injury actions.

In addition to being active in civic and professional organizations, Erica has developed training materials and presented an MCLE course on issues having large impacts on litigation.  She works with the law school in hosting forums for prospective students; teaches Sunday School at church, enjoys traveling with her family, and is currently fostering children.

Tina R. Griffin
Chief Assistant City Attorney

Tina R. Griffin is the Chief Assistant City Attorney assigned to the Litigation Unit.  She has served the Fresno City Attorney’s Office since 2006, specializing in employment litigation, personnel, and labor relations.  Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, Ms. Griffin practiced law in the private sector handling employment discrimination/civil rights litigation, employment defense litigation, and insurance defense litigation, for local (William J. Smith & Associates and Cooper & Hoppe), statewide (Lozano Smith), and national (Littler Mendelson) law firms.  Ms. Griffin graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management from California State University, Fresno.  Ms. Griffin enjoys reading and traveling.  She and her husband keep quite busy with their three very active children: twins (boy and girl) and daughter, in sports (football, track, and basketball) and other activities.

Christina Roberson
Assistant Deputy City Attorney

Christina oversees the Code Enforcement division of the City Attorney’s Office, and supervises the legal team assigned to Code Enforcement. Christina pursues compliance through agreements with property owners, administrative action, and court actions, including injunctions and petitions for receivership.

Prior to joining the City, Christina was an associate at a firm specializing in criminal defense. Christina previously served as the President of Fresno County Women Lawyers and has taught as an Adjunct Professor at San Joaquin College of Law. Christina graduated from San Joaquin College of Law with high honors, after earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Talia Kolluri-Barbick
Assistant City Attorney

Talia has served the Fresno City Attorney’s Office since 2011 and specializes in land use, planning, the California Environmental Quality Act, and related municipal matters. Prior to joining the City, she was a prosecutor for the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office and practiced insurance defense litigation in the private sector. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School, after earning a B.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

She and her husband enjoy hiking, traveling, and are actively involved in the Fresno arts community.

Raj Singh Badhesha
Assistant City Attorney

Raj joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2012 and serves as Assistant with the Transactions Unit.  Raj’s primary practice areas include planning and land use, real estate, inter-agency contracting, municipal finance, elections law, and a broad range of related matters.  Raj is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Fresno.  Raj is a member of the Fresno County Bar Association, has served on the Fresno State Alumni Association Board of Directors, and is an alumnus of Leadership Fresno.  Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, Raj worked in the private sector as an associate with Baker, Manock & Jensen PC.

A native of Fresno, Raj spends his free time traveling, hanging out with family and friends, and traveling to hang out with family and friends.

Travis Stokes
Assistant City Attorney

Travis joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2018 after 15 years of private practice.  Prior to entering public service, he was an equity partner at a local law firm where he focused on general business litigation and employment law defense.  Travis has represented clients in numerous jury and bench trials, as well as in arbitrations and mediations.  He has also litigated cases before administrative agencies such as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Labor Commissioner, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Employment Development Department.

Since transferring from the Code Unit to the Litigation Unit at the City Attorney’s Office, Travis has handled various legal matters for the Fresno Police Department as well as Administrative Hearings and criminal prosecution actions enforcing Fresno Municipal Code violations.  Moreover, he has provided legal assistance involving efforts to assist the City’s homeless.  Travis also works with Risk Management in defending civil litigation matters, as well as with Public Works in eminent domain actions.

A true Central Valley native, Travis graduated from Fresno State with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in German Literature, as well as from San Joaquin College of Law.  He is a member of the Fresno County Bar Association, an advisor for the Citizens’ Public Safety Advisory Board, and is an alumnus of both Leadership Fresno and the Fresno Citizens’ Academy.  Travis spends his free time with his wife and children where they enjoy family camping trips, attending sporting events and dance recitals, and traveling as much as possible.

