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February 27, 2023

Slowdown in CSS Approval Continues

Public Defense Providers:
On February 10th, we let you know that a staff shortage in our CSS department coupled with an unusually high volume of CSS requests recently has caused CSS request processing times to be longer than usual.  Currently, it may take up to three weeks for your CSS request to be processed and for you to receive a decision.  We have implemented an “all hands-on deck” approach, with staff from other parts of the agency pitching in to get through the backlog of requests and bring the turnaround time back down over the next few weeks.
Please note that you can help us in working through the backlog by doing the following: 
  1. Reserve your emails (checking in on your CSS request) for only the requests that have become a RUSH since submission.
  2. Be sure that any case for which you are requesting $75/hour for an investigator has been approved by OPDS for the increased hourly rate. We have seen an uptick in requests for $75/hour for investigators, many of which are for cases that do not qualify for the increased hourly rate because the case was never on the OJD Unrepresented Persons Dashboard.
  3. Double check your CSS requests to ensure your case number and client names match and that your signature date is within 3 days of submission.
We want you to know that we are trying our best to get back on track and our team is very grateful for your patience and assistance as we work through this unexpected reduction in our already small team.
Thank you for bearing with us as we work to get back on track.

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The Office of Public Defense Services ensures that eligible individuals have timely access to legal services, consistent with Oregon and national standards of justice.
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