Organization and Government of Cities

ORS 221.339
Jurisdiction of municipal court

  • prosecutions by city attorney


A municipal court has concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts and justice courts over all violations committed or triable in the city where the court is located.


Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4) of this section, municipal courts have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts and justice courts over misdemeanors committed or triable in the city. Municipal courts may exercise the jurisdiction conveyed by this section without a charter provision or ordinance authorizing that exercise.


Municipal courts have no jurisdiction over felonies or designated drug-related misdemeanors as defined in ORS 423.478 (Duties of department and counties).


A city may limit the exercise of jurisdiction over misdemeanors by a municipal court under this section by the adoption of a charter provision or ordinance, except that municipal courts must retain concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts over:


Misdemeanors created by the city’s own charter or by ordinances adopted by the city, as provided in ORS 3.132 (Concurrent jurisdiction with justice and municipal courts); and


Traffic crimes as defined by ORS 801.545 (“Traffic crime”).


Subject to the powers and duties of the Attorney General under ORS 180.060 (Powers and duties of Attorney General), the city attorney has authority to prosecute a violation of any offense created by statute that is subject to the jurisdiction of a municipal court, including any appeal, if the offense is committed or triable in the city. The prosecution shall be in the name of the state. The city attorney shall have all powers of a district attorney in prosecutions under this subsection. [1999 c.1051 §40; 2017 c.706 §21]
Note: 221.339 (Jurisdiction of municipal court) was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 221 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

Notes of Decisions

Where municipal court that is not court of record prosecutes misdemeanor offense, court is functioning as justice court. City of Milton-Freewater v. Ashley, 214 Or App 526, 166 P3d 587 (2007)

Where city attorney in home-rule city chooses under this section to prosecute certain violations, authority of city attorney is equivalent to that of district attorney. City attorney's jurisdiction to prosecute under this section is not subordinate to district attorney's authority. Clatsop County District Attorney v. City of Astoria, 266 Or App 769, 340 P3d 71 (2014)

§§ 221.336 to 221.390

Notes of Decisions

Person who is convicted in municipal court and appeals that conviction to circuit court, pursuant to these sections, may appeal adverse decision of circuit court to Court of Appeals only if case involves constitutionality of ordinance under which defendant was convicted. City of Lincoln City v. Pennington, 91 Or App 713, 756 P2d 75 (1988)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021