Generally, the office handles litigation wherein the City or its employees are named parties, rendering assistance in miscellaneous administrative hearings, drafting legislation, the rendering of legal opinions to City officers, and the prosecution of misdemeanor crimes under both Ohio statute and Parma Ordinances.
The office has produced approximately 75 formal written legal opinions in 2012, as well as numerous confidential legal opinions and email responses to legal questions. A countless number of informal oral opinions have also been rendered to City officers either in person or via telephone. Further, approximately 263 pieces of legislation (ordinances or resolutions) have been prepared in 2012.
Commencing January 30, 1996, the Law Department and the Parma City School District, in conjunction with the Board of Education, entered into a letter agreement in which the Law Department would provide legal services to the School District. The scope of the legal services covers the provision of legal opinions on various matters pertaining to the day-to-day operation of the School District, as well as representation in administrative hearings and/or in administrative personnel matters.
Within the Law Department is a Claims Division, which has initiated policies to recover funds from persons who have damaged city property and adjust claims by individuals damaged as a result of city activity. If an individual wishes to pursue a claim of damage for review, the request must FIRST be registered by phone at (440) 885-8083 or by registering a complaint online using the Resident Services link below. After a complaint has been filed, the Law Department will initiate an investigation to determine any City liability.
Click here to initiate a complaint with Resident Services
In addition, the Law Department conducts Risk Management Committee Meetings comprised of Department Heads within the City on a semi-annual basis to review and address areas of concern pertaining to the City’s Risk Management Program.
Landlord-Tenant Assistance Program:
In July, 2001, the Law Department implemented a Landlord-Tenant Assistance Program as a service to Parma residents. Although the Law Department cannot render legal advice on the particular circumstances involving issues arising from the tenant-landlord relationship, the program is designed to provide information about and answers to frequently asked questions regarding landlord and tenant rights and obligations. Fore more information, please see the Ohio Landlord and Tenant Law document.
- Representation of City before the Liquor Control Commission in Columbus and Cleveland regarding objection to issuance or renewal of liquor permits.
- Representation of City administrators in responding to grievances filed to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
- Attendance at meetings of Council, City administrative boards, and Cuyahoga County Law Director's Association.
- Representation of Parma City School Board on various issues.
- Representation of Parma Public Housing Agency in such diverse areas as compliance with federal laws and regulation, tenant relations, evictions, and relations with HUD.
The Prosecutor's Office is directly responsible for the operation and supervision of the Criminal Division of the Law Department, under the Law Director, in the Parma Municipal Court.
This office prosecutes all criminal cases on behalf of the City of Parma, State of Ohio, and its various agencies as required by law, which includes:
- review of evidence
- issuance of affidavits
- preparation of cases for trial
- trial of cases
This office prosecutes or defends with preparation of briefs and arguments on all appeals, in criminal cases on behalf of the City of Parma to the applicable higher court, which includes:
- perfection of Appellate procedure
- research and preparation of briefs
- argument on merits in applicable higher court
In addition, the Prosecutor's office provides the following services:
- Represents the City of Parma in procedural matters with the Judges of the Parma Municipal Court.
- Establishes procedural rules with reference to the issuance of affidavits and warrants and court appearances for the Parma Police Department.
- Renders opinions on criminal matters for the Parma Police Department, State of Ohio, various agencies of the State of Ohio and departments within the City of Parma.
- Provides consultation service in preparation and issuance of complaints and Summons in Lieu of a Warrant for the State of Ohio Department of Employment Services, Bureau of Liquor Control, Department of Wildlife, Department of Cosmetology, Regional Transit System, Cuyahoga Community College, and Conrail in criminal matters conducted within the Parma Municipal Court.
- Provides 24-hour per day consultation service for the Parma Police Department including availability of personnel for issuance of emergency search warrants.
- Provides consultation service regarding citizen complaints, which include:
- office conferences
- telephone conferences
- scheduling informal Prosecutor Hearings
- rendering opinions regarding applicability of criminal procedure
- Provide consultation service for security personnel of retail establishments in the City of Parma, which includes:
- review of evidence
- preparation and issuance of affidavits and warrants
- Serve as legal consultant to Parma Police S.W.A.T. unit and S.E.B..
Traffic Intervention Program:
An application was prepared by the Law Department and grant monies were received from the State of Ohio, Office of the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative to set up an accountability program entitled Traffic Intervention Program (TIP). Implementation of this program commenced January 1, 2000, to assist individuals in restoring his/her driving privileges to become a valid and responsible driver on the public roadways.
While the TIP grant ended in September of 2002, the program continues to operate self-funded. The Program Director, a member of the Law Department, together with two employees of the Parma Municipal Court coordinate and implement the program.
Victims Advocate Program:
On August 27, 1999, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office announced the award of a three-year grant to the City of Parma to help Victims of Crime. This grant was used to hire a Victim’s Advocate for the City of Parma at the Parma Municipal Court. This position plays a vital role in the criminal justice system as they offer support, advice, and comfort to victims of domestic violence. The Victim's Advocate has completed her 13th full year of assisting victims under the direction of the Law Director. This position continues to be funded by the City of Parma and the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
Juvenile Diversion Program:
The Juvenile Diversion Program, which officially began on June 27, 1998, completed its fifteenth full year of operation under the direction of the Parma Law Director's Office. The Juvenile Diversion Program is intended to combat juvenile crime in the City of Parma. Juveniles who enter the Program avoid formal court action by the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court and instead are sentenced to pay a mandatory fine and/or perform community service in Parma, or make a donation for the needy families in our community.
Timothy G. Dobeck
General Contact Information for the Law Department
Phone: (440) 885-8132
Fax Line: (440) 885-8008
Mr. Dobeck has been Parma’s Law Director and Chief Prosecutor since 1999; with oversight of the law department’s civil and criminal divisions. (See section that outlines functions of the law department and duties of each division)
Prior to being elected to his post, he was an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor for 11 years in the Major Trials Division. No stranger to municipal government, Mr. Dobeck also has served as a Parma Councilman.
His professional memberships and affiliations include the Ohio State Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Parma Bar Association, National District Attorneys Association, Parma Area Chamber of Commerce and a past president of the Cuyahoga County Law Directors' Association.
Mr. Dobeck is licensed to practice in the state of Ohio and before the U.S. District Court (Northern District of Ohio), the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
Chief Assistant Law Director
Timothy B. Miller
Office: (440) 885-8132
Fax Line: (440) 885-8008
Timothy Miller was named Chief Assistant Law Director on January 21, 2008.
Mr. Miller was admitted to the Ohio Bar in May, 1987, after receiving his juris doctorate degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Mr. Miller also earned his bachelor's degree from Cleveland State University where he also was a standout member of the baseball team. Mr. Miller was inducted to the CSU Hall of Fame in February, 2008.
Mr. Miller began his legal career in 1987 as an Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor. From 1987 to 1999, he was also an associate in the law firm of Stavole and Miller, where he engaged in the general practice of law, including municipal law.
From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Miller also served as Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Parma. From 1999 to 2008, he was the Chief of the Criminal Division of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, where he was charged with the oversight of more than 200 attorneys and support staff.
Mr. Miller periodically acts as a Magistrate in the Brecksville Mayor's Court. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in Ohio and before the U.S. District Court (Northern District of Ohio).