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File a Case

How to File a Case

Filing a case starts the legal process in a court. For a case in a circuit court, the first document filed is usually called a complaint or petition. In most cases, you must pay a filing fee when you file the document that starts the case.

If you are unrepresented (you don’t have an attorney) you may file documents through the mail, in person, or through our electronic filing system. OJD offers several interactive forms for unrepresented parties in small claims and family law cases. Attorneys must file most documents using OJD’s approved electronic filing system in the Oregon circuit courts and the Oregon Tax Court (see eFiling box below) and in the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court.

To file a case, you have three options:

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Electronic Filing (eFiling)

To save time, we suggest that you eFile your case. Follow the links below for helpful infomation on how to eFile.

File in a Circuit Court or Tax Court  File in the Appellate Court  File via Interactive Form


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Get an Attorney

Because laws and legal procedures are complex, we recommend that you work with an attorney.

Information on Hiring an AttorneyWhat if I can't afford an Attorney?
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File Your Own Paperwork

You can represent yourself in most cases. People who represent themselves are called “self-represented” or “pro se” (from Latin). Below are links to resources for users who want to learn more about the law and courts or want to represent themselves in a legal matter. Self-help information is not legal advice. Oregon law bans us from offering legal advice to the public.

To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult your own attorney.

FormsSelf-HelpOJD iForms