ORS 183.310
Definitions for chapter

As used in this chapter:


“Agency” means any state board, commission, department, or division thereof, or officer authorized by law to make rules or to issue orders, except those in the legislative and judicial branches.


Intentionally left blank —Ed.


“Contested case” means a proceeding before an agency:


In which the individual legal rights, duties or privileges of specific parties are required by statute or Constitution to be determined only after an agency hearing at which such specific parties are entitled to appear and be heard;


Where the agency has discretion to suspend or revoke a right or privilege of a person;


For the suspension, revocation or refusal to renew or issue a license where the licensee or applicant for a license demands such hearing; or


Where the agency by rule or order provides for hearings substantially of the character required by ORS 183.415 (Notice of right to hearing), 183.417 (Procedure in contested case hearing), 183.425 (Depositions or subpoena of material witness), 183.450 (Evidence in contested cases), 183.460 (Examination of evidence by agency) and 183.470 (Orders in contested cases).


“Contested case” does not include proceedings in which an agency decision rests solely on the result of a test.


“Economic effect” means the economic impact on affected businesses by and the costs of compliance, if any, with a rule for businesses, including but not limited to the costs of equipment, supplies, labor and administration.


“Hearing officer” includes an administrative law judge.


“License” includes the whole or part of any agency permit, certificate, approval, registration or similar form of permission required by law to pursue any commercial activity, trade, occupation or profession.


Intentionally left blank —Ed.


“Order” means any agency action expressed orally or in writing directed to a named person or named persons, other than employees, officers or members of an agency. “Order” includes any agency determination or decision issued in connection with a contested case proceeding. “Order” includes:


Agency action under ORS chapter 657 making determination for purposes of unemployment compensation of employees of the state;


Agency action under ORS chapter 240 which grants, denies, modifies, suspends or revokes any right or privilege of an employee of the state; and


Agency action under ORS 468B.050 (Water quality permit) to issue a permit.


“Final order” means final agency action expressed in writing. “Final order” does not include any tentative or preliminary agency declaration or statement that:


Precedes final agency action; or


Does not preclude further agency consideration of the subject matter of the statement or declaration.


“Party” means:


Each person or agency entitled as of right to a hearing before the agency;


Each person or agency named by the agency to be a party; or


Any person requesting to participate before the agency as a party or in a limited party status which the agency determines either has an interest in the outcome of the agency’s proceeding or represents a public interest in such result. The agency’s determination is subject to judicial review in the manner provided by ORS 183.482 (Jurisdiction for review of contested cases) after the agency has issued its final order in the proceedings.


“Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental subdivision or public or private organization of any character other than an agency.


“Rule” means any agency directive, standard, regulation or statement of general applicability that implements, interprets or prescribes law or policy, or describes the procedure or practice requirements of any agency. The term includes the amendment or repeal of a prior rule, but does not include:


Unless a hearing is required by statute, internal management directives, regulations or statements which do not substantially affect the interests of the public:


Between agencies, or their officers or their employees; or


Within an agency, between its officers or between employees.


Action by agencies directed to other agencies or other units of government which do not substantially affect the interests of the public.


Declaratory rulings issued pursuant to ORS 183.410 (Agency determination of applicability of rule or statute to petitioner) or 305.105 (Declaratory rulings by department).


Intra-agency memoranda.


Executive orders of the Governor.


Rules of conduct for persons committed to the physical and legal custody of the Department of Corrections, the violation of which will not result in:


Placement in segregation or isolation status in excess of seven days.


Institutional transfer or other transfer to secure confinement status for disciplinary reasons.


Disciplinary procedures adopted pursuant to ORS 421.180 (Disciplinary procedures).


Intentionally left blank —Ed.


“Small business” means a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other legal entity formed for the purpose of making a profit, which is independently owned and operated from all other businesses and which has 50 or fewer employees.


