[Updated: March 27, 2020]
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is providing the following information to the public about the operational changes enacted in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The health and well-being of all employees and community members we serve is a top priority for the Multnomah County District Attorney. Our office is working with the court, defense bar, local law enforcement and other system partners to carefully balance the needs of public health and public safety.
As recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Multnomah County’s Department of Health, we have appropriately taken measured steps to reduce the transmission of any illness to/among staff, to protect individuals for whom we serve, and to minimize adverse effects from the spread of any illness.
Members of our community are encouraged to follow guidance from Multnomah County’s Health Department and stay home if they are in a higher risk group or are feeling sick.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Note: Please read through this resource thoroughly. It contains information specific about general courthouse operations and victim services. If you still have questions, call 503-988-3162 or email DA@nullmcda.us
Q: What has the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office done in response to COVID-19?
A: The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office continues to receive, and provide, updates from and to state, local and federal health officials regarding this rapidly unfolding situation involving COVID-19. We are working closely with both the Trial Court Administrator and the Presiding Judge for Multnomah County to reduce the number of individuals who need to visit the courthouse in an effort to reduce the spread of any illness.
Q: Will trials and other court hearings continue as normal during this COVID-19 pandemic?
A: No. Acting on guidance from the State of Oregon, an in consultation with numerous system partners, the Presiding Judge in Multnomah County has informed the District Attorney’s Office of numerous changes.
Q: I am a victim or a witness in a pending criminal case. Who should I contact if I have questions about my case or concerns about safety concerns?
A: Your assigned Multnomah County District Attorney Victim Advocate or the Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney assigned to your case will be able to answer any questions you may have. If you do not know the name of your victim advocate or the assigned Deputy District Attorney, you can call 503-988-3222. Our office is continuing to notify victims and witnesses by phone and by subpoena for all hearings including trials, probation violation hearings, release hearings and modification hearings. Please ensure your contact information is updated with our office.
Q: What services can I receive from the District Attorney’s Office during this global pandemic?
A: The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office remains committed to serving our community and to providing uninterrupted services to crime victims. As of March 13, 2020, the District Attorney’s Office has secured all of its public entry points in an effort to increase social distancing, as recommended by local public health officials. Our main office line is 503-988-3162. You may call this number and our staff will be able to direct your call to appropriate person. You may also email us at DA@nullmcda.us. When contacting us, please have the following information ready: a DA Case Number, a Multnomah County Circuit Court Case Number and/or a police report number.
Q: What is the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office doing to reduce the jail population during this global pandemic?
A: For more information about Multnomah County’s unified response to this, please click here: https://www.mcda.us/index.php/news/responsibly-and-safely-managing-our-jail-beds-during-covid-19/
Q: Where do I go to get a restraining order?
A: Due to COVID-19, Multnomah County Circuit Court is only accepting Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) Restraining Orders applications, Immediate Danger Petitions and Stalking Protective Orders at the Multnomah County Justice Center at 1120 Southwest 3rd Avenue in Portland, Oregon before 12 p.m. (noon). Please note: These protective orders were previously obtained inside the Multnomah County Circuit Courthouse in Room 211. Effective March 13, 2020, these matters are now being handled at the Justice Center. Please click here for more information about Family and Intimate Partner Violence.
Q: Will the District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Victim Advocates continue to respond to metro hospitals during Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations following a sexual assault?
A: Required measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and to protect the health of community members, volunteers and our employees have significantly impacted how we pursue our mission. However, this office is continuing to do all we can to minimize any disruptions to serving those who have been harmed by sexual violence. Please click here to read more information about our temporary change in protocol.
Q: What should I do if I have a Restraining Order Violation trial?
A: By order of the Court, trials for Violation of Restraining Order cases will continue for in-custody defendants. Please contact your Victim Advocate or 503-988-3222 to confirm the date and time and place for these trials. Some VRO trials may have been re-scheduled by the court, so it is important to confirm whether your appearance is necessary prior to coming to the courthouse.
Q: What should I do if I have received a summons to appear before a Multnomah County Grand Jury?
A: In order to comply with legal obligations imposed by the State, the District Attorney’s Office must continue to present certain cases before the grand jury, particularly when a person is in custody. That said, many grand jury appearances have been set over because of COVID-19. The District Attorney’s Office continues to make accommodations to assist victims and witnesses who need to appear remotely. Our office is using Go To Meeting, which allows for remote appearances. Please contact your Victim Advocate and/or the assigned Deputy District Attorney to make arrangements to access this option. We understand that not everyone will have the ability to access this service and for that reason, individuals can still appear in-person. Grand Jury is being held on the sixth floor of the Multnomah County Circuit Courthouse, located at 1021 Southwest 4th Avenue in Portland, Oregon. Please go to Room 618 to check in for your scheduled appearance.
Q: What should I do if I receive a subpoena to appear in court for a non-grand jury-related hearing?
A: Located on your subpoena should be a phone number that is specific to the unit handling your case. If you do not have your subpoena or you need general advice, contact our main reception line at 503-988-3162 and they will be able to transfer you to the correct person. If you’re phone number or email has changed since the time your case was issued, please contact us by email and provide your new contact information along with your DA Case Number and Court Case Number. This will ensure we the most updated contact information in the event your hearing is change or canceled.
Q: What should I do if I need accommodations to postpone a hearing or need to appear in court by video or phone?
A: The Court is making reasonable accommodations for remote appearances in limited circumstances. Generally, crime victims may be allowed to appear by phone for hearings related to arraignments. In other cases, persons in an increased health risk category may be allowed to appear at a hearing by phone. To request accommodations, please contact our office by calling 503-988-3162 and ask to speak with a Deputy District Attorney to explore what options are available and appropriate for your situation.
Q: What should I do if I have a meeting scheduled with someone at the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office?
A: Effective March 12, 2020, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is reducing most in-person meetings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As such, please contact the district attorney employee with whom you are scheduled to meet with. Alternative meeting arrangements may be set up. If you are a crime victim and need assistance through the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Victim’s Assistance Program, please call 503-988-3222. If you have been assigned a Victim Advocate, you may also contact that person directly by phone or email.
Q: What else is the DA’s Office doing in response to COVID-19?
A: Effective March 12, 2020, all non-essential out of state office-involved work travel is cancelled for the next 60 days. Exceptions must be approved by the District Attorney. Further, all work travel for in-state events and meetings outside of Multnomah County travel is discouraged. The District Attorney’s Office has also implemented teleworking for many of its employees, including essential employees.
Q: I need to pick up criminal discovery, what do I do?
A: Continue to go to Room 620 in the Multnomah County Courthouse to pick up adult criminal case discovery between the hours of 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Effective March 13, 2020, the door to room 620 is now secured and you will then need to call 503-988-3018. Our Discovery staff will answer and then respond to your specific discovery needs.
Q: I received a summons for general jury duty. What should I do?
A: On March 11, 2020, the Oregon Judicial Department released new guidance for community members selected for jury duty. Please visit the OJD website for more information.
Q: Where can I find phone numbers for court services?
A: Please click here for additional contact information for Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Q: Is the courthouse being cleaned more frequently?
A: Yes. With an overall reduction in the number of visitors and employees in the courthouse and also the District Attorney’s Office, cleaning and sanitation services have been increased. As a reminder, members of the community are reminded to wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. If soap and water is not available, liquid hand sanitizer is recommended.