Oregon Case Law

The Oregon state court system is divided into three levels. The highest court in Oregon is the Oregon Supreme Court, which consists of seven judges. The Supreme Court reviews appeals of decisions by the Oregon Court of Appeals. It also reviews appeals of decisions by trial courts in limited situations. Decisions by the Oregon Supreme Court are final unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review an appeal of a decision.

The middle level of the Oregon state court system is the Oregon Court of Appeals, which consists of 13 judges. Most appeals of decisions by trial courts must pass through the Court of Appeals before reaching the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals also reviews appeals of some decisions by state administrative agencies.

The lowest level of the Oregon state court system consists primarily of the Oregon Circuit Courts, the Oregon County Courts, the Oregon Justice Courts, and the Oregon Municipal Courts. The Circuit Courts are trial courts with general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases. These courts also review appeals of decisions by County Courts, Justice Courts, and Municipal Courts. The jurisdiction of the County Courts is limited to juvenile and probate cases. The Justice Courts are courts at the county level that review criminal cases, traffic violations, and civil matters with no more than $5,000 at issue. The Municipal Courts review cases that involve violations of municipal ordinances and misdemeanors committed within the boundaries of a municipality.

Oregon also has a separate Tax Court, which has exclusive jurisdiction over matters related to taxes and local budgets. Decisions by the Tax Court may be directly appealed to the Supreme Court.

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