“Small business” does not include a coordinated care organization as defined in ORS 414.025 (Definitions for ORS chapters 411, 413 and 414). [1957 c.717 §1; 1965 c.285 §78a; 1967 c.419 §32; 1969 c.80 §37a; 1971 c.734 §1; 1973 c.386 §4; 1973 c.621 §1a; 1977 c.374 §1; 1977 c.798 §1; 1979 c.593 §6; 1981 c.755 §1; 1987 c.320 §141; 1987 c.861 §1; 2003 c.75 §71; 2005 c.523 §8; 2007 c.288 §9; 2019 c.529 §4]

Source: Section 183.310 — Definitions for chapter, https://www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/bills_laws/ors/ors183.­html.

Notes of Decisions

The placing of specific names on a ballot by the Secretary of State is not the promulgation of a rule in that the placement does not implement, interpret or prescribe law or policy. Porter v. Myers, 9 Or App 151, 496 P2d 227 (1972), Sup Ct review denied

Administrative act regulating rents in a housing project was a “rule” and not an “order” formulated in a “contested case.” Amazon Coop. Tenants v. State Bd. of Higher Educ., 15 Or App 418, 516 P2d 89 (1973), Sup Ct review denied

A “cease and desist order” by the Board of Optometry requiring an optometrist to discontinue certain advertising, followed by a communication stating that failure to comply would result in proceedings to suspend or revoke his license, was an order subject to petition for review. Aplanalp v. State ex rel Ore. Bd. of Optometry, 21 Or App 501, 535 P2d 573 (1975)

Because the decision to discontinue child care payments was a rule requiring notice and hearing prior to adoption rather than an “internal management directive” which is exempt from the rule-making provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, it was error to dismiss the suit. Burke v. Children’s Services Div., 26 Or App 145, 552 P2d 592 (1976)

The commission’s consent, pursuant to [former] ORS 483.542, to the City of Portland’s designation of a truck route is not a rule within this section. United Parcel Serv. Inc. v. Ore. Trans. Comm., 27 Or App 147, 555 P2d 778 (1976)

The provision concerning medical expenses in the Public Welfare Division Manual did not fall within the “internal management directive” exception to the rulemaking procedures. Clark v. Public Welfare Div., 27 Or App 473, 556 P2d 722 (1976)

Agency action was a “rule” rather than an “internal management directive” and required compliance with the rulemaking procedures of ORS chapter 183. Gray Panthers v. Pub. Welfare Div., 28 Or App 841, 561 P2d 674 (1977)

Food Stamp Manual provision, which treated tribal land payments to native Americans as “income,” was rule within meaning of this section, and was thus invalid where promulgated without public participation. Burke v. Public Welfare Division, 31 Or App 161, 570 P2d 87 (1977)

Grandparents of prospective adoptive children do not, because of status as grandparents or former custodians of these children, have constitutionally protected liberty interest entitling them to contested case hearing under this section before agency refuses consent to adoption. Graham v. Children’s Services Division, 39 Or App 27, 591 P2d 375 (1979), Sup Ct review denied

Internal management directives and similar actions under this section directed by governmental agency to other agencies or units of government cannot at the same time be orders under this section. Portland Inn v. OTC, 39 Or App 749, 593 P2d 1233 (1979)

Local government boundary commissions are state agencies within meaning of this section. Fosses v. Portland Area LGBC, 43 Or App 647, 603 P2d 1235 (1979)

Children’s Services Division’s original “directive” or “statement” adopting day care payment program constituted implementation of agency policy within meaning of this section, despite informality attending its promulgation. Burke v. Children’s Services Division, 288 Or 533, 607 P2d 141 (1980)

Agency statement is rule of statutory interpretation and policy for implementation. Morgan v. Stimson Lumber Co., 288 Or 595, 607 P2d 150 (1980)

Actions by Health Division and Environmental Quality Commission under ORS 222.880 are not combined administrative proceedings, but rather separate agency actions each resulting in “final order.” West Side Sanitary Dist. v. Health Div., 289 Or 417, 614 P2d 1151 (1980)

Since provisions of ORS 197.251 do not require that rights of either local government whose comprehensive plan has been submitted for acknowledgment or persons who object to acknowledgment are to be “determined only after an agency hearing at which specific parties are entitled to be heard,” acknowledgment proceedings are not “contested cases” under this section. Oregon Business Planning Council v. LCDC, 290 Or 741, 626 P2d 350 (1981)

LCDC orders “acknowledging” local comprehensive plans are not rules within meaning of this section. Oregon Business Planning Council v. LCDC, 290 Or 741, 626 P2d 350 (1981)

Where school district employees were determined to be in bargaining unit at time of its recognition by school district and no new negotiations were required as to them, Employment Relations Board clarification order was not “tentative or preliminary” declaration and was final order. Reynolds School Dist. v. OSEA, 58 Or App 609, 650 P2d 119 (1982)

Order denying extension of time for filing request for hearing pursuant to ORS 657.875 is “contested case” under this section. Sayers v. Employment Division, 59 Or App 270, 650 P2d 1024 (1982)

“Internal management directives” exempted from definition of rule have two main characteristics: (1) they affect individuals solely in their capacities as members of agency involved rather than as members of general public who may have occasion to deal with agency; and (2) they are not self-executing. Rogue Flyfishers v. Water Policy Review Bd., 62 Or App 412, 660 P2d 1089 (1983)

Order by Environmental Quality Commission denying application for solid waste pollution control facility tax credit certificate is not reviewable in Court of Appeals because EQC proceeding does not satisfy statutory requirements of contested case. Linnton Plywood Assoc. v. DEQ, 68 Or App 412, 681 P2d 1180 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Attorney general’s letter is not “final order” within meaning of this section. Mongelli v. Oregon Life and Health Guaranty, 85 Or App 518, 737 P2d 633 (1987)

Rejection of contract bid constituted order in other than contested case. Clarke Electric, Inc. v. State Highway Division, 93 Or App 693 763 P2d 1199 (1988)

State Health Planning and Development Agency decision that medical center proposal to convert acute care beds to skilled nursing facility beds was subject to certificate of need review was preliminary agency decision and not reviewable final order. Merle West Medical Center v. SHPDA, 94 Or App 148, 764 P2d 613 (1988)

Petitioner, who held one-year teaching contract with state college was employee of Higher Education and not college, such that decision not to renew contract was not “order” under this section. Gruszczynski v. Bd. of Higher Ed, 106 Or App 260, 806 P2d 1168 (1991)

Oregon State Apprenticeship Council’s dissolution of Oregon Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee cannot lead to contested case, because committee’s specific functions are not rights or privileges within meaning of ORS 183.310 (2)(a)(B). Oregon Operating Eng. v. Oregon State Apprent., 108 Or App 24, 813 P2d 76 (1991), Sup Ct review denied

Notice of rule change issued under ORS 183.355 is not “order” under this section, and judicial review is not available under ORS 183.484. Calif. Table Grape Comm’n v. Dept. of Human Res., 109 Or App 222, 818 P2d 983 (1991)

Directive announcing priorities for inmate access to law library was not “rule” under this section because failure to follow it could not result in disciplinary action. Smith v. Oregon State Penitentiary, 113 Or App 386, 832 P2d 1270 (1992)

Secretary of State qualifies as state agency entitled to conduct contested case hearings. Strombeck v. Secretary of State, 128 Or App 142, 874 P2d 1366 (1994), Sup Ct review denied

“Final order” includes written findings of fact, conclusions of law, reasoning and result constituting final written expression of agency action regardless of how material is labeled. Brian v. Oregon Government Ethics Commission, 319 Or 151, 874 P2d 1294 (1994)

Agency approval of private sector standard without subjecting standard itself to rulemaking process is insufficient to qualify standard as “rule.” Lemma Wine Co. v. National Council on Compensation Insurance, 194 Or App 371, 95 P3d 238 (2004)

Where person has established initial general qualification for, or entitlement to, benefit, proceeding to determine extent of benefit must be conducted as contested case. Corey v. Department of Land Conservation and Development, 210 Or App 542, 152 P3d 933 (2007), on reconsideration 212 Or App 536, 159 P3d 327 (2007)

Agency decision rests solely on result of “test” if best way to verify passage or failure is to have person repeat testing process. Rooklidge v. DMV, 217 Or App 172, 174 P3d 1120 (2007), Sup Ct review denied

