Indigent Defense Structure

Office of Public Defense Services

The Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) is an independent body that governs the Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS). The Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court appoints the seven Commission members. The Commission’s primary charge is to establish “a public defense system that ensures the provision of public defense services in the most cost efficient manner consistent with the Oregon Constitution, the United States Constitution and Oregon and national standards of justice[.]”

The PDSC appoints the Executive Director for OPDS. The Office of Public Defense Services has two divisions: Contract and Business Services (CBS) and the Appellate Division (AD), formerly known as the State Public Defender.

CBS is responsible for administering the public defense contracts that provide legal representation for financially eligible persons, and for processing requests and payments for non-contract fees and expenses. Contracts provide trial-level representation and appellate representation on cases not handled by AD.

AD is the appellate arm of OPDS. The division provides constitutionally mandated representation in the appellate courts to financially eligible persons in criminal cases (misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses, including capital offenses), parents in juvenile dependency cases, and inmates appealing administrative decisions from the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision.

Local Resources:

Metropolitan Public Defender

Multnomah Defenders Inc.

Youth, Rights, and Justice