2007 ORS 55.011¹
Small claims department
  • jurisdiction

(1) Except as provided in subsection (8) of this section, in each justice court created under any law of this state there shall be a small claims department.

(2) Except as provided in this section, all actions for the recovery of money, damages, specific personal property, or any penalty or forfeiture must be commenced and prosecuted in the small claims department if the amount or value claimed in the action does not exceed $750.

(3) Except as provided in this section and ORS 46.455 (Admission or denial of claim) (2)(c), an action for the recovery of money, damages, specific personal property, or any penalty or forfeiture may be commenced and prosecuted in the small claims department if the amount or value claimed in the action does not exceed $7,500.

(4) Class actions may not be commenced and prosecuted in the small claims department.

(5) Actions providing for statutory attorney fees in which the amount or value claimed does not exceed $750 may be commenced and prosecuted in the small claims department or may be commenced and prosecuted in the regular department of the justice court. This subsection does not apply to an action based on contract for which attorney fees are authorized under ORS 20.082 (Attorney fees for contract claims of $5,500 or less).

(6) Jurisdiction of the person of the defendant in an action commenced in the small claims department shall be deemed acquired as of the time of service of the notice and claim.

(7) Except as provided in ORS 55.065 (Admission or denial of claim) (2)(c), the provisions of ORS 55.020 (Commencement of action) to 55.140 (Separate docket for small claims department) shall apply with regard to proceedings in the small claims department of any justice court.

(8) If a justice court is located in the same city as a circuit court, the justice court need not have a small claims department if the justice court and the circuit court enter into an intergovernmental agreement that provides that only the circuit court will operate a small claims department. If an intergovernmental agreement is entered into under this subsection, the agreement must establish appropriate procedures for referring small claims cases to the circuit court. [1963 c.404 §2 (enacted in lieu of 55.010); 1965 c.569 §2; 1973 c.625 §3; 1973 c.812 §7; 1975 c.346 §2a; 1975 c.592 §2; 1983 c.673 §6; 1985 c.367 §3; 1987 c.725 §3; 1989 c.583 §1; 1995 c.227 §4; 1997 c.801 §108; 1999 c.84 §5; 1999 c.673 §4; 2001 c.542 §6; 2007 c.125 §5]

Note: Section 8, chapter 125, Oregon Laws 2007, provides:

Sec. 8. The amendments to ORS 46.405 (Small claims department), 46.425 (Commencement of actions), 46.461 (Counterclaims), 51.080 (Civil jurisdiction of justice court), 55.011 (Small claims department), 55.095 (Counterclaim) and 133.055 (Criminal citation) by sections 1 to 7 of this 2007 Act apply to all actions commenced in the small claims department of a court on or after the effective date of this 2007 Act [January 1, 2008], without regard to whether the claim for which the action is commenced arose before, on or after the effective date of this 2007 Act. [2007 c.125 §8]

Law Review Cita­tions

55 OLR 188-196 (1976)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 55—Small Claims, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­055.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 55, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­055ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
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.