2015 ORS 46.465¹
Time and place of hearing
  • notice
  • procedure if right to jury trial asserted
  • attorney fees

(1) If the defendant demands a hearing in the small claims department, under the direction of the court the clerk shall fix a day and time for the hearing and shall mail to the parties a notice of the hearing time in the form prescribed by the court, instructing them to bring witnesses, documents and other evidence pertinent to the controversy.

(2) If the defendant asserts a counterclaim, the notice of the hearing time shall contain a copy of the counterclaim.

(3)(a) If the defendant claims the right to a jury trial, the clerk shall notify the plaintiff by mail of the requirements of this paragraph. Within 20 days after the mailing of the notice, the plaintiff must file a formal complaint with the court and serve by mail a summons and copy of the complaint on the defendant at the designated address of the defendant. Proof of service must be filed by the plaintiff with the court. Proof of service may be made by filing a certificate of the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney with the complaint.

(b) The plaintiff’s claim in the formal complaint filed pursuant to this subsection is not limited to the amount stated in the claim filed in the small claims department, but the claim in the formal complaint must relate to the same controversy.

(c) The defendant must file an appearance in the matter within 10 days after the date on which the summons and copy of the complaint would be delivered to the defendant in due course of mail. Thereafter the cause shall proceed as other causes in the court, and costs and disbursements shall be allowed and taxed. Fees not previously paid shall be charged and collected as provided for other cases tried in the circuit court, except that the filing fee for the plaintiff shall be an amount equal to the difference between the filing fee paid by the plaintiff as required by ORS 46.570 (Fees) and the filing fee required of the plaintiff under ORS 21.160 (Filing fee for tort and contract actions).

(4)(a) If the defendant claims the right to a jury trial and does not prevail in the action, the court shall award to the plaintiff reasonable attorney fees incurred by the plaintiff in the action. Unless attorney fees are otherwise provided for in the action by contract or statutory provision, attorney fees awarded under this paragraph may not exceed $1,000.

(b) If the defendant asserts a counterclaim that requires transfer of the matter under the provisions of ORS 46.461 (Counterclaims), and the defendant does not prevail in the action, the court shall award to the plaintiff reasonable attorney fees incurred by the plaintiff in the action. [1971 c.760 §8; 1975 c.346 §1; 1983 c.673 §3; 1985 c.496 §14; 1991 c.790 §8; 1995 c.455 §5; 1995 c.618 §15a; 1997 c.46 §§9,10; 2011 c.595 §51]

Notes of Decisions

Where defendant entered general denial and demanded jury trial in response to plaintiff's service of notice of claim in small claims depart­ment, plaintiff was re­quired to serve defendant with summons and copy of complaint under this sec­tion in order to properly commence ac­tion in district court and actual notice of pendency of ac­tion did not meet require­ments of this sec­tion and it was error to dismiss default judg­ment for defendant. Michel v. Uetz, 87 Or App 452, 742 P2d 698 (1987)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Pay­ment of filing fees where defendant asserts right to jury and case is moved to district court, (1978) Vol 38, p 1702

Law Review Cita­tions

55 OLR 188-196 (1976)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 46—Small Claims Department of Circuit Court, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors046.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 46, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano046.­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.