2013 ORS § 87.159¹
Lien for care of impounded animal
  • petition for hearing to contest impoundment and lien
  • court order
  • waiver

(1) A person who, or governmental agency that, transports, pastures, feeds, cares for or provides treatment to an animal that has been impounded under ORS 167.345 (Authority to enter premises) has a lien on the animal in the possession of the person or governmental agency for the reasonable charges for transportation, pasturage, feed, care or treatment provided by the person or governmental agency, and the person or governmental agency may retain possession of the animal until those charges are paid.

(2)(a) Within 30 days of impoundment of any animal or animals as is authorized under ORS 167.345 (Authority to enter premises), any person who has an ownership interest in any impounded animal may file a written petition, verified under oath, demanding a hearing before the circuit court. The petition shall specifically identify the petitioners ownership interest in the animal or animals. The petition shall further specifically articulate the petitioners challenge to the probable cause justifying the impoundment that resulted in the lien attaching under subsection (1) of this section or the amount of the charges associated with that lien. The petitioner shall serve a true copy of the petition on the lien holder, the peace officer who impounded the animals and the district attorney, who shall be captioned as the respondents.

(b) Upon receipt of a petition in compliance with this subsection, the circuit court shall hold the hearing within 14 days, or as soon as practicable, wherein the respondents shall demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that impoundment of the animal was based on probable cause and that the lien amount claimed accurately reflects the reasonable charges authorized and accruing under subsection (1) of this section.

(c) If the court finds that impoundment of an animal under ORS 167.345 (Authority to enter premises) was:

(A) Based on probable cause and that the lien amount accurately reflects the reasonable charges authorized and accruing under subsection (1) of this section, then the court shall deny the petition, award reasonable attorney fees to the respondents and direct the foreclosure to proceed.

(B) Based on probable cause but that the lien amount does not accurately reflect the reasonable charges authorized and accruing under subsection (1) of this section, then the court shall enter an order modifying the lien amount to accurately state the reasonable charges authorized and accruing under subsection (1) of this section, award reasonable attorney fees to the respondents and direct the foreclosure to proceed.

(C) Without probable cause, then the court may enter an order striking the lien created under subsection (1) of this section and may, but only if a final judgment is entered in the defendants favor in the criminal case related to the impoundment under ORS 167.345 (Authority to enter premises), order an impounded animal returned to its lawful owner. To prevent the lawful owner or any other claimant from being unjustly enriched while having been relieved of the duty to provide an impounded animal with minimum care, any court order directing return of an impounded animal shall include an award to the respondents of the full costs of providing care to the animal.

(d) A persons failure to file a written petition within 30 days of impoundment of an animal or animals shall constitute a waiver of the right to file a petition under this subsection and the foreclosure shall proceed without judicial review in the manner provided in ORS 87.172 (Time period before foreclosure allowed) to 87.212 (Liability for improper sale of fungible chattels). The court may extend the 30-day period to file a written petition by an additional 15 days only if the petitioner did not have actual notice of the impoundment and the court makes findings, on the record and in writing, that there are exceptional and compelling circumstances justifying the extension. [1989 c.349 §2; 2013 c.719 §9]