The City Attorney represents City departments, officials and employees on matters involving City business. Attorneys in the office cannot give legal advice or provide legal representation to private citizens.

The City Attorney's Office:

  • provides legal advice to the Mayor, members of the City Council, City Manager, and to each of the City’s Departments 
  • advocates on the City’s behalf in federal and state courts, the General Assembly, and before quasi-judicial bodies 
  • reviews contracts that the City enters each year and advises employees administering those contracts as issues arise
  • represents the City’s interests in working with property owners, contractors, private citizens, and others who raise concerns about the City’s actions

City Council appointed John D. Joye as the City Attorney, effective June 26, 2017. John is a native North Carolinian and 1997 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill Law.  He was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in August of that year and has practiced public sector law exclusively.  He began his career as a prosecutor with the State of North Carolina 26th Judicial District and moved from there to become a Police Attorney for the City of Charlotte.  For the past decade he has acted as the Lead Attorney as well as the General Counsel for the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), a public enterprise of the City of Charlotte, and the Metropolitan Transit Commission, the governing board of CATS made up of several local governments as well as the North Carolina Department of Transportation. His career allows him to bring a broad range of experiences to the Wilmington City Attorney's Office.

Useful Information

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Code of Ordinances and more information about the City's Noise Ordinance can be found here

Claims against the City may be directed to the City’s Program Safety Manager at (910) 341-7840.

Need to make a public records request? Complete this form and return it to the City Clerk's Office

City owned property questions or property donations should be directed to the City's Property Acquisition Specialist (910) 341-1008. A list of available surplus properties can be obtained by submitting a public records request to the City Clerk's Office. 

For payoff requests, you may contact Collections at (910) 342-2742.

Park Wilmington can be reached by calling (910) 762-5678. 

Visit the Code Enforcement web page for information regarding the City's Minimum Housing Code (MHC) and some frequently asked questions. 

If you want to find out more about the Safe Light program they can be reached by contacting (910) 343-4762. 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) information can be found here. You can reach the City's ADA Coordinator at (910) 341-7810 or (910) 341-5876.

Information about the City of Wilmington's Planning, Development, and Transportation Department can be found by visiting their web page or contacting (910) 254-0900. Most questions about Short-Term Lodging, including some frequently asked questions, can be found here.   

For questions regarding court dates or appearances, the Clerk of Court is located in the New Hanover County Courthouse and can be reached at (910) 341-1300.

Questions relating to traffic tickets or criminal cases are handled by the District Attorney’s Office. Their office is located on the 5th floor of the New Hanover County Courthouse and they can be reached by calling (910) 341-1400.

The Public Defender, located at 414 Chestnut Street, may provide legal assistance in criminal cases and can be reached at (910) 251-7090.

Legal Aid of North Carolina may provide legal assistance to citizens without the financial resources to hire a private attorney and can be reached at (910) 763-6207. The City Attorney's Office is unable to recommend a private attorney.

For information regarding New Hanover County land records, the New Hanover County Register of Deeds is located at 320 Chestnut Street and can be reached at (910) 798-4530.