Oregon Small Claims Court Rules
- Oregon small claims court cases must involve dollar amounts of less than $7,500. Generally, these cases are heard before a court without the presence of attorneys, but the court may grant some parties special permission to have a lawyer with them in the courtroom. Any case that involves a class action lawsuit or one that calls for statutory attorneys fees cannot be heard in an Oregon small claims court. When a small claims case is filed, the plaintiff must prove he has effectively provided service to the defendant through either a process server or use of the County Sheriff.
- Cases filed in Oregon small claims courts must comply with the rules regarding petitions. A petition is a written lawsuit that must be filed with the court to get the case heard. Oregon small claims petitions must include the name of the petitioner and the defendant, the contact information of each party, the amount of money claimed as damages and a statement of the facts and basis of the claim, including any relevant dates and supporting evidence. While an attorney can help someone prepare for a small claims case and advise the party what to say, she cannot be present when the person argues the case before the court.
- A small claims court in Oregon has jurisdiction over claims arising within the state, with certain limitations. If the claim filed is based on a tort (an injury or accident), it must be filed in the county where the accident happened or where the defendant resides. If the claim involves a dispute over a purchase or service, the claim can be filed in the county where the purchase took place or was supposed to take place or where the defendant is located.