Justice court is held by a justice of the peace within the district for which he or she is elected. The county commissioners have power to establish justice court district boundaries. The justice of the peace is a remnant of territorial days when each precinct of the state was entitled to a justice court. Thirty-two justice courts currently administer justice in 21 counties.
Justice courts have jurisdiction within their county, concurrent with the circuit court, in all criminal prosecutions, except felony trials. Actions at law in justice courts are conducted using the mode of proceeding and rules of evidence similar to those used in the circuit courts, except where otherwise specifically provided.
Justice courts have jurisdiction over traffic, boating, wildlife and other violations occurring in their county. Justices of the peace also perform weddings at no charge if performed at their offices during regular business hours.
The justice court has small claims civil jurisdiction where the money or damages claimed do not exceed $7,500, except in actions involving title to real property, false imprisonment, libel, slander or malicious prosecution.
A justice of the peace must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of Oregon for three years, and a resident of the justice court district for one year prior to becoming a nonpartisan candidate for election to that office. They are elected to six-year terms. The names of the Oregon justices of the peace are listed by county in the Local Governments section.