A message from Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton in response to COVID-19 delivered on March 20, 2020. 

A message from Senior Deputy District Attorneys Gina Skinner and Andy Pulver about the need to protect against domestic violence and child abuse during the COVID-19 crisis. 

***Content updated 6/1/20***

On June 1, 2020, Washington County officially entered Phase I of reopening after Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority authorized the County to do so.

The Washington County District Attorney's Office provides essential services to our community and has therefore remained open throughout the pandemic.

As the County enters Phase I, District Attorney Kevin Barton and senior staff members have formed a plan to ensure we can continue to serve the community in a safe and effective manner.  Our employees are equipped to work either physically in the office or remotely, as circumstances change.  Additionally, we have protective barriers to allow for social distancing and have made face coverings available for employees and visitors when social distancing isn’t possible.  We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as necessary to ensure Washington County remains a safe place to live, work and raise a family.

To find additional information on Phase I reopening, visit the County’s website.

***Content updated 4/8/20***

District Attorney Kevin Barton is featured in The Oregonian as he discusses how we can continue to protect public safety by conducting essential court business, while we also protect public health by instituting new guidelines in response to COVID-19. 

***Content updated 3/23/20***

On March 23, 2020, Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order calling on Oregonians to stay home to save lives. This office understands there is a lot of uncertainity surrounding COVID-19 and how it impacts courthouse operations. 

Our staff created this COVID-19 Resource Guide which is available in English and Spanish to help address common questions and concerns. 

***Content updated 3/19/20***

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton spoke on Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Think Out Loud" program this afternoon about the steps this office has taken to best protect the health of our community in response to COVID-19.

DA Barton has pushed for an urgent response to to this situation. He remains focused on conducting essential court business in compliance with statutory and constitutional requirements, while also protecting public health.

If you missed the discussion, you can listen to the segment here.

***Content updated 3/17/20***

On March 16, 2020, Chief Justice Martha Walters of the Oregon Supreme Court issued a directive to all courts across the state in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The directive institutes Level Three restrictions on court operations. This directive means many non-essential court functions in Washington County will be postponed for the time being.

District Attorney Kevin Barton and senior staff members have been actively monitoring this evolving situation. They have been working with our public safety partners including the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Parole and Probation Department, Health and Human Services, the Washington County Circuit Court and the Oregon Supreme Court.

In accordance with the Chief Justice’s statewide directive and our goal to protect the health of the public and our staff, DA Barton has issued new guidelines for our office limiting the number of employees physically in the building at the same time. We believe these steps will allow us to continue to serve the residents of Washington County while also protecting the health of our employees, their families and the community. Please see below for additional information regarding our COVID-19 response.

***End of Update***

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is providing the following information regarding operational changes in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The mission of the Washington County District Attorney is to seek justice and protect our community.  As part of that mission, the health and safety of all members of our community is a priority.  We are working to balance the needs of public health and public safety.

We are evaluating our response to COVID-19 on a daily basis as new information and recommendations from public health experts become available.  Members of the public who seek more information about COVID-19 should check the following websites: United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and the Washington County Health Department

In accordance with the guidance from these experts, we strongly urge all members of the public to stay home if you are feeling sick, if you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are in a high-risk category.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q:        Who decides whether court appearances and trials are canceled or postponed?  Will trials and appearances continue as normal?

A:        Court appearances and trials are generally set and controlled by the local circuit court, which receives guidance of the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD).  Click here for a link to the Washington County Circuit Court website or call 503-846-8888.  Click here for a link to the Oregon Judicial Department’s Find a Case website.  Please note that changes may occur quickly and the OJD website may not update immediately. 

Q:       Will the Washington County DA’s Office close as many other businesses are choosing to do?

A:        As long as the courts remain open for service, so too must the DA’s Office.  Oregon law has strict timelines that require certain hearings and appearances to occur if a person has been arrested or charged with a crime.  We are working with our partners in the courts, law enforcement, and the criminal defense bar to find ways to prioritize public health while also complying with Oregon law.

Q:       I feel sick or I have been exposed to COVID-19.  Should I come to the courthouse?

A:        No.  Do not come to the courthouse or the DA’s Office if you feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19.  Contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

Q:       I am a witness or a victim on a case and I have been subpoenaed to appear in court.  Do I need to appear?

A:        It depends.  We are working to postpone certain criminal cases and appearances.  If you feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, do not come to the courthouse.  Please immediately call the phone number on your subpoena and inform our staff of your situation.  If you do not feel sick but are still concerned about coming to court, please call the phone number on your subpoena.  We will work with you to identify the best course of action.  We may be able to arrange for video or telephone testimony in some situations.

Q:       I am a juror or a grand juror and I have been summoned to appear in court.  Do I need to appear?

A:        The Washington County Circuit Court controls whether a juror needs to appear.  Click here for a link to the Court’s website for guidance.  If you have already been selected as a grand juror and have concerns or questions about appearing for grand jury duty, please contact our office at 503-846-8671.  In order for our criminal justice system to continue to function, we need a certain number of jurors and grand jurors to appear.

Q:       I am a defendant in a criminal case.  Do I need to show up for my court appearance?

A:        If you are a defendant in a criminal case and have a question about whether you should appear for court, contact your attorney for guidance about your particular situation.

Q:        What should I do if I have a meeting scheduled at the Washington County DA’s Office?

A:        We are working to postpone non-essential meetings.  We are also working to arrange for telephone and videoconferencing options.  If you have a meeting at the DA’s Office, please contact the person you are scheduled to meet to determine whether your meeting will occur.  Our main line is 503-846-8671.

Q:        I need to obtain discovery on a criminal case.  What should I do?

A:        Our discovery practice has not changed.  In many instances, we can provide discovery electronically.  If you need a paper copy of your discovery or if the discovery item cannot be provided electronically, you may still obtain discovery from our front desk.  If you have questions, you may call our main line at 503-846-8671.

Q:       I need to obtain a restraining order, can I still do that?

A:       The Washington County Circuity Court is accepting applications for protection orders at this time.

Stalking Petitions are being handled Monday, Wednesday, Friday and applications must be filed by 11 a.m. to be heard at 1 p.m.

FAPAs, EPPDAPAs, SAPOs, and ERPOs are being accepted each day with a cutoff of 11 a.m. for filing petition and being seen by the Judge at 1 p.m. 

Forms are available at the Civil and Domestic Relations Filing Counter. The Family Law Assistance Office is closed at this time.

Q:       I have a question about coming to court that was not answered here.  Who can I talk to?

A:        Click here for a link to Washington County Circuit Court website with phone numbers.  You may also contact the Washington County DA’s Office by emailing DAOffice@co.washington.or.us or calling 503-846-8671.

 

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219
March 15, 2020