Filing a case starts the legal process in a court. For a case in a circuit court, the first document filed is usually called a complaint or petition. In most cases, you must pay a filing fee when you file the document that starts the case.
You or your attorney can file documents for you through the mail or in person. Attorneys can file documents online in some circuit courts (see eFiling box below) and in appeals to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court. We call this OJD eFiling.
To file a case, you have three options:
Get an Attorney
Because laws and legal procedures are complex, we recommend that you work with an attorney.
If You Choose to File Your Own Paperwork
You can represent yourself in most cases. People who represent themselves are called “self-represented” or “pro se” (from Latin). Below are links to resources for users who want to learn more about the law and courts or want to represent themselves in a legal matter. Self-help information is not legal advice. Oregon law bans us from offering legal advice to the public.
To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult your own attorney.
Electronic Filing (eFiling)
Electronic filing is only available in a few courts:
Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook and Yamhill County Circuit Courts
Court of Appeals or Supreme Court
(Additional circuit courts will implement OJD eFiling between 2015-2016. Check back for updates.)