Court rules that SF’s sanctuary policies comply with federal law

“We’re pleased the court has recognized that San Francisco’s sanctuary laws and policies comply with federal law,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “Not only that, the court found that the federal law that the Trump administration has been trying to use as a hammer against communities is itself unconstitutional.”

Court also invalidates USDOJ conditions on law enforcement grants

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 5, 2018) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera released the following statement in response to today’s ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that declared San Francisco’s sanctuary ordinances are lawful, and invalidated grant conditions that the Trump administration tried to use to deny law enforcement funding to sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco:

“Once again, the rule of law has carried the day. The Trump administration should spend less time villainizing immigrants and more time reading the Constitution. Congress has the power of the purse, not the president. These unconstitutional grant conditions were yet another example of presidential overreach. They were also just a bad idea. The Trump administration attacks immigrants and claims to be fighting crime but then seeks to take away money for police, prosecutors and courts. That makes zero sense.”[Read more]


More News

Climate Change

City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker filed separate lawsuits on behalf of their respective cities against the top five oil and gas companies, asking the courts to hold them responsible for the costs of the infrastructure necessary to protect their cities from the consequences of climate change caused by their massive production of fossil fuels.

Sanctuary Cities

On January 31, 2017 City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his administration for his executive order directing enforcement action against sanctuary cities and threatening to withhold federal funding from these cities. The suit claims that the order is unconstitutional and exceeds the president’s power.

Gun Safety

Five online suppliers that had been flouting both state and San Francisco law by selling illegal large-capacity magazines as “repair kits” to customers in California have agreed to a wide-ranging injunction that compels them to follow the law. The settlement agreement improves safety in California communities and ensures that rogue companies comply with the law.

Affordable Housing

In efforts to combat the affordable housing crisis in San Francisco, City Attorney Dennis Herrera has taken broad actions ranging from filing lawsuits against unscrupulous landowners like Academy of Art University to cracking down on affordable housing fraudsters.


Featured Highlights

Accepting Internship Applications

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office’s Law School Internship Program is a unique and competitive educational offering that draws applicants from across the nation.  Participants are chosen based on their promise to emerge as leaders and difference-makers in government and public-interest law, and they work closely with mentors on a wide range of meaningful cases.  But you can’t be accepted if you don’t apply on-time.  Applications for the Spring 2019 program must be received by October 26th, 2018.

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Major Cases Map

Our new major cases map feature (still in beta) enables users to browse neighborhoods, navigate the city, and click on geo-tags for informational pop-ups about the City Attorney’s Office’s work there. Each pop-up  links to news releases to read more on the case. 

Deputy City Attorneys Jon Givner and Andrew Shen

Political activities

The City Attorney’s Office’s annual political activities memo offers a useful overview of basic rules that city officials and employees must follow if they choose to take part in activities for political campaigns.  There is also helpful guidance for commissions and departments.

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Good Government

Check out the extensive resources that the City Attorney’s Office offers to help ensure adherence to good government practices by city officials and employees. Most of these are also helpful for residents, to further their understanding of local law and government. There is also helpful guidance for commissions and departments.

About the Office

Learn why the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office has been honored by the American Bar Association for “outstanding excellence,” and praised as “one of the most aggressive and talented city law departments in the nation” by American Lawyer magazine.