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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Questions

1.     Can I talk to a judge?
Generally no, Communicating with a judge about your case or ticket, without the other party present, is called "Ex Parte" contact. Mostly likely your case or ticket does not qualify for "ex-parte" contact with a judge.

If you have a question regarding how, or if you are able to contact a judge directly, please seek legal advice from an attorney or by contacting the Marion-Polk Legal Aid Services or The Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service can provide information about lawyers in your area. The referral service is free and is available by phone at 1.800.452.7636. Participating lawyers provide an initial low cost consultation; additional fees are set by agreement between the attorney and client. Bilingual services in English and Spanish are available. 
Court staff are prohibited from providing legal advice.  

2.     Where do I take care of a parking ticket?
The Circuit Court is a state court and parking tickets are issued by city or municipal courts. You will need to contact the municipal court in the city that issued the ticket. Oregon State Parks DO file parking citations with our Traffic Department which is located at the Circuit Court Annex, 4000 Aumsville Hwy SE Salem, OR 97317.    

3.     Can I pay a fine online? 
Yes, OJD Courts ePay allows you to pay online for many types of court cases, including most traffic citations and many criminal and civil cases.

4.     How can I find out who is incarcerated in the state of Oregon?
Vinelink is a free service that allows you to locate any inmate in the Oregon prison system. This is a private company and not affiliated with or officially endorsed by Marion County Circuit Court or the Oregon Judicial Department. This link is provided for your convenience, Marion County State Courts are not liable for inaccurate or false information.

 5.     Where do I go for a birth or death certificate?
The Center for Health Statistics is responsible for issuing certified copies of vital records, including birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates for events that occurred in Oregon. The office has birth and death records dating from July, 1903; marriage records from 1906 and divorce certificates (not decrees) from 1925.

 6.     Where do I file for bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a federal matter and cannot be conducted in state courts. There are Oregon bankruptcy courts located in Portland and Eugene. See the Federal Courts info on bankruptcy page for more information.

7.     How can I set aside my conviction?
Court staff are not allowed to give legal advice. We have forms for a small charge at the court or online for free. To find out how to set aside a conviction or record of an arrest you may: a.     Contact an attorney. b.     Read through the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), which detail how to set aside a conviction or record of arrest. You can find the ORS here. There is a filing fee of $252.00 due at the time of the filing.

8.     How do I get copies or audio recordings of my case?
Please contact the Records department to get copies of your case. More information can be found here. Please click here to find information about obtaining audio recordings of your case.

9.     How do I become a court visitor?
Information about becoming a court visitor can be found here.

10.     How do I get Probate information?
Click here to find Probate information.

11.     Where can I get more information about the law? 
Court staff are not allowed to give legal advice. You can find information about the law from the Oregon State Bar.

12.     How do I get help with a sexual abuse protective order?
Court staff are not allowed to give legal advice. You can find information about getting help with a sexual abuse protective order here

13.     How do I file a small estate?
Court staff are not allowed to give legal advice. You can find forms for filing a small estate here.




1.     How do I get a name change?
Adult and minor name change forms are available for purchase from the Family Law Department. The forms can also be printed from this link Probate forms. Please check with the court cashier for the current filing fee for a name change case.

2.     How do I evict a tenant?
To file an eviction (FED) with the court you will need both a Complaint form and a Summons form, along with the notice of eviction that was given/served to your tenant(s). You may download these forms here

3.     How do I file a small claim?
To file a Small Claim you will need to file a Claim and Notice of Claim Form with the Civil Department. This form and Instructions are available in the Civil Department and on our website. The maximum amount you can file for is $10,000. Please Review our fee schedule for the required filing fee.

4.     How do I get a Restraining Order?
Restraining order packets can be obtained from Marion County Circuit Court Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00. To FILE: We recommend arriving at the courthouse as close to 8:00 am as possible. You must be signed in to the Family Law Department with a completed packet no later than 10:30 am to be seen by a facilitator. You will then be required to appear in person for a hearing with the judge, usually at 2:00 pm the same day. The day and time of the hearing will be set with you by the facilitator.


DUII Diversion


1.     What advantages are there to entering the DUII Diversion Program?
In summary, the DUII Diversion Program affords eligible persons the opportunity to participate in an alcohol/drug evaluation and education/rehabilitation program in lieu of being convicted of DUII. The advantages to entering the program are:
a.     Upon completion of the Diversion Program, there is no DUII conviction entered on your driving record. b.     Court costs are considerably lower. The filing fee for participation in the DUII Diversion Program is less than a fine for conviction. c.     Your driver's license will be suspended by the Court if you are convicted of DUII. There is no suspension for participation in the DUII Diversion Program. d.     There is no requirement to serve jail time or perform community service work in the Diversion Program.

 2.     What is the DUII Diversion Program?
The DUII Diversion Program is a legal agreement with the Court that sets aside a guilty or no contest plea and enables the case to be dismissed in one year if all the terms of the Diversion Agreement are satisfied

 3.     Do I qualify for the Diversion Program?
If you have not been convicted of a DUII or have not participated in a DUII Diversion Program in the past 15 years prior to the current DUII arrest or in any similar drug or alcohol rehabilitation program in any state within the 15 years prior to this arrest, and if you have no other charge of murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, or assault resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle pending in any state on the date you file for diversion, and if this arrest did not involve an accident in which another person was injured, you may be eligible for the DUII Diversion Program.

