Changing your Court Date Citizen’s Complaint Contact Us DMV Letters (Suspension Failure to Appear General Info Mandatory Appearance Violations Paying Your Ticket Options Trials
Violations are offenses that are punishable by a fine, but are not punishable by a term of imprisonment.
The most common types of violations include Traffic, Boating, and Fish & Wildlife. The court will not appoint or pay for you to have an attorney for violation cases, but if you wish, you may hire an attorney at your own expense. Please contact the Oregon State Bar
if you need help finding an attorney.
The 6th Judicial District (Umatilla & Morrow County Circuit Courts) has established a Violations Bureau under ORS 153.800 (for complete details, see PJ Order 16-009
Reauthorizing the Violations Bureau).
Any person who receives a violation citation filed with the Circuit Court that does not require a mandatory court appearance will have an initial appearance before the Violations Bureau, including juveniles.
The Violations Bureau is authorized to accept pleas of NO CONTEST or NOT GUILTY on these violations.
It is important to read your summons (citation), front and back, as it contains important information such as:
Whether you have been charged with a CRIME or a VIOLATION;
Where you must appear: Municipal, Juvenile, Justice, or Circuit Court;
The type of offense(s) committed;
The presumptive fine amount imposed for each offense; and
Your court appearance Date, Time and Location.
If you are charged with a CRIME or a violation requiring a mandatory personal court appearance, you MUST COME TO COURT at the time and place indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation) and/or in the Notice of Scheduled Appearance sent by the Court.
Please note that it generally takes 7 - 10 days for the Court to receive the citation after it is issued. A plea cannot be entered until the court has received the citation.
If the charge is a VIOLATION that does not require a mandatory court appearance, you must DO ONE (only one) of the following:
Option 1 – Appear personally or by phone to enter your plea.
You do not have to wait until the court date. You may come to the court or call during business hours
any day on or before your appearance date as long as the court has received the citation.
If you do not contact us by the appearance date at the bottom of your summons (citation), the Court may convict you and impose further penalties, including suspension of your driving privileges.
Option 2 - Enter a Plea of No Contest in Writing.
This means you do not wish to fight the charges. If you do this, you will be convicted of the offense(s). To choose this option, do all of the following (Step 3 is optional) on or before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation).
Check and initial which plea you want to enter (NO CONTEST) AND sign and date line 1 of Option 2 on your summons.
Send or take to the court your citation and the full amount of the presumptive fine shown on the summons. Please write the case/citation number on your check or money order.
If you wish, attach a written statement (letter) explaining what happened when you received the citation and any information you think the court should consider.
IMPORTANT: Choosing Option 2 waives (gives up) your right to trial. The Court may consider your written statement when establishing the amount of the fine. If the Court finds you GUILTY, the Court may keep all or part of the money you pay, but will return any amount left over after taking out the sanction amount.
Option 3 - Enter a Plea of Not Guilty in Writing.
To choose this option do all of the following on or before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation).
Sign and date the back of your summons under Option 3; AND
Send or take to the court the summons by itself or with a written request for trial. You MUST make sure the summons is at the Court on or before the appearance date. A postmark will not be accepted as an appearance date. Make sure the court has your current address so the trial notice can be mailed to you.
IMPORTANT: Option 3 is a written request for a hearing (trial). The Court will mail you notice of the time and place when you MUST appear for trial - be sure your name and address are correct. The Court may convict you and impose further penalties if you do not appear for trial at the time given in the notice.
Contact the Court before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation) to determine if you qualify for a Trial by Declaration (written statement). If so, the trial will be based upon your written statements made under penalty of perjury. Future court appearances may not be necessary.
NOTE: If you do not qualify, you must comply with one of the other options listed above.
If you qualify, you will be given a date by which your declaration must be received at the Court. File your original, signed declaration explaining the circumstances about the violations with which you were charged. This is your only chance to present your side of the case to the judge. The law enforcement officer who issued the citation will also have the opportunity to file a declaration in support of the charges. The Court will make a decision based upon the written statements.
Send or take your original, signed declaration to the Court. If you wish, you may also submit the base fine indicated on your citation - please write the case/citation number on your check or money order if you include one.
IMPORTANT: If you submit the base fine with your declaration under Option 4 and you are found NOT GUILTY, the Court will apply the amount to any fines return the full amount of your payment. If you are found GUILTY, the Court will return any amount remaining after taking out the fines and fees ordered by the judge. Please write the case/citation number on your check or money order.
Option 5 – Pay your Citation on-line
(Generally available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
If you know your citation number, you can use your Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card to pay your fine using our OJD Court EPAY site
on or before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation). If there are any letters near your citation number, they may be part of the number (e.g., weigh master citations normally begin with WM followed by the 6-digit number).
Paying on-line means you are entering a NO CONTEST plea and waiving (giving up) your right to a trial. There is a fee of $1.50 per transaction for using this feature.
