Oregon Court Records

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This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Oregon Family History Research series.
History of Oregon
Oregon Vital Records
Census Records for Oregon
Background Sources for Oregon
Oregon Maps
Oregon Land Records
Oregon Probate Records
Oregon Court Records
Oregon Tax Records
Oregon Cemetery Records
Oregon Church Records
Oregon Military Records
Oregon Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Oregon Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Oregon Immigration
Oregon Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Oregon
Oregon County Resources
Map of Oregon


The Oregon court system is divided as follows: circuit courts, county courts, district courts, justice courts, municipal or city courts, and the supreme court.

Circuit courts are major trial courts. In Oregon they have countywide jurisdiction over criminal cases, probate matters, guardianships, divorces, and some administrative functions. County courts, where they exist, have countywide jurisdiction in juvenile cases, and in some probate matters. District courts have countywide jurisdiction over minor criminal cases. Justice courts have concurrent countywide jurisdiction with circuit courts over minor criminal cases. Municipal or city courts have jurisdiction over municipal law violations or liquor control law violations. The supreme court has the final appellate jurisdiction for the entire state.

Most Oregon court records are either deposited at the state archives or remain at local county courthouses. These records and their locations are all inventoried on the Oregon State Archives website database “Oregon Historical County Records Guide” (see Oregon County Resources).

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