Oregon Supreme Court Decisions

The Oregon Supreme Court consists of seven justices. It conducts a direct review of decisions in death penalty cases, Oregon Tax Court cases, certain agency proceedings, and cases involving certain labor law injunctions. The Court also has the discretion to review any decisions by the Court of Appeals, as well as questions certified by the Court of Appeals, a court of another state, or a federal court. It has original jurisdiction over issuing writs such as habeas corpus and mandamus, in addition to certain matters related to elections. The Court oversees the practice of law throughout the state, and it may conduct disciplinary proceedings related to the fitness of a judge or attorney.

Each justice on the Oregon Supreme Court serves a term of six years. Justices are chosen in non-partisan elections, so voters do not see the party affiliation of a candidate on the ballot. However, the Governor of Oregon holds the authority to appoint a justice if a vacant seat arises in the middle of a term. The interim justice must run in the next general election if they seek to remain on the court for a full term. Oregon imposes a mandatory retirement age of 75 on justices. A candidate for this position must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Oregon for at least three years before being appointed or elected. They also must have been admitted to practice law in the Oregon Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Court is chosen by the other justices and holds that position for the full six years. They supervise the administrative and financial tasks related to running the state judiciary.

A justice may face removal in certain situations. These include a felony conviction, a violation of a rule of judicial conduct, incompetence to perform the duties of their position, and alcohol or drug addiction.

Browse Opinions From the Oregon Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Oregon Supreme Court
E. J. T. v. Jefferson County  
Date: September 22, 2022
Docket Number: S068846

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States District Court for the District of Oregon certified two questions of law to the Oregon Supreme Court. Plaintiff, through a conservator, brought this action after he suffered catastrophic brain damage at…

Oregon v. Hershey  
Date: August 11, 2022
Docket Number: S067825

Justia Opinion Summary: In September 2017, Klamath County Animal Control impounded 22 dogs, three horses, and seven chickens from Petitioner Kenneth Hershey’s property. The state subsequently charged Hershey with three counts of second-degree…

Oregon v. Carlisle  
Date: August 4, 2022
Docket Number: S067880

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Zachary Carlisle challenged his conviction for misdemeanor third-degree sexual abuse, which required the state to prove that he “subject[ed] another person to sexual contact” and that “[t]he victim d[id] not…

Hickey v. Scott  
Date: July 28, 2022
Docket Number: S068647

Justia Opinion Summary: In October 2019, defendants rented an apartment from plaintiff pursuant to a month-to-month tenancy rental agreement. The parties’ agreement required defendants to pay a $1,500 security deposit and $850 a month in rent.…

Oregon v. Gray  
Date: July 28, 2022
Docket Number: S068673

Justia Opinion Summary: Relator Randy Gray was the defendant charged in 2021 by a district attorney’s information with (among other things) the felony of assaulting a public safety officer. Shortly after the information was filed, relator’s…

Lowell v. Medford School Dist. 549C  
Date: July 28, 2022
Docket Number: S068891

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Thomas Lowell provided piano tuning services to defendant Medford School District and assisted in producing concerts performed in defendant’s facilities. While providing production assistance for a particular…

Oregon v. Benson  
Date: July 14, 2022
Docket Number: S068495

Justia Opinion Summary: After receiving a report that defendant John Benson sexually assaulted B, police launched an investigation that was subsequently halted. Seven and a half years later, after the case was rediscovered during an “open case”…

Gist v. Zoan Management, Inc.  
Date: July 8, 2022
Docket Number: S067992

Justia Opinion Summary: After plaintiff filed this class-action complaint against defendants, defendants filed a motion to compel arbitration. The trial court granted the motion. Plaintiff appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. The Oregon…

Scott v. Kesselring  
Date: July 8, 2022
Docket Number: S068503

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant rear-ended plaintiff’s vehicle, and plaintiff suffered physical and emotional injuries as a result. Plaintiff claimed that her emotional injuries were so severe that she attempted to take her own life and was…

Dahlton v. Kyser  
Date: July 8, 2022
Docket Number: S068871

Justia Opinion Summary: Relator—the decedent’s personal representative—brought a wrongful death claim under ORS 30.020 that sought, among other things, damages on behalf of the statutory beneficiaries for their loss of decedent’s society and…

Lowell v. Wright  
Date: June 23, 2022
Docket Number: S068129

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff’s libel per se claim was based on a Google review, written by the manager of plaintiff’s business competitor, that subsequently was removed from the internet without a trace. The Oregon Court of Appeals…

Querbach v. Dept. of Human Services  
Date: June 16, 2022
Docket Number: S068395

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Bruce Querbach sought to overturn a final order of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) which determined that reports to DHS that petitioner had abused two children were “founded.” The circuit court,…

Robinette v. SAIF  
Date: June 3, 2022
Docket Number: S068207

Justia Opinion Summary: This case centered on the loss of use or function of claimant’s right knee, specifically, reduced range of motion and decreased stability in that knee, that was determined to be entirely related to causes other than…

Abraham v. Corizon Health, Inc.  
Date: June 3, 2022
Docket Number: S068265

Justia Opinion Summary: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question of law to the Oregon Supreme Court. The question related to the applicability of Oregon’s anti- discrimination laws to a private contractor that provided healthcare…

Salsgiver/Iannarone v. Rosenblum  
Date: May 27, 2022
Docket Number: S069380

Justia Opinion Summary: Two groups of petitioners challenged the ballot title that the Oregon Attorney General certified for Initiative Petition 41 (2022) (IP 41). IP 41 would add a new section 16 to Article IX of the Oregon Constitution, which…

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.