2015 ORS 45.400¹
Telephone testimony
  • when authorized
  • notice
  • payment of costs

(1) Upon motion of any party and for good cause shown, the court may order that the testimony of the party or any witness for the moving party be taken by telephone or by other two-way electronic communication device in any civil proceeding or any proceeding under ORS chapter 419B.

(2) A party filing a motion under this section must give written notice to all other parties to the proceeding at least 30 days before the trial or hearing at which the telephone testimony will be offered. The court may allow written notice less than 30 days before the trial or hearing for good cause shown.

(3) Except as provided under subsection (4) of this section, the court shall allow telephone testimony under this section upon a showing of good cause. The court may not allow the use of telephone testimony in any case if:

(a) The ability to evaluate the credibility and demeanor of a witness or party in person is critical to the outcome of the proceeding;

(b) The issue or issues the witness or party will testify about are so determinative of the outcome that face-to-face cross-examination is necessary;

(c) A perpetuation deposition under ORCP 39 I is a more practical means of presenting the testimony;

(d) The exhibits or documents the witness or party will testify about are too voluminous to make telephone testimony practical;

(e) Facilities that would permit the taking of telephone testimony are not available;

(f) The failure of the witness or party to appear personally will result in substantial prejudice to a party to the proceeding; or

(g) Other circumstances exist that require the personal appearance of a witness or party.

(4) The court may not allow use of telephone testimony in a jury trial unless good cause is shown and there is a compelling need for the use of telephone testimony.

(5) The court may not prohibit the use of telephone testimony solely by reason of the provisions of subsection (3)(e) of this section if the party filing the motion establishes that alternative procedures or technologies allow the taking of telephone testimony.

(6) A party filing a motion for telephone testimony under this section must pay all costs of the telephone testimony, including the costs of alternative procedures or technologies used for the taking of telephone testimony. No part of those costs may be recovered by the party filing the motions as costs and disbursements in the proceeding.

(7) Factors that a court may consider that would support a finding of good cause for the purpose of a motion under this section include:

(a) The witness or party might be unavailable because of age, infirmity or mental or physical illness;

(b) The party filing the motion seeks to take the telephone testimony of a witness whose attendance the party has been unable to secure by process or other reasonable means;

(c) A personal appearance by the party or witness would be an undue hardship on the party or witness; or

(d) Any other circumstances that constitute good cause.

(8) This section does not apply to a workers’ compensation hearing or to any other administrative proceeding.

(9) For purposes of this section, "telephone testimony" means testimony given by telephone or by any other two-way electronic communication device, including but not limited to satellite, cellular or other interactive communication device. [1993 c.425 §1; 2001 c.398 §1; 2003 c.262 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Court erred by allowing physician's testimony by telephone where that testimony made up entirety of Depart­ment of Human Services' jurisdic­tional case and denied parent opportunity to con­duct in-per­son cross-examina­tion of witness. Dept. of Human Services v. K.A.H., 278 Or App 284, ­­P3d­­ (2016)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 45—Testimony Generally, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors045.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 45, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano045.­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.