FAQ

When is my next court date?

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or traffic violation, you should call the Court Clerk at (208) 287-6900 or look up your case on the free ISTARS CRIMINAL SEARCH provided by the Idaho Supreme Court.

My preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday and I need to talk to a prosecutor.

The City Attorney's Office prosecutes misdemeanors and traffic violations occurring in the City limits.  If you have a preliminary hearing set, you have been charged with a felony.  Felonies are handled by the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney's office.  Their telephone number is (208) 287-7700.

My case was screened by your office and charges are (are not) being filed.  Can you tell me why?

One of our screening attorneys has reviewed the information that we received from the Police Department and determined that charges are (are not) appropriate.  If you have additional information that you want to provide to the police, you can contact the Police Department (208) 377-6790 to file a supplemental report.  If you want to know what was in the police report, you need to contact the Police Department to file a public records request to review the report that was routed to us for screening.

My pretrial conference is set for Tuesday, and my attorney won't return my phone calls, I need to talk to a prosecutor.

Because you are represented by an attorney, the City Attorney's Office is prohibited from talking to you without your attorney's permission.  If you are dissatisfied with the legal services you are receiving, you should contact the Idaho State Bar Association at (208) 334-4500.

My gun was stolen and recovered by the police.  How do I get it back?

Once the criminal case is resolved, the handling prosecutor will authorize release.  You must fill out an affidavit for return of weapon at the Boise Police Department.  We are prohibited from returning a gun to a convicted felon or persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, so we will obtain an FBI criminal history report.  If there are no reported felony or misdemeanor domestic violence convictions, the gun will then be returned.

My neighbor's tree is hanging over my fence -- can I cut it down?

If the tree is next to a street, the Boise City Parks Department will trim it for you.  The Parks Department can be reached at (208) 384-4083.   If the tree is in the yard, we cannot help you.  The City Attorney's Office provides legal services for the City of Boise.  It cannot provide private legal advice.  You can contact an attorney by calling the Lawyer Referral Service at (208) 334-4500.

Why did I get a ticket for junk in my yard when my neighbor didn't?

Zoning Enforcement (junk, weeds, illegally parked cars on private property) has been assigned to the Planning and Development Services’ Code Enforcement Division. They use a variety of techniques to obtain compliance. Court action is usually reserved for situations when other techniques have not been effective. They also respond on a complaints-received basis. It is possible that they have not received a complaint on your neighbor’s property, or they may be pursuing other measures to obtain compliance.

My neighbor fails to clean up after his dog defecates and the smell is terrible.  What can I do?

Zoning Enforcement can respond to situations of excessive accumulation of feces and urine. They can be contacted at (208) 384-3845.

Someone put a boot on my car and it can't be driven.  Is this legal?

Yes. Car booting is permitted upon private property which is properly posted.

My property was stolen.  How do I get it back?

First contact the Police (208) 377-6790 and report it stolen. If a case is filed, then talk to the prosecutor about the return of the property or restitution. If the City Attorney’s Office handled your case and the criminal case is resolved, we can refer you to the handling prosecutor who will authorize release of the property.

My landlord won't return my property until I pay past due rent - can he do this?

Please contact Concordia Housing Clinic at 208-639-5422 or lawclinic@cu-portland.edu

I was ripped off by a door-to-door salesman.  Can you help me?

First, contact the City Clerk at (208) 384-3710. If the person obtained a solicitor’s license, there may be a bond to access or insurance available to you. If not, the State Attorney General’s Office has a Consumer Protection Division. You may file a complaint with their office by calling (208) 334-2400; or obtain the services or an attorney by calling the Lawyer Referral Service at (208) 334-4500.

I missed my court date and I think I have a warrant out for my arrest.  What do I do?

You need to contact the Ada County Court at (208) 287-6900 and make arrangements to turn yourself in. You can check to see if a warrant exists and its status at the Ada County Sheriff’s website.

My spouse was charged with domestic battery for hitting me, but it didn't really happen that way.  Can I drop the charges?

No. In this case, you are an important witness to the crime. The prosecutor is representing the City of Boise, not you, and only the City Attorney’s Office can decide whether to drop the charges. If the defendant is telling you to drop charges, you should tell him/her that you do not have that authority.

Does your office write the City's laws?

Our office helps the Mayor, the City Council, and City Departments with all types of legal documents, including proposed ordinances to change City law. In most cases, the Departments and the elected officials write their own policies and proposals for new laws, with the City Attorney’s Office providing technical assistance, review, and processing.

Where can I find the City's ordinances?

The City Clerk maintains, updates, and publishes the Boise City Code. You can find them on the City Clerks website.

How do I file a claim for damages against the City?

You must file any claim for damages against the City with the City Clerk within the applicable statute of limitations. You can download a claim from the City’s website or you may call the City Clerk’s office at (208) 384-3710.

Where can I get legal advice if I cannot afford an attorney?

If you need legal advice and cannot afford it, you can contact Idaho Legal Aid at (208) 345-0106 or the Idaho State Bar at (208) 334-4500.

Are you the victim of a violent crime, or a family member of a victim, and need some assistance navigating the criminal court system?

The Boise City Victim-Witness Unit works directly with crime victims to increase their understanding and participation in the criminal justice process. Victim-Witness coordinators provide on-site crisis intervention, referrals to counselors and social service agencies, as well as notification of court dates. They also attend court proceedings with victims to serve as a support and source of information.

The Victim-Witness Unit can be reached by calling (208) 373-5473 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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