Portland Community College, which is organized under ORS chapter 341, is not “agency” within meaning of this section. Deyette v. Portland Community College, 299 Or App 305, 450 P3d 1037 (2019), Sup Ct review denied

Department of Environmental Quality’s reinterpretation of statutory exemption to solid waste permitting requirement for automobile dismantlers, as evidenced by internal agency memorandum and unequivocal staff statements, constituted “rule” because new interpretation was generally applicable and not necessarily required by statute. PNW Metal Recycling, Inc. v. DEQ, 317 Or App 207, 505 P3d 462 (2022)

Attorney General Opinions

Construing the term “agency,” (1976) Vol 37, p 1487; construing the term “rule,” (1976) Vol 37, p 1487; “Guidelines for Implementation of Enrolled House Bill 2145” not subject to rule-making requirements, (1976) Vol 38, p 34;

Establishment and application of standards by Commission for Child Care in awarding grants to contractors of newly established child care information and referral services, (1989) Vol 46, p 133

Law Review Citations

53 OLR 478 (1974); 54 OLR 387-389 (1975); 15 EL 223 (1985); 94 OLR 565 (2016)

Definitions for chapter
Application of provisions of chapter to certain agencies
Delegation of rulemaking authority to named officer or employee
Description of organization
Policy statement
Policy statement
Cost of compliance effect on small businesses
Procedure for agency adoption of federal rules
Model rules of procedure
Filing and taking effect of rules
Publication of rules and orders
Publication of administrative rules in electronic form
Distribution of published rules
Petitions requesting adoption of rules
Judicial determination of validity of rule
Agency report to Legislative Assembly regarding temporary rules
Agency review of rules
Small Business Rules Advisory Committee
Agency determination of applicability of rule or statute to petitioner
Delegation of final order authority
Notice to parties before hearing of rights and procedure
Notice of right to hearing
Procedure in contested case hearing
Depositions or subpoena of material witness
Hearing on refusal to renew license
Period allowed to request hearing for license refusal on grounds other than test or inspection results
Subpoenas in contested cases
Subpoena by agency or attorney of record of party when agency not subject to ORS 183.440
Evidence in contested cases
Representation of agencies at contested case hearings
Representation of Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services at contested case hearings
Representation of persons other than agencies participating in contested case hearings
Nonattorney and out-of-state attorney representation of parties in certain contested case hearings
Representation of home care worker by labor union representative
Examination of evidence by agency
Agency statement of ex parte communications
Proposed order by hearing officer
Orders in contested cases
Preservation of orders in electronic format
Judicial review of agency orders
Jurisdiction for review of contested cases
Jurisdiction for review of orders other than contested cases
Decision of court on review of contested case
Form and scope of decision of reviewing court
Agency may be compelled to act
Awarding costs and attorney fees when finding for petitioner
Authority of agencies to use alternative means of dispute resolution
Housing cost impact statement required for certain proposed rules
Housing cost impact statement described
Effect of failure to prepare housing cost impact statement
Reduction of economic impact on small business
Office of Administrative Hearings
Chief administrative law judge
Administrative law judges
Contract administrative law judges
Assignment of administrative law judges
Model rules of procedure
Agencies required to use administrative law judges from Office of Administrative Hearings
Use of Office of Administrative Hearings by exempt agencies and by political subdivisions
Request for change of administrative law judge
Form of order
Office of Administrative Hearings Operating Account
Estimates of office expenses
Alternative dispute resolution
Standards and training program
Ex parte communications
Office of Administrative Hearings Oversight Committee
Permits subject to ORS 183.702
Statement of criteria and procedures for evaluating permit application
Extended term for renewed licenses
Definitions for ORS 183.710 to 183.730
Submission of adopted rule to Legislative Counsel required
Procedure for review of agency rule
Required agency response to Legislative Counsel determination
Designation of interim committees for purposes of considering rule reports
Review of rule by Oregon Sunshine Committee
Civil penalty procedures
State agency required to prepare public writings in readable form
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