Oregon Small Claims Court: An Overview

From maximum dollar limits to statutes of limitations, learn the basics about small claims court in Oregon.

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What's the dollar limit for small claims court cases in Oregon?

The most you can ask for in a small claims case is $10,000.

Which court hears small claims cases in Oregon?

Small claims cases in Oregon are heard in the Small Claims Department (Circuit or Justice Court).

What is the statute of limitations period for filing a claim in small claims court in Oregon?

For information on Oregon's statute of limitaiton periods for claims related to written contracts, oral contracts, injuries, and property damage, see Nolo's 50-state Statutes of Limitations chart.

How long does the defendant have to answer the small claims court complaint?

In Oregon, the defendant must file a written answer within 14 days of service to avoid default and request a hearing. If there is a counterclaim over $10,000, the defendant must file a motion to transfer to regular circuit court or the counterclaim will be ignored. The plaintiff must reply to defendant's counterclaim within 20 days of service.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in Oregon?

You are not allowed -- unless the judge consents -- to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in Oregon.

Can a landlord bring an eviction lawsuit in small claims court in Oregon?

Eviction cases are not allowed in small claims court in Oregon, but must be heard by a higher court.

Do I have a right to a jury trial in small claims court in Oregon?

In Oregon, the defendant may request a jury trial, but only if the claim is more than $750. The request must be made at same time as answer, within 14 days of service. The case is then transferred to the appropriate court.

Where can I get more information about small claims court in Oregon?

For more information about Oregon small claims court, see https://www.osbar.org/public/legalinfo/1061_SmallClaims.htm.

Nolo's Small Claims Court area has many helpful related articles. For more detailed help with filing a case, using the best strategy in court, and collecting your money if you win, see Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, by Attorney Ralph Warner (Nolo).

Updated: October 1, 2015

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