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
Oregon v. Weaver  
Date: September 3, 2020
Docket Number: S066636

Justia Opinion Summary: While defendant Francis Weaver was awaiting trial for murder, the state entered into a plea agreement with one of his codefendants, Michael Orren - a potential witness in defendant’s case. The plea agreement required Orr...

City of Damascus v. Oregon  
Date: September 3, 2020
Docket Number: S066939

Justia Opinion Summary: In Senate Bill (SB) 226 (2019), enacted as Oregon Laws 2019, chapter 545, sections 1 to 5, the Oregon Legislature sought to retroactively cure defects in a 2016 local election in which voters approved disincorporating th...

Summerfield v. OLCC  
Date: August 28, 2020
Docket Number: S066377

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Gene Summerfield, worked for defendant Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), in its warehouse. In his complaint plaintiff alleged that he and other African-Americans had been subjected to racial discriminati...

Oregon v. Haltom  
Date: August 28, 2020
Docket Number: S066955

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Austin Haltom was convicted of second-degree sexual abuse, defined in ORS 163.425(1)(a). In Oregon v. Simonov, 368 P3d 11 (2016), in the context of analyzing ORS 164.135(1)(a), the statute criminalized using a...

James v. Oregon  
Date: August 6, 2020
Docket Number: S066933

Justia Opinion Summary: The Oregon legislature made various changes to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) by enacting amendments set out in SB 1049, Or Laws 2019, ch 355. Petitioners were PERS members challenging two of those amendme...

Albany & Eastern Railroad Co. v. Martell  
Date: July 23, 2020
Docket Number: S066941

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a bench trial, the trial court determined that the residents of a small neighborhood (or their predecessors) who since 1942, used a railroad crossing on a private roadway to access their homes, had established...

Arvidson v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp.  
Date: July 16, 2020
Docket Number: S066746

Justia Opinion Summary: After claimant Danny Arvidson received an award of permanent total disability, insurer Liberty Northwest Insurance Corporation requested a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) to review the award. The ALJ dis...

Busch v. McInnis Waste Systems, Inc.  
Date: July 9, 2020
Docket Number: S066098

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff had the right-of-way and was walking across a crosswalk in downtown Portland when defendant’s garbage truck struck him. By the time the truck stopped, plaintiff’s leg was under the truck and attached to his bod...

Kinzua Resources v. DEQ  
Date: July 9, 2020
Docket Number: S066676

Justia Opinion Summary: The dispute in this case arose from an Environmental Quality Commission order, which concluded that petitioners were persons “controlling” an inactive landfill site and imposed liability on them for failing to per- form...

Pulito v. Board of Nursing  
Date: July 2, 2020
Docket Number: S066569

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Oregon Supreme Court's review centered on a final order of the Oregon State Board of Nursing (the board) and the meaning of the term “time limitations” in ORS 183.645(1). That statut...

Oregon v. Payne  
Date: July 2, 2020
Docket Number: S066919

Justia Opinion Summary: During defendant Isaiah Payne's trial for third-degree sexual abuse, the complainant denied including a racial description of defendant in her statement to police and accused defense counsel of trying to make her look ra...

Buel/Markley v. Rosenblum  
Date: July 2, 2020
Docket Number: S067555

Justia Opinion Summary: By Legislative Referendum (LR) 401 (2020), the Oregon legislature asked voters to approve or reject a constitutional amendment that would permit the legislature, local governments, and the people through the initiative p...

M. A. B. v. Buell  
Date: June 18, 2020
Docket Number: S066752

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner M.A.B. applied for a Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) protective order against respondent on October 9, 2017. Respondent and petitioner were married in 2014. Together, they had a son, J, who was born in 2015...

Elkhorn Baptist Church v. Brown  
Date: June 12, 2020
Docket Number: S067736

Justia Opinion Summary: The Oregon Governor issued executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. Because the virus spread through close personal contact and through the air, some of the orders have restricted the size...

Oregon v. Williams  
Date: June 4, 2020
Docket Number: S066872

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Olan Williams was charged with two counts of first-degree sodomy. The jury was instructed that it could return a nonunanimous guilty verdict. Defendant did not object. The jury acquitted defendant of one count...

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.