Department of Law Services

Mediation Program

216.664.4850 - Weekdays 8 am to Noon - Prosecutor's Office, 1200 Ontario St., 8th floor

Those who have been the victim of a crime and want to file a citizen complaint against someone, must first report the crime to the Cleveland Police Department. They may then come to the Prosecutor's Office on a weekday, between 8 am to Noon. On a first come, first serve basis, a misdemeanor investigator will conduct an interview to gather information. The investigator then consults a prosecutor who will decide whether or not to issue charges. If charges are not issued, the complainant may be refered to other public agencies.

Legal Claims

Processing legal claims includes 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

216.664.2803 - Weekdays 8 am to 5 pm - 601 Lakeside Ave.

Legal Claims Instruction Letter and Form

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

  1. Completed claim form
  2. Copy of the vehicle title
  3. Insurance: claimants who have full coverage insurance must provide information about the insurance including a copy of the declaration page, and indicate the deductible amount.
  4. Two estimates of repair costs or an itemized bill
  5. If applicable: Police or incident report.
  6. For claims involving personal injury: copies of medical reports, including doctor and hospital bills and pharmacy receipts

If available, witness statements, photographs of vehicle damages or of what allegedly caused 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 it before the damage occurred.

Property Damage Claims, Other Than Vehicle

216.664.2803 (General) or 216.664.2859 (Utility) - Weekdays 8 am to 5 pm - 601 Lakeside Ave., City Hall, Room 106.

Damage Claims Instructions and Form
Utility Damage Claims Instructions and Form

For claims concerning property damage other than vehicle damage, claimants must submit:

  • Itemized list of property damages with completed claim form
  • A description of each item with 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, 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 could possibly 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 three times a year, in May, July or August, and November. At that time, claims are reviewed by the Commission and approved or denied by 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. A claimant should consult a lawyer.

Public Records Requests

216.664.2772 - Weekdays 8 am to 5 pm - 601 Lakeside Ave., Room 106

Public Records Request
Request Policy
Retention Schedule

All records of the City of Cleveland are public, except those exempted by the Ohio Revised Code. It is City policy that records will be organized and maintained so 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 by the City. The City may charge for the cost of making copies of the records. A fee schedule appears in the full Records Policy (link above).