Is multnomah county courthouse open

Is multnomah county courthouse open DEFAULT

Regulars at the old Multnomah County Courthouse knew that if they turned on the bathroom faucets first thing on a Monday morning, they should expect a torrent of rusty, orange-hued water.

Long-time staff just might have been unlucky enough to learn firsthand what it was like to experience a pipe bursting above their workspaces, flooding their desks and files with dirty water.

But the greatest worry had always been the building’s structural safety and how its year-old unreinforced masonry walls would hold up when the Big One hits.

This past week, the old courthouse on Southwest Fourth Avenue closed its doors to the public for the last time. On Monday, a new courthouse four blocks away will open for business to enormous elation from county and state officials who worked for decades on making it a reality.

Officials say it’s not only a place for courthouse staff, prosecutors and other lawyers, it’s a venue for the general public to conduct a range of business, including paying parking tickets, disputing speeding tickets, filing small claims, hashing out landlord tenant disagreements, appearing as plaintiffs, defendants or witnesses in trials or serving as a juror. One in 10 Multnomah County residents receives a jury summons each year, officials say.

""It’s not always a pleasant experience going to the court, but at least we can make it less unpleasant and perhaps more user friendly," said Stephen Bushong, presiding judge of Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Here are some answers to questions you might have about the new central courthouse:

Why build a new courthouse? Why not just fix up the old one?

The county assessor’s office figured the building was worth $40 million. County officials estimated it’d cost another $70 million to upgrade the building to better withstand a strong earthquake.

Even with those upgrades to the old courthouse, county officials believe the new courthouse will be far better equipped to survive a big earthquake of the magnitude expected from the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the next 50 years.

But besides earthquake safety, officials say it was time for a new courthouse because the old one had simply become less functional in many other ways.

For one, the building was far too small. In the past century, the county’s population has tripled in size to more than , residents and the demands on the courthouse have, too.

Multnomah County Courthouse (b. )

The old eight-story courthouse is , square feet, according to county property records. The new story one is , square feet -- or 57% larger.

It’s worth noting, however, that even though the new building is much bigger, it didn’t check all of the boxes on the courthouse community’s list. While the entire Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is housed within the new courthouse, public defenders didn’t get to relocate there. Some will have to schlep their case files farther from their existing offices to get to the new courthouse, which is located on the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge.

Public defenders, however, will have some space set aside to privately meet with clients and access computers.

How much did the new building cost?

The total price tag ended up at $ million.

Of that, the state paid $ million and the county paid $ million through bonds, the sale of the old courthouse and some “one-time-only funding” from the board of commissioners, said county spokesman Mike Pullen.

On top of that, the furniture cost $ million -- $ million from the state and $ million from the county.

What were some of the problems with the old courthouse’s size and design?

The old courthouse was a few courtrooms short of providing each of the 38 elected judges their own courtroom, so the newest judges used other judge’s courtrooms when they were vacant. The new courthouse has 44 courtrooms, enough for all the elected judges to have their own courtrooms plus judicial referees to use four of the largest courtrooms for traffic, parking, landlord-tenant and small claims disputes.

Another problem: The old courthouse lacked private spaces for attorneys to discuss their cases with their clients, so they often spoke in the hallways where passersby could overhear. The new courthouse has private rooms for them to talk.

The old courthouse also had five elevators -- four for the public. That sometimes was a source of impatience for those queuing up for their turn. The new courthouse has 10 elevators -- six for the public; two for deputies to transport jailed defendants; one for judges so they won’t have to ride with someone who’s out of custody and they might have just sentenced; and one that will be used as a service elevator.

Another complaint was the old building was difficult for wheelchair users to navigate. The front stairs meant they had to enter through a backdoor ramp, after pressing a call button and waiting for someone to let them in. In some courtrooms, the spaces between aisles or benches were also tough to maneuver.

Were there other safety concerns about the old courthouse?

The sheriff’s office had learned to adjust to the building, but it wasn’t ideal. Shackled criminal defendants rode the public elevators and walked the public halls to and from courtrooms, raising concerns by defense attorneys that jurors might see a defendant in handcuffs and become biased.

There were also safety concerns for defendants considered higher risk, like double murder MAX train defendant Jeremy Christian, who prompted a team of deputies to clear the halls before walking him to or from his courtroom a few times a day for a few weeks.

At the new courthouse, deputies will escort jailed defendants into and out of courtrooms through secure, back hallways that the public can’t access. Judges and court staff also have the choice of entering the courtrooms through these hallways.

