Filing a Claim

When should I file a claim?

If you have sustained an injury or personal property damage for which you believe the City or one of its employees is responsible, you may file a claim against the City.

How do I request a claim form?

In order to obtain a claim form, please contact or visit one of the following City offices:
City Clerk's Office
City Hall
50 W. 13th St.
Dubuque, IA 52001
City Attorney's Office
Harbor View Place, Ste. 330
300 Main St.
Dubuque, IA 52001

Can I send in additional information with the claim form?

Yes. It is recommended that you send in as much information as possible with your claim form in order to expedite the investigation of the claim. This includes, but is not limited to, estimates, receipts, medical bills, pictures and any other information you feel may be relevant to your claim. It is also recommended that you send in copies of these items and keep the originals for your records. 
What happens after I file my claim?
Once a claim has been received and file-stamped by the City Clerk, it is forwarded to the City Attorney's Office for investigation. Claims involving personal injury or substantial property damage will be forwarded to the City's claims agency for investigation. You will receive a letter from the City Attorney's Office indicating that your claim has been forwarded to the claims agency. This letter will also contain the claims agency's contact information.

A claims adjuster will then contact you regarding your claim. At that point, any questions regarding your claim should be addressed to the claims adjuster. All other claims will be forwarded to the appropriate City department for investigation. After speaking with employees and consulting department records, the department manager / supervisor will make a recommendation as to whether the claim should be approved or denied.

Based on that information, the City Attorney will then make a recommendation to the City Council as to whether the claim should be approved or denied. If the City Attorney recommends that the claim be denied, you will receive a copy of the department manager / supervisor's report along with the City Attorney's report to the City Council.

If the City Attorney recommends that the claim be approved, you will receive the City Attorney's report to the City Council as well as a release form to be signed and returned to the City Attorney's Office. These are only recommendations. It is important to note that the final decision on all claims is made by the City Council.

No employee of the City has the authority to make any representation to you as to whether your claim will or will not be paid. If the City Council approves the claim for payment at its City Council meeting, a check will be mailed to you provided the City Attorney's Office has received your signed release form.

What if my claim is denied by the City Council?
The City Council makes its determination at City Council meetings, which are held the first and third Monday of each month. We recommend writing a letter to the City Council indicating why your claim should not be denied and any additional information that you have to support your claim.

It is not necessary to appeal the City Attorney's recommendation for denial of your claim before the City Council makes its determination, however, you may do so. You are invited to attend the City Council meeting when your claim will be decided; however, your attendance is not mandatory and you still have the right to appeal the City Council's decision any time after it has been made.

If your claim or appeal is denied, you have the option of filing a lawsuit in a court of appropriate jurisdiction.

How long do I have to wait before my claim is resolved?
The length of time it takes to investigate and resolve a claim depends largely on the nature of the claim and the amount of damages involved. Some claims may take a few weeks to resolve, while others may take longer. If you wish to check on the status of your claim or if you have any questions or concerns about the process, contact the City Attorney's Office at 563.583.4113.

How long do I have to file a claim?
You may file a claim at any time. However, if your claim is denied by the City Council and you wish to file a lawsuit, you should be aware that state law may limit the time in which to file a lawsuit.