Esther Garland Pollard, 80, retired deputy director of the social services division of D.C. Superior Court, died of cardiac arrest April 6 at Howard University Hospital.

Mrs. Pollard retired in 1974 after having worked almost 30 years for the city's court system. She began as a probation officer with the D.C. Juvenile Court in 1945, and over the years rose to become chief of its child support section. When the city's court reorganization act took effect in 1971, she was assigned to develop the family services program for the new Superior Court's social services division.

A native of Macon, Ga., Mrs. Pollard was raised in Newark, N.J. She came to Washington in the 1930s and in 1937 went to work as a secretary for Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, dean of the School of Religion at Howard University.

She also enrolled as a student at Howard, where she received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in social work. She was a former trustee of the university and president of its Alumni Federation. In 1985 she received Howard's Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement in University and Community Service.

Mrs. Pollard also was a secretary of the board of trustees of the Washington Legal Aid Society, treasurer of the Women's International Religious Fellowship Inc. and a lay trustee of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Her husband Horace Ogden Pollard, died about 1950.

Survivors include two brothers, Morris and William Garland, both of Newark, and one sister, Zelma Chaney of Washington.