Table of Contents
- Oregon Judicial Department Provides Update to Legislature
- House Interim Judiciary Committee and Senate Interim Judiciary Committee Meet Remotely
- 2020 Primary Election Results
- File & Serve Upgrade on Saturday, June 20, 2020
- Oregon State Bar Board of Governors Approves 2021 Legislative Proposals for Drafting
- Approved Changes to the UTCR Effective August 1, 2020
Oregon Judicial Department Provides Update to Legislature
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon House and Senate each held their May/June interim legislative day meetings remotely. Because of the closure of the Capitol, hearings were live streamed on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) and broadcast on the Capitol steps. Unlike previous interim hearings, the House and Senate Judiciary committees did not meet jointly. As a result, the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) had the opportunity to present to each committee separately.
The presentation from the OJD was provided by Chief Justice Martha Walters, Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge Raymond D. Crutchley, and Nancy Cozine, the Oregon State Court Administrator. In presentations to both committees, Chief Justice Walters provided an overview of the court system and the steps OJD has taken to continue providing judicial services while ensuring appropriate health and safety . Judge Crutchley provided an on-the-ground description of how the courts would be reopening as the Governor allowed counties to partially reopen in Phase II. Ms. Cozine discussed the expected increase in use of court services and the surge of legal cases as the court system reopens.
In addition, the chief justice and Ms. Cozine discussed draft legislative concepts which may be introduced during a possible legislative special session. The draft language, which has been updated after feedback from practitioners, was drafted to allow greater flexibility for the court system during a declared state of emergency.
For additional information on the OJD’s Chief Justice Orders as well as other courts, the Oregon State Bar has created a COVID-19 Response page with information from the federal, state, and many administrative and municipal courts.
House Interim Judiciary Committee and Senate Interim Judiciary Committee Meet Remotely
On May 28, 2020, and June 3, 2020, the House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees met respectively to discuss a variety of civil and criminal legal issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a significant amount of overlap in the presentations, with many of the same groups presenting to both committees. However, each hearing had a unique perspective and focus, driven in part by the interests of the legislators. Both hearings have been posted on OLIS.
The House Committee, chaired by Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley), met on May 28, 2020. The presentation from the Oregon Judicial Department provide an overview of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic (referenced above) opened the meeting. During the remainder of the meeting, the committee heard presentations regarding:
- Oregon Department of Corrections’ response to COVID-19 epidemic for adults in custody
- Effects of COVID-19 epidemic on domestic violence occurrences and responses
- Consumer and business liability concerns in response to COVID-19 epidemic (including workers’ compensation and business liability).
To watch the May 28, 2020 House Interim Judiciary Committee meeting, visit the committee’s webpage for video and meeting materials.
The Senate Committee, chaired by Senator Floyd Prozasnki (D-Lane County), met on June 3, 2020. In addition to the topics addressed in the House Committee, the Senate Committee heard presentations on:
- Remote notarization and attestation
- COVID-19 admission restrictions at Oregon State Hospital
- Effects of COVID-19 epidemic on domestic violence occurrences and responses
- Increase in firearm sales and background check issues during COVID-19 epidemic
To watch the June 3, 2020 Senate Interim Judiciary Committee meeting, visit the committee’s webpage for video and meeting materials.
2020 Primary Election Results
The 2020 primary election was held in Oregon on May 19, 2020. This year, 12 of the 75 seats up for election had legally trained candidates running for either a House or Senate seat. Of the 12 candidates, nine won their respective primaries, including four first-time candidates. The full list of results are posted on the Oregon Secretary of State’s website.
In the Oregon House, Charles Lee (D-Roseburg), Kim Wallen (R-Medford), Marty Wilde (D- Eugene, N. Lane), Dan Rayfield (D-Coravallis), Ken Helm (D-NE Washington County), Karin Power (D-Milwaukie), Emerson Levy (D-Deschutes County), and Jason Kropf (D-Bend) received the nomination from their party for the general election in the fall.
