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How Do the Oregon Justice Courts Work?

Oregon Justice Courts function within the boundaries of the county where the courts are located. Oregon currently has 32 Justice Courts in 21 counties. In these courts, cases are heard using the rules of evidence and mode of proceeding identical to those used in Circuit Courts, except where otherwise provided.

Oregon Justice Courts have jurisdiction over all litigable offenses in their respective counties. This is concurrent with any jurisdiction that may be exercised by a Circuit or Municipal Court. Some of these litigable offenses include boating violations, animal regulation violations, traffic violations, truck-overload, truancy, civil complaints, and other violations that occur in the county of jurisdiction. The Justice Courts also conduct weddings at no cost during regular working hours. In addition, a Justice Court has non-exclusive civil jurisdiction over the following actions:

  • The retrieval of money or damages when the amount claimed is not more than $10,000
  • The retrieval of certain personal property when the value of the property claimed or the damages for the detention is not more than $10,000
  • The retrieval of any forfeiture or penalty, whether given by statute or originating from a contract, not more than $10,000
  • To give a final verdict without action, upon the defendant’s confession for any of the causes indicated above. However, this excludes a forfeiture or penalty imposed by statute

Note that the value of the property, the amount claimed, damages, or any amount in dispute, exclude disbursements or attorney fees. Also, the cases above do not include actions involving false imprisonment, title to real property, libel, slander, or malicious prosecution.

A Justice of the Peace heads a Justice Court within the district for which he or she is elected. County commissioners establish the boundaries of these Justice Court districts. The qualification for a Justice of the Peace is as follows:

  • Must be a resident of the United States and a resident of Oregon for three years before becoming a candidate
  • Must be a resident of the Justice Court district or have a primary office in the district where the Justice Court is situated for at least one year before the candidacy
  • Must be an Oregon State Bar member of good standing
  • Must have concluded a course on courts of special jurisdiction offered by the National Judicial College, or would finish the course within 12 months after appointment or election to the office. This requirement also considers courses equivalent to those mentioned earlier, or any course proposed by the Justice of the Peace and endorsed by the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice.

However, if exigent occurrences prevent a Justice of the Peace from finishing a required course, the presiding judge of the judicial district may grant the Justice of the Peace one extension of time to complete the course. The extension may not exceed 12 months. The presiding judge may also require the Justice of the Peace to conclude additional educational requirements when an extension is granted.

The Justice of the Peace is elected to a term of six years in a nonpartisan election. The retirement age for a Justice of the Peace in Oregon is 75 years. Retirement at 75 years of age is compulsory even if the Justice of the Peace is still in active service. Note that a Justice of the Peace may be asked to withdraw from active service if considered too physically unfit or mentally unstable for regular judicial responsibilities.

If the position of a Justice of the Peace is vacant before an election, the state Governor may appoint a qualified person. Note that the appointee may remain in service until the next general election. If the Justice of the Peace is temporarily absent or incapable of performing duties for valid reasons, the County Court may appoint another sitting Justice of the Peace. Although the appointee may be from any Justice of the Peace district in Oregon, the person must possess the qualifications for election as a Justice of the Peace. However, note that the appointment may not exceed one year. During the temporary tenure, the appointee will be paid the same salary amount receivable by the absent Justice of the Peace.

A temporary Justice of the Peace appointment may be terminated by a written notice filed with the county clerk by the appointing authority. However, if the appointee has qualified and fulfilled the responsibilities of the office, the appointment shall not be revoked.

Generally, every Justice of the Peace is permitted to have two weeks paid vacation every year. In the period of absence, the County Court may designate a Justice of the Peace to stand in for the original Justice of the Peace pro tempore.

Also, a Circuit Court judge, or a Justice of the Peace in a Justice Court district within the county, may carry out the responsibilities of another Justice of the Peace in the county. However, note that this is only possible under the following conditions:

  • At the demand of the Justice of the Peace of the Justice Court
  • If the office of the Justice of the Peace is vacant
  • If the current Justice of the Peace is absent, incapable, or disqualified

The Oregon Judicial Case Information Network (OJCIN) offers access to non-confidential case dockets through a paid subscription resource for court case records. Some cases are confidential and statutorily protected, and are not available to the public. Persons with registered accounts can sign in with their login details, while other persons may register to access court case dockets. There is a $150 registration fee for persons setting up a new account.

Interested persons may also query the court clerk in the Justice Court where the case originated. The record request may be submitted by e-mail, U.S. mail, fax, or in person. The request should contain the following information:

  • Type of record(s)
  • Subject matter
  • Estimated date(s) the record was created or received
  • Names of people included in the record or people who created or received the record
  • The number of copies requested

Also, the requestor’s personal information may be required if the response is to be delivered by mail. The required information includes:

  • Name and signature
  • Address
  • Telephone number where the requesting party may be reached during business hours
  • E-mail address, if available

Note that the fees for electronic, e-mailed, or hard copies are not the same. Also, the fees for regular, certified, and exemplified copies vary. Interested persons are advised to confirm current fees at the courthouse.

