Violations and Fines
Initiation of violation proceeding by private party
(1)A person other than an enforcement officer may commence a violation proceeding by filing a complaint with a court that has jurisdiction over the alleged violation. The filing of the complaint is subject to ORS 153.048 (Complaint). The complaint shall be entered by the court in the court record.
(2)A complaint under this section must contain:
(a)The name of the court, the name and address of the person bringing the action and the name and address of the defendant.
(b)A statement or designation of the violation that can be readily understood by a person making a reasonable effort to do so and the date, time and place at which the violation is alleged to have occurred.
(c)A certificate signed by the complainant stating that the complainant believes that the named defendant committed the violation specifically identified in the complaint and that the complainant has reasonable grounds for that belief. A certificate conforming to this section shall be deemed equivalent of a sworn complaint. Complaints filed under this section are subject to the penalties provided in ORS 153.990 (Penalty for false certification).
(3)Upon the filing of a complaint under this section, the court shall cause a summons to be delivered to the defendant and shall deliver a copy of the complaint to the district attorney for the county in which the complaint is filed. The court may require any enforcement officer to serve the summons.
(4)If the complaint does not conform to the requirements of this section, the court shall set it aside upon motion of the defendant made before the entry of a plea. A pretrial ruling on a motion to set aside may be appealed by the state.
(5)A court may, acting in its sole discretion, amend a complaint filed under the provisions of this section.
(6)A court shall dismiss a complaint filed under this section upon the motion of the district attorney for the county or of the city attorney for a city if:
(a)The district attorney or city attorney has brought a proceeding against the defendant named in the complaint or intends to bring a proceeding against the defendant named in the complaint; and
(b)The proceeding is brought by the district attorney or city attorney by reason of the same conduct alleged in the complaint.
(7)Any political subdivision of this state may require by ordinance that violation proceedings for the purpose of enforcing the charter or ordinances of the political subdivision may not be commenced in the manner provided by this section and that those proceedings may be commenced only by enforcement officers.
(8)A person other than an enforcement officer may commence a violation proceeding under this section only for:
(a)Boating violations under ORS chapter 830, or any violation of rules adopted pursuant to ORS chapter 830 if the violation constitutes an offense;
(b)Traffic violations under ORS chapters 801 to 826, or any violation of rules adopted pursuant to those chapters if the violation constitutes an offense;
(c)Violations under the wildlife laws, as described in ORS 496.002 (Short title), or any violation of rules adopted pursuant to those laws if the violation constitutes an offense;
(d)Violations under the commercial fishing laws, as described in ORS 506.001 (Contents of commercial fishing laws), or any violation of rules adopted pursuant to those laws if the violation constitutes an offense; or
(e)Violations of ORS 618.121 (License required for commercially operated weighing or measuring instrument) to 618.161 (Notice of violation to owner or operator of unlicensed weighing or measuring instrument), and violation of rules adopted pursuant to those laws if the violation constitutes an offense. [1999 c.1051 §11]
Notes of Decisions
County authority under ORS 203.810 to create exceptions governing state court enforcement of county law does not allow county to permit citizen commencement of violation proceeding in state court where ordinance is not of type listed in this section. Hood River County v. Stevenson, 177 Or App 78, 33 P3d 325 (2001)