In the Oregon Senate, Melissa Cribbins (D-Mid-Coast) received the nomination from her party for the full election in the fall.
Legally trained state senators, Floyd Prozanski (D-S. Eugene, Lane County), Peter Courtney (D-Keizer, Woodburn), Betsy Johnson (D-St. Helens and the North Coast), and Shemia Fagan (D-Mid. Multnomah County), are midterm in their cycles and are not running in 2020.
In two of the statewide races, current or former lawyer legislators won their primary and will move on to the general election in November.
The republican primary race for the 2nd congressional seat, currently held by Greg Walden who will be retiring, had two former state senators running: Cliff Bentz and Jason Atkinson. Cliff Bentz won the primary and will be running as the republican candidate in November.
The democratic primary race for Secretary of State, currently held by Bev Clarno who will be retiring, had two current state senators running: Shemia Fagan and Mark Hass. Shemia Fagan won the primary and will be running as the democratic candidate in November. If Senator Fagan wins the general election, she will step down from the legislature and her position will be filled through the appointment process.
Thank you to all legally trained candidates who ran in the 2020 primary and best of luck to the candidates in the November election.
File & Serve Upgrade on Saturday, June 20, 2020
The Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) will upgrade File & Serve on Saturday, June 20, 2020, beginning at 7:00 AM. File & Serve will be offline until noon.
The new version of File & Serve will look and function the same as the current version of File & Serve. The only substantive difference will be the addition of case subtypes as a filing option. In addition to upgrading the File & Serve system, OJD will also update the File & Serve documentation on the OJD and the File & Serve websites. This will include a list of case subtypes, which is attached to this memo.
OJD will host two webinars that will cover File & Serve functionality, including how to add case subtypes, and a discussion about Oregon’s Electronic Filing Standards. The webinars are also opportunity to ask questions about recent changes related to electronic filings such requirements for electronically filed exhibits and declarations that have been electronically signed by non-filers.
The webinars will occur on Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 3:00 PM and Friday, June 19, 2020, at 12:00 PM. You may register for a webinar by clicking on one of the links below:
Please contact Sam Dupree at the Oregon Judicial Department if you have any questions ([email protected]; 971-283-1133).
Oregon State Bar Board of Governors Approves 2021 Legislative Proposals for Drafting
On May 22, 2020, the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors met to discuss a variety of issues, including the 2021 OSB Legislative Law Improvement Program (LIP). This year, the LIP included proposals from eight different bar sections, committees, and groups and addressed issues from will retention to veterans’ preference in hiring. After review, the Board of Governors approved 13 proposals for drafting by the Oregon Legislature’s office of Legislative Counsel. Legislative concepts will be drafted over the summer months and reviewed by the Bar’s sections and committees. Bar LIP bills have historically been submitted as committee bills during the December legislative interim days.
Approved Changes to the UTCR Effective August 1, 2020
Chief Justice Walters has signed CJO 20-021, which approved changes to the Uniform Trial Court Rules (UTCR), effective August 1, 2020.
Changes and out-of-cycle amendments of special note prohibit civil arrests in courthouses and courthouse environs without a judicial warrant or judicial order; require judgments, orders, and writs to clearly state the substance of the court’s ruling; allow the use of electronic signatures on declarations; create a rule for filing exhibits in post-conviction relief cases; and amend requirements for filing a Uniform Support Declaration. The approved changes are available
online at http://www.courts.oregon.gov/programs/utcr/Pages/currentrules.aspx. The Preface to the 2020 UTCR includes detailed explanations of the changes.
The UTCR Committee’s next meeting is October 2, 2020. The committee welcomes proposals for changes to the trial court rules. Submit proposals by August 31, 2020, to [email protected] or mail them to UTCR Reporter, Office of the State Court Administrator, Supreme Court Building, 1163 State Street, Salem, OR 97301-2563
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2020 Public Affairs Committee Members
Eric Foster, Chair
Katherine Denning, Vice Chair
Public Affairs Department
Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant