Oregon Small Claims Forms - Oregon Small Claim

Oregon Small Claims Court FAQ Oregon Small Claim Court

Who hears the claims in small claims court?

In small claims court, the trial is an informal hearing before a judge. There is no jury and the plaintiff presents his or her evidence and witnesses. The defendant is also responsible for presenting his or her witnesses. After hearing both sides of the dispute, the judge will render a verdict based on the law and the facts presented.

Who may file a claim in small claims court?  An individual, partnership or corporation (or LLC) may file a claim against another individual(s), partnership or corporation (LLC) in small claims court, if jurisdiction exists to hear the claim, if the amount of the claim does not exceed the statutory limits.

What must I do before I file a claim?  Before you file a claim, get the facts straight so you can complete the forms correctly and answer any questions court personnel may need to know. Be sure to obtain the correct legal name of the defendant, correct address and place/address of employment. If the defendant is a corporation or LLC you would use the legal corporate or LLC name as the defendant. 

How do I file a claim?  The plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney should go to the small claims division of the district court in the particular county where the person or business to be sued has an office or is domiciled and file a Statement of  Claim Form. The plaintiff is responsible for furnishing the court with the correct and complete address of the defendant. The clerk will assign the plaintiff a case number and this number must be used whenever contacting the court concerning the particular case. A filing fee is required at the time the claim is filed. If the plaintiff cannot afford to prepay the fee at the time of the filing, he or she can submit an Affidavit of Substantial Hardship and request that the judge delay the payment. 

Who serves the defendant with summons or process and how is the defendant served?  The clerk of the court will issue a summons ordering the defendant to appear in court. The summons and the complaint must be served on the defendant. The summons and the complaint may be served by certified or registered mail. If the court provides this service, there may be an additional fee. If the defendant cannot be served using these methods, the precinct constable or any registered private process server will serve the summons and complaint for a fee. 

How are hearings scheduled? The clerk of the court will provide you with the procedure to set the case for trial or hearing at the time you file your claim. 

May I subpoena witnesses? If witnesses are required, but unwilling to attend the hearing unless they are subpoenaed, you may obtain a subpoena issued by the court clerk for service on the witness. The subpoena is an order for the witness to appear at the hearing to testify. Some employer may require that an employee be subpoenaed in order to be excused from work. 

What are the trial procedures? The trial procedure is generally more informal than other courts. The case will usually be called in open court and you will respond that you are present and ready to proceed. You will then be advised when to present your claim. Be prepared to present your claim in your own words. Be prepared to question witnesses if witnesses are needed. 

What happens if the defendant does not appear at trial?  If the defendant does not appear at trial, a default judgment will be entered in the plaintiff's favor for the amount of the claim or other relief. After judgment is obtained and the appeal time has expired, the plaintiff may seek to collect the judgment by acceptable means of collection. 

What are the common forms used in small claims court?  Common forms used in small claims court are:

  • Claim Statement/Complaint
  • Summons
  • Return of Summons
  • Answer
  • Subpoena
  • Abstract of Judgment

What Is a Small Claims Court?

A small claims court is a special type of court where people can resolve minor legal disputes in a simple and informal manner. In Oregon, the small claims court helps people in resolving disagreements involving small amounts of money, usually under a certain limit. It's a place where individuals, without needing a lawyer, can present their case before a judge and provide evidence to support their claims. This court aims to provide a quick and accessible way for people to bring their disputes before a judge and receive a fair and impartial decision.

Why File a Small Claims Case?

Filing a small claims case can be a good option if you are seeking a resolution to a dispute where the amount of money involved is not too big. It allows individuals to resolve their legal problems in a more affordable and accessible manner. In Oregon, filing a small claims case is particularly advantageous because the process is straightforward, and you don't need to hire an attorney. The court provides clear instructions and assistance to help individuals present their case effectively. Moreover, small claims courts in Oregon have jurisdiction over a wide range of disputes, including landlord/tenant disagreements, unpaid debts, and property damage, making it a convenient option for many Oregonians to seek justice.

Small Claims Court Limits for Each State

Small claims court is a legal venue where individuals can resolve disputes involving smaller amounts of money without the need for expensive lawyers. Every state in the United States has its own set of limits, which means that there is a maximum amount of money that can be claimed in each state's small claims court. In Oregon, this limit is set at $10,000, which means that individuals can file a claim for up to that amount. This helps ensure that people have an accessible and affordable way to seek justice for their smaller grievances without having to navigate complex legal procedures or hire costly representation.

Small Claims Demand Letter Example

A small claims demand letter example in Oregon is a straightforward way to ask someone for payment or to resolve a dispute without going to court. In simple terms, it's a letter that a person writes to another person or business, explaining their side of the problem and demanding a specific action, such as paying a debt or fixing a faulty product. This letter is often the first step in resolving small disputes before escalating the issue to the legal system. It's important to use clear and concise language, stating the facts and details of the situation, and clearly stating what resolution you are seeking.

Filing a Small Claims Case in 5 Steps

Filing a small claims case in Oregon can be done in five simple steps. Firstly, gather all the necessary information related to your case, such as evidence, documents, and contact information of the parties involved. Next, fill out a Complaint form from the small claims court website or request one from the courthouse. Be sure to clearly state the facts of the case and the amount you are seeking. After completing the form, make multiple copies and file them at the courthouse along with the required filing fee. Once filed, you must personally serve the defendant with the copies of the Complaint and a Summons, either through a process server or by certified mail. Lastly, attend the scheduled court hearing and present your case, including any evidence or witnesses you may have. After the judge makes a decision, if you are successful in your claim, you can proceed to collect the awarded amount.