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Civil Cases

Civil cases are filed in an attempt to enforce, redress or protect private rights. Types of civil cases include contract cases, money actions, foreclosures, personal injury and negligence.

The Civil Department of Lane County Circuit Court is open Monday - Friday, except court holidays, from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Please click here for the court phone directory.

Information on:

Forms

  • Fee Deferral Form
     - Instructions - This form needs to be completed and brought to an Ex Parte proceeding for a judge's signature.

Other Resources

 

An Overview of the Civil Case Process from Start (Complaint) to
Finish (Judgment)

A civil case is started by filing a complaint with the court clerk.  When the complaint is filed and the filing fee is paid, the complaint is given a case number.  The complaint and a summons must be served on the defendant(s) in the case.  Proof of the service must be filed with the court clerk.  The defendant(s) may file a motion or answer with the clerk and pay the required filing fee. If an answer is not filed within the time allowed by law, the case may proceed to a default judgment. If the defendant's answer is filed, the case will be set for trial and if appropriate, referred to mandatory arbitration. If arbitration is successful, the case will be closed on an arbitration award. If arbitration is unsuccessful, or not appropriate for the case, the case will continue onto trial.  The plaintiff and defendant decide if the trial will have a 6-person or 12-person jury, or proceed without a jury. At the end of the trial, the court enters an appropriate judgment.

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Post-Judgment (Collections)

General Information on:

 

Post-Judgment Process

Final judgment in a civil action (including Landlord-Tenant/FED cases) may include amounts for principal, interest, costs and attorney fees. If the judgment complies with the summary form as provided in ORCP (Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure) 70 A, it will be entered in the judgment docket of the circuit court.  Once a judgment is entered in the judgment docket it creates a lien on real property in the county where it is docketed for the duration of time set by law for that specific type of case.

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Garnishments

A creditor or assignee of the creditor can attempt to collect the debt by  garnishing the wages and bank accounts of the debtor.  Garnishments can be issued by a court clerk or an attorney. A continuing garnishment can only be issued to an employer and is good for 90 days from the date of issuance.  After expiration of the garnishment, another garnishment can be issued. Funds garnished are sent directly to the creditor by the employer or financial institution.

Some types of income are exempt from garnishment and the debtor may file a challenge to the garnishment with the court. Challenge forms are to be mailed or served by the process server to the debtor. When a challenge of exemption is filed, notice is sent to the garnishee, the garnishor, and the Lane County Sheriff's Office stating that garnished funds are to be sent to the court.   A hearing is set and a notice of the hearing date is mailed to both parties.

The court clerk can issue a writ of garnishment if there is a judgment and the case is closed. Garnishment forms are available at stationery  and book stores that sell legal documents.  Once you have purchased the form, fill it out, sign it and submit it to the court with two copies.   The clerk will review the judgment, sign, and stamp the writ with the court seal.  This may take up to a week because of the large number of garnishments issued.  The clerk will call you to let you know the writ is ready to be picked up so that you can serve the garnishee (the employer or financial institution).  If you include a self-addressed stamped envelope the clerk will return the garnishment to you by mail.  

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Executions

A creditor or assignee of the creditor may attempt to collect a debt by requesting a writ of execution be issued for the seizure and delivery of personal property.

The court clerk can issue the writ of execution if there is a judgment and the case is closed.   Writ of execution forms may be purchased from a stationery or book store that sell legal documents.  Once you submit the writ to the court clerk, the clerk will review the judgment, sign and stamp the court seal on the writ and call to let you know the writ is ready to be picked up and taken to the Sheriff for execution.  The Sheriff will charge a fee and you should contact the Sheriff's Civil Department at (541) 682-4156 for that amount.

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Satisfactions

A Satisfaction is a form filed by the judgment creditor to acknowledge that the debt has been paid and is no longer owing. Satisfaction forms are available at the court or can be purchased at stationery or book stores that sell legal documents. A satisfaction is a notarized document.  A court clerk can notarize the signature of a creditor if shown proof of identification.

A judgment debtor may have difficulty getting a judgment satisfied by a creditor for various reasons.  It then takes a judge's order to satisfy the judgment. There is no court fee to file a satisfaction.