City Attorney

The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council and is the legal advisor to the City Council, City Manager, and all departments, boards, commissions, and agencies of the City.

Page updated on Oct 21, 2021 at 3:39 PM

The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council to be legal advisor to the City government.  The City Attorney’s Office provides legal advice to City Council, Boards and Commissions, the City Manager and City Departments.  The City Attorneys are responsible for drafting ordinances, contracts, deeds, leases, and other legal papers. The office represents the City in civil court to defend the City in actions taken against it and to initiate cases to enforce the City’s laws and actions.  The office is also responsible for handling requests for public records, in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act and for serving as an adjudicator for parking ticket disputes.

City Attorney of Alexandria

Joanna Anderson

J. Anderson

Joanna Anderson was appointed by the City Council as the City Attorney in October 2018.  Prior to her appointment, Ms. Anderson was the Deputy City Attorney since February 2016 and an Assistant City Attorney since March 2010.  Ms. Anderson worked as an associate attorney with a Virginia law firm working on land use matters from 2005 until 2010.  Ms. Anderson started her legal career in the Alexandria City Attorney's Office in 2001 first as an intern and then as an Assistant City Attorney until 2005.  Ms. Anderson is a member of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Attorneys Group.  Ms. Anderson holds a B.A. in History from the University of New Hampshire and a J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law.

The City Attorney’s Office has three Deputy City Attorneys, two Senior Assistant City Attorneys and six Assistant City Attorneys.  The office is made up of two groups of lawyers: the City Services and Management Group representing departments in the City that provide services to the community and that support the operation of the government and the Land Use and Legislative group representing departments that handle uses of land and legislative compliance.   See About Our Office for more information.

How to Contest a Parking Citation

The City offers two ways to contest a parking citation: 

  1. If the citation was issued due to an error on the City's part, as defined by the conditions below, the registered vehicle owner or their designee may request an administrative review by the City’s Parking Adjudication Office within 10 calendar days of the issue date.
  2. If you believe the ticket is invalid for some other reason, or disagree with the Parking Adjudication Office’s ruling, you may appeal the citation to Alexandria General District Court.

If you feel a citation was issued due to an administrative error, a dispute claim can be processed on this page

How Do I Request a Public Record?

You may request a record by any means, although it is helpful to put your request in writing. 

How To File a Claim for Damages Against the City

Please click link: