2015 ORS 28.010¹
Power of courts
  • form of declaration

Courts of record within their respective jurisdictions shall have power to declare rights, status, and other legal relations, whether or not further relief is or could be claimed. No action or proceeding shall be open to objection on the ground that a declaratory judgment is prayed for. The declaration may be either affirmative or negative in form and effect, and such declarations shall have the force and effect of a judgment. [Amended by 2003 c.576 §302]

Notes of Decisions

Provision for declaratory and further relief in a single pro­ceed­ing does not change rule that plaintiff must determine whether remedy is at law or in equity and proceed accordingly. Mayer v. First Nat. Bank, 260 Or 119, 489 P2d 385 (1971)

A declaratory judg­ment pro­ceed­ing will be treated either legal or equitable, depending upon its nature. May v. Chicago Ins. Co., 260 Or 285, 490 P2d 150 (1971)

Declaratory judg­ment pro­ceed­ings to determine coverage under insurance policies are legal in nature. May v. Chicago Ins. Co., 260 Or 285, 490 P2d 150 (1971)

A pro­ceed­ing to determine whether individuals are tortiously liable is legal in nature; therefore, the findings of the trial court which are supported by evidence must be accepted as correct on ap­peal. Grange Ins. Assn. v. Zumwalt, 272 Or 263, 536 P2d 428 (1975)

Declaratory judg­ment pro­ceed­ings requesting the construc­tion of contracts are legal in nature, and factual determina­tions by the trier of fact which are supported by evidence are treated as final on ap­peal. C & B Livestock, Inc. v. Johns, 273 Or 6, 539 P2d 645 (1975)

Declaratory judg­ment would not issue with respect to constitu­tionality of regula­tions re­quired pursuant to civil commit­ment statute (ORS 426.220 (Voluntary admission)) where Mental Health Division had not yet promulgated such administrative rules. Pyle v. Brooks, 31 Or App 479, 570 P2d 990 (1977)

Circuit court had authority to determine whether Attorney General had statutory duty, but lacked authority to determine whether exercise of duty would violate attorney disciplinary rules. Brown v. Oregon State Bar, 293 Or 446, 648 P2d 1289 (1982)

Ac­tion seeking injunc­tion against rule not yet in effect was not ac­tion involving en­force­­ment within jurisdic­tion of circuit court. Alto v. State Fire Marshal, 319 Or 382, 876 P2d 774 (1994)

Declaratory judg­ment is not available to compel agency to change ac­tion taken. Mendieta v. Division of State Lands, 148 Or App 586, 941 P2d 582 (1997)

Determina­tion under ORS 28.080 (Supplemental relief) concerning what coercive relief is necessary to effectuate declaratory judg­ment is separate from process of analyzing party rights, status or other legal rela­tions in order to issue declaratory judg­ment. Ken Leahy Construc­tion, Inc. v. Cascade General, Inc., 329 Or 566, 994 P2d 112 (1999)

Law Review Cita­tions

40 WLR 563 (2004)

Chapter 28

Notes of Decisions

Declaratory judg­ment pro­ceed­ings to determine coverage under insurance policies are legal in nature. Hartford v. Aetna/Mt. Hood Radio, 270 Or 226, 527 P2d 406 (1974)

Declaratory judg­ment pro­ceed­ings will be treated as either legal or equitable, depending upon the essential nature of the case. Intl. Health and Life Ins. Co. v. Lewis, 271 Or 35, 530 P2d 517 (1975)

Where complaint in declaratory judg­ment pro­ceed­ing sufficiently alleged justiciable controversy, it was error to grant mo­tion to dismiss for failure to state claim. Hupp v. Schumacher, 29 Or App 9, 562 P2d 217 (1977); Goose Hollow v. City of Portland, 58 Or App 722, 650 P2d 135 (1982)

Where a case sounds in law, an appellate court is precluded from testing the weight of evidence but rather to see if evidence exists from which the trier of fact could have drawn particular conclusions of fact. Lindsey v. Dairyland Ins. Co., 278 Or 681, 565 P2d 744 (1977)

The insurer was found not obligated to pay a propor­tionate share of the attorney fees of the insured incurred in the settle­ment of the per­sonal injury ac­tion. Lindsey v. Dairyland Ins. Co., 278 Or 681, 565 P2d 744 (1977)

Where students at college administered by Oregon State Board of Higher Educa­tion sought review of course grades through college grievance pro­ce­dures, judicial review was properly under ORS 183.490 (Agency may be compelled to act) and not declaratory judg­ment pro­vi­sions of this chapter. McBeth v. Elliott, 42 Or App 783, 601 P2d 871 (1979)

Declaratory judg­ment pro­ceed­ing filed by insured to determine its rights under an insurance policy insuring against loss or damage to prop­erty in its custody did not present a justiciable controversy. Mitchell Bros. Truck Lines v. Lexington Ins. Co., 287 Or 217, 598 P2d 294 (1979)

Challenging Board of Parole's refusal to set release date through declaratory judg­ment was not proper as special statutory remedy under ORS 144.335 (Appeal from order of board to Court of Appeals) was available. Sterling v. Blalock, 47 Or App 275, 614 P2d 610 (1980)

City council's removal of plaintiff as city attorney was quasi-judicial pro­ceed­ing, so proper ap­peal to circuit court was by way of writ of review and not declaratory judg­ment. Jordan v. City Council of Lake Oswego, 49 Or App 31, 618 P2d 1298 (1980), Sup Ct review denied

Where appraisal process pursuant to [former] ORS 743.648 had been initiated, declaratory judg­ment ac­tion to construe policy pro­vi­sions could not be commenced until appraisal was completed. Director v. So. Carolina Ins. Co., 49 Or App 179, 619 P2d 649 (1980), Sup Ct review denied

Circuit court had authority to determine whether Attorney General had statutory duty, but lacked authority to determine whether exercise of duty would violate attorney disciplinary rules. Brown v. Oregon State Bar, 293 Or 446, 648 P2d 1289 (1982)

Ac­tion seeking construc­tion of liability policy where there were legitimate ques­tions of coverage or noncoverage arising under policy issued for protec­tion of the insured against claims of third per­sons sustaining injury or damage presented justiciable controversy appropriate for declaratory judg­ment. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Reuter, 294 Or 446, 657 P2d 1231 (1983)

Plaintiff's challenge to county charter failed to state justiciable claim because plaintiff only named sponsor of initiative as defendant. Hudson v. Feder, 115 Or App 1, 836 P2d 779 (1992), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Cita­tions

10 WLJ 370 (1974); 15 EL 244 (1985)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 28—Declaratory Judgments; Certification of Questions of Law, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors028.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 28, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano028.­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.