ORS 33.065¹
Procedure for imposition of punitive sanctions

(1) Except as otherwise provided in ORS 161.685 (Effect of nonpayment of fines, restitution or costs), proceedings to impose punitive sanctions for contempt shall be conducted as provided in this section.

(2) The following persons may initiate the proceeding by an accusatory instrument charging a person with contempt of court and seeking a punitive sanction:

(a) A city attorney.

(b) A district attorney.

(c) The Attorney General.

(3) If a city attorney, district attorney or Attorney General who regularly appears before the court declines to prosecute a contempt, and the court determines that remedial sanctions would not provide an effective alternative remedy, the court may appoint an attorney who is authorized to practice law in this state, and who is not counsel for an interested party, to prosecute the contempt. The court shall allow reasonable compensation for the appointed attorney’s attendance, to be paid by:

(a) The Oregon Department of Administrative Services, if the attorney is appointed by the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or the Oregon Tax Court;

(b) The city where the court is located, if the attorney is appointed by a municipal court; and

(c) The county where the prosecution is initiated, in all other cases.

(4) The prosecutor may initiate proceedings on the prosecutor’s own initiative, on the request of a party to an action or proceeding or on the request of the court. After the prosecutor files an accusatory instrument, the court may issue any order or warrant necessary to compel the appearance of the defendant.

(5) Except as otherwise provided by this section, the accusatory instrument is subject to the same requirements and laws applicable to an accusatory instrument in a criminal proceeding, and all proceedings on the accusatory instrument shall be in the manner prescribed for criminal proceedings.

(6) Except for the right to a jury trial, the defendant is entitled to the constitutional and statutory protections, including the right to appointed counsel, that a defendant would be entitled to in a criminal proceeding in which the fine or term of imprisonment that could be imposed is equivalent to the punitive sanctions sought in the contempt proceeding. This subsection does not affect any right to a jury that may otherwise be created by statute.

(7) Inability to comply with an order of the court is an affirmative defense. If the defendant proposes to rely in any way on evidence of inability to comply with an order of the court, the defendant shall, not less than five days before the trial of the cause, file and serve upon the city attorney, district attorney or Attorney General prosecuting the contempt a written notice of intent to offer that evidence. If the defendant fails to file and serve the notice, the defendant shall not be permitted to introduce evidence of inability to comply with an order of the court at the trial of the cause unless the court, in its discretion, permits such evidence to be introduced where just cause for failure to file the notice, or to file the notice within the time allowed, is made to appear.

(8) The court may impose a remedial sanction in addition to or in lieu of a punitive sanction.

(9) In any proceeding for imposition of a punitive sanction, proof of contempt shall be beyond a reasonable doubt. [1991 c.724 §6; 2001 c.962 §78]

Notes of Decisions

Private party may not seek imposi­tion of punitive sanc­tions. Dahlem and Dahlem, 117 Or App 343, 844 P2d 208 (1992)

Notes of Decisions

Contempt pro­ceed­ing instituted under these sec­tions for husband’s failure to pay spousal support pursuant to dissolu­tion decree is separate pro­ceed­ing from dissolu­tion and trial court’s jurisdic­tion to hold husband in contempt was therefore not defeated by husband’s ap­peal from dissolu­tion decree. Oliver and Oliver, 81 Or App 115, 724 P2d 869 (1986), Sup Ct review denied

Choice-of-evils de­fense could not exonerate defendants charged with contempt for violating injunc­tion arising from demonstra­tion to prevent abor­tions because de­fense is available only if defendants’ necessary con­duct is not inconsistent with other pro­vi­sions of law. Downtown Women’s Center v. Advocates for Life, Inc., 111 Or App 317, 826 P2d 637 (1992)

Contempt pro­ceed­ings are not subject to laws governing venue for crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings. Bachman v. Bachman, 171 Or App 665, 16 P3d 1185 (2000), Sup Ct review denied

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 33—Special Proceedings and Procedures, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors033.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 33, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano033.­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