About Us

 

By ORS 3.012, the circuit court is authorized 38 judges. The court is also served by 12.5 referee positions. Some referees sit, by appointment from the Oregon Supreme Court, as judges pro tempore of the circuit court and some sit as provided by ORS 419/4.150. The circuit court is also served by senior judges and members of the local bar who serve as volunteer judges pro tempore (for whose assistance the court is always grateful).
The Chief Justice is required by law, ORS 1.003, to appoint the presiding judges of the judicial districts every two years. The Hon. Nan G. Waller is appointed by the Chief Justice to be the Presiding Judge through December 31, 2013.
The circuit court is a division of the Oregon Judicial Department. The Oregon Judicial Department is the third branch of Oregon’s state government by Article III, Section 1, Oregon Constitution. Since 1983, all funding of the Oregon Judicial Department, including the circuit court’s, has been the obligation of the state, except for the funding of circuit court facilities. ORS 1.001. Circuit court facility funding is an obligation of county government. ORS 1.185.
The circuit court is a court of general jurisdiction. By statute, ORS 3.136, the circuit court is the municipal court for the City of Portland. The circuit court also serves as the municipal court for the City of Gresham and other municipal governments in Multnomah County, with the exceptions of the City of Troutdale and the City of Fairview.
2009 - 2013 Oregon Judicial Department Strategic Plan (pdf 669 KB)


Judicial Assignments and Responsibility
Office of the Presiding Judge
Oregon Judicial Conference Standards for Timely Disposition
Oregon Judicial Information Network (OJIN)
Statistical Information About Case Filings and Dispositions
Video Capability in Downtown Courthouse
Procedure to Request Interpreter for Circuit Court Hearings
Reporting Proceedings
Where to Call for Information
Locations for Circuit Court Proceedings
CourtCare


Judicial Assignments and Responsibility
As provided by ORS 1.003, the Chief Justice appoints a Presiding Judge. Under ORS 1.171 the Presiding Judge has the following Powers and Responsibilities (pdf 217 KB)
The Presiding Judge has retained direct case management and trial assignment responsibility for civil actions and trial assignment responsibility for most felony level criminal cases. The Presiding Judge has delegated to other judges, by appointment, case management responsibility in the following areas:

Criminal Law Matters (including Criminal Procedure Court)
Hon. Julie E. Frantz , Chief Criminal Judge

Family Law, Juvenile & Probate Matters (The Family Court)
Hon. Maureen McKnight , Chief Family Court Judge and
Hon. Katherine Tennyson to preside as Chief Probate Judge.



Office of the Presiding Judge
There are four staff positions assigned directly to the Presiding Judge: the Judge’s judicial assistant maintains the Judge’s calendar and handles the scheduling of any conferences before the presiding judge; the calendaring secretary handles trial docket assignment and scheduling; the two presiding court clerks handle the administrative paperwork processed through the Presiding Judge’s office, including default orders and judgments, staff the courtroom during proceedings, and answer questions about presiding court procedures for the members of the Bar and public.

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Oregon Judicial Conference Standards for Timely Disposition
The circuit court manages pre-judgment actions to meet the Standards for Timely Disposition adopted by the Oregon Judicial Conference. The Oregon Judicial Conference is a plenary body of all state judges. The standards adopted by the Judicial Conference apply to all circuit courts, and have been in effect since 1990. When requesting a postponement of any proceeding, bear in mind that the court’s obligation is to meet these standards. To do so, it monitors constantly the age of pending cases, and parties should be able to rely on these time lines for the disposition of filed actions.
Standards for timely disposition (pdf 220 KB)



Oregon Judicial Case Information Network (OJCIN) Online
All circuit courts in Oregon maintain the register (ORS 7.020) and the judgment lien record (ORS 18.075) within either the Oregon Judicial Information Network (OJIN) system or  the Oregon eCourt Case Information (OECI) system. The state courts are transitioning from the older OJIN system to the new OECI system. All filed documents, orders and judgments are entered into OJIN or OECI; usually entry is within five days of filing of the document with the clerk of the court. Once a document, order or judgment is filed and entered, it is then placed in the physical file of the case. Most court proceedings are scheduled in OJIN or OECI.

Public acc​ess to both OJIN and OECI is available currently only to subscribers through the Information Systems Division, Office of the State Court Administrator, in Salem. This family of software is called Oregon Judicial Case Information Network (OJCIN) OnLine. Public access is limited to case registers which are not by statute confidential. Obtaining OJCIN access in your office is recommended since it permits you to monitor the status of all cases not made confidential by law. Access may be obtained by via the OJCIN OnLine home page.

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Statistical Information About Case Filings and Dispositions
The official court data is found in reports at the following location on the Oregon Judicial Department’s web page Statistics and Other Reports. There is also a site for unofficial data on the work of the circuit court. This site displays data taken from the Oregon Judicial Information Network (OJIN) each month, but it is not drawn at the same time as the data used in the official reports published by the Office of the State Court Administrator. It should not be cited as official data. This site does provide monthly data on the filings and dispositions of the circuit court, however, and for those who want an use the site as a interim data source until the official reports are published, it is available. Just remember, these are not the official results from operations. That data is only available from the site indicated above.
Multnomah County Circuit Court Unofficial Data



Video Capability in Downtown Courthouse
The court has installed updated video technology which enables the use of live video in every courtroom in the courthouse. The system is compatible with most other video conferencing systems. With this system, the capability of running two such systems at the same time is available. Contact the court’s technical staff at 503.988.5416 to learn more about the availability of the system, its capability, and scheduling equipment for a hearing or trial.

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Procedure to Request Interpreter for Circuit Court Hearings
Court Interpreter Services (CIS) is in transition. Beginning Monday, 10/22/2012, Multnomah interpreter scheduling staff will begin working remotely and Room 414 in the Courthouse will not be staffed by schedulers. An interpreter request that is not made in a timely manner may not be filled. For more details please see Interpreter Services page.



Reporting Proceedings
The circuit court has only one trial department served by a stenographic reporter. Judge Janice Wilson continues to have stenographic, real time, reporters in her trial department. All other trial departments and proceedings are served by electronic recording for the report of the proceedings.
In every other courtroom, there is installed an audio, digital recording system. This new, computer based audio system is the reporting system now used by the judges in trial departments in the Multnomah County Courthouse and it is the backup system in Judge Wilson’s courtroom. The digital system is used also in the other court facilities. The presiding judge’s courtroom uses a video digital recording system to record all call and ex parte proceedings. 

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Alerts and Em. Closures

2014 Planned Closures