Public Records

The California Public Records Act (CPRA) is California state law that gives the public the right to inspect and copy most records retained by governmental agencies in the course of business. The CPRA regulates the public’s access to the records and contains limited statutory circumstances when records need not be disclosed.

The City department where the records are located is responsible for responding to requests for public records as the custodian of records. The City Attorney’s Office is frequently consulted to assist City staff in responses to requests.

Additional Information:
Frequently Asked Questions Under the California Public Records Act
Relevant Examples of Statutes that Exempt Information Contained in a Public Record from Disclosure
Public Records Request Portal

Election Issues

For City of Fresno election questions, please contact the City Attorney at (559) 621-7500

Cannabis Issues

In response to numerous questions regarding when the City will accept and issue licenses for cannabis businesses in Fresno, here is a brief summary of our status.

On December 13, 2018, Fresno City Council adopted the Cannabis Retail Business and Commercial Cannabis Business Ordinance, which sets out the permitting framework and regulatory requirements for Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis businesses to eventually operate within the City for commercial activities such as cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution.  Read the ordinance.  This ordinance may be further refined by the City Council over the next several months.

Although the Cannabis Business License Tax has been approved and the Cannabis Retail Business and Commercial Cannabis Business Ordinance has been adopted, the City can not issue any Commercial Cannabis Business Permits to begin operating legally until the remaining components are completed. In addition, the City is establishing the application processes for licenses to be issued by the City.  Applicants who are issued licenses by the City will also need to complete the Conditional Use Permit process before they open.  And go through the standard planning and building permit process for any tenant improvements they may be constructing.

This web page will be updated on a regular basis to reflect these milestones as they are achieved.

Eviction Protection Program (EPP)

The Eviction Protection Program (EPP) defends tenants renting an apartment or house in the City of Fresno from unlawful eviction. If the City determines a tenant is potentially facing unlawful eviction, the tenant may be eligible to receive a City-appointed attorney or legal services to assist in the judicial process at no charge. This program is open to any City of Fresno resident who is facing an unlawful eviction regardless of financial or documented status. Common reasons for unlawful evictions include the inability to pay rent because of income loss from COVID-19, retaliation for reporting code enforcement violations, discrimination, unlawful rent increases, and many more.

More information about the EPP
Spanish Más información sobre el EPP – Español
Hmong  Lus qhia ntxiv txog lub EPP – Hmoob
Punjabi ਈਪੀਪੀ ਬਾਰੇ ਵਧੇਰੇ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ – ਪੰਜਾਬੀ

Frequently Asked Questions About Evictions
Mobile Home Eviction Frequently Asked Questions

If you are behind in your rent because of COVID-19, click here to learn more about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

If you believe you are facing unlawful eviction, here are the ways to apply for the EPP:

  1. Submit the form below
  2. Print one of the questionnaires below and mail it to:
    City of Fresno City Attorney’s Office
    Attn: EPP
    2600 Fresno Street, Room 3076
    Fresno, CA 93721
  3. Call (559) 621-8400, and say you would like to be screened for the Eviction Protection Program.
  4. Come in person to City Hall:
    Code Enforcement
    2600 Fresno Street, Room 3076
    Fresno, CA 93721

Residential Tenant Questionnaire

Tenant Intake Questionnaire – English
Tenant Intake Questionnaire – Spanish
Tenant Intake Questionnaire – Hmong
Tenant Intake Questionnaire – Punjabi

Please answer the following questions to provide initial information to the City Attorney’s Office about a potential eviction you may be facing. This questionnaire is the first step in allowing the City of Fresno to determine whether you may be eligible for potential direct legal representation under the City’s Eviction Protection Program. Completion of this questionnaire does not create an attorney-client relationship, and the City is not representing you in your eviction proceedings.

All information provided by you in this questionnaire is only for the purposes of determining your eligibility to participate in the Eviction Protection Program (“EPP”) only.

Residential Tenant Questionnaire
How long have you lived there?
Do you have a written lease agreement with your landlord?
Do you have a copy of the lease agreement?
Have you received any paperwork from your landlord?
Do you owe rent?
Is the reason you have not paid rent due to COVID related reason? (job loss, lower hours, illness, etc.)?
Are you experiencing any problems with the place you live?

Policies are resolutions adopted by the City Council that provide for legal structure, limitations, and organization of the City.

Appointing Authority and Responsibility

Purpose:  Sets forth charter authority for appointment and removal of employees
Affected Departments:  All
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Asset Management Act

Purpose: To create a comprehensive strategy for City real estate assets and develop and efficient management model of City real property assets on a long-term basis.
Affected Departments: Public Works, City Manager
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Better Business Act

Purpose: Provide for uniform due diligence and oversight on private projects seeking City financial assistance of more than $1 million.
Affected Departments: City Manager, City Attorney
Relevant Dates/Events: Annual report by City Manager (in conjunction with the City Attorney’s Office) on status and progress of all private sector projects receiving more than $1 million in City assistance.

Concealed Weapons Act

Purpose: To support issuance of concealed weapons permits by the Chief of Police consistent with the procedures set forth in the Penal Code.
Affected Departments: Police
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Construction Management Act

Purpose: To provide policies and practices to improve City construction planning and management for both General Fund and Enterprise Capital Projects, with more focus on those exceeding $10 million.
Affected Departments: Finance, Public Works, City Manager
Relevant Reporting Dates: City Manager shall provide annual audit of projects exceeding $10 million, annual inventory of all City owned and leased facilities, and annual update of long-term facilities plan.

Council Code of Conduct

Purpose: To increase public confidence in City government, assist Councilmembers with decision-making, and encourage high standards of behavior by Councilmembers
Affected Departments: Council Offices, City Manager, Mayor’s Office, City Attorney
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Council Communication Policy

Purpose: To allow Councilmembers, the Mayor, City Manager, and City staff to communicate with the City Attorney openly regarding legal matters that may ultimately come before Council and allow the City Attorney discretion regarding sharing of such information and on when it is shared with the full Council.
Affected Departments: Council Offices, Mayor’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, City Manager and all City Departments
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Council Management and Transparency Policy for City Attorney’s Office

Purpose: To set forth financial and administrative reporting requirements for the City Attorney’s Office.
Affected Departments: City Attorney’s Office
Relevant Reporting Dates: April (annually) – provide annual City Attorney’s report. Quarterly – provide service and litigation log.

Council Orientation Act

Purpose: To better prepare incoming Council members for service through a carefully constructed curriculum of workshops, meetings with department heads, meetings with other agencies that work closely with the City, and site visits to City facilities.
Affected Departments: Council Offices
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Council Residency Act

Purpose: Provide criteria for establishing residency of Council Members and Council candidates.
Affected Departments: Council Offices, City Clerk
Relevant Reporting Dates: Between December 1 and December 31 of each year, Council Members must submit required documentation to City Clerk.

Economic Expansion Act (Amended 3/21/2019)

Purpose: To provide economic incentives and facilitate citywide economic expansion.
Affected Departments: City Manager, City Attorney, Development and Resource Management
Relevant Reporting Dates: City Manager shall provide annual reports to the Council as part of the annual report required by the Mitigation Fee Act.

Enterprise Accountability and Oversight Act

Purpose: To improve the management of enterprise department capital projects in the City.
Affected Departments: City Manager, Public Utilities, Airports, FAX, Convention Center
Relevant Reporting Dates: City Manager shall provide semi-annual progress reports to the Council on enterprise capital projects valued in excess of $1 million.

Fiscal Sustainability Policy

Purpose: To address short-term and long-term budget challenges.
Affected Departments: City Manager, Personnel, Budget, Finance, Retirement
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Infill Development Act

Purpose: To provide policy guidelines to successfully implement infill development.
Affected Departments: City Manager, Development and Resource Management, Public Works
Relevant Reporting Dates: Annually – update inventory of vacant land and underutilized property.

Labor Management Act

Purpose: Establish a policy to standardize and reinforce best practices for labor management policies for the City of Fresno, and to improve fiscal accountability and transparency in City government.
Affected Departments: Personnel, City Manager, Retirement, City Attorney
Relevant Reporting Dates: July (annually) – City Manager to present Annual Labor Relations Report. Fiscal Impact Report to be provided to City Council along with any new/successor MOU approval requests. Any changes or side letters affecting existing MOUs having a fiscal impact on the budget requires City Council approval, with City Manager to present a detailed analysis including the net fiscal impact.

Litigation Management Act

Purpose: To develop policies and best practices that ensure efficient management and handling of litigation cases with the intent of reducing litigation expenses for the City.
Affected Departments: City Attorney’s Office, Personnel/Risk Management
Relevant Reporting Dates: (Same as Council Management and Transparency Policy for City Attorney’s Office.) April (annually) – provide annual City Attorney’s report. Quarterly – provide service and litigation log.

Redevelopment Improvement Act

Purpose: To set forth administrative policies and procedures for evaluation and oversight of private sector proposals requesting more than $1 million in Agency financial assistance.
Affected Departments: Successor Agency, City as Housing Successor to the former Redevelopment Agency
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Reserve Management Act

Purpose: Develop reasonable, comprehensive, fund balance/reserve management policies for the City and to comply with Government Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 54, Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions.
Affected Departments: Finance, Budget, Public Utilities, Development and Resource Management, Personnel/Risk Management, General Services Department, Information Services Department, Public Works, Retirement
Relevant Reporting Dates: August (annually) – Controller shall prepare comprehensive report on City’s fund balance reserve types as of the prior June 30. Every five years – City Manager to make recommendations to Council regarding fund balance reserve policies during annual budget hearings.

School Liaison Act

Purpose: To improve communications between the City and school governing boards and to promote coordination and cooperation.
Affected Departments: Council Offices, Mayor’s Office, City Manager, Development and Resource Management, Public Works, FAX, Police, Fire, Parks, City Attorney
Relevant Reporting Dates: Annually or as-needed, Subcommittee Chairperson shall report results of subcommittee meetings to Council. Annual joint meeting with school boards.

Streetlight Funding Act

Purpose: To identify funding sources, policy priority, and implementation of a proactive citywide streetlight theft deterrent concrete encasement program.
Affected Departments: Budget, Public Works
Relevant Reporting Dates: None

Taxpayer Protection Act

Purpose: Establish and maintain effective debt management of the City’s financial resources.
Affected Departments: Finance, Budget
Relevant Reporting Dates: Controller shall annually prepare a Comprehensive Annual Debt Report and present to Council following completion of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and preferably before Mayor’s submission of proposed budget.

Transparency in City Government Act

Purpose: To improve transparency in City government by providing disclosure of City employees’, elected officials’, and professional consultants’ compensation. Also prohibits bonuses and regulates employment contracts for non-represented officials and employees.
Affected Departments: Personnel, City Manager, City Attorney, Budget
Relevant Reporting Dates: By June 1 annually (when Mayor’s proposed budget provided to Council) – Annual Employee/Official Compensation Disclosure Reports to be published and made available to Council, as pre-condition of approving annual City budget. The Consultant Disclosure Report and the executive employee/elected official salary comparison to comparable cities matrixes also to be provided by June 1 annually (when Mayor’s proposed budget provided to Council). During the annual budget presentation hearings, City Manager to make a presentation to Council and provide a written report outlining all of the reporting required by the Act.

Water Conservation Act

Purpose: Develop policies and practices that will conserve water usage by all City water customers and provide better overall management of City water resources.
Affected Departments: Public Utilities
Relevant Reporting Dates: None