2011 ORS § 31.735¹
Distribution of punitive damages
  • notice to Department of Justice
  • order of application

(1) Upon the entry of a verdict including an award of punitive damages, the Department of Justice becomes a judgment creditor as to the amounts payable under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, and the punitive damage portion of an award shall be allocated as follows:

(a) Thirty percent is payable to the prevailing party. The attorney for the prevailing party shall be paid out of the amount allocated under this paragraph, in the amount agreed upon between the attorney and the prevailing party. However, in no event may more than 20 percent of the amount awarded as punitive damages be paid to the attorney for the prevailing party.

(b) Sixty percent is payable to the Attorney General for deposit in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Account of the Department of Justice Crime Victims Assistance Section, and may be used only for the purposes set forth in ORS chapter 147. However, if the prevailing party is a public entity, the amount otherwise payable to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Account shall be paid to the general fund of the public entity.

(c) Ten percent is payable to the Attorney General for deposit in the State Court Facilities and Security Account established under ORS 1.178 (State Court Facilities and Security Account), and may be used only for the purposes specified in ORS 1.178 (State Court Facilities and Security Account) (2)(d).

(2) The party preparing the proposed judgment shall assure that the judgment identifies the judgment creditors specified in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) Upon the entry of a verdict including an award of punitive damages, the prevailing party shall provide notice of the verdict to the Department of Justice. In addition, upon entry of a judgment based on a verdict that includes an award of punitive damages, the prevailing party shall provide notice of the judgment to the Department of Justice. The notices required under this subsection must be in writing and must be delivered to the Department of Justice Crime Victims Assistance Section in Salem, Oregon within five days after the entry of the verdict or judgment.

(4) Whenever a judgment includes both compensatory and punitive damages, any payment on the judgment by or on behalf of any defendant, whether voluntary or by execution or otherwise, shall be applied first to compensatory damages, costs and court-awarded attorney fees awarded against that defendant and then to punitive damages awarded against that defendant unless all affected parties, including the Department of Justice, expressly agree otherwise, or unless that application is contrary to the express terms of the judgment.

(5) Whenever any judgment creditor of a judgment which includes punitive damages governed by this section receives any payment on the judgment by or on behalf of any defendant, the judgment creditor receiving the payment shall notify the attorney for the other judgment creditors and all sums collected shall be applied as required by subsections (1) and (4) of this section, unless all affected parties, including the Department of Justice, expressly agree otherwise, or unless that application is contrary to the express terms of the judgment. [Formerly 18.540; 2011 c.597 §311; 2011 c.689 §1]

Note: Section 3, chapter 689, Oregon Laws 2011, provides:

Sec. 3. The amendments to ORS 31.735 (Distribution of punitive damages) by section 1 of this 2011 Act apply only to causes of action that arise on or after the effective date of this 2011 Act [August 2, 2011]. [2011 c.689 §3]