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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


I found a technical problem with your website. Whom do I contact?

PagesTo report a technical problem with our web site, please call our help desk at 503.986.5582 or send an email to: etsdhelp@ojd.state.or.us.  That email address and phone number are for reporting technical problems only.  

 

Where can I get information about a court case and copies of court records?

Contact the particular court. Our web page has a directory of judges and trial court administrators for the circuit courts (look under the Circuit Courts link). The Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court have contact information on their web pages.

At present, we do not have free online access to our case records. Budget cuts have delayed that development. You can access OJIN and OECI (the software with displays the register of case records) via a kiosk at a local circuit court or you may subscribe to OJCIN OnLine, which offers access for a fee.

Some kiosks provide access to information on cases filed in that court but not to the statewide name index.

We charge for copies of records. Charges depend on the number of pages and whether you want the court to certify the copies.

You may call the circuit courts to ask them whether they will search records for you and what the cost is for a records search. Refer to trial court locations for a list of contact information for each court. You may sort the list alphabetically by location.

Some courts have local web pages and list their case calendars there, but again, do not yet have browser-based public access to their case records. We also have links from our main website to daily circuit court calendars (see the Court Calendars section in the lower right corner).

For information on cases in justice court or municipal court, you should contact that court for information. Although those courts are not part of the state court system, we have a list of them on our website:

Justice/Municipal Court Registry of Courts and Judges

 

Where can I get forms?

We have some statewide forms online, but we do not develop or publish most court forms.

Check our Forms page for the statewide forms that we do publish online. If you do not find what you are looking for on our Forms page, we do not publish the form; you will need to look elsewhere.  Here are some places to look:

  • The trial or appellate court where you expect to file the form. Check the rules that apply to that court. For example, some forms for state trial courts are published in the Uniform Trial Court Rules. Some are published in the Supplementary Local Rules of individual circuit courts. Some trial courts publish their own forms on their own websites.

    Unless a rule says that all state courts must accept a form that we publish online, you should check with the court where you plan to file to ask whether that court accepts our online forms.

  • The Oregon State Bar Public Information pages.
  • The Division of Child Support in the Department of Justice for forms related to child support enforcement.
  • Publishers that publish legal forms online, generally for a fee, and through stationery stores that sell legal forms, such as Stevens-Ness in Portland, Oregon. We have not reviewed their forms or their websites for accuracy and make no recommendation on whether to use their forms. Again, please check with the court where you plan to file to determine whether that court accepts preprinted forms from legal publishers.

Although we publish some forms online, we do not accept documents filed electronically or by fax.

Here is information on the most commonly requested forms:

  • Family law forms and information Check our Family Law homepage for forms and ask the local court whether the court accepts the forms (the court's website may tell you).
  • Small claims forms and information For information on small claims procedures, see the Oregon State Bar Public Information pages. They have a small claims pamphlet online. We publish four (4) small claims forms online for plaintiffs’ use. We do not publish all the forms a plaintiff may need in a small claims case. Please review chapter 15 of the Uniform Trial Court Rules and any related Supplemental Local Rules for the court where you plan to file your claim; the forms are in the Appendix, form numbers, 15.0101a, b, c, and d. We have no statewide forms for defendants to use in small claims cases. Your local court may have defendants' forms online or available at the courthouse. Publishers of legal forms offer small claims forms for plaintiffs and defendants. You can do a web search for "small claims legal forms" to find some of those resources. We have not reviewed those websites or the information and forms they provide. We make no recommendation about their products.
  • Name Change
    For information on how to petition to change one’s name or a child’s name, see the Oregon State Bar Public Information pages on Family Law. We do not publish forms for name changes. Some local courts may have sample forms available online. Publishers of legal forms offer those forms. You can do a web search for "name change legal forms" to find some of those resources. We have not reviewed those websites or the information and forms they provide. We make no recommendation about their products.
  • Expungement Forms to Clear my Juvenile or Criminal Record

See How do I clear my juvenile or criminal record? below.

 

I have a question about Oregon law.

Although state law prohibits our judges and court staff from advising you on legal questions, we can provide general information. See our We Can Help / Podemos Ayudar page for the kinds of information court staff can provide.

If you have general questions about Oregon law or need legal advice, check the Oregon State Bar website at http://www.osbar.org. Click on Public Information, where you can find a lot of information on various legal matters, how to find legal help, and low-cost legal services that may be available.

