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There are numerous types of civil matters which come before the court. Because of the number of possible civil actions and the potential complexity of each, it is strongly recommended that you consult an attorney before commencing legal action concerning civil matters.

How to Prepare for Your Civil Trial

Civil Motion Panel Statement

OSB Lawyer Referral page

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a legal procedure, much like a trial by a judge or a jury. The arbitrator hears the evidence and makes a decision, instead of a judge or a jury. Like a judge, an arbitrator makes rulings on motions, enters orders, and may impose penalties on a party who does not comply with the arbitrator’s orders. A list of eligible arbitrators are established and maintained pursuant to UTCR 13.090 and is available at the Court Administration Office.

What types of cases are eligible for arbitration?

Under Oregon Statutes 36.400 through 36.425 and Uniform Trial Court Rules Chapter 13, both Civil and Family cases may be eligible for arbitration. A civil case is eligible for a mandatory arbitration if the initial amount sought for damages is less than $50,000. Parties in family law cases must participate in arbitration if the dispute does not involve custody or support.

How does arbitration work?

Once a case is determined to be arbitration eligible, the court sends the parties a list of available arbitrators. The parties then have 21 days to notify the Court of arbitrator selection from the list or stipulate to an arbitrator not listed. If the parties do not agree on the arbitrator selection, the court will assign the arbitrator pursuant to UTCR 13.080.

Once appointed, the arbitrator sets the time, date, and place of the hearing and notifies the parties in compliance with ORS 36.420. Per UTCR 13.160, parties are required to pay arbitration and, except for good cause shown, the arbitration hearing must be scheduled and take place not later than 90 days from the date an arbitrator is assigned to the case. An arbitrator is required to render a decision within 14 days of the hearing date under UTCR 13.220. If an appeal is desired of an arbitrator’s decision, a party must file an appeal of the arbitration award within 20 days of the arbitrator’s decision and appropriate trial fee as required under UTCR 13.250 and ORS 36.425. The non-prevailing party may be required to pay the prevailing party’s share of the arbitration fees.

An eviction is formally called an FED (Forcible Entry and Detainer). It is a complaint filed with the Court to remove a tenant from property owned or managed by the person filing the complaint. The landlord is the plaintiff, and the tenant is the defendant throughout the case.

Landlord tenant instructions and forms are available in the Forms Library and from our cashier. The cashier is on the first floor of the Justice Services Building located at 150 North First Avenue, Hillsboro, Oregon 97124.

All Civil and Criminal case hearings and trials are set through a centralized Calendaring Unit of the Court.


Calendaring Unit sends civil trial ready notices to the parties with instructions to provide an agreed trial date to the Calendaring Unit within 15 days. Any proposed trial dates beyond 9 months from the case filing date require a motion, affidavit, and proposed order, which will be reviewed and ruled on by the Presiding Judge. If a trial date is not reported within 15 days, the court will assign a trial date. Pursuant to UTCR 7.0206, motions to reset trial date may be denied for dates assigned by the court. Plaintiff is responsible for notifying parties who make appearance after the trial date is set.


For Show Cause hearings, the moving party must obtain the hearing date from the Calendaring Unit prior to filing the motion. The date must be contained in the proposed order and returns of service must be filed at least 48 hours prior to the hearing time or the hearing will NOT be set on court calendar. Proper motion and associated document(s), i.e., affidavit, must be filed and ruled on to remove or reset a hearing that is already scheduled.

Settlement Conferences

Upon request, settlement conferences are scheduled with the Pro Tempore Judges on Fridays. Contact the Calendaring Unit for more information, applicable fees and scheduling. All fees must be paid prior to appearance for settlement conference.

Trial Assignment

Approximately 30 days prior to the trial, the calendaring department will contact the parties to obtain the following information:

  • Trial Readiness
  • Type of trial - Court or jury, if jury 6 or 12 person
  • Anticipated length of trial
  • Anticipated number of witnesses
  • Special accommodations and considerations

Court will notify the parties of judicial assignment Friday prior to trial.

Civil attorneys do not need to appear at weekly case assignment.

Trial Settlement

If settlement occurs at least 30 days prior to the scheduled trial date, parties need to contact the Calendaring Unit and report the settlement. Upon proper notice from the parties, the trial will be cancelled and notice of pending dismissal for settlement will be provided to the parties by the court.

If settlement occurs by the Thursday prior to judicial assignment, parties need to file a written outline of the general terms of the settlement or a stipulated dismissal and contact the Calendaring Unit to cancel trial.

If settlement occurs after the judicial assignment, parties must appear on the day of trial to place the settlement or dismissal on the record.

Small claims are filed to resolve disputes between parties without an attorney. The maximum amount claimed cannot exceed $10,000. Small claims instructions and forms are available in our Forms Library and from our cashier. The cashier is on the first floor of the Justice Services Building located at 150 North First Avenue, Hillsboro, Oregon 97124.

Contact Us

Civil Department
Justice Services Building, First Floor
150 N 1st Avenue
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124