Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Who does the Legal Affairs represent?
Answer: The Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) represents the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). 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, OLA does not represent inmates or members of inmates’ families. OLA represent, the State of California and serve, as in-house counsel for CDCR. OLA does not practice criminal law and cannot ethically provide legal advice to anyone who is not a client.
Question: Do you have information on pardons?
Answer: No, the Office of Governor website provides information about pardons.
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 for non-work-related matters.
Question: Does OLA have any say about who gets paroled?
Answer: No, that is determined by statute for determinately sentenced prisoners or by the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) for inmates sentenced to life terms. More information may be found on BPH’s website.
Question: Does CDCR have a Victim’s Assistance Office?
Answer: Yes, the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services assists with providing information, notification, restitution collection, outreach and training to all community stakeholders, crime victims, family members, and witnesses. You may visit their website for ways to contact them via email, phone or by mail.
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 for additional information.
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 the inmate 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: Where can I get information on employees’ rights in the discipline process?
Answer: For more information regarding employee discipline policies and procedures, please refer to CDCR’s Department Operations Manual, Chapter 3, Article 22. For any other information, please contact the Employee Relations Officer at the prison or in the division where the employee works.