2015 ORS 203.810¹
Offenses under county law
  • jurisdiction
  • prosecutions
  • enforcement

(1) As used in this section:

(a) "County law" means a county charter adopted pursuant to ORS 203.710 (Performance of functions by officers designated by county law) to 203.770 (Copies of charters and amendments, revisions and repeals) and legislation passed by a charter county or any ordinance enacted by a general law county.

(b) "County offense" means any crime or offense defined or made punishable by county law.

(2) Except as may be provided otherwise by county law:

(a) The justice courts and circuit court for a county have jurisdiction of county offenses to the same extent as such courts have jurisdiction of crimes or offenses defined or made punishable by state law, as determined by the maximum punishment which may be imposed therefor.

(b) The district attorney shall prosecute county offenses unless the county governing body elects to have the prosecution of such offenses conducted by a county counsel appointed pursuant to ORS 203.145 (Appointment of legal counsel for county governing body).

(c) The practice and procedure as to the prosecution, trial and punishment of county offenses shall be the same as in the case of similar crimes or offenses defined or made punishable by state law.

(3) Except as may be provided otherwise by county law and subject to limitations on its civil jurisdiction under state law, the justice court and circuit court for a county have jurisdiction of a civil proceeding maintained by a county under ORS 30.310 (Actions and suits by governmental units) or 30.315 (Proceedings by cities and counties to enforce ordinances and resolutions), including a proceeding to abate or enjoin any act or condition that is declared to be a nuisance by an ordinance of the county.

(4) Judgments based on county offenses may be enforced in the manner provided by ORS 52.600 (Enforcement of justice court judgments generally). [1961 c.724 §33; 1963 c.611 §1; 1977 c.622 §1; 1981 c.75 §1; 1985 c.626 §2; 1995 c.658 §91; 1999 c.788 §49]

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Notes of Decisions

This sec­tion and not ORS 3.130 (Transfer of judicial jurisdiction of certain county courts to circuit courts) governs en­force­­ment of county laws regulating private con­duct, as distinct from jurisdic­tion of county courts under state laws or over "transac­tion of county business." Caffey v. Lane County, 298 Or 183, 691 P2d 94 (1984)

County authority to create excep­tions governing state court en­force­­ment of county law does not allow county to permit citizen commence­ment of viola­tion pro­ceed­ing in state court where ordinance is not of type listed in ORS 153.058 (Initiation of violation proceeding by private party). Hood River County v. Stevenson, 177 Or App 78, 33 P3d 325 (2001)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Proposing a charter by initiative, necessity for a charter committee, (1974) Vol 35, p 986

Law Review Cita­tions

61 OLR 39 (1982)

Chapter 203

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Standards county may impose for approval of private roads created in parti­tioning land, (1972) Vol 35, p 1230


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 203—County Governing Bodies; County Home Rule, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors203.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 203, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano203.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
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.