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State Court Information

Oregon has circuit courts, a tax court, appellate courts, other local trial courts that are not part of the state court system, federal courts, and tribal courts. These pages contain information about state courts and a registry of other local courts; they do not have information on federal or tribal courts.

Notice of State Filing Fee Changes Effective January 1, 2015

State Court Filing and Other Fees

For general information on state court administration, see the Office of the State Court Administrator.

For Statistics and other reports on the state of Oregon courts and their work, see Statistics and Other Reports.

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the Oregon judicial branch. The only court that may reverse or modify a decision of the Oregon Supreme Court is the United States Supreme Court.

The court has seven elected justices. They choose one of their own to serve a six-year term as Chief Justice.

For a more detailed description of the Supreme Court, see An Introduction to the Courts of Oregon.

The Court of Appeals, created in 1969, is the first level of appeal following trial. The court has jurisdiction to hear all civil and criminal appeals from circuit courts, except death penalty cases, and to review most state administrative agency actions. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoints the Chief Judge from among the thirteen judges on the Court of Appeals.

For a more detailed description of the Court of Appeals, see An Introduction to the Courts of Oregon.

The Tax Court is a special court that has exclusive, statewide jurisdiction to hear only cases that involve Oregon's tax laws, including income taxes, corporate excise taxes, property taxes, timber taxes, cigarette taxes, local budget laws, and property tax limitations.

 

Each of Oregon's 36 counties has a circuit court. In most counties, the court has its offices in the county courthouse. In a few counties, the court has offices and courtrooms in more than one location.

For a more detailed description of the circuit courts, see An Introduction to the Courts of Oregon.

Municipal, county, and justice courts are "local" courts outside the state-funded court system. Their jurisdiction is limited to violations, lesser crimes, and some other less serious cases. Although the Oregon Judicial Department, which is the state court system, has no administrative control over those local courts, state law requires the State Court Administrator to establish a registry of municipal and justice courts. Cities and counties must provide information about their courts to the State Court Administrator.

Oregon also has administrative hearings officers in the executive branch of government. They hear cases involving administrative agencies and their rules, such as Division of Motor Vehicles and the Employment Department. Appeals go to the state court system. Some agencies have their own hearings officers. Others use the Office of Administrative Hearings. Administrative hearings officers are not part of the state court system.