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