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City Attorney

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FAQ's

Door-to-Door Solicitation

For more information see fcgov.com/solicitation

Found at Sections 15-106 through 15-128 of the City Code, the door-to-door solicitation ordinance requires all commercial solicitors to get a permit and indentification badge issued by the City before conducting door-to-door residential solicitation. It also requires all door-to-door commercial and non-commercial solicitation to be completed only between 9:00 a.m. and sunset, and prohibits all solicitation at private premises where a “No Solicitation” or “No Trespassing” sign is posted at or near the entrance.

The City maintains a no-solicitation list for residents of the City that wish to prohibit door -to-door commercial solicitation at their homes. The form to register an address is available on the City’s website here: https://secure.fcgov.com/nosolicit/

The door-to-door solicitation ordinance is enforced on a complaint basis, and complaints regarding violations should be directed to the Police Department at 221-6540. A summons may be written into Municipal Court if a violation is deemed to have occurred. A police officer does not need to be present at the time the alleged violation occurs; however, if the officer is not present, the person filing the complaint must testify if the matter is to be prosecuted.

If you have further questions regarding provisions of this ordinance, please contact Police Services at 221-6540. For questions about solicitation permits, please contact the Sales Tax department at 221-6780

Legal Aid

The City Attorney's Office advises City Council and City officials and employees relating to their official powers and duties. The City Attorney's Office does not represent private citizens.

If you are a full-time, fee-paying CSU student with a current activity card, you can obtain legal aid from CSU Student Legal Services, located in Room 284 of the Lory Student Center or at 491-1482. CSU Student Legal Services can advise students on most legal matters.

Larimer County residents whose income falls below certain levels can obtain legal services regarding civil matters from Colorado Legal Services, located at 211 West Magnolia, or at 493-2891. Colorado Legal Services does not advise on criminal matters.

The Larimer County Bar Association Pro Bono Program attempts to match residents with private attorneys for certain civil legal matters. The Pro Bono Program holds a weekly intake session on Wednesday at noon at the Larimer County Justice Center for qualifying low-income individuals. The Pro Bono Program deals primarily with divorce and child custody issues and landlord/tenant issues. It does not handle bankruptcy, criminal, workers compensation, social security or personal injury cases. For additional information on this program please call 402-2075.

If you are seeking court-appointed counsel for a Municipal Court matter, please contact Municipal Court at 221-6800. If you are seeking court-appointed counsel for a criminal matter in County or District Court, you should contact the Public Defender's Office at 493-1212, or #1 Old Town Square, Suite 200.

Tenant/Landlord Disputes

The City Attorney of Fort Collins does not offer legal services relating to landlord/tenant disputes as this is a private matter between two private parties. Citizens with landlord/tenant disputes can consult a private attorney or seek answers through the City's landlord-Tenant Handbook (PDF), a guide to general landlord-tenant law and relations. Additionally, mediation services for common landlord tenant disputes originating within the City of Fort Collins can be requested by calling Neighborhood Services, 224-6022.

Public Defender/District Attorney's Office

The Public Defender is a lawyer employed by the State of Colorado to represent individuals accused of crimes prosecuted in the District and County Courts. The Public Defender does not handle civil lawsuits or municipal court cases. The Public Defender is located at #1 Old Town Square, Suite 200, in Fort Collins, and the telephone number is 493-1212.

The District Attorney's office is a state government office, which represents the State of Colorado by prosecuting all criminal matters in County and District court. If you have a question about such criminal matters, please contact 498-7200.

Municipal Court Tickets

If you have received a ticket and need to appear at 215 N Mason Street at 8:00AM for Court, then you are scheduled to appear in Municipal Court.

There are instructions on the back of your ticket; you should read the instructions and follow them to the letter.

Municipal Court is located on the first floor of 215 N Mason Avenue, in the City of Fort Collins, on the north-east corner of Laporte Avenue and Mason Street. The building on the south-east side of Laporte Avenue and Mason Street is the Justice Center—DO NOT GO TO THE JUSTICE CENTER to deal with your Municipal Court ticket.

