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Home > State > Judicial > Municipal Courts

Municipal Courts

A winter sunrise with Mt Hood in the background. (Photo courtesy Jean R. Babcock)

A winter sunrise with Mt Hood in the background. (Photo courtesy Jean R. Babcock)

The Oregon Municipal Judges Association participates in arranging continuing educational training sessions for Municipal Judges. It maintains a listserv for judges to gain access to other Municipal Court Judges and Justices of the Peace. The two associations trade off on annual conferences in Oregon. And, it coordinates with the Oregon Department of Transportation which has its own annual conference for judges.


Many incorporated cities in Oregon have a municipal court, as authorized by charter and state law. Municipal courts have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit and justice courts over all violations and misdemeanors committed or triable in the city in which the court is located. They do not have jurisdiction over felonies. Municipal courts primarily hear traffic violations and crimes; violations of municipal codes and ordinances, including animal, high grass and trash nuisances; vehicle impoundments and forfeitures; and parking and pedestrian violations. They also hear certain minor tobacco, liquor and drug violations.


Municipal courts may be a court of record, although most are not, due to the additional cost of a court reporter or audio equipment. Municipal court procedures are controlled to a large extent by state law.
A municipal judge need not be an attorney, although most are. Municipal judges are usually appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the city council. Several Oregon cities have elected judges. Qualifications for office are determined by the city council or charter. A municipal judge may perform weddings anywhere within the state of Oregon.


Oregon Municipal Judge’s Association
Source: Karen Brisbin, President
Address: 16217 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Oak Grove 97267
Phone: 503-794-3800


Justice/Municipal Court Registry of Courts and Judges