The 6th Judicial District requires mandatory personal court appearances for some violations:
Careless Driving - ORS 811.135(3) and ORS 153.061(2) (vulnerable user of a public way suffered serious physical injury or death);
A violation where a presumptive fine is not included or not legible on the citation.
A misdemeanor treated as a violation under ORS 161.566 or 161.568. This is when the prosecutor indicates the crime charged is a misdemeanor, but is willing to treat it as a violation, with no potential jail sentence, only a fine and possible suspension of driving privileges.
If you do not appear (in person, on-line, in writing, or by phone) on or before the appearance date indicated on the bottom of your summons (citation), or if you initially appear, but later fail to appear for trial or fail to submit your Declaration by the date allowed, the violations clerk or judge will enter a default judgment, and will initiate suspension of your driving privileges. The entire presumptive fine will be assessed, and additional fees will be added as applicable without further notice.
When you appear at the courthouse for your trial, you will need to be prepared to present your case at the time listed on your trial notice. Normally violation trials are scheduled to last 15 minutes, so each side only has a few minutes to present their case - Have your information and comments organized.
Shirts and shoes are required;
Caps and hats must be removed before entering the courtroom;
Food and drinks are not allowed in the courtroom;
Weapons are not allowed in any area of the courthouse;
PDA's, Pagers, cell phones and all other electronic devices which may disrupt the proceeding must be turned OFF (not only vibrate), as these items cause interference on audio recordings of proceedings;
Cameras and audio recording equipment are not permitted unless specifically authorized in advance by the Trial Court Administrator.
If you receive a letter from the Department of Transportation - Motor Vehicles Division (DMV) notifying you that your license is going to be suspended, you will need to contact DMV for details regarding the suspension or restrictions. Please confirm and record the case number(s) and specific court(s) related to the suspension letter.
You must pay any fines/fees to the court in full and comply with any other court orders before the deadline given in the letter to avoid suspension of your driving privileges. After the license is suspended, you will have to pay the Oregon Department of Transportation a reinstatment fee in addition to any court requirements.
Please contact the court
during business hours to see if your appearance may be moved or extended. Many violation matters can be handled by phone or in writing at any time after the court receives the citation as long as you contact us on or before your appearance date.
If you wish to change the date (continue) of a trial or mandatory appearance matter, you must request this in writing (use the court's Motion and Order to Continue Violation Hearing
form) at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the appearance date and have it approved BEFORE the court date.
If you wish to appear by phone for a trial or mandatory appearance matter, you must request this in writing (use the court's Motion & Order for Telephone Appearance
form) and have it approved BEFORE the court date.
All fines and fees imposed on violation judgments are due immediately unless deferred payment arrangements are made with the court. Additional fees will be imposed as allowed by rule and statute without further notification. Additionally, the court may request suspension of your driving privileges for failure to appear, failure to pay, or failure to comply with a court order. Please see our Payments
page for information regarding payment options and certain additional fees.
If you know your citation/case number, you may pay your fine using our OJD Court EPAY site
. There is a charge of $1.50 per transaction on this site. The case will record receipt of the payment within one business day; additional time may be required to clear any license sanction requests to the Department of Transportation - Motor Vehicles Division (DMV).
Additional fees are imposed automatically regardless of weekends, holidays or court closures. It is your responsibility to ensure payment is received PRIOR to the due date to avoid additional fees or license sanctions. Please include the case/citation number with the payment to ensure your account is properly credited, and provide your current address so that a refund (if any) can be mailed to the correct location.
An appeal from a judgment of this court must be filed with the Oregon Court of Appeals in Salem. An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date the judgment was entered into the trial court record (OJIN).
Appellate Court Records Section
Office of the State Court Administrator
1163 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97310
(The Circuit Court – Traffic form may also be appropriate for non-traffic violations - see instructions or contact an attorney.)
A person other than an enforcement officer may commence a violation proceeding by filing a complaint with a court that has jurisdiction over the alleged violation. The filing of the complaint is set forth in ORS 153.058.
A citizen may also file a complaint with the local police agency. A police officer will write up the Oregon Uniform Citation and Complaint and file it with the court.
Umatilla County Circuit Court – County Courthouse
216 SE 4th St. 2nd Floor Room 209
Pendleton, OR 97801
Phone: (541) 278-0341 ext. 230
Umatilla County Circuit Court – Stafford Hansell Government Center
915 SE Columbia Dr. 2nd Floor
Hermiston, OR 97838
The majority of violations in Morrow County are filed with the Morrow County Justice Court
; please contact them for additional information.
Violations that occur within city limits of many cities in Umatilla County are typically filed with the local municipal court. These include Pendleton
, Pilot Rock
, and Stanfield
. Contact information for municipal courts may be found in the city government section of the phone book.