Civil Frequently Asked Questions

Who does the City Attorney work for?
Under City ordinances and state law, the City Attorney works for the City Council and the City Manager.  The City Attorney also provides legal support for all City officers and employees relating to acts which are within the course and scope of their employment or official duties.

Can I obtain legal advice from the City Attorney's Office regarding personal issues not involving the City of Olathe?
No.  The City Attorney's Office only handles legal questions and concerns regarding the City of Olathe.  The City Attorney's Office is not able to answer legal questions and concerns not involving the City.  Individuals normally must retain their own attorneys for legal advice and representation.

I have a problem with my landlord, my neighbor, my employer, my spouse, or my ex-spouse and I need some legal advice.  Can you help me?
We are sorry, but no.  The attorneys in the City Attorney's Office represent the City and City employees in matters relating to their City employment.  The City Attorney's Office cannot represent private individuals or give them legal advice.  If you need assistance finding an attorney, the Kansas Bar Association oversees a lawyer referral service.  You can reach them by calling 1-800-928-3111.

I just read a City ordinance, but I do not understand what it means. Can you help me?
The specific City department charged with the day-to-day administration and enforcement of an ordinance should be able to answer any general questions regarding the ordinance.  However, if the department is unable to provide you with an answer, you may be referred to the Legal Department.

I have a landlord/tenant dispute question. Who can I call for help?
The City plays no role in landlord/tenant disputes.  For legal advice regarding landlord/tenant disputes, please contact a private attorney.

Does the Legal Department write the City's laws?
The Legal Department generally helps City departments and the City Council with all types of important legal documents, including proposed ordinances to change City law.  In most cases, those departments and elected officials shape their own policies and proposals for new laws, with the Legal Department providing technical assistance and review.

Where can I find City ordinances?
The Olathe Municipal Code is on-line or a printed version is maintained in the City Clerk's Office.

Where should I take complaints about the City?
In general, if you think a City department is doing something it should not - or not doing something it should - you should contact the head of the department, or the City Manager's Office.  Because other City departments are not supervised by the Legal Department, the "Legal Department" can typically address complaints only about our own employees.