May 1, 2017

May 23rd – Join us for Day at the Capitol

Please join the Oregon State Bar for the biannual Day at the Capitol on May 23, 2017. This is an opportunity to meet your legislators; advocate for court funding, indigent defense, and civil legal services; and develop an in-depth understanding of the legislative process.

There will be a program at noon with remarks by Justice Martha Walters and Justice David Brewer from the Oregon Supreme Court, John Potter from the Public Defense Services Commission, and Amy Edwards from Legal Aid. Lunch will be provided to those who RSVP.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Public Affairs Department at [email protected] to RSVP.

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Oregon Judicial Department testifies on court facilities and funding for Oregon eCourt

On April 24th and 25th, the Oregon Judicial Department returned to the Joint Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee to provide additional information on two projects: (1) court facilities and (2) additional funding for Oregon eCourt.

The court-facilities presentation focused on the courthouse replacements and improvements completed during the 2015–2017 biennium as well as the expected efforts for the 2017–2019 biennium. A complete list of possible court-facility funding requests can be found in the Chief Justice Report on Potential Courthouse Replacement Funding Requests submitted to the Legislature’s Emergency Board in October of 2016. Below is a list of possible projects for the 2017–2019 biennium.

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2017–2019 Proposed Courthouse Capitol Construction and Improvement Projects

  • Multnomah, Clackamas, and Hood River Counties – Courthouse replacement
  • Douglas County – Plumbing
  • Benton County – Roof repair and boiler replacement
  • Clatsop County – Security upgrades, courtroom AV, elevator
  • Columbia County – Dry rot, safety-alert system, backup generator, HVAC
  • Grant County – Window replacement
  • Jackson County – Blower fan, HVAC controls, backup generator/switch
  • Wasco County – Window replacement
  • Wheeler County – Roofing

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Oregon eCourt Funding

The discussion of Oregon eCourt funding on April 25th focused on possible plans to make up for the expected funding shortfall of approximately $8 million for the 2017–2019 biennium.

Currently, approximately 60 percent of the subscribers of the Oregon Judicial Case Information Network (OJCIN)—which includes Oregon eCourt and the file and serve system—are public, nonpaying members. Public members include the Department of Justice, Public Defense Providers, law enforcement, and the Department of Human Services. The remaining 40 percent of subscribers, such as attorneys and law firms, media, and title companies, are considered private subscribers and pay a one-time registration fee and subsequent monthly fees to receive access to documents.

Funding sources currently being discussed include a 5-percent increase in filing fees, a $5 increase in criminal fines and assessments, an increase in OJCIN user fees, and a state agency assessment on the public subscribers.

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Legislative Session passes first deadline

On April 18th, the Legislature hit its first scheduling deadline of the 2017 session. Unless a bill was in the Rules, Revenue, or one of the Joint Committees, the bill must have passed out of committee in its chamber of origin by April 18th. This session, a number of bills that the Bar is tracking passed out of committee before the deadline and are on their way to the second chamber. The next chamber deadline for moving a bill out of committee is June 2nd.

Below are some of the bills that the Bar and its sections have been following over the last few weeks.

Public Records Bills
HB 2101: Sunsets certain exemptions from disclosure for public records.
SB 106: Creates Public Records Advocate and Public Records Advisory Council.
SB 481: Establishes state policy regarding public access to public records.

Grand Jury Bills
SB 496: Directs presiding judges of judicial districts within the state to ensure that proceedings before a grand jury are recorded.
SB 505: Directs district attorneys to ensure that proceedings before a grand jury are recorded.

Budget Bills
HB 5013: 2017–2019 Oregon Judicial Department Budget.
HB 5033: 2017–2019 Public Defense Services Commission Budget.
SB 5535: 2017–2019 Oregon Department of Revenue Budget.

Judicial Compensation and Number of Judges
HB 2605: Increases the number of circuit-court judges in several judicial districts.
HB 2636/SB 11: Modifies annual salaries of judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Oregon Tax Court, and circuit courts.

Oregon eCourt Funding
HB 2795: Increases certain filing fees, motion fees, settlement-conference fees, trial fees, fees for writs of garnishment, and marriage-solemnization fees
HB 2597: Increases presumptive fine for violations, including traffic violations occurring in certain locations

Representation in Juvenile Proceedings
HB 2345: Extends sunset on provision authorizing Department of Human Services to appear as a party in juvenile-court proceedings without appearance of Attorney General.
SB 525: Extends sunset on provision authorizing Department of Human Services to appear as a party in juvenile-court proceedings without appearance of Attorney General.

Other Bills of Interest
HB 2191: Requires a person to obtain or renew license from the Secretary of State in order to serve as a commercial registered agent in this state (Business Law Section).
HB 2356: Establishes requirements under which a debt buyer may bring legal action to collect a debt (Debtor-Creditor and Consumer Law Sections).
HB 2793: Requires a person convicted of commercial sexual solicitation to disclose to the court all Oregon licenses, certificates, permits, and registrations that the person holds (Administrative Law Section).
SB 131: Modifies provisions relating to telephonic testimony in certain proceedings.
SB 722: Provides that debt management service provider may charge a fee of not more than $100 for service in which the debt management service provider improves or preserves, or offers to improve or preserve, a consumer’s credit record, credit history, or credit rating but does not conduct a budget analysis for the consumer, act as broker for another debt management service provider, or otherwise engage in other activity that constitutes debt management service.
SB 898: Establishes Task Force on Custody and Parenting Time (Family Law Section).
SB 931: Provides that the court has discretion over the selection of alternate jurors and when alternate jurors are informed of alternate status.

This is a partial list of bills that the Bar is currently tracking. If you have questions about a specific bill, please contact the Public Affairs Department at [email protected].

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Oregon Court of Appeals Vacancies

On April 12, 2017, Governor Kate Brown announced that she is accepting applications for two openings on the Oregon Court of Appeals. The first vacancy was occasioned by the appointment of Justice Meagan A. Flynn to the Oregon Supreme Court, effective April 4, 2017. The second vacancy will be occasioned by the retirement of Judge Timothy J. Sercombe, which will become effective July 1, 2017. The submission deadline has been extended from May 3, 2017 to May 5, 2017. Details available here.

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Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members

Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department

Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Bagnani, Public Affairs Assistant

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