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 D. Joye 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

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

Visit our parking information page for any questions regarding parking. 

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.

For questions relating to traffic tickets or criminal cases, the District Attorney’s Office is located on the 5th floor of the New Hanover County Courthouse and can be reached at (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.

For information regarding New Hanover County land records the New Hanover County Register of Deeds is located at 218 North 2nd Street and can be reached at (910) 798-4530.