The State of Oregon Law Library is a great resource for more in-depth information on state and federal law.  (Again, the staff cannot give advice but can answer many questions).

You can also find state statutes (ORS), administrative rules (OAR), and the state Blue Book online through the state web portal:

http://oregon.gov  (Check for links listed in the drop-down box called "Popular Links.")

 

Where can I find information for crime victims?

The Oregon Department of Justice Crime Victims' Assistance Section (CVAS) provides funds to counties and cities where prosecuting attorneys maintain approved victims' assistance programs. These funds come from the unitary assessment monies charged to people convicted of crimes and violations. The Department of Justice (office of the state Attorney General) website has a Crime Victims Assistance section with extensive information and contact information for programs in each county. Many county government and district attorney websites have information on local crime victims assistance programs. Those websites are separate from circuit court websites.

 

How do I clear my juvenile or criminal record?

State law authorizes courts to set aside and seal the records of some arrests and convictions, but not all. The Oregon State Bar website has some information on clearing your record. Go to http://www.osbar.org. Click on Public Information and then Criminal Law. Consult your lawyer if you have questions about whether you are eligible to ask the court to clear your record.

Neither the Bar's site nor ours has forms for filing a motion to expunge your record. Some local courts may have sample forms available online. Publishers of legal forms may offer those forms. You can do a web search for "Oregon expungement forms" to find some of those resources. We have not reviewed those websites or the information and forms they provide. We make no recommendation about their products

The Oregon State Police also have information about the process and where to get forms:  http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/ID/expungement.shtml

If you need copies of the documents in the case file to show that you completed all conditions, contact the court directly to get information about the cost and how to order those documents. You can find contact information for each circuit court on our Courts page under State Trial Courts.

 

I can't open documents in PDF format.

If you have trouble viewing a Portable Document Format (PDF) file on one of our web pages, please try the following:

  • Ensure that you have the latest version of a good PDF reader or viewer. You can download the latest free Adobe Acrobat Reader from the Adobe website.

You can find other available readers or viewers on the web, including open source software at OpenOffice.org that works with various operating systems.

  • If you are not connected to a high-speed connection, such as DSL, cable modem, or LAN or if you access our site with a dial-up modem, we recommend that you first download the PDF to your computer and then view it using the Acrobat Reader software.
  • Before downloading, check to see that you have enough disk space available on your computer for the PDF file. If you need help to access a PDF file because you have a disability, see our Accessibility page.

 

I received a jury summons, and

  • I no longer live in Oregon and want be excused. or
  • I have a conflict and want to defer jury service to another time. or
  • I want to be excused for another reason.

May I use email to ask the court to excuse or defer my jury service?

Generally not, if the summons was for jury service in an Oregon circuit court. State law provides that a person who wants the court to excuse or defer jury duty in a state circuit court may ask the court by telephone or by mail.  Each court provides a postal address on the jury response card and a phone number and address on the summons. Few if any circuit courts in Oregon provide an email address for requests for deferral or excuse by email at this time.

However, some courts are testing an online response system. Those courts include specific instructions in their summonses on how to respond using the online system.

The jury summons should explain how to request to be excused or to defer service to a more convenient time. Only the particular court, not the central administration office, can defer or excuse jury service, so you need to contact the court that summoned you.

We appreciate Oregon citizens’ work as jurors. We can’t do justice without you. Our courts work hard to accommodate requests to defer jury service when that service at a certain time would be a hardship. Because the court may not be able to accommodate last-minute requests without summoning more jurors, please contact the court as soon as possible if you need to ask the court to defer or excuse jury service.

If you have moved out of state and receive a summons, please send the court updated address information and ask to be excused. The court can then remove your name from the master jury list and not send further notices or take other steps to enforce the summons. That saves both the you and the court time and money.

For more information on jury service in Oregon, see Juror Info.

 

Do you have fee schedules online?

Yes.  See our Fee Information page.

 

How do I request a certificate of good standing for an Oregon attorney?

Certificates of good standing for attorneys licensed to practice law in Oregon are available from the Oregon Supreme Court at no charge. An attorney (or attorney's representative) may request one or more certificates by telephone, post, or email.

 

How do I obtain my Criminal History?

http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/ID/pages/index.aspx

 


If you need help immediately with something other than a technical problem on our website, you may call the Office of the State Court Administrator at 503.986.5500 for general information or information about state court administration. Please remember, however, that by law, we cannot provide legal advice.