2300 Tulare Street, Suite 330
Fresno, CA 93721
Toll Free: 855-656-4360
TEL: 559-487-5561
FAX: 559-487-5950

801 I Street, 3rd floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Toll Free: 855-328-8339
TEL: 916-498-5700
FAX: 916-498-5710


The Office of the Federal Defender for the Eastern District of California is authorized under Title 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, the Criminal Justice Act to provide legal representation to persons financially unable to retain counsel in federal criminal and related proceedings. Representation includes counsel and investigative, expert and other services necessary for adequate defense.

The Federal Defender is appointed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for a four-year term and is statutorily responsible for the operation of the office, management of the office caseload, and the supervision of attorneys and other personnel. The Ninth Circuit's involvement with the office is essentially limited to appointment and evaluation of the Defender, approval of attorney staff size and authorization of the office itself. The Circuit Executive Office provides assistance and guidelines in a number of other administrative and personnel matters, such as EEO policies and procedures.

The Office includes the Federal Defender, the Chief Assistant Federal Defender, and staff attorneys known as Assistant Federal Defenders. They handle caseloads concerning of federal misdemeanors, felonies, parole and probation violations, grand jury representations, direct appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, petitions for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, and habeas corpus petitions.

The Federal Defender main office is located in Sacramento. The Sacramento Office serves the following Counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba. Sacramento also houses the Capital Habeas Unit. The Unit represents state death row inmates in federal habeas corpus proceedings at both the federal district and appellate court levels.

The Fresno Branch Office serves the following Counties: Calaveras, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne. Attorney supervision and administration are handled through Sacramento, with on-site supervision and administrative support provided by a supervisory attorney and a branch office administrator.

A one-person office at Yosemite National Park is staffed by temporary attorneys loaned by another Federal Defender Offices or attorneys from the Sacramento Office during the summer season. The Yosemite Office is staffed from approximately the first of May to the end of September. When the office is not staffed, Yosemite cases are handled by attorneys in the Fresno Branch Office.