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City Attorney

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The City Attorney's Office provides legal advice and support to the Mayor and City Council, City departments, and City boards and commissions; represent the City before judicial and administrative agencies in civil litigation proceedings; and prosecute misdemeanor violations of the Vista Municipal Code.   


In accordance with the City Charter, the City Attorney is appointed by the City Council to act as the City's general counsel. As the City's general counsel, the City Attorney provides a full range of legal services to the City and is the chief legal advisor to the City Council, City Manager, Redevelopment Agency, City departments, and all appointed boards and commissions. While performing the duties as the City's chief legal advisor, the City Attorney, among other responsibilities, manages all outside counsel, reviews and negotiates City and Redevelopment Agency agreements, proffers advice on labor and employment issues, helps draft and review legislation, litigates civil cases, and prosecutes a limited number of Municipal Code violations.

Darold Pieper is the City Attorney of Vista, California. In addition to the City Attorney, the City Attorney's office is staffed by two full-time attorneys.

The City Attorney's Office does not provide private legal advice to citizens nor does it prosecute violations of the California Penal Code, California Vehicle Code, or other violations of State law.

If you are seeking legal representation, links to referral services are listed below. If you wish to report a violation of State law, contact the San Diego Sheriff’s Office or the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

Helpful Links

San Diego Sheriff’s Department - Vista Office (760) 940-4551 or go to
325 S Melrose Drive # 210, Vista CA.

For information on prosecuting violations of State law, contact the San Diego County – North County District Attorney's Office at (760)806-4004 or visit their website (

To retain a private attorney or a legal clinic, contact the North County San Diego County Bar Association at (760) 758-5833 or visit their website (

If you are a criminal defendant and unable to afford a private attorney contact the San Diego County Public Defender (North County Office) at (760) 945-4000 (400 S. Melrose Dr, Suite 200, Vista).