Municipal Courts

2013 Portland Rose Festival princesses in red gowns
The 2013 Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade on Weidler Street in Northeast Portland. (Oregon State Archives Scenic Image 20130608-D8C_0794​​)

The Oregon Municipal Judges Association (OMJA) participates in arranging continuing educational training sessions for municipal judges. It maintains a listserv system for judges to gain access to other municipal court judges and justices of the peace, whose two associations trade off on annual conferences in Oregon. OMJA 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. 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. A few 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 Judges Association

Source: Hon. Juliet Britton
Address: OMJA, PO Box 1472, Beaverton, OR 97075​
Justice/Municipal Court Registry of Courts and Judges