4.     What costs are involved in the DUII Diversion Program?
If you decide to participate, you must pay a filing fee of $490.00 to the Court and a $150.00 screening interview fee to an Alcohol and Drug Evaluation Specialist. These costs are required by statute. In addition to the above fees, you must pay the costs of treatment and pay for the Victim Impact Panel Program as well as any applicable court appointed attorney fees. 

5.     When are court costs due?
The filing fee is due at the time you file a petition for entry into the DUII Diversion Program. You may set up a payment plan with the Court if you are unable to pay in full at the beginning of the program, but the fees must be paid in full by the end of the one-year program. The $150.00 evaluation fee must be paid prior to the screening interview unless you make other arrangements with the evaluator. Failure to pay the filing fee in full or when payments are due will result in the termination of your diversion agreement. Failure to pay for the evaluation and/or treatment may result in the termination of your diversion agreement.

6.     When and where do I apply for the DUII Diversion Program?
Application for the program is made at the court clerk's office at Marion County Annex, 4000 Aumsville Hwy, Salem, Oregon. When you appear in court for your first appearance, an application will be provided at your request. If you desire, you may come to the clerks' office prior to your scheduled court appearance to obtain the paperwork for the diversion program.

7.     Will I lose my driver's license?
The court will not suspend your license unless you fail to comply with the Diversion Agreement. Thirty days after your arrest or citation, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your license if you failed or refused the breath test. You must contact DMV regarding this suspension and any application for a hardship permit. If you are convicted of DUII, your driving privileges will be suspended from one or three years or for your lifetime, depending on your driving record.

8.     Will the DUII go on my record?
The DUII will be on your driving record as a diversion, not a conviction.

9.     What happens to the DUII Diversion at the end of the one year period?
If you have successfully completed the alcohol treatment or education program, attended the Victims Impact Panel program, paid all of the required fees and completed all other requirements of the Diversion Program, the DUII charge will be dismissed by the Court. If you do not complete all the requirements of the Diversion Program, your diversion agreement will be terminated and the case will be set for sentencing. If you fail to appear in court when scheduled, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

10.   If I complete my Diversion treatment program, the Victims Impact Panel and pay my fine in full before the one year mark may I apply to have my diversion dismissed?
No. The diversion program is for one full year, even if you complete all components of the diversion program.

11.   May I get my evaluation from any evaluator?
No, the court will assign a Court Certified Evaluator in Marion County.

12.   Can I do my treatment in another County?
When you go for your evaluation you may ask the evaluator if he can find an approved program in your area. 



1.     Do I have to appear in person on my traffic court date?
No.  It is not required that you appear in person on your court date.  You may enter your plea via mail, telephone or online via OJD Courts ePay if it is more convenient for you.  The back of your citation has several options to choose from on how to handle your citation without appearing in person.  Your citation will be handled the same way regardless if you plea in person, by mail or online.  If you would like to take care of your citation online, a no contest plea will be entered and the fine must be paid in full.  Please note that the Court will no longer take payments over the telephone.

2.     I can't make it for my traffic court date. Can I have an extension?
You may enter your plea (guilty, no contest or not guilty) any time prior to your court date without a personal appearance.  You may respond in writing or by telephone.  You may also respond online using OJD Courts ePay with a no contest plea but must pay the fine amount in full.  If you find you have missed your court date you have until 5:00 p.m. the following day to contact the court and enter your plea.  If you fail to contact the court within this time frame, a default judgment of conviction will be entered against you and the full bail amount is due and payable immediately.

3.     What are my plea options?
You may plead guilty, no contest or not guilty.

4.     If I plead not guilty, how and when will I be notified of the trial?
The court will contact you by mail with the new date to appear.

5.     If I plead not guilty and the Judge finds me guilty at the trial, will he/she reduce my fine?
The Judge has the authority to raise or lower the fine as he/she deems appropriate within the statutory limits. The judges will follow the same bail reduction schedule the clerks follow.

6.     I want to plead not guilty, but cannot appear in person for my trial. What can I do?
Upon written request, we can send you the paperwork to proceed with a trial by affidavit.

7.     Can I go to traffic school? 
Yes. Marion County does accept traffic school through NTSI. You must request traffic school in person at your first court appearance to see if you qualify to take the course.

8.     I received a ticket in a highway work zone. Can I get a reduction in my fine?
No, fine amounts are higher and reductions are not allowed at this time.

9.     Can I make payments on my fine?
Yes, but you must request a payment schedule in person.  Payment plans may be done by mail with prior approval from a supervisor.  The minimum payment amount is $25.00.  The court will add a fee to each case not paid in full within 30 days after judgment (ORS 1.202(2)).  The fee is $50 on a case balance that is under $150; the fee is $125 on a case balance that is between $150-$399; the fee is $200 on a case that is $400 or more.  Once a payment schedule has been made, you may choose to make your monthly payments online using OJD Courts ePay.

10.   I am unhappy with the judge's ruling on my case. What can I do?
You can appeal the decision. You must file a notice of appeal with the Court of Appeals. The time frame allowed for filing a notice of appeal is within 30 days from the date of conviction.

11.   My license has been suspended because of a ticket I have in your court. How do I get my license back?
You must pay to the court the full amount you owe on the ticket plus any additional fees.  Once the court receives your money, we will notify DMV to reinstate your license. There may be additional fees you need to pay to DMV.
If you are unable to pay in full, a License Reinstatement Program is offered by the court and the respective collection agencies. Please inquire for eligibility and details.

12.   It was not me driving the car and I did not receive this ticket. How can I get this off my record?
Supporting documentation proving why this cannot be you must accompany an explanation to the court. The judge will determine whether or not to remove the conviction from your record.