Deputies also will transport jailed defendants to and from the courthouse by driving transport vans into a sally port and moving defendants into or out of the vans only after the secure sally port doors close. That’s a big improvement from the old courthouse, where deputies parked transport vans on the public street then escorted shackled defendants out onto the public sidewalk and into the courthouse.

Also, in some of old courthouse’s smaller courtrooms, witnesses had to awkwardly squeeze by defendants to get to the stand. Defendants also might sit just a few feet from jurors who were deciding their fates.

Bushong, the presiding judge, said he remembers a criminal case in his former tiny seventh-floor courtroom with a “pretty high strung defendant. He sat at counsel table and the juror at the end of the jury box was about an arm’s length away from him, which made me very nervous. We won’t have those issues in the new courthouse.”

How will the user experience differ?

The inconveniences of the old courthouse were apparent before the public even stepped through its front doors. Often, a rain-soaked crowd of jurors and others would form a long line on the sidewalk out front, waiting to get in on weekday mornings. On exceptionally busy days, the wait could exceed a half hour.

The new courthouse has a covered entrance to keep visitors dry.

New courthouse
New courthouse

Once through the metal detectors at the old courthouse, visitors trying to slip back on belts or shoes would clog up the lobby’s flow. The new courthouse’s lobby is far larger and includes seating so visitors can comfortably adjust belts or slip back on shoes without feeling rushed by the people entering the courthouse after them.

Next, visitors will encounter airport style kiosks that list court hearings and rooms and touch screens that can offer them directions.

New courthouse

Outside the courtrooms, visitors can admire the picture-perfect views of Mount Hood off in the distance. Even the staircase up to the 17th floor -- that trial court administrator Barb Marcille says takes about 10 minutes to walk up -- is graced with a gorgeous northern view of the Willamette River.

New courthouse
New courthouse

In contrast, the new courthouse is a bit of a downgrade for judges. Judges' chambers are nearly identical in size and design, furnished with basic chairs and desks and have no mountain view. They arguably lack much of the character of judges' chambers at the old courthouse. The new chambers also don’t have private restrooms attached to them, and judges will share restrooms with other court staff.

“The best parts of the building are for the public, not for the judges, not for the staff,” Bushong said. “The courthouse is there to serve the public.”

What’s different about the courtrooms?

While the new courtrooms lack the historic character of the old ones, the new courtrooms feature clean lines and were designed for today’s functional needs. Attorneys can charge laptops or phones in outlets embedded in counsel tables. Wall-mounted screens will allow jurors and others to view videos or other evidence presented during trials.

The witness box is situated directly across from the witness stand, so jurors have a direct view of witnesses as they testify.

The judge also will be able to activate a white noise button when lawyers gather around the bench and have confidential conversations with the judge that they don’t want others in the courtroom to hear.

New courthouse

What will happen to the old building?

The development company NBP Capital bought the old courthouse in and has plans to retrofit the structure for earthquakes and then turn it into a mixed used development.

According to the company’s website, the plans haven’t been solidified. But it could encompass “(f)ood and beverage, retail, event space and creative offices.” The developers want to keep the grand facade and some of the “significant historic elements,” including the central marble staircase that connects the first six floors. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Multnomah County Courthouse (b. )

What about COVID concerns?

Because of COVID, there was no good-bye ceremony on Tuesday, the last day the old courthouse was in operation. There also will be no grand opening ceremony for the new courthouse.

Although people are expected to work in the new building after the pandemic, the numbers will continue to be greatly reduced while many work at home during the pandemic.

Circuit courts across the state have drastically scaled back operations. In Multnomah County, only two felony jury trials have been held since the court reduced operations more than six months ago. In , the latest year for which data is available, there were about 60 felony jury trials per month in Multnomah County.

Because it might be a while before the public steps inside the new building, court officials have made videos of its interior available here and here.

Judge Nan Waller said she will miss the old courthouse even though she was among a group who’d worked to get lawmakers in Salem to fund the new construction.

“After working for years on the new courthouse I am surprised how sentimental and sad I have been over the last few days," Waller wrote. "The last time walking in, my last hearing and finally, a few minutes ago, the last time walking out.”

-- Aimee Green; [email protected]; @o_aimee


Hatfield Courthouse

The Courthouse is located at S.W. Third Ave in Portland, Oregon, between S.W. Salmon and S.W. Main Streets. Photo identification required to enter the courthouse. The courthouse is open a.m. to p.m. Monday through Friday. For security purposes, there is no parking around the perimeter of the Courthouse; however, there is metered parking on adjacent streets and several public parking garages within a few blocks.

