What is the Dauphin County Solicitor’s Office?
The County Code provides for the statutory duties of the County Solicitor to commence and prosecute all suits brought or to be brought by the County wherein any rights, privileges, properties, claims or demands of the County are involved. The County Solicitor’s office brings and defends claims on behalf of the County; advises the Board of Commissioners, other County boards and County departments on various matters; and performs other duties assigned by law or by the Board of Commissioners, including contracting, employment matters, general legal advice and public relations
The Dauphin County Solicitor Office consists of the County Solicitor, three Assistant Solicitors, one Solicitor's Assistant, and two law clerks. The Solicitor and Assistant Solicitors are required to be Attorneys at Law and admitted to practice in the Courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Currently the Solicitor's Office is utilizing Special Counsel in areas dealing with labor negotiation litigation, solid waste plan involvement, redistricting matters, assessment appeals involving hospitals and other charitable institutions. As a point of information it should also be noted that each row office of the County by provision of the County Code has its own Solicitor.
The basic function of the Solicitor's Office involves rendering legal advice required by the Commissioners and any other department or agency of the County, which does not have its own Solicitor or Special Counsel, and includes not only the commencement and prosecution of all suits brought on behalf of the County, but the defense of actions or suits brought against the County. (When the matter involves insurance coverage, the insurance company provides a defense and is budgeted through risk management; however, the Solicitor’s Office supervises the litigation).
Generally, the types of matters that come through the solicitor’s office include, but are not limited to:
- Coordinates on all legal matters with Courts, Row Offices and Boards and Authorities.
- Provides legal advice to division leaders and heads of all County departments, boards and bureaus.
- Defends all actions or suits brought against the County and renders all legal advice incident to County government that may be required of him/her by the County Commissioners.
- General Litigation
- Human Resources, Labor Counsel Liaison
- Civil Rights Litigation
- Right to Know Law
- American with Disabilities Act
- Review of and approval for legality all County Policies.
- County Property Issues
- Evaluating and resolving legal issues related to State and Federal grants, funding and reimbursement or County programs.
- Interpreting Acts, Laws and other Laws for various county departments.
- General supervision of all contractual matters involving the County and approval for legality thereof.
- General Contracts
- Drafts and/or reviews and approves for legality, all Ordinances, resolutions, contracts and opinions.
- Review of Financial matters requiring legal advice, opinion or interpretation
- Tax Anticipation
- Tax Assessment Appeals (for County)
- Advise county on Election matters