Does the Law Department advise citizens in legal matters?

No. The Law Department does not advise citizens in legal matters. It advises the Mayor, City Council, all City Departments, and Boards and Commissions on all legal matters concerning the City.

How do I obtain a protection order?

If you wish to request a protection order, you may find it helpful to discuss this with an attorney or an advocate at a domestic violence or sexual assault crisis center. They can help explain your options.

There are several different types of protection orders that exist to help protect victims of crime. Temporary protection orders can be issued as part of a criminal prosecution in certain types of cases and expire when the case is closed. There are also several types of civil protection orders, which are issued in response to a petition by a victim. These orders can help protect victims of crimes such as domestic violence, stalking, sexually oriented offenses, other specific crimes, and certain offenses committed by a juvenile. Depending on the offense, your relationship to the offender and the degree of protection you seek, there are differences in how, when and where you need to file a petition. There are also differences in what the protection order may include and how long it lasts.

You can find information about Domestic Violence Civil Protection Orders in R.C. 3113.31 and information about Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Orders in R.C. 2919.26.

How do I make a public records request?

Any person can make a request for public records by asking a public office or person responsible for public records for specific, existing records.  The requester may make a request in any manner the requester chooses: by phone, in person, or in an email or letter. Although not required, a written request is suggested to enhance the ability to identify and locate accurate records in a timely manner. Records requests will be promptly prepared and made available for inspection.  If you wish to receive copies of records, they will be provided within a reasonable period of time.

View the Public Records Policy Poster opens in a new windowhere.

Can you refer an attorney?

For attorney referrals, citizens can contact the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association at (216) 696-3532. If you cannot afford an attorney, contact The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland at (216) 687-1900.

Where and how do I file a small claim?

Small Claims Court is a division of the Berea Municipal Court. Small Claims Court allows parties to file MONEY ONLY claims up to $6,000.00. Claims are filed at Berea Municipal Court, 11 Berea Commons, Berea, OH, (440) 826-5800. For more information, visit the Berea Municipal Court website at

Who do I contact regarding landlord/tenant problems?

Ohio law gives rights and responsibilities to tenants and landlords. Contact a lawyer or refer to Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5321.

How do I obtain a copy of a birth certificate or death certificate?

Contact the Cleveland Department of Vital Statistics at (866) 691-1914.

How should I report a crime?

Emergencies should be reported to the Police Department by calling 911 or (440) 243-1234.

Police reports are filed at the Middleburg Heights Police Department located at 15850 Bagley Road.

How do I file charges against someone?

The process begins by filing a police report. The police will investigate and gather as much evidence as possible. Based on this report a complaint is filed with the court. The prosecutor is responsible for bringing the case to court and conducting the trial. The judge listens to the evidence and issues a verdict at the end of the trial.