The Courthouse may also be reached by light rail or bus. The nearest light rail stops are at Morrison Street and S.W. Third Avenue (Westbound) or Yamhill Street and S.W. First Avenue (Eastbound). There are also several bus lines that stop nearby. For more information on taking public transit visit Trimet's website.

The Portland Division hears cases from the following counties (click here for map):

  • Clackamas
  • Clatsop
  • Columbia
  • Hood River
  • Jefferson
  • Multnomah
  • Polk
  • Tillamook
  • Wasco
  • Washington
  • Yamhill
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About the old courthouse

What are the serious safety problems?

What are the major functional difficulties?

Why build a new courthouse?

Why not just renovate the existing courthouse?

What is planned for the existing courthouse after a new one is constructed?

About the new courthouse

Is the new courthouse open to visitors?

Where will the new courthouse be located? 

How much will the courthouse project cost? How will it be funded?

What functions will be housed in the new courthouse?

How long is construction expected to take?

How was the site, near the Hawthorne Bridgehead chosen?

How did the county confirm the site will meet our long-term needs?

How does the Central City plan for downtown affect the site?

What will happen to the Jefferson Station building on the courthouse block?

Will there be an underground tunnel connecting the Justice Center to the new courthouse?

What kind of access will be provided for people with disabilities?

What artwork will be featured in the new courthouse?

Who created the temporary art murals on the windows of Jefferson Station?

Will there be a parking structure at the new courthouse?

Construction and traffic impacts

How will construction impact traffic and pedestrian access?

Will there be a parking structure at the new courthouse?

How will the project work to limit construction noise?

Will the project apply for a noise variance to work some nights and weekends?

Which firms are designing and constructing the new courthouse?

Environmental/sustainable features

What kind of sustainable materials/features will be used in the new courthouse?

Will the new courthouse be LEED certified?

Is the new courthouse in a floodplain and will it be able to withstand the impacts of a flood event?

Project Schedule and Public Comment

What is the project schedule?

What key decisions have been made?

Will there be a chance for the public to weigh in on project decisions?

The Original Courthouse (SW 4th Ave. & SW Main St.)

What were the serious safety problems?

The original central courthouse did not meet current seismic codes. Its unreinforced masonry walls mean the building has a safety ranking of “poor.” Limitations of space and century-old design also created regular security concerns for court personnel, crime victims, witnesses and the general public because criminal defendants could not always be kept separate in public pathways.

What were the major functional difficulties?

The original central courthouse lacked secured vehicle pick-up and drop-off areas for those in custody. The building did not meet other state and federal codes for modern courthouses. Courtrooms in the original courthouse were not adequately designed to meet current demands for efficiency and services. The required security screening equipment and inadequate lobby size created long lines that often delayed entry into the building. The building also did not comply with current  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards due to a lack of entry ramps and elevators.

Why build a new courthouse?

When the existing central courthouse was built in downtown Portland between and , Multnomah County had one-third its current population. This was long before modern building code standards for earthquakes were in place. A century’s worth of public use combined with increased demands from today’s much larger population of more than , county residents created major functional difficulties and serious safety problems that had to be resolved.

The courthouse is an essential home for the community's daily judicial operations and must be functional even in the case of a major catastrophe like an earthquake. The courthouse is one of the few community spaces that the public is compelled to enter  -- for activities ranging from jury duty to fulfilling legal obligations by paying a parking ticket or serving as a trial witness. In addition, the state of Oregon requires the county to provide facilities for the courts to operate.

Why wasn't the original courthouse renovated?

Remodeling the old courthouse was considered in detail in and many challenges were identified. The physical size of the old courthouse would not meet future needs and the building's interior does not meet 21st century courthouse requirements. The courtrooms and waiting areas for witnesses, victims and families were inadequate. Renovating the existing structure would also take longer than building a new courthouse and the temporary relocation of courthouse operations would be too disruptive, expensive and logistically challenging.

What is planned for the old courthouse after the new one opens?

In September Multnomah County sold the existing courthouse for $28 million to Portland-based NBP Capital, LLC. The new owner plans to upgrade the structure for commercial use. The purchase agreement includes a lease that allowed courthouse operations to remain in the building until the new courthouse opened in fall   

The New Courthouse (SW 1st Ave. & SW Madison St.)

Is the new courthouse open to visitors?

The new Central Courthouse is open for business but visitors are not encouraged at this time due to the Covid pandemic and social distance rules. As with the old courthouse, members of the public need to pass through the lobby security station upon entering the building.  Masks are also required.

Where is the new courthouse? 

The new courthouse is at the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge at SW First Avenue and SW Madison Street.  The address is  SW First Avenue. 

How much did the new courthouse cost? How was it funded?

On September 28, , the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved a Guaranteed Maximum Price for construction of the new central courthouse. The total project budget -- including property acquisition, design engineering, permitting fees, insurance, bonds, contingency and construction -- is $ million. The County and State are funding partners on this project. The State Legislature approved $ million in matching capital construction funds during the session, completing the state's $ million contribution.

What functions are housed in the new courthouse?

The new courthouse houses the essential functions of the old courthouse, and many of those functions have expanded in size and space. The new courthouse includes the Multnomah Circuit Court operations departments, judicial offices, and 44 courtrooms. The courthouse includes orientation and deliberation rooms for jurors and grand jurors; Multnomah County Probation Intake offices; Sheriff offices for courthouse security; facilities for the transport of in-custody defendants; and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

The new courthouse also houses Family Court Services which provides mediation, counseling, and educational classes; CourtCare, a free, drop-in child-care service, for low-income families who have business at the courthouse; and a coffee stand run by the Commission for the Blind. The building includes a Legal Resource Center open to the public, while the Multnomah Law Library has moved to a nearby building in downtown.  

How long did construction take?

Construction began in October with the installation of construction fencing around the block. Heavy construction began in early and work was completed in late summer  View the animated construction sequence video. 

When will the new courthouse open?

The new courthouse opened on October 5,   

How was the site, near the Hawthorne Bridgehead chosen?

The site for the new courthouse was selected in from a long list of alternatives. The courthouse project team performed extensive due diligence including an evaluation of environmental, geotechnical, seismic, traffic, transit and parking impacts, among other analyses. The team also considered stakeholder and public input collected from an online survey, two open houses, and interviews. The site near the Hawthorne Bridgehead was chosen for a multitude of reasons including its location on mostly county-owned land and proximity to the justice center.

How did the county confirm the site will meet our long-term needs?

Multnomah County hired the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to determine current and future needs for the courthouse. The NCSC group used population, caseloads and other documentation to determine the space requirements for a courthouse.  DAY CPM/HDR Inc, the Owner’s Representative, prepared blocking and stacking diagrams to determine how the required program would fit on the selected site.  The team worked within these parameters to determine size and budget for a new central courthouse that would serve the County for years to come.  A major factor in space planning is to create a sally port for inmate transportation and secure pathways for movement of the various courthouse users.

How will the Central City Plan for downtown affect the site? 

Portland’s Plan allows areas adjacent to bridgeheads to have higher height limits. Land near the Hawthorne Bridge was zoned for buildings up to ’ tall.  Prominent buildings are a guiding factor for the city planning guide. City Council adopted the West Quadrant Plan in and approved a request to design the new courthouse for the new height limit in early June The new courthouse is feet tall.

How is the historic Jefferson Station building incorporated into the new courthouse? 

The historic Jefferson Station building at the southwest corner of the courthouse block was incorporated into the new courthouse. It houses high volume courts for traffic violations, small claims and landlord/tenant cases.  See this article for details.

Is there an underground tunnel connecting the Justice Center to the new courthouse?

No, a tunnel was not built. Only a small percentage of in-custody defendants are held in the Justice Center. More than 95 percent of defendants transported to the courthouse come from the county’s Inverness Jail.  The project team studied a tunnel and recommended against it because costs and risks outweighed benefits. The Board of County Commissioners approved the recommendation in December

What kind of access is provided for people with disabilities?

The courthouse is fully accessible to people with disabilities and compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.  This includes the provision of a hearing assisted system in courtrooms, on ramps and in elevators. It also includes adequate floor and turning space for wheelchairs in courtrooms and other spaces. Adjustable height tables will be available in courtrooms.

What artwork will be featured in the new courthouse?

The County worked with the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) on public art for the new courthouse, using 2 percent of funds from the project as required by county ordinance. The courthouse lobby features a large-scale glass art mural by artist Lynn Basa. Northwest artists Barbara Earl Thomas and Rob Lewis designed sheet metal murals at street level outside the building. RACC's website has more information on the public art at the Courthouse.

Who created the temporary art murals on the windows of Jefferson Station?

Local artists Rob Lewis, Amiri Rose and Jose Solis collaborated on temporary murals that were added to the window coverings on the historic Jefferson Station on the southwest corner of the courthouse block.  The murals celebrate the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for racial justice that has been a theme of The art project was overseen by the Regional Arts and Culture Council using the project's 2% percent for public art funding. The murals cover original historic windows to the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Is there a parking structure at the new courthouse?

The new courthouse does not include parking because of security concerns and high costs. Courthouse visitors and staff can use nearby parking garages or street parking as they did at the old courthouse. The new courthouse site is served by many transit lines and is easily accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Where does the public enter the new courthouse?

The public entrance is at the corner of SW Madison St. and SW First Ave, SW First Avenue.

What are some of the main design features of the new courthouse?

  • 17 stories ( foot high building)

  • 44 courtrooms

  • , square feet (57% larger than the old courthouse)

  • Separate elevators and halls for the public, in-custody defendants and judicial staff

  • Secure sally port for in-custody defendant transfers at SW Naito Parkway/SW Jefferson St.

  • Exterior of stone panels and windows

  • Three-story lobby with foot board-formed concrete columns

Construction and traffic impacts

How did construction impact traffic and pedestrian access?

Traffic planners and the contractor established safe travel routes during and after construction. Covered walk and bicycle pathways were placed adjacent to the work zone, during the heavy construction phase. Construction sequencing was scheduled to help reduce traffic congestion. Roads remained open during construction, with periodic restrictions to traffic lanes and sidewalks. Occasional temporary street re-routes were required. The public had continuous access to the SmartPark entry on SW Jefferson St. as well as the Hawthorne Bridge.

How did the project work limit construction noise?

Some night and weekend work was needed during construction of the new courthouse. We took a number of steps to be respectful of our neighbors:

  • Construction crews used noise mitigation techniques, air quality monitoring, truck wheel washes, and other strategies to minimize impacts.

  • Typical construction hours were 7 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday with occasional work activities starting at 5 am. Some night and weekend work was also needed. 

  • All equipment complied with US Environmental Protection Agency noise standards. 

  • The project worked to reduce truck movements at night.

  • Contractors used portable noise meters onsite to measure noise levels.

  • We maintained a hour telephone response line () for noise complaints.

  • We addressed complaints within 24 hours or before the next scheduled night work.

Did the project apply for a noise variance to work some nights and weekends?

Yes, the project received a noise variance from the City of Portland to do work on some nights and weekends, to minimize traffic impacts on commuters. 

Which firms designed and constructed the new courthouse?

A team led by SRG Partnership was selected for architecture and design engineering services, while Hoffman Construction was selected for the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CMGC) contract. DAY CPM was the owner’s representative.  To see a list of firms that worked on the project, visit our project team page.

Environmental/Sustainable Features

What kind of sustainable materials/features are included in the new courthouse?

  • Rooftop solar panels

  • Radiant floor heating 

  • Daylighted courtrooms

  • Green roofs

  • Vacuum waste system

Will the new courthouse be LEED certified?

The County is seeking LEED certification for the building. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient. They use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As an added bonus, they save money. The County is aspiring for LEED Gold certification. 

Is the new courthouse in a floodplain and will it be able to withstand the impacts of a flood event?

As part of due diligence, the central courthouse team researched year flood data and the impacts of the flood. The site elevation at 44 feet is above the Willamette River crest level ( feet) and the groundwater level at ( feet). The new central courthouse is not in a floodplain.   

Project Schedule and Public Comment

What is the project schedule?

The County broke ground at the new courthouse site in October The design phase concluded in early , and contractors began laying the foundations for the courthouse in February The new courthouse opened on October 5,  

What were some project milestones?

  • July Legislature makes bipartisan commitment of $15 million in the - biennium to support the new central courthouse.

  • September County hires project manager

  • December DAY CPM selected as the County’s “owner’s representative” to oversee contracts on this high-priority project, and to add expertise to help plan the courthouse layout, footprint, size and functional configuration.

  • July National Center for State Courts publishes analysis identifying current functions that are essential for a new courthouse.

  • July County begins Courthouse site solicitation process.  

  • November   County completes reference design for the project, which is an architectural layout that studies what building functions should be next to each other for heightened security and the highest possible operational efficiency.

  • December The courthouse executive team recommends the Hawthorne Bridgehead south block as a preferred site and nearby block (at the time a surface parking between the KOIN Tower and the Marriot Hotel) as an alternate site to be further studied.

  • December Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approves preliminary plans and site selection recommendations for the central courthouse project.

  • January - February Project team conducts due diligence on two sites and hosts two open houses to share information and solicit public input for the courthouse site selection.

  • February Multnomah County launches online public survey to solicit input for the courthouse site selection.

  • February Multnomah County Board of Commissioners selects Construction Manager/General Contractor project delivery method for construction of central courthouse.

  • April  Multnomah County Board of Commissioners briefed on due diligence studies conducted on preferred and alternate site.

  • April Multnomah County Board of Commissioners unanimously vote to approve county-owned Hawthorne Bridgehead site as future site for central courthouse.

  • July State lawmakers allocate $ million in funding for the new Multnomah County Central Courthouse.

  • July County selects contractor teams for downtown courthouse including SRG Partnership/ RicciGreene Associates for design and engineering services, and Hoffman Construction as Construction Manager/General Contractor.

  • August Central Courthouse Projects hosts first design open house with courthouse design team and interested Minority, Women and Emerging Small Business (MWESB) firms.

  • December Board approves the FAC-1 Project Plan that adds the District Attorney’s Office, and four high volume courts to the project.

  •  September Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approves Guaranteed Maximum Price of $ million for the project. 

  •  October County holds groundbreaking ceremony at courthouse site.

  • February Heavy construction begins.

  • October Topping out event, marking addition of last structural steel 

  • July Construction crane removed

  • October 5, New courthouse opens

What opportunities exist for public input on the project?

County Commissioners want to make sure the public's views are considered so that this essential project reflects community needs and values.  Public input informed decisions on siting of the courthouse and design features. Members of the public can always weigh in on decisions made about the courthouse during public comment periods at regularly scheduled Board of County Commissioners meetings. The public can email the courthouse team at [email protected] at any time.

An inside look at the new Multnomah County Courthouse

[Updated: April 09, ]

Click here to download a Crime Victim&#;s Services Guide specific to COVID

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).

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 the public seeking more information about COVID should check the Oregon Health Authority’s website and/or Multnomah County’s COVID website.

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 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 or email 

Q: What has the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office done in response to COVID?

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 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 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 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, , 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 You may call this number and our staff will be able to direct your call to appropriate person. You may also email us at 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:

Q: Where do I go to get a restraining order?

A: Due to COVID, 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 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 Effective March 13, , 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) 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 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 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 Southwest 4th Avenue in Portland, Oregon.  Please go to Room 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 and they will be able to transfer you to the correct person. If your 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 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, , the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is reducing most in-person meetings to prevent the spread of COVID 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 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?

A: Effective March 12, , 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:  Go to Suite at the Multnomah County Central Courthouse located at SW 1st Avenue in Portland. Use the public phone to pick up adult criminal case discovery between the hours of 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.  You may also call 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, , 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.

Media Contact:
Brent Weisberg, Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: | Email:

Courthouse open multnomah county is

Multnomah County Central Courthouse

Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, U.S.

Not to be confused with Multnomah County Courthouse.

The Multnomah County Central Courthouse serves as the courthouse for Multnomah County, Oregon. It is located in downtownPortland, Oregon, the county seat. It opened in October ,[1] replacing a nearby building that had been constructed between and [3]

Ground broke on the project to build the new courthouse in October ,[4] at which time it was scheduled to be completed in and cost $ million.[2][5] It reached its full height of feet (99&#;m) on November&#;9, [6] The building opened to the public on October&#;5, [1][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abcGreen, Aimee (October 4, ). "After decades of trying, Multnomah County opens a $ million new, spacious, seismically safer courthouse". The Oregonian. Retrieved
  2. ^ abGreen, Aimee (October 26, ). "Chain link fence is going up around new Multnomah County Courthouse site, work to begin". The Oregonian. Retrieved May 6,
  3. ^"About the Central Courthouse Project". Multnomah County. Retrieved
  4. ^"Multnomah County Central Courthouse Groundbreaking Ceremony". Multnomah Bar Association. October 4, Retrieved
  5. ^Bell, Jon (January 25, ). "Multnomah County's $M courthouse update: Dirt set to fly soon". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved
  6. ^Graves, Mark (November 10, ). "Crews 'top off' new courthouse". The Oregonian. p.&#;A5.
  7. ^Deutsch, Marilyn (October 5, ). "New Multnomah County Courthouse opens after four years of construction". KPTV. Retrieved

External links[edit]

The new Multnomah County Courthouse is complete and open to the public

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