The addresses and contact information of Justice Courts in Oregon are listed below:

Baker County Justice Court

Baker County Courthouse

1995 3rd Street, Suite 170, Baker City, OR 97814

Telephone: 541–523–8213

Fax: 541–523–8360

Huntington Justice Court

50 East Adams, PO Box 40, Huntington, OR 97907

Phone: 541–869–2202

Pine Eagle Justice Court

235 Gover Lane, P. O. Box 691, Halfway, OR 97834

Phone: 541–742–7171

Clackamas County Justice Court

Clackamas County Justice Court

11750 SE 82nd Avenue, Suite D, Happy Valley, OR 97086

Phone: 503–794–3800

Fax: 503–794–3808

Columbia County Justice Court

Vernonia Justice Court

1001 Bridge Street, P. O.Box 128, Vernonia, OR 97064

Phone: 503–429–2441

Deschutes County Justice Court

Deschutes County Justice Court

Redmond City Hall

411 SW 9th Street, Room 230, Redmond, OR 97756

Phone: 541–617–4758

Douglas County Justice Courts

Douglas County Justice Court - Canyonville

249 NE Main Street, P. O.Box 376, Canyonville, OR 97417

Phone number: 541–839–4389

Douglas County Justice Court - Glendale

222 Gilbert Avenue, P. O.Box 325, Glendale, OR 97442

Phone: 541–832–2101

Douglas County Justice Court - Reedsport

680 Fir Street, Reedsport, OR 97467

Phone: 541–271–4868

Fax: 541–271–4869

Gilliam County Justice Court - Arlington

Arlington City Hall

500 West 1st Street, P. O.Box 308, Arlington, OR 97812

Phone: 541–454–2923

Fax: 541–454–2145

Gilliam County Justice Court - Condon

Gilliam County Courthouse

221 South Oregon Street, P. O.Box 494, Condon, OR 97823

Phone: 541–384–5821

Grant County Justice Court

Grant County Courthouse

201 South Humbolt Street, 230, Canyon City, OR 97820

Phone: 541–575–1076

Fax: 541–575–3811

Harney County Justice Court

450 North Buena Vista, 9, Burns, OR 97720

Phone: 541–573–2346

Fax: 541–573–8197

Hood River County Justice Court

440 WaNaPa Street, P. O. Box 536, Cascade Locks, OR 97014

Phone: 541–374–8558

Fax: 541–374–8121

Jackson Justice Court

505 Oak Street, Central Point, OR 97502

Phone: 541–774–1286

Fax: 541–774–1288

Justice Courts in Klamath County

Klamath County Justice Court

6500 South 6th Street, Klamath Falls, OR 97603

Telephone: 541–884–1864

Fax: 541–884–6964

Wood River Justice Court

212 1st Street, P. O.Box 516, Chiloquin, OR 97624

Phone: 541–783–2240

Lane County Justice Court

900 Greenwood Street, Florence, OR 97439

Phone: 541–997–2535

Fax: 541–902–0639

The Central Lane Justice Court and Oakridge Justice Court have merged with the Florence Justice Court to become the Lane County Justice Court.

Justice Courts in Linn County

Lebanon Justice Court

30 East Maple Street, P. O. Box 283, Lebanon, OR 97355

Phone: 541–258–5777

Fax: 541–258–5500

Sweet Home Justice Court

799 Long Street, P. O. Box 405, Sweet Home, OR 97386

Phone: 541–367–5902

Fax: 541–258–5500

Malheur County Justice Court

1178 SW 4th Street, Ontario, OR 97914

Phone: 541–889–5712

Fax: 541–889–7163

Justice Courts in Marion County

East Marion Justice Court - Salem

575 Lancaster Drive SE, Salem, OR 97301

Phone: 503–370–8087

East Marion Justice Court - Stayton

111 West Locust Street, Suite 3, Stayton, OR 97383

Phone: 503–769–7656

North Marion Justice Court

986 North Pacific Highway, Woodburn, OR 97071

Phone number: 503–981–8101

Justice Courts in Morrow County

Heppner Justice Court

Morrow County Courthouse

100 South Court Street, P. O.Box 1125, Heppner, OR 97836

Telephone: 541–676–5644

Fax: 541–676–5660

IrrigonJustice Court

Irrigon Annex

205 NE 3rd Street, P. O.Box 130, Irrigon, OR 97844

Telephone: 541–922–4082

Fax: 541–922–3472

Sherman County Justice Court

Sherman County Courthouse

500 Court Street, P. O.Box 282, Moro, OR 97039

Phone number: 541–565–3572

Fax: 541–565–3029

Tillamook Justice Court

Tillamook County Courthouse

201 Laurel Avenue, Tillamook, OR 97141

Phone: 503–842–3416

Fax: 503–842–1831

Justice Court in Umatilla County

Echo Justice Court

20 South Bonanza, P. O. Box 9, Echo, OR 97826

Phone: 541–376–8411

Union County Justice Court

10605 Island Avenue, Island City, OR 97850

Phone: 541–962–2997

Washington County Justice Court

3700 SW Murray Blvd, Suite 150, Beaverton, OR 97005

Phone: 503–846–6600

Fax: 503–846–6604

Justice Courts in Wheeler County

Wheeler County Justice Court - Fossil

701 Adams Street, P. O. Box 447, Fossil, OR 97830

Phone: 541–763–2047

Fax: 541–763–2026

Wheeler County Justice Court - Mitchell

105 Nelson Street, P. O. Box 142, Mitchell, OR 97750

Fax: 541–462–3600

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