ORS 163.555¹
Criminal nonsupport

(1) A person commits the crime of criminal nonsupport if, being the parent, lawful guardian or other person lawfully charged with the support of a child under 18 years of age, born in or out of wedlock, the person knowingly fails to provide support for such child.

(2) It is no defense to a prosecution under this section that either parent has contracted a subsequent marriage, that issue has been born of a subsequent marriage, that the defendant is the parent of issue born of a prior marriage or that the child is being supported by another person or agency.

(3) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant has a lawful excuse for failing to provide child support.

(4) If the defendant intends to rely on the affirmative defense created in subsection (3) of this section, the defendant must give the district attorney written notice of the intent to do so at least 30 days prior to trial. The notice must describe the nature of the lawful excuse upon which the defendant proposes to rely. If the defendant fails to file notice as required by this subsection, the defendant may not introduce evidence of a lawful excuse unless the court finds there was just cause for the defendant’s failure to file the notice within the required time.

(5) Criminal nonsupport is a Class C felony. [1971 c.743 §175; 1993 c.33 §308; 1999 c.954 §3; 2005 c.502 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Indict­ment which contained all statutory ele­ments of of­fense was sufficient, and was not invalid for failure to allege that defendant’s paternity had pre­vi­ously been determined in civil ac­tion. State v. Gates, 31 Or App 353, 570 P2d 670 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

Legislature did not intend that single episode of miscon­duct in connec­tion with care of child be punished as felony under this sec­tion. State v. Rosen, 38 Or App 107, 589 P2d 1132 (1979)

Under evidence that there was no neg­li­gent non-pay­ment of child support, use of word “neg­li­gent” was harmless error. State v. Gartzke, 39 Or App 463, 592 P2d 1040 (1979), Sup Ct review denied

Under this sec­tion, ex-wife’s at­tempts to prevent defendant from visiting son and to prejudice child against father did not provide defendant with “lawful excuse” for failure to provide support. State v. Reed, 45 Or App 185, 608 P2d 175 (1980)

Phrase “Without Lawful Excuse” In This Sec­tion Is not Unconstitu­tionally Vague and State Satisfied Its Burden By Proving

1) court mandate that defendant pay child support; 2) ability to generate income; and 3) no pay­ment toward child support obliga­tion. State v. Timmons, 75 Or App 678, 706 P2d 1018 (1985), Sup Ct review denied

Phrase “without lawful excuse” is not unconstitu­tionally vague. State v. West, 84 Or App 679, 735 P2d 26 (1987), Sup Ct review denied

In exercising discre­tion under ORS 137.540 (Conditions of probation), court may not exceed sen­tence defined by other statute. State v. Stockton, 105 Or App 162, 803 P2d 1227 (1991)

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 428 (1972)

Chapter 163

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 427-637 (1972)

  • Laura Orr / Oregon Legal Research, Jun 22, 2009
    “Recent stories in the newspapers keep saying, “a 1999 statute” changed the law in Oregon [about religion as a de­fense when parents withhold medical treat­ment from their child] without otherwise identifying WHICH statute...”
1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 163—Offenses Against Persons, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors163.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 163, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano163.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information