Oregon Court Records
Due to the rise in accessibility of Internet access, as well as the capabilities of digital storage, many Oregon court records can be found online saving a trip to the courthouse or law library. This is beneficial to the public and legal professionals alike who use court records to serve as a basis or history on a case before filing a new one, providing valuable vital records, and even satisfying genealogical curiosities.
Oregon has four types of courts in its judicial system, the Oregon Judicial Department which includes a cohesive system of state trial and appellate courts, the locally funded municipal, county and justice of the peace courts, in addition to federal courts, and tribal courts. Each entity produces documents that are searchable by the public as court records.
History of Oregon Court Records
The history of Oregon court records was changed significantly in the 1960s after the legislature established the Tax Court in 1961 to rule over and encourage uniform tax laws of the state. Additionally, the Court of Appeals was brought about in 1969 to ease the caseload of the Supreme Court, except in cases involving the death penalty, and to review state administrative agency decisions.
Oregon Court Records Availability
Oregon courts have criminal, small claims, tax, domestic, and civil records available to the public and readily accessible online through a party name, file number or statute number search. There are statutes which protect the confidentiality of a few types of cases and will not be released to the public.
The State of Oregon Law Library boasts knowledgeable law librarians who work specifically to aid those seeking court records. It is located in Salem and open to the public to search legal research databases.
Main Court Information
The Supreme Court of Oregon is the highest court of the state and the court of last resort. It is composed of one Chief Justice and six associate justices and is located in the capital city of Salem. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over death penalty cases, certain labor law injunctions, practice of disciplinary actions against Oregon judges or attorneys, and direct review of the decisions of the Tax Court of the state.
The Court of Appeals is the first level appellate court and presides over civil and criminal appeals, some of which it passes along to the Supreme Court. Oregon Circuit Courts reside in each of the state’s 36 counties and provides motions for many civil cases such as divorce, custody, land titles, juvenile legal matters, adoptions, and the commitment of Oregon citizens who are mentally ill. The Circuit Court also conducts hearings, trials and performs rulings of criminal cases.
The Supreme Court of Oregon had 949 filings in 2013, of those there were only 66 which reached a disposition. Similarly, in 2012 there were 923 cases filed, and 64 of those had a disposition.