The Civil Division is the in-house law firm for Pima County government, which broadly includes related, special taxing districts such as the Pima County Library District and the Pima County Flood Control District, and sometimes individual County employees and officials.

The Civil Division’s experienced lawyers advise County officials and staff daily regarding a huge array of legal issues that arise in the course of conducting County business. They also represent the County in adversary proceedings at all levels of the state and federal court systems, and they assist County representatives in negotiating and drafting contracts.

The Civil Division’s 23 lawyers and 27 dedicated professional support staff provide high-quality legal services for the benefit of Pima County, resulting in significant cost savings to the County’s taxpayers.
Important Note:
By statute, the Civil Division is limited to providing legal services to Pima County Government. If you need a lawyer to help you with a private legal matter, please contact counsel of your choosing or the Pima County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at (520) 623-4625.
Inside the Civil Division
Business & Transactions Unit
The Business and Transactions Unit assists the various County departments and special taxing districts (such as the Flood Control and Library Districts) in connection with the various contractual obligations the County enters into as it carries out its diverse business operations. Those operations include such things as buying and selling interests in real property; operating the County's numerous healthcare and community services programs; building roads and other public infrastructure; operating a wastewater treatment system; managing parks, recreational facilities, and open space; obtaining bond and other types of financing; procuring all of the County’s goods and services; managing information technology systems; and contracting with other jurisdictions for joint and cooperative projects.

The Unit works closely and continuously with County staff and officials, providing general legal advice and counsel concerning the County’s numerous legal obligations and limitations, and its management of risk and liability. The attorneys in the Business & Transactions Unit review and sign most County contracts and are often directly involved in the negotiation and subsequent administration of those contracts.
Land Use & Environmental Unit
The Land Use and Environmental Unit brings legal actions to enforce zoning, building, and environmental ordinances and regulations. It provides legal advice to the Department of Environmental Quality, the Development Services Department, the Chief Zoning Inspector, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Boards of Adjustment, and the Board of Supervisors on a broad range of land-use issues that arise in the course of County regulation.

The Unit’s attorneys also advise the Pima County Air Quality Control District and the District’s Control Officer concerning the enforcement of the County’s Air Quality Control Code. In addition to these regulatory functions, the Unit represents the County’s interests in Eminent Domain (condemnation) proceedings.
Health Law Unit
The Health Law Unit represents and advises the various health care entities of Pima County, including the Pima County Health Department, the Pima County Board of Health, the Department of Institutional Health, the Forensic Sciences Center, Pima Animal Care, and the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The Unit drafts and reviews a wide variety of contracts for those clients and provides legal advice on a broad array of issues. In addition, the Unit prepares and litigates petitions for the involuntary commitment of individuals who, because of their mental illness, are unable or unwilling to seek and participate in their treatment on a voluntary basis.
Tax & Bankruptcy Unit
The attorneys in the Tax & Bankruptcy Unit appear in Bankruptcy Court to protect the County's interest in the collection of delinquent real and personal property taxes. Their efforts preserve millions of dollars of tax proceeds, thus reducing the burden on other taxpayers. They also appear in Tax Court (a division of the Superior Court) to respond to tax appeals and defend the County Assessor's valuations. In addition, the attorneys in this unit ensure that tax collections are protected in eminent domain proceedings, probate cases, and forfeiture cases. In carrying out its responsibilities, this unit advises and represents the County Assessor and the County Treasurer.

The Unit's staff and attorneys also assist the County Treasurer in tax lien foreclosure cases and in disposing of excess proceeds that can result from foreclosure proceedings.
Sheriff's Legal Advisor Unit
The Sheriff's Legal Advisor Unit provides legal advice and representation to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. Besides giving on-call legal advice to deputies in the field, the Unit responds to requests for public records that are under the Sheriff's Department's control, and provides training for each class of recruits at the Department's Training Academy.
Tort Law Unit
The civil Deputy County Attorneys and staff in the Tort Unit defend Pima County, and its elected officials and employees, against a variety of personal injury and civil rights claims that the County Attorney believes lack merit. These claims, brought in both state and federal court, typically involve allegations that some action by the County or one of its employees caused physical or economic injury to an individual. Examples include the assertion that a faulty County road design caused an accident or that a deputy sheriff or corrections officer used excessive force.

The Tort Unit’s lawyers and staff are remarkably successful in defending the County against such claims, thus saving the taxpayers millions of dollars.
Employment Unit
The Civil Division employs experienced attorneys who provide legal advice and representation to elected county officials and County departments on a broad range of labor and employment-law matters. Civil Division attorneys advise County staff and officials on a daily basis concerning the interpretation of and compliance with the numerous state and federal employment and anti-discrimination laws to which the county is subject, as well as the County’s own personnel policies.

In addition, they regularly appear in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and before the County's Merit System Commission and Law Enforcement Merit System Council, to defend the employment actions taken by various County appointing authorities.

The Unit's attorneys also advise and represent the County Recorder and the Elections Department and enforce election laws. In addition, attorneys in this Unit are assigned to provide representation to the County School Superintendent and Justice Court/Justices of the Peace.

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Business and Transactions
Land Use
Health Law
Tax, Bankruptcy & Elections Unit
Tort Law
Employment Unit
Sheriffs Legal Advisor
Protecting Our Land
Sands Ranch Attorneys from the Civil Division of the County Attorney's Office negotiated and drafted the Purchase Agreement for the historic Sands Ranch and related documents, which included a Ranch Management Agreement, Restrictive Covenant, Right of First Offer to purchase certain retained property, and Deed of Trust.

In its entirety, the Sands Ranch totals 64,000 acres, spanning east of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area to the San Pedro River in Cochise County. With the assistance of the Arizona Land and Water Trust, the County acquired the 5,000 acres of the Sands Ranch located in the far southeast corner of Pima County. This acquisition further connects a system of publicly owned lands from the Santa Rita Mountains to the Whetstone Mountains, which includes the County's subsequent acquisition of the adjacent Clyne Ranch property that was also facilitated by the Civil Division’s attorneys.
These acquisitions not only contribute to the health of the Cienega Watershed, but also conserve high-quality native grasslands and ensure wildlife movement corridors.  The $21,015,503 cost was funded by 2004 Bond Funds.
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Civil Division
32 N. Stone Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85701
(520) 724-5700

32 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85701