Small Claims Research Guide

Learn how to search for Small Claims Court information in Oregon.

Quick Research Tip

Small claims cases can be filed in Oregon Circuit Courts and county Justice Courts. Please read the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) sections that apply to your specific situation. Individual county Circuit and Justice Courts will have their own forms and procedures; before embarking on additional research, please contact the court where you plan to file. There is no Oregon Small Claims Court guide, handbook, or manual, but many Oregon court webpages will have information about how to file a small claims case.


Keywords to Use when Searching

Small Claims Civil Actions Justice Court 
Evidence Witnesses Service
Garnishment Collection Enforcement of Judgement
Jury Trial Legal Assistance  


Books, Pamphlets, and Brochures

· Many legal research resources are not online. Ask at your county or state law library for titles.

· Ask about legal self-help books such as Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court or other Nolo Press titles at your public library, bookstore, and local law library. Articles on small claims courts are also available at Nolo Press. While these are not Oregon specific, they may provide you with useful information.

· Other titles, such as Using Small Claims Court in Oregon by Janay Haas and The Civil Process Manual by Oregon State Sheriffs' Association can be useful. Ask about then at your public library, bookstore, and local law library.

· Check out the offerings at an Oregon public library. For Washington County, check out WCCLS.


Online Information

· Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) has links to your local circuit court where you can find your county's small claims procedures, forms, and fees. Visit the Washington County Circuit Court or Justice Court for example.

· Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS): search keywords such as small slaims, justice court, evidence, witnesses, service, garnishment, collection, enforcement of judgement, jury trial and others that apply.

· Oregon State Bar (OSB) Public Info (503-684-3763) is another source of basic information on how small claims are handled by Oregon courts. You may also ask for a referral to an attorney who will serve as your Small Claims Coach or to review your documents.

· Service: Your county sheriff's department is one place to look for information on serving defendants notice of your lawsuit; see, for example, the Washington County Sheriff's Department Civil Unit. There is also an Oregon publicaion called the "Civil Process Manual," which you may find at some county law libraries.

· Oregon Corporation Division is the place to look for information on business names and agents for service if you are bringing a small claim against a business.

· View the video of "All Rise! Take Your Case to Small Claims Court" a 2013 video sponsered by the Oregon State Bar.


Oregon Small Claims Courts

· Washington County Justice Court and Washington County Circuit Court

· Multnomah County Circuit Court and Small Claims Court (call 503-988-3022)

· Other Oregon Small Claims Courts: Check with your county circuit or justice court

· Self-help links, Oregon Judicial Department

· Small-claims forms, Oregon Judicial Department


Other Resources

· Oregon Law Center 1-877-296-4076 : Hillsboro Regional Office

· Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO)/Oregon Law Help

· Oregon State Bar (OSB) lawyer referral service 503-684-3763

· Locate your local county law library: Oregon Council of County Law Libraries directory (OCCLL)

· Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) Self-Help Resources

· How to Find a Lawyer in Oregon

· Oregon Legal Research Blog

· Oregon Legal Research Website