ORS 2.570(6) authorizes the Chief Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals to “rule on motions and issue orders in procedural matters”; it also authorizes the Chief Judge to delegate that authority to an appellate commissioner “as provided for in the court’s rules of appellate procedures.” In March 2008, the Court of Appeals established the appellate commissioner position, adopted ORAP 7.55 defining the scope of the Appellate Commissioner’s authority, and appointed the Appellate Commissioner (presently, Theresa Kidd).
ORAP 7.55 provides, subject to exceptions, that the Appellate Commissioner’s authority to decide motions and procedural matters is the same as the Chief Judge’s authority. The primary exception is that the commissioner may not decide a motion or procedural matter disposing of an appeal or a judicial review on its merits. The court addressed some aspects of the appellate commissioner position in Bova v. City of Medford, 236 Or App 257, 236 P3d 760 (2010).
The appellate commissioner position is not a judicial office created under the Oregon Constitution, Article VII (amended), therefore, any Appellate Commissioner ruling is subject to reconsideration or review by an Article VII judge. Under ORAP 7.55, if a party seeks reconsideration, the commissioner has authority to change the prior decision. But, if the commissioner would deny reconsideration, or grant reconsideration but adhere to the prior decision, the matter is referred to the Chief Judge or the Motions Department of the Court of Appeals to decide. Also, while a party may petition for Supreme Court review of the ruling of the Chief Judge or the Motions Department on a motion or procedural matter, generally, a party may not petition for Supreme Court review of an Appellate Commissioner ruling.