ORS 28.020
Declarations as to writings and laws

Any person interested under a deed, will, written contract or other writing constituting a contract, or whose rights, status or other legal relations are affected by a constitution, statute, municipal charter, ordinance, contract or franchise may have determined any question of construction or validity arising under any such instrument, constitution, statute, municipal charter, ordinance, contract or franchise and obtain a declaration of rights, status or other legal relations thereunder.

Source: Section 28.020 — Declarations as to writings and laws, https://www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/bills_laws/ors/ors028.­html.

Notes of Decisions

Citizen had standing, in declaratory judgment proceeding, to sue city to test validity of ordinance authorizing police to detain citizens for up to two hours. Cornelius v. City of Ashland, 12 Or App 181, 506 P2d 182 (1973), Sup Ct review denied

In declaratory judgment proceeding to invalidate contract between hospital district and physician, complaint alleging that plaintiff was “resident and inhabitant” and “taxpayer” residing within boundaries of district was subject to demurrer because it failed to show how plaintiff’s “rights, status or other legal relations” were affected by contract. Gruber v. Lincoln Hospital District, 285 Or 3, 588 P2d 1281 (1979)

Where ordinance required car rental companies to collect and remit tax on motor vehicle rentals, tax was not invalid on ground of improper adoption procedures, improper use of tax funds, or unconstitutional impact on interstate commerce. Budget Rent-A-Car v. Multnomah County, 287 Or 93, 597 P2d 1232 (1979)

Economic harm to plaintiff caused by defendant’s substantial advantage gained through absence of workers compensation insurance expense constituted “rights, status or other legal relations” affected by statute and thereby conferred standing to obtain declaratory judgment. Associated Reforestation Contractors v. Workers Comp. Bd., 59 Or App 348, 650 P2d 1068 (1982), Sup Ct review denied

To establish standing, taxpayer must show present or foreseeable financial interest. Chadwick v. Alexander, 310 Or 700, 801 P2d 797 (1991)

Requirement that person bringing action be “affected” by statute prevents representational standing. Oregon Taxpayers United PAC v. Keisling, 143 Or App 537, 924 P2d 853 (1996), Sup Ct review denied

Determination under ORS 28.080 concerning what coercive relief is necessary to effectuate declaratory judgment is separate from process of analyzing party rights, status or other legal relations in order to issue declaratory judgment. Ken Leahy Construction, Inc. v. Cascade General, Inc., 329 Or 566, 994 P2d 112 (1999)

Requirement that complaint state justiciable controversy is jurisdictional. Beck v. City of Portland, 202 Or App 360, 122 P3d 131 (2005)

To have standing to bring declaratory judgment action under this section, person must (1) establish statute at issue adversely affects person’s “legally recognized interest”; (2) show claimed injury or impact is real or probable, not hypothetical or speculative; and (3) show decision by court will in some sense rectify injury. “Legally recognized interest” may be recognized by statute at issue or other sources. MT & M Gaming, Inc. v. City of Portland, 360 Or 544, 383 P3d 800 (2016)

Out-of-state casino lacked standing to seek declaration about meaning of Oregon’s social gaming statutes because its interest in maintaining competitive advantage conducting betting games in Washington is not “legally recognized interest.” MT & M Gaming, Inc. