Monroe County, NY

Law

Contact Information

 

Merideth Smith
County Attorney

e-mail


Department of Law

307 County Office Building
39 W. Main St.
Rochester, NY 14614
Phone: 585 753-1380
Fax: 585 753-1331

Representing Monroe County and Its Residents

Welcome and thank you for visiting the Law Department. This site has been designed to provide citizens and employees of Monroe County with details regarding the Law Department’s operation and services.

The Monroe County Law Department provides to county departments and residents high quality legal representation and counsel that are of value to the community at large.

These services meet client and public needs, are delivered expeditiously and inspire client and public confidence.

If you have a question or concerns regarding child support matters please e-mail your questions.

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this website, please e-mail us.

Administration

The Monroe County Law Department serves as legal advisor to County government pursuant to the Monroe County Charter and is charged with handling all legal business of the County government. In this capacity, the department represents the County Executive, the County Legislature and all other County departments, officers and employees in legal matters. The County Attorney has direct responsibility for all activities of the Law Department and all of its divisions.

The Monroe County Charter created a Department of Law as follows:

The County Attorney shall have the following powers and duties:

  1. To serve as the legal advisor for the County and, on its behalf in County matters, of its officers and agencies.
  2. To serve as legal advisor to the County Legislature.
  3. To advise all County officers and employees in all County matters of a legal nature and, where in the interests of the County, prepare all necessary papers and written instruments in connection therewith.
  4. To prosecute or defend all actions or proceedings of a civil nature by or against the County.
  5. To prepare resolutions, legislation, legalizing acts and local laws to be presented for action by the County Legislature, together with notices and other items in connection therewith.
  6. To represent petitioners in and upon request of Family Courts, pursuant to § 254 of the Family Court Act of the State of New York.
  7. To appear on behalf of and represent petitioners in proceedings instituted pursuant to the Uniform Support of Dependents Law, Article 3-A, Domestic Relations Law of the State of New York.
  8. To initiate and execute tax foreclosure proceedings.
  9. To appoint one or more Deputy County Attorneys, subject to the approval of the County Executive.
  10. To create divisions of the Department as required, with approval of the County Executive.
  11. To perform such additional acts and related duties as may be prescribed by law, by the Administrative Code, by the County Executive or by resolution of the County Legislature.

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General Legal Services

Picture of law library and open books.

This division provides legal advice and analysis and litigation support to the County Executive; all county departments and offices; the County Legislature and all bodies created or authorized by the County Legislature; all county officers and employees on county related matters in order to support county operations. This division also renders legal opinions; drafts state and local legislation; reviews legislative communications; drafts and reviews contracts, specifications and other legal documents; and is responsible for the County’s annual In Rem Foreclosure action.

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General Social Services

This unit provides professional legal representation to the Monroe County Division of Social Services, the local social services district for Monroe County, in order to advocate, within the confines of the law, the delivery of the Division's services, including public assistance; Medicaid, and guardianships, and to maximize the collection of monies owed the Division of Social Services.

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Litigation and Collections

Litigation/Insurance

Monroe County is self-insured and this division is responsible for representing the County and all of its officers and employees in litigation matters, investigating and negotiating settlement of claims made against the County and pursues appeals. This division also represents the County in human rights cases and administrative hearings. This division also has the responsibility of administering the County’s self-insurance program and procures insurance coverage in those areas in which the County is not self-insured.

Collections

This section of the Litigation division consolidates the collection efforts of the various divisions of the department and is responsible for collecting all debts owed to the County.

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Family Court Divisions

Juvenile Prosecution

This unit is responsible for legal matters involving juveniles, who are delinquent, or in need of supervision, accountable for their actions, through prosecution and treatment, and ultimately protecting public safety. This unit prosecutes offenses committed by juveniles, presents petitions for PINS cases and assists the Court in presenting evidence in violation of probation proceedings involving juveniles and in dispositional hearings.

Child Support Enforcement

If you have a question or concerns regarding child support matters please e-mail your questions. Also, see separate page regarding Child Support.

This unit is responsible for:

  1. Collection of legally appropriate support obligations in order to maximize the dollars available to children and the Department of Human Services.
  2. To establish paternity for out-of-wedlock children in order to provide financial support for the child. This unit represents the Department of Human Services or custodial parents, by statute and contract, on support petitions, reciprocal support petitions and paternity petitions to enforce the collection of child support payments.

Children’s Services

This unit is responsible for providing legal services to the Department of Human Services on all child welfare matters to protect the children of Monroe County. This unit provides legal support in matters before the Family Court seeking relief on behalf of children who have been victims of abuse or neglect. They also review the status of children voluntarily placed in foster care; termination of parent rights through guardianship actions or surrenders; appear in juvenile delinquency and Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) proceedings affecting the Department of Human Services; advise the Department of Human Services staff in non-support matters affecting children; represent the Department in administrative fair hearings regarding child protective, foster care and day care issues; and prosecute and defend appeals.

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