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The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the criminal justice system in Santa Clara County.  Each agency within the criminal justice system (police, jails, prosecution, etc.) is constantly evaluating the situation.  As a result, systematic changes are happening and the Alternate Defender Office is doing its best to keep its clients informed about these changes.  The information below is the most current information we have at this time.  This page will be updated with further information as it becomes available.      

Future Court Dates

The Santa Clara County Superior Court has information about its current operation on its website:  

The Court has significantly limited its operations in recent months. Many cases have been rescheduled without anyone attending court.  Beginning Sept. 8, 2020, cases from Morgan Hill and Palo Alto that were postponed will start to be heard at the Hall of Justice at 190 W. Hedding Street in San Jose. Starting on September 14th, San Jose felony cases that were previously postponed will also be heard at the Hall of Justice. If you are not sure what your court date is, please contact the court or our office.

To get more information about your case, you can use the Court's public portal: https://portal.​​.  If you do not have an attorney and need further assistance, please call the court at (408) 882-2700 (press 8 then 0). ​You can also reach the Criminal Court Clerk's Office at 408-808-6600 (press 4 then 1).  

Persons with future court dates can call 408-882-2700 (press 8 then 0)​ or email​ and provide the following information to request a continuance or deferral: name, case number, current mailing address, telephone number, date, time and location of appearance​.    

The Santa Clara County Superior Court has established listen-only telephone lines to allow remote access to public court proceedings.  Please visit the following page fo​r more information and the phone numbers for the listen-only telephone lines:

Pretrial Services

The Santa Clara County Office of Pretrial Services has information about its current operation on its website:  

If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact your Pretrial Services Officer directly or the Pretrial main line at 408-918-7900 or send an email to:

Department of Correction/Jails

If you need to report to the Santa Clara County Department of Correction for a jail sentence, a sentencing alternative program, pre-book, surrender or other reason, your report date may have changed.  If you are an Alternate Defender client, please contact you attorney.  If you do not have your attorney's contact information you can find it he​re.  If you do not know who your attorney is, please call the main office at 408-299-7200.  


If you were tested for COVID-19 and released from main jail or Elmwood prior to receiving results, call:


Leave a message with contact information, including PFN, and someone will call you back with your results.

If you are an Alternate Defender client and have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact your attorney.  If you do not have your attorney's contact information you can find it here​.  If you do not know who your attorney is, please call the main office at 408-299-7200. If you do not have an attorney you can reach the court by calling 408-882-2700 (press 8 then 0) or 408-808-6600 (press 4 then 1), or emailing​​.​

Additional information about support for many basic needs can be found on this COVID-19 Community Resource Guide or COVID-19 Youth & Family Resource Guide​​​​​​​​​See below for more information about staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  ​

David W. EppsWelcome to the Law Offices of the Santa Clara County Alternate Defender web site. The office of the Alternate D​efender was established in 1996, and currently has a dedicated and diverse staff of o​ver 30 Deputy Alternate Defenders, Investigators, Paralegals, and Support Staff. We are committed to ensure that the right to effective and competent legal representation in criminal and juvenile delinquency cases is a reality for those in Santa Clara County who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Our goal is to always seek the best ethical and legal outcomes possible through vigorous and devoted legal representation.

Our team welcomes the opportunity to provide superior legal representation to the residents of Santa Clara County. We hope this site contributes to your understanding of our office and how the criminal justice system functions. We have included links to other members of the criminal justice community which will afford you easy access to important and needed information.

Thank you for your interest in this office and its mission. Feel free to contact me or my staff should you need further information or assistance.

David W. Epps
Supervising Attorney
Alternate Defender Office​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Have you missed a mandatory criminal court date this year?

Stanford University researchers want to learn about your experience attending and not attending mandatory criminal court hearings for a research study. Your identity will be kept confidential.

What:             An interview

Time:              1-2 hours

Payment:       $25

To schedule a socially distant interview, call or text Sophie Allen at (408) 461-5840. Or, email the researcher at


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