Untitled Document

IN THE JUSTICE COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON
FOR LINN COUNTY, DISTRICT 4A


SMALL CLAIMS DEPARTMENT

  1. The purpose of the Small Claims Department is to decide civil disputes promptly and economically.  The hearings are informal with all parties appearing without attorneys.

  2. All claims for $750.00 or less MUST be filed in Small Claims.  Where the amount of the claim is more than $750.00 but does not exceed $10,000.00, the claim MAY be filed in Small Claims.

  3. A Small Claim shall be filed in the County where the Plaintiff or Defendant resides.  The law requires that before filing a claim you have made a bona fide effort to collect the claim from the Defendant.  A written demand is acceptable.  The Claim form shall be typed or legibly printed.  The claim form must be signed in the presence of the court clerk or a notary public.

  4. The original claim form including all copies must be filed with the Small Claims Department.  At the time of filing, you must pay:  $35.00.  No personal checks accepted.  MAKE CASHIER’S CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO “LINN COUNTY JUSTICE COURT”.  Upon receipt of your claim and proper payment of fees, the clerk will file the original claim and issue the Notice of Claim.

  5. The Claim must be served on the Defendant(s) by a qualified person (parties to litigation ARE NOT qualified), proof of service required.  The Sheriff of the County where Defendant resides can serve them for a $36.00 fee.  In Linn County, make the check payable to “LINN COUNTY SHERIFF”. There is also a fee of $1.19 for the Court to mail the claim to the Sheriff’s Office.

  6. The Defendant, within 14 days after receiving the notice, MUST DO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

PAY THE CLAIM: Payment in full (including costs) may be made to the Clerk or may be made directly to the Plaintiff; if made to the Clerk the Clerk shall forward payment to the Plaintiff; or

DEMAND A HEARING:  The Defendant may file an Answer or Answer and Counterclaim by paying $35 (no personal checks).  Hearing date will be set by Court and all parties will be notified by mail; Defendant may also file a Counterclaim with their request for a hearing, OR:

DEMAND A JURY TRIAL: This election can be made only if the claimed amount is more than $750.00.  Defendant must pay a fee of $215.00 to demand a jury trial. There will be an additional charge to the Plaintiff also if a jury request is made.  Additional information is provided if the option is selected by the Defendant.

  1. If the Defendant fails to do one of the above things within 14 days after service of the Claim and Notice of Claim, upon your written request, you may request for Judgment against the Defendant be allowed.  You may obtain from the Clerk of the Court a form called “Request for Judgment/Non Military Affidavit”.  Fill it out and return it to be forwarded to the Judge for judgment.

COLLECTION OF JUDGMENT
If a judgment is awarded and the losing party (Judgment Debtor) does not voluntarily make payment, the winning party (Judgment Creditor), upon payment of the required fees (must be transcribed to the civil docket – fee $9.00), may do one or more of the following:

  1. A Writ of Garnishment – be issued to a party holding money or property of the judgement debt must be served by the Sheriff’s office or a process server in order to obtain money or other property of the Judgment Debtor which is in the possession of a third party (i.e. Debtor’s employer or bank); court fee is $20.00, Sheriff’s Office fees are $25.00.  Forms are available at stationery supply stores.  You may also have an attorney file your writs.  Please note the Clerk is not allowed to give advice or help you fill out the forms.

  2. A Writ of Execution – be issued to the Sheriff's Office in order to seize property of the Debtor and to use that property toward payment of the amount owed. There is a court fee of $20.00. The Sheriff will also charge a fee.

  3. A Transcript of Judgment – be filed in Circuit Court in order to place a lien against the Debtor’s real estate. The fee for the Transcript is $10.00. The Circuit Court will also charge a fee.


An attorney should be consulted if there are any questions, as to which of these remedies is most appropriate in the case, and as to which money or property exemptions may apply, if any.

All fees charged by the Justice Court are set by statute.


NOTE: A JUDGMENT IS MERELY THE DECISION OF THE COURT.  ALTHOUGH PAYMENTS MAY BE MADE THROUGH THE COURT’S OFFICE, THE COURT IS NOT A COLLECTION AGENCY AND WILL NOT SECURE PAYMENT FOR THE JUDGMENT CREDITOR.  ONCE THE JUDGMENT HAS BEEN PAID, THE CREDITOR IS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR NOTIFYING THE COURT IN WRITING AS TO THE FULL OR PARTIAL SATISFACTION OF THE CLAIM.  IF A CLAIM IS SETTLED BETWEEN THE PARTIES PRIOR TO THE ENTRY OF A JUDGMENT, THE PLAINTIFF MUST FILE A ‘MOTION TO DISMISS’ (FORM AVAILABLE AT THE CLERK’S OFFICE).

***For additional information you may call the Oregon State Bar at 1-800-452-4776, TeLLaw Tape #7004. 

Forms available at all Court locations


REMEMBER, THE CLERK OF THE COURT CANNOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE