Department of Law

Requests & Claims

Public Records Requests

All Public Records associated with the City of Cleveland are public, except those exempted by the Ohio Revised Code. It is City policy that records be organized and maintained so that they are available for inspection and copying, as stated by law. Records requests must clearly state the records and/or information being sought. Vague or overly broad requests may be denied. The City may charge for the cost of making copies of the records. A fee schedule appears in the full Records Policy.

Legal Claims

Processing legal claims include reviewing and researching, gathering pertinent documents, taking statements from City employees and/or witnesses, reviewing reports and other vital information, and rendering a decision. This process may take up to 12 weeks. Claimants are notified of the decision in writing.

Vehicle Damage Claims

Weekdays 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

For claims involving vehicles, including damage caused by potholes, claimants are required to submit the following documentation:

  • Completed claim form
  • Copy of the vehicle title
  • Insurance: claimants who have full coverage insurance must provide information about the insurance policy, including a copy of the declaration page, and indicate the deductible amount.
  • Two estimates of repair costs or an itemized bill
  • If applicable: Police or incident report
  • For claims involving personal injury: copies of medical reports, including doctor and hospital bills, and pharmacy receipts
  • If available, witness statements and photographs of vehicle damages and the object that caused the damages

Special Notice Regarding Potholes: The City is not responsible for damages caused by potholes if it did not know about the potholes and have a chance to fix them before the damage occurred.

Property Damage Claims

Weekdays 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

For claims concerning property damage (except vehicle damage), claimants must submit:

  • An itemized list of property damages with a completed claim form
  • A description of each item with the quantity, brand name, serial number, date of purchase, (or age of item) and purchase price
  • Bills, receipts, and estimates concerning the described property
  • Insurance: claimant must provide information about any applicable insurance coverage, including a copy of the declaration page.

Special Notice Regarding Insurance: If a claimant has insurance that covers a claim, the City is not required to pay any amount covered by insurance, but will reimburse a claimant for the amount of the deductible. If a claimant states that there is no insurance coverage, the City will not process the claim without adequate proof that no insurance policy will pay the claim. Claims should be submitted to the Department of Law, 601 Lakeside Ave. Cleveland, OH 44114.

Moral Claims

Moral claims are presented to the Moral Claims Commission, which usually meets up to twice per year. At that time, claims are reviewed by the Commission and approved or denied according to majority vote. Claimants are notified of the decision in writing.

Claim Denial Recourse

There is no appeal process if a claim is denied. A claimant may be able to file a lawsuit, in which case a lawyer should be consulted.