Office of Public Defense

General Information About Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense

** Due to COVID-19, face masks are required when coming in to the office. **

If you have a prior conviction for Possession of Controlled Substance, that conviction has been impacted by the Supreme Court ruling in State v. Blake, 197 Wash.2d 170, 481 P.3d 521 (2021). You should immediately contact the Office of Public Defense at (360) 578-7430 to discuss ways that we can assist you in in having that conviction removed from your record. James Goodman is the Blake/PCS resource attorney.


The Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense (CCOPD) represents people accused of crimes in the Cowlitz County courts. We represent adults and juveniles in Superior Court, the Juvenile Division of Superior Court, and in District Court.  

We also represent people held at Peace Health/St. John's Hospital for involuntary civil commitment detention hearings.  This area of representation includes those involuntarily detained based on mental health concerns.  We also represent individuals facing civil commitment based on substance use disorder held at other evaluation and treatment facilities.

We represent youth involved in Juvenile Court in At Risk Youth proceedings and Child in Need of Services proceedings under the Becca Bill. We have an attorney that represents individuals on the Support Enforcement Docket addressing unpaid child support obligations.  We also have an attorney assigned to represent parents in Uniform Guardianship Act proceedings.  

We only handle cases where the people involved have a right to a lawyer. All of our clients are assigned to us by the court. People who cannot afford to hire a lawyer can ask the judge for a court appointed lawyer. 

If the judge decides that an individual person qualifies for a court appointed lawyer, the Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense will assign the person a lawyer. We have several private attorneys that we contract with to provide representation in criminal cases in which this office has a conflict and also contract with attorneys to represent children in dependency hearings and in Uniform Guardianship Act matters.  Contract attorneys have their own independent offices.  

We are located in Longview, WA at 1801 First Avenue in Suite 1A of the River Suites Building. Our office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 – 1:30 p.m.   We are closed from 12:00 to 12:30 for lunch.  Our office phone is 360-578-7430.