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Appealing from Municipal to Circuit Court: Proceed with Caution


This Oregon Court of Appeals decision, Milton-Freewater v Ashley (A130586), was decided August 22nd, 2007:

“The circuit court dismissed defendant’s appeal from a judgment of conviction in the municipal court on the ground that defendant failed to file the original notice of appeal with the municipal court and, therefore, the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to review the judgment of conviction. As we explain, ORS 53.030 required defendant to file the original notice of appeal with the municipal court, and her failure to satisfy that requirement precluded the circuit court from exercising jurisdiction over her appeal. We review the circuit court’s conclusion for errors of law, and affirm.”

Update: I neglected to include this excerpt from the opinion:

“We conclude that, when a municipal court that has not become a court of record prosecutes state misdemeanor offenses pursuant to ORS 221.339(2), the municipal court is exercising its authority as a justice court. In that situation, where the municipal court acts as a justice court, we apply the statutes that govern appeals from the justice court.”

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