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A Model Public Service Law Firm
The Office of the City Attorney provides quality legal representation for the City of Bellingham. The office provides a wide variety of legal services that benefit the entire community, but does not provide legal advice directly to the public.

Civil & Risk Management Division
The Civil and Risk Management Division advises City officials and departments about legal issues, drafts and reviews contracts and ordinances, and represents City officials and employees in civil litigation at all levels of the state and federal courts. This Division also provides risk-management services and addresses all claims against the City.

Criminal Division
The Criminal Division prosecutes violations of the Bellingham Municipal Code in the Bellingham Municipal Court. The Criminal Division also provides advocacy, referrals, and information to crime victims and witnesses who may become involved in matters before the Municipal Court.

Can I call the City Attorney's office for legal advice?
There is a common misunderstanding that the City Attorney's office provides legal advice to its citizens. This is not correct. The City Attorney's office represents the City of Bellingham as a municipal corporation and does not provide legal advice to individual citizens. If you need legal advice, check the attorneys listed in the yellow pages. The mission of the Bellingham Municipal Court is to administer the operations of the judicial branch of City government in a neutral and effective manner and ensure access to justice for all citizens.

Before you enter a courtroom please follow these simple expectations: no food or drinks are permitted in the courtroom, remove hats, remove gum, turn off cell phones and pagers, keep feet off the furniture, rails, or benches. Proper attire is appreciated. Please be on time and be courteous to other participants while waiting for your case to be called. If possible, please try to arrange for child-care outside of court for any infants or young children.

There are two courtrooms in the Bellingham Municipal Court Building. Courtroom One is the large courtroom on the ground floor. Courtroom Two is the smaller courtroom on the second floor. The bulletin board near the public entrance indicates which courtroom will be used for each case. Additionally, in-custody cases are typically heard at the Whatcom County Jail’s courtroom starting at 8:30 a.m. weekdays. Victims and other parties who are interested in watching the in-custody cases may do so via two-way closed circuit television from the In-Custody Viewing Room on the Fourth Floor of the Whatcom County Courthouse at 311 Grand Avenue.

It is not necessary to check in at the clerk’s window before your case is called. However, the clerk’s window, located on the ground floor near the public entrance to the Bellingham Municipal Court Building, is available for people who would like to ask questions, file pleadings including applications for the appointment of assigned counsel, or to arrange or make payments. We partner with departments to recruit and retain a workforce capable of performing the City's work to develop a safe, satisfying, motivating work environment to ensure a cost-effective, financially sustainable labor force.

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