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Chapter 5: State Civil Trial Procedures

In civil cases, an action is started by filing a copy of a complaint with the county clerk, generally in the county of the defendant’s residence. A complaint states what the defendant has done wrong, how the plaintiff was injured or damaged and to what degree. After filing the complaint the sheriff or private process [...]

Chapter 4: Federal Courts in Oregon

Civil practice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon is changing rapidly as a result of the court’s increase in filings, number of judges and clerks and the complexity of issues presented. Federal civil practice and procedure are now focused upon pretrial work which is increasingly concerned with committing each party’s case [...]

Chapter 3: Oregon State Courts

The Oregon Constitution established a supreme court and “such other courts as may from time to time be created by law.” The original Article VII of the constitution provided for circuit courts, county courts, justice of the peace courts and municipal courts. These provisions now have the status of statutes, a result of the adoption [...]

Chapter 2: Common Law

The system of law in the United States is unique among nations because of its combination of common law and constitutional hierarchy. Common law is judge-made law. It is case law. The only way that the judiciary can speak is through individual cases brought to it for resolution. Unlike the other branches of government, the [...]

Chapter 1: Free Press and Fair Trial

Several institutions exist in Oregon to help assure the rights of free press and fair trial. Their purpose is to protect both— through cooperation and consultation rather than by confrontation. They include: Oregon State Bar-Press-Broadcasters Council: This council was established in 1962 by the Oregon State Bar (OSB), the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association (ONPA) and [...]

Media Guide Handbook on Oregon Law and Court System

This handbook was prepared by the Oregon Bar-Press-Broadcasters Council to increase cooperation among these professions and provide wider understanding of the Oregon court system among journalists and broadcasters. Its purpose is to answer the most commonly asked questions concerning the media and courts.

Sample letter to request camera coverage in court

Sample letter requesting public access (camera) coverage of sensitive trial The Hon. Kimberly Frankel Multnomah County Courthouse 1021 S.W. Fourth Ave., Suite 600 Portland, OR 97204 RE: STATE OF OREGON V. LADON STEPHENS Dear Judge Frankel: Please consider this The Oregonian’s request for public access coverage and to be the still-photography pool for such coverage. [...]

Appeals Court rules prisoner execution preparations are public under Constitution

Court rules preparations for prisoner executions are public FILED: September 9, 1998 IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF OREGON OREGON NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION, a not for profit association, J. LEROY YORGASON, its President, WILLAMETTE VALLEY CHAPTER OF SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS, a not for profit society of journalists, ROB PRIEWE, chapter President, [...]

Sample court memo on media coverage of high profile case (State v. Kip Kinkel)

Here is a sample set of media guidelines for a high-profile criminal case where a judge expects a crush of reporters and cameras. STATE OF OREGON CIRCUIT COURT 125 East 8th Avenue Eugene, OR 97401 MEMORANDUM To: All interested media From: Kip Leonard, Presiding Lane County Circuit Judge September 14, 1999 Re: St. v. Kinkel [...]

Brief summary and citation on access to juvenile courts

In 1980, the Oregon Supreme Court held that a statute that excluded the press from a juvenile proceeding violated the Oregon Constitution, Art. I, § 10, which states that “no court shall be secret, but justice shall be administered, openly and without purchase, completely and without delay.” However, the state supreme court went on to [...]
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