Articles Posted in County & Municipal Law Resources

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There has been a recent slew of articles and editorials on homelessness in Oregon, but this editorial stands out – and not just as a reminder that Street Roots is always worth reading.

The editorial needs a few footnotes, specifically citations to sections of the Oregon Constitution and other laws that are referenced. But their absence doesn’t take away from the gist.

Portland Business Alliance: We can do better than this,” by Israel Bayer, Street Roots editorial, 15 July 2015

The Portland Business Alliance took out a full-page ad in today’s Oregonian with the headline, “We can do better than this.” The ad goes on to say, “Our city is experiencing a crisis on our streets and in our parks….

On its face, the campaign seems like a practical call for housing and resources — something we can all agree on. In some ways, Street Roots doesn’t disagree. It’s time for bold action on housing and homelessness in our city. There’s simply no place left to turn.

Saying that, buying a one-page ad in The Oregonian and orchestrating a petition seems like a sensational attempt to force the mayor into responding to the issue.

Here’s the thing. When it comes to having tools at our disposal to combat our housing and homeless crisis we are hurting badly. Here is a short-list of tools used in other states that are prohibited at a local or state level….‘ [Link to full editorial.]

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This is an update to the previous 10/14 blog post: OJIN and OECI Access in Oregon County Law Libraries

The following Oregon public law libraries have in-library public, or staff-assisted, access to OJIN, OECI, or ACMS (court dockets). (But, these locations do not necessarily have access to any or all full-text filed documents. You may need visit Circuit Court records offices for those documents.)

Contact information for all Oregon county law libraries can be found at the OCCLL directory.

State of Oregon Law Library (ACMS & OJIN & OECI): 503.986.5640
Clackamas (OJIN & OECI): 503-655-8248
Josephine (OJIN & OECI): 541-474-5488
Lane (OJIN & OECI): 541-682-4337
Marion (OJIN & OECI & ACMS): 503-588-5090
Multnomah (OJIN & OECI): 503-988-3394

The other county law libraries do not have these court records databases, which is not to say you can’t ask your court’s Trial Court Administrator or Presiding Judge to allow access from your county law library.

For more information, link to OJCIN OnLine (Oregon Judicial Case Information Network) and the OJD eCourt homepage.

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If Access to Justice (A2J) is to be something other than a catch-phrase or a pipe dream, lawyers, judges, court administrators, and law librarians need to think, plan, and act creatively on micro and macro initiatives.

Many ideas are already on drawing boards, in app programmer hands, and in pilot project status.  Court Simplification is another A2J Big Idea and here are some places to read about it:

1) You can Google the phrase “court simplification” for information.

2) Richard Zorza’s Drake Law Review paper on simplification: “Some First Thoughts on Court Simplification: The Key to Civil Access and Justice Transformation.” [Link directly to PDF.]

…. To summarize the approach proposed here: We must find ways to radically simplify the legal dispute resolution system so it becomes much more accessible and so the costs of accessing and operating the system dramatically decrease. Such an increase in access will lead to an improvement in the justness and fairness of outcomes….” [Link to full article.]

3) Related Zorza post on courts, budgets, and access to justice, June 17, 2013: “Professor in Nederlands On Strategies for Access Change,” notes from the International Legal Aid Group meeting in the Nederlands

Richard Zorza homepage.

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If you want to report a local “code enforcement” problem or file a complaint, you need to figure out where to file the report.

This will depend on:
1) the type of complaint: private, public, noise, parking, etc. and
2) who has jurisdiction: that is, which government or private entity is responsible for the problem and which entity can help you fix the problem. Sometimes a problem needs both a private and a public solution.

For example, if the problem is in Washington County (Oregon), you can visit the county’s website, visit the Sheriff’s Code Enforcement website, or you can search online, e.g. sample search string: Washington county Oregon traffic signals complaints

In other cities and counties, start with your local government’s information office; they can direct you to the office that oversees the problem or direct to you to alternative dispute resolution resources.

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The Oregon legislature will consider a proposal this year to adjust the boundary between Multnomah and Washington counties so that approximately 160 acres, known as “Area 93,” would change jurisdiction.

Read about the Multnomah and Washington Counties plan at the Washington County Area 93 website and the Area 93 Updates page.

You can also follow 2013 House Bill 3067 from the Oregon Legislature’s website.

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You can find links to Oregon cities’ biennial photo radar and red light reports from the Oregon State Library’s Reports to the Legislature website, including Beaverton, Sherwood, and many others.

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 810.438 was amended in 2005 to require cities using photo radar equipment to conduct a process and outcome evaluation for the legislature once each biennium.

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The Oregon voter registration deadline for the November 2012 election is: October 16, 2012

Visit the Oregon Secretary of State OregonVotes dot org website for links to online registration, registration sites, information about the November ballot, and much more.

Or, visit your county election office.

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Oregon State Sheriff’s Office Association (OSSA) (a tax-exempt nonprofit) website states:

“OSSA’s sole function in relation to Sheriffs’ Sales of real and personal property is to post legal notices as authorized by ORS 18.924.”

Link to ORS 18.924.

A Statesman Journal, June 13, 2012, article: “Website to list legal notices for sales.” [SJ website may force you to log-in, but you can link directly to the OSSA Sheriffs Sale website for the legal notices of sale.]

Excerpt: “The Oregon State Sheriff’s Office Association will begin hosting a website for legal notices of sale of real and personal property starting this Friday.

Once a judge orders a piece of property to be sold, the county sheriff’s offices assists in that sale by holding an auction. Up until last year, the agency would be required by law to post notices of those auctions in public places. For real estate, the agency was required to run a notice in the newspaper once a week for four consecutive weeks. For other types of property, a public notice was required to be posted in a public place between 10 and 20 days.

In 2011, legislators decided to allow the OSSA to host a website and post these notices on the Internet.…” [Read full story.  The SJ website may force you to log-in in order to read the June 13th, but you can link directly to the OSSA Sheriffs Sale website for the legal notices of sale.]