County Counsel

Rubin E. Cruse, Jr.
County Counsel

The County Counsel is the attorney for the County, including the Board of Supervisors and all County officers, departments, boards and commissions as well as those county bodies and agencies whose governing boards are made up (in whole or part) of members of the County Board of Supervisors. The County Counsel’s office also acts as legal advisor for the Shasta County Grand Jury.

In addition, the County Counsel has discretionary authority to provide legal services to other local public entities and special districts, and to charge a fee for such services.

The County Counsel’s Office does not provide legal services to the general public.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the attorneys of the County Counsel’s office is to be legal counselors in the fullest sense, providing service that is intelligent, trustworthy, and dedicated to public service.

The primary goals of the office are to:

  • Provide responsive legal advice and assistance to the County Board of Supervisors and our other clients to enable them to carry out their policy objectives;
  • Provide assertive representation in civil litigation and administrative hearings;
  • Provide prompt and effective assistance in drafting contracts and other legal documents; and
  • Provide professional support that enhances the services provided to the public by our clients.

Management and Organization of the Office


The office is administered by the County Counsel. Legal services are provided by nine attorneys, including the County Counsel and Assistant County Counsel. The attorneys are supported by an Executive Assistant and two legal secretaries.

Practice Areas

Each attorney provides advice and representation in one or more of the following areas:

  • Transactional and General Services:

    Drafting and reviewing for legal sufficiency contracts, deeds, leases, and other instruments; providing oral and written opinions to the Board of Supervisors, County Administrative Office, and other County clients regarding their legal powers, responsibilities, and limitations; and drafting and reviewing ordinances, resolutions, and policies.

  • Child Dependency:

    Trial and appellate services for the Social Services branch of the Health and Human Services Agency, Children and Family Services Division, for all Juvenile Court dependency and child welfare proceedings (for the protection of abused and neglected children).

  • Personnel and Labor:

    Advice and representation in matters pertaining to personnel issues, disciplinary proceedings, labor relations, and employee benefits.

  • Litigation and Claims:

    Representation in tort, employment, civil rights, code enforcement, and other civil and administrative actions and proceedings brought against or on behalf of the County, through direct representation or oversight of outside counsel, and risk analysis.

  • Land Use and Environmental Resources:

    Advice and representation in planning and development matters before the County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, as well as legal services related to the planning, development, and management of County roads, airports, waste disposal facilities, and other public facilities.

  • Law and Justice:

    Legal services to County criminal justice agencies, including the Sheriff’s Office, Probation Department, District Attorney’s Office, and Public Defender.

  • Grand Jury:

    Advice and representation with regard to the Grand Jury’s "civil watchdog" role.

Office Location

The County Counsel’s office is located in the Shasta County Administration Center at 1450 Court Street, Suite 332, Redding, California 96001-1675. The telephone number for general reception is (530) 225-5711.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the County Counsel give legal advice to members of the public?

No. The County Counsel, by statute, is the lawyer for the County, its officers and employees in their official capacity, and certain other public entities. The County Counsel may not give legal advice to members of the public.

Where can I obtain legal advice or representation?

There are many ways to find legal assistance.

  • Use to find legal aid offices, lawyer-referral services, and other free and low-cost services in Shasta County and elsewhere throughout California.
  • For assistance with child support, spousal support, health insurance, parentage, custody and visitation, divorce, legal separation and nullity of marriage, and preparing the necessary forms, contact the Shasta County Family Law Facilitator: Stacy Larson, 1500 Court Street, Room 115, Redding, CA 96001, (530) 245-6900 or (530) 245-6789.
  • For free legal assistance to persons aged 60 and older regarding Social Security/SSI, housing, Guardianship, debt counseling, and other issues contact: Legal Services of Northern California, 1370 West Street, Redding, CA 96001, (530) 241-3565 or (800) 822-9687.
  • Persons with low incomes who need assistance with housing, public benefits, and health rights, may contact Legal Services of Northern California, (800) 822-9687 or (530) 241-3565. Legal Services of Northern California also acts as Shasta County’s Small Claims Advisor; there are no income restrictions for assistance with small claims matters.
  • Ask a friend or family member to recommend an attorney.
  • Use for the State Bar of California’s "find an attorney" service.

I have suffered personal injury or property damage, which I believe was caused by the County or one of its employees. How do I go about collecting for my damages?

The process of collecting damages from the County is started by filing a claim on the County’s claim form with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, whose office is located in the County Administration Center, 1450 Court Street, Suite 308B, Redding, California, 96001, (530) 225-5550.

The instructions and forms for filing a claim can be obtained from the Risk Management Division of the Office of the Support Services, located in the County Administration Center, 1450 Court Street, Suite 348, Redding, California, 96001, (530) 225-5143.

The law governing claims against public entities is complex and has short deadlines. You may need to seek the services of an attorney for your own protection. In any event, you should present your claim without delay. For additional information, please refer to Government Code section 910.

Can I serve a lawsuit against the County by serving the County Counsel?

No. Service of process on the County may only be accomplished by serving the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, whose office is located in the County Administration Center, 1450 Court Street, Suite 308B, Redding, California, 96001, (530) 225-5550.

I would like to view some County records. Can I get them from the Office of the County Counsel?

No. The Office of the County Counsel is not the custodian of records of the County of Shasta. You should inquire directly at the office or location where you believe the records are maintained, or contact the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at (530) 225-5550.

I would like a copy of the Shasta County Code. Can I get it from the Office of the County Counsel?

No. The Shasta County Code is available from the County’s website. In addition, the County Code can be reviewed (and copies obtained, for a fee) from the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, whose office is located in the County Administration Center, 1450 Court Street, Suite 308B, Redding, California, (530) 225-5550.

What control does the County or the Board of Supervisors have over cities, special districts, school districts, and the Shasta County Office of Education?

Cities, special districts, school districts, and the Shasta County Office of Education are independent legal entities, over which the County and its Board of Supervisors have no control. Any concerns you have with those entities should be addressed to their managers or governing boards.

Note: The information on this website is for educational and informational purposes only and does not purport to constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your legal rights and responsibilities, you should seek professional advice.