Norwalk operates under a Council/Manager form of government, established by the Charter of the City of Norwalk which was drafted in 1957. The five-member City Council acts as the city’s chief policy-making body. Every two years, Councilmembers are elected by the citizens of Norwalk to serve four-year, overlapping terms. Councilmembers are not limited to the number of terms they may serve. The Mayor is selected by the Council and serves a one-year term.
Norwalk is the home of the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder. The Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office is responsible for the registration of voters, maintenance of voter files, conduct of federal, state, local and special elections and the verification of initiative, referendum and recall petitions. There are approximately 4.1 million registered voters, and 5 thousand voting precincts established for countywide elections. The office also has jurisdiction over marriage license issuance, the performance of civil marriage ceremonies, fictitious business name filings and indexing, qualification and registration of notaries and miscellaneous statutory issuance of oaths and filings. The office issues approximately 75,000 marriage licenses and processes 125,000 fictitious business name filings annually. The Recorder’s Office is responsible for recording legal documents which determine ownership of real property and maintains files of birth, death and marriage records for Los Angeles County. It serves the public and other County departments such as the Assessor, Health Services, Public Social Services and Regional Planning. The office processes 2 million real and personal property documents and 750,000 birth, death and marriage records annually and services approximately 2,000 customers daily.
The United States Postal Service operates the Norwalk Post Office at 14011 Clarkdale Avenue and the Paddison Square Post Office at 12415 Norwalk Boulevard.
The Southeast District of the Los Angeles County Superior Court is located in Norwalk.
The 162-acre (0.66 km2) Metropolitan State Hospital, a psychiatric and mental health facility operated by the California Department of Mental Health, is located in Norwalk. Norwalk is a “contract city” , a contract city is a city in which services such as police and fire are contracted with another agency. The City of Norwalk contracts with the Los Angeles County governments.