Frequently Asked Questions



What is the difference between the city Attorney and the District Attorney?

The City Attorney:
· is appointed by the Morro Bay City Council.
· provides legal advice and services to the City Council, the city's officials, departments, employees, boards, and commissions.
· enforces the Morro Bay Municipal Code.

The District Attorney:
· is an elected County official who investigates and prosecutes criminal activities throughout San Luis Obispo County.

To contact the District Attorney's Office, call 805-781-5800.

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Who does the City Attorney work for?

The City Attorney, City Manager, and City Clerk are appointed directly by the City Council and serve at the pleasure of the Council.


The City Attorney also provides legal advice and support for all City officials and employees relating to their official duties or city employment.

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Can the City Attorney provide legal advice to private citizens?

No, the City Attorney is legally prohibited from representing individuals in private legal matters. The City Attorney represents only City officials, departments, agencies, and employees in the course of their official acts or business.

For general questions or to find legal representation, contact the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 805-788-2099.

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How can I get a copy of the Morro Bay Municipal Code?

The complete Morro Bay Municipal Code is available online. Hard copies are also available for review at the Morro Bay city Library and at the Law Library in San Luis Obispo. To contact the Law Library, call 805-781-5855.

For copies of particular Code sections or Ordinances, contact the City Clerk's Office at 805-772-6205 for a Request for Public Records Form (PDF). The City of Morro Bay charges $0.75 for the first page and $0.25 for each additional page. If you would like documents mailed to you, the city charges a $2.50 processing fee for mailing, plus postage.

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How can I get copies of city documents?

Many city documents are available online. Try the Document Center or a department’s web page. You can also check Quick Links.

For copies of city documents, contact the City Clerk's Office at 805-772-6205 for a Request for Public Records form. The City of Morro Bay charges $0.75 for the first page and $0.25 for each additional page. If you would like documents mailed to you, the city charges a $2.50 processing fee for mailing, plus postage.

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Who do I call to report a possible crime or city code violation?

To report or file a complaint concerning any violation of law occurring in Morro Bay, call the Morro Bay Police Department at 772-6225. If it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

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I believe I have been damaged by the actions or negligence of the city or one of its employees. How do I file a claim against the City of Morro Bay?

Generally, you must file a written claim within 6 months of the incident date. You must submit the claim to the city Attorney/Risk Manager's office prior to seeking legal redress for damages against the city. Claim Forms (PDF) are available from the city Attorney/Risk Manager's office at 595 Harbor Street, Morro Bay, California, 93442, 805-772-6568.

The city will review and, where appropriate, take action on the claim. However, neither the city Attorney nor any other City official or employee can provide legal advice concerning litigation against the city.

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Where do I file a small claims action?

If the incident occurred in the County of San Luis Obispo, contact the California Superior Court Civil Operations at 805-781-5677. You can also check the District Attorney's Small Claims Court Advisory.

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I have a question about mobile home space rent. Where can I find further information about the allowable yearly rent increase?

Morro Bay Municipal Code Chapter 5.32 identifies 2 categories of mobile home residents: Permanent and Non-Permanent. The allowed percent increase in mobile home space rent differs for the 2 categories, but is derived from the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

An annual memorandum from the Finance Director outlines the yearly allowable rent increase.

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Does the city handle landlord/rental issues?

No, this is a private civil matter over which the city has no jurisdiction. For general information, call the Department of Fair Employment & Housing at (800) 884-1684. You can also check the California Courts' Landlord/Tenant Self-Help Center or Landlord/Tenant (Rental Housing) Links webpages.

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My neighbor's tree limbs and branches overhang my property. Can I trim them without my neighbor's permission?

This is a private civil matter over which the city has no jurisdiction. To obtain specific legal advice on your situation, you need to consult a private attorney. For general questions or seeking legal representation, call the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 805-788-2099.

The city's Major Vegetation Guidelines (PDF) are available online.