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Oregon State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Oregon

Highest Court

The highest court in Oregon is the Supreme Court of Oregon.  The Supreme Court consists of 7 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Mandatory jurisdiction in capital criminal, administrative agency, disciplinary, and original proceeding cases.  (2) Discretionary jurisdiction in civil, noncapital criminal, administrative agency, juvenile, disciplinary, certified questions from federal courts, and original proceeding cases.

Intermediate Courts

Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals  consists of 10 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Mandatory jurisdiction in capital criminal administrative agency, noncapital criminal, administrative agency, juvenile, original proceeding, and interlocutory decision cases.  (2) No discretionary jurisdiction.

General Courts

Tax Court
The Tax Court consist of 1 judge.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Appeals from county boards of equalization and Oregon Department of Revenue.  (2) Magistrate Division-6 Magistrates

Circuit Court
The Circuit Court consist of 169 judges.  (27 judicial districts in 36 counties).  It has jurisdiction over (1) Tort, contract, real property rights ($0/no maximum), adoption, probate, civil appeals, and mental health.  (2) Exclusive domestic relations (except adoption), miscellaneous civil jurisdiction,  misdemeanor, exclusive felony, criminal appeals, libel, slander, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. (3) Ordinance violation.  (4) Juvenile.
Jury trials for most case types.

Limited Courts

County Court
The County Court consists of 7 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Adoption, mental health, and probate. (2) Juvenile.
No Jury trials are overseen by this court.

Justice Court
The Justice Court consist of 30 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Tort, contract, personal property rights ($5,000), and small claims.  (2) Misdemeanor and  DWI/DUI.  (3) Moving traffic, parking, and miscellaneous traffic.  (4) Preliminary hearings.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Municipal Court
The Municipal Court of 94 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Misdemeanor and DWI/DUI.  (2) Traffic/other violation.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Qualifications of judges
Oregon Supreme Court judges are to be citizens of the United States, have resided in Oregon for at least 3 years next preceding their election or appointment, and at the time of election be admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Oregon.  (Oregon Revised Statute 2.020)

Court Publications Account
The Court Publications Account is a part of the General Fund for the use of paying expenses under ORS 2.150 and all or part of the expenses of providing electronic access to the State of Oregon Law Library and other official Judicial Department publications. (Oregon Revised Statute 2.165)

Procedure for review of decisions of Court of Appeals.
An party seeking appeal from a Court of Appeals decision has 35 days after the date of the decision to petition the Supreme Court. (Oregon Revised Statute 2.520)

Circuit judges to be members of bar
A person must be a member of the Oregon State Bar to be eligible to the office of judge of the circuit court. (Oregon Revised Statute 3.050)

Matters assignable to family court department
The family court department may be assigned the following matter by the presiding judge of the judicial district:   (1) Proceedings under the provisions of ORS chapters 25, 107, 108, 109 and 110;  (2) Guardianship proceedings for minors under the provisions of ORS chapter 125;  (3) Juvenile court proceedings under ORS chapters 419A, 419B and 419C;  (4) Proceedings to commit a mentally ill person under the provisions of ORS chapter 426 and ORS 430.397 to 430.401;  (5) Probate proceedings under ORS chapters 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116 and 117; (6) Any other proceeding in which a family is involved, and (7) any criminal proceeding that involves domestic violence or other crime between family members.  (Oregon Revised Statute 3.408)

Assignment of matters relating to same child
Cases assigned to the family court department under ORS 3.408 shall assign the same judge in all cases in which the same minor child is involved. (Oregan Revised Statute 3.414)

Order of docketing and disposal of business; records of proceedings
The business of the county court at each term shall be docketed and disposed of in the following order: (a) Judicial business. (b) County business.  The proceedings and records of the court pertaining to the respective classifications of business specified in this section shall be kept in separate books. (Oregon Revised Statute 5.100)

Inside Oregon State Courts