News & Announcements

County Public Defender Retires; Latina Immigrant To Replace Him

October 23, 2020

The head of the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office is retiring Friday, and the person chosen to replace him is the first woman in county history to lead the agency.

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved Assistant Public Defender Claudia Bautista’s appointment to the top post of the county office that represents indigent individuals accused of crimes.

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COVID-19 Update June 13, 2020
Ventura Superior Court

The Public Defender’s Office will have tables located in the courtyard between the Hall of Administration and the Hall of Justice when the Ventura Superior Court reopens on Monday, June 15th. We ask all current clients and new clients that want but cannot afford their own attorney for a criminal matter, to enter the Government Center from Telephone or Hill Roads and park in lots E or F. Then proceed to the courtyard between the Hall of Administration and the Hall of Justice to check in at the Public Defender table. Note: The Public Defender is not permitted to represent clients charged with infractions.

Lines and physical barriers will be erected to ensure that everyone remains at least six feet apart during discussions with the public defender staff. We request that you bring and wear masks to interact with our staff. A mask must be worn – if you need to later enter the courthouse.

We will gather contact information and ask new clients to allow our attorneys to appear for them in court. Depending on your situation—you may not need enter the courthouse. In many cases, we can appear on the case in your absence and set it for a future date. We will then have an attorney assigned to the matter. The newly assigned attorney will then contact the client to discuss options (settlement, trial, etc.) over the phone or by email. People who must personally appear on their case will be asked to wait outside until asked to enter the Hall of Justice so we can maintain social distance in the courtrooms. If you are a current Public Defender client, we ask that you contact your attorney or call our office before you come to court to coordinate your appearance with your attorney.