Look at the front of your ticket, if the box for Penalty Assessment is checked, you may acknowledge guilt and pay a fine (and surcharge if applicable) in the amount required by law without appearing in court (and without incurring additional costs). If you pay the assessment within 20 days of the date you were issued the ticket and your violation is a 4, 3, or 2-point violation, you will receive the point reduction listed on your ticket. If you miss the 20-day deadline, you can still pay your ticket prior to the court day listed on the front; however, you will not receive the listed reduction in points. If the ticket is not marked as a Penalty Assessment, then it is a summons, and you must appear in court on your court date, or a warrant for your arrest may be issued by the Court.

In either case, please carefully read the back of your ticket for important rights and responsibilities you have regarding the ticket you have received. Any questions you have regarding your ticket should be directed to the Fort Collins Municipal Court at 970-221-6800. The Court’s telephone customer service hours are Monday thru Thursday 8AM to 11AM and again 1:00PM to 4:00PM. Friday telephone hours are 9:30AM to 11:00AM, and again 1:00PM to 4:00PM.

If you go to court, you will have several options regarding your case:

a. Speak to a prosecutor regarding your case and about the opportunity for a plea bargain;
b. Set your case for trial;
c. Hire an attorney;
d. Plead guilty and have the Judge assess the penalty; or
e. Ask questions of the judge regarding your rights and options.

If you have received a camera radar/red-light ticket by mail, you may pay the ticket by mail, by phone, or in person at the Camera Radar/Red-Light Clerk’s officer. Please check the office hours listed on your citation. If you refuse to accept the ticket sent by mail, you can be personally served by an officer or through certified mail and will be assessed the fee for service in addition to your fine. The Camera Radar/Red-Light clerk can be reached at 970-221-6867 during the hours listed on your citation.

Should you need additional procedural information regarding your ticket, please contact Municipal Court at 221-6800 during the above list telephone customer service hours.

Panhandling

Panhandling is defined as to knowingly approach, accost or stop another person in a public place and solicit that person, whether by spoken words, bodily gestures, written signs or other means, for a gift of money or thing of value. Panhandling involves speech that is protected by the First Amendment.

Panhandling in the City of Fort Collins is regulated by the panhandling ordinance found at Section 17-127 of the City Code. The City Council amended the panhandling ordinance in 2015 in response to a legal challenge by the ACLU. Panhandling is currently prohibited only if it is carried out:

  1. In a manner that involves conduct toward the person solicited that is intimidating, threatening, coercive or obscene and that causes the person solicited to reasonably fear for his or her safety
  2. In a manner that involves directing fighting words to the person solicited
  3. In a manner that involves knowingly touching or grabbing the person solicited
  4. On a sidewalk or other passage way in a public place used by pedestrians and in a manner that obstructs the passage of the person solicited or that requires the person solicited to take evasive action to avoid physical contact with the person panhandling or with any other person.

Unwanted Newspapers

The City frequently gets questions from residents regarding unwanted free newspapers deposited on their driveways or yards, asking if these deliveries are considered “littering” under the City Code.

The City does not enforce its littering ordinance (found in Section 17-41 of the City Code) against newspaper publishers who deliver unwanted newspapers to residents of the City because the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects freedom of speech and of the press, and that protection encompasses the circulation and distribution of newspapers, as well as their publication.

This means that, in enacting legislation to curtail the delivery of unwanted newspapers, the City must be careful not to run afoul of that constitutional protection, and the current provisions of the City Code that prohibit littering are not intended to deal with the delivery or deposit of constitutionally protected materials.

If you are receiving free papers you don’t want, we recommend you contact the publisher and ask that they stop deliveries to your address, and keep a record of your requests.

Entities the City Attorney’s Office does not Represent

There are several local governmental or quasi-governmental entities that work closely with the City but do not receive legal services from the City Attorney’s Office. These include:

Poudre Fire Authority
Attorneys:
Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC
717 17th Street, Suite 2800
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 628-3663

Poudre River Public Library District
Attorneys:
Seter & Vander Wall, P.C.
The Solarium
7400 East Orchard Road
Suite 3300
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
(303) 770-2700

Downtown Development Authority
Attorneys:
Liley Law Office, LLC
419 Canyon Ave., Suite 200
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 449-8716

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