Office of Legal Affairs

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Who does Legal Affairs represent?

Answer: The Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) represents the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The OLA is house counsel for the department and acts to ensure that the legal interests of the department are fully represented and protected.

Question: Do you represent inmates or their families?

Answer: No, we do not represent inmates or members of inmates’ families. We represent the State of California and serve as in-house counsel for CDCR. We do not practice criminal law and cannot ethically provide legal advice to anyone who is not an employee of CDCR.

Question: Is Legal Affairs associated/affiliated with the Office of the Attorney General?

Answer: The OLA is not affiliated with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The OAG is the attorney for the State of California and most state agencies and departments. As such, OAG serves as trial counsel for the department in all civil matters. The OLA serves as a liaison between CDCR and the OAG. We also have a strong liability assessment and litigation management function that enhances the representation we receive from the OAG.

Question: Do you have information on pardons?

Answer: No, we do not provide information on Pardons. The Board of Parole Hearings, another part of CDCR, has that information on its website providing information on how to apply for a pardon.

Question: Does OLA accept Service of Process for CDCR?

Answer: Yes, OLA can accept service of process, but only for CDCR (the department) and certain executive staff at Headquarters.  Please contact (916) 445-0495 for specific instructions or, if you must serve legal papers personally, there is information at the security desk located in the first floor lobby of the south building at headquarters. 

If you want to serve an individual who currently works at an institution or a field office on a work-related matter, contact the Litigation Coordinator at that particular facility and be prepared to serve the person on site.
CDCR does not accept service of process for non-work-related matters involving CDCR employees. You may contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance with service of process in non-work-related matters.

Question: Does OLA have any say on who gets paroled?

Answer: No, that is determined by statute for determinately sentenced prisoner or by the Board of Parole Hearings (in the case of inmates sentenced to life terms). More information may be found at BPH’s website. http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Divisions_Boards/BOPH/index.html

Question: Does CDCR have a Victim’s Assistance Office?

Answer: Yes, you may reach the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services by contacting them directly. Please call toll free, during normal business hours at Toll Free 1-888-562-5874, or email to ovssinet@cdcr.ca.gov , the mailing address is:
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Office of Victim and Survivor Services
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001.

Question: Do you handle Workers Compensation cases for the department?

Answer: No. All Workers Compensation claims are handled by the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Please see their website at https://www.statefundca.com/.

Question: I am getting unwanted telephone calls/letters from an inmate. Can I stop this?

Answer: Yes. It’s easy to stop unwanted telephone calls. Since all inmate telephone calls are collect, simply refuse to accept the charges. You can also call the institution where the calls are coming from and tell them what the problem is and they can put a block on the telephone that prevents the inmate from calling. To stop an inmate from corresponding with you, contact the warden’s office at the facility and ask that they be stopped. Information about contacting specific institutions can be found by visiting the link called “offenders” on the upper left corner of this website.

Question:  I am an attorney and need to know how to locate an inmate who is party to a lawsuit. 

Answer:  Please call CDCR’s ID Warrants at 916-445-6713.  They will need the inmate’s full name and date of birth, if you do not have the inmate’s CDCR number.

Question:  Who do I call with questions I have about a legal pleading I received in the mail relating to a hearing to be held in order to medicate my son with psychiatric medication? 

Answer:  Please call the Keyhea Coordinator at the prison where your son is located.  Click on (List of Keyhea Coordinators is under construction ) to go to the list of phone numbers for the Keyhea Coordinators

Question: Where can I get information on employees' rights in the discipline process?

Answer: Go to the State Personnel Board website at http://www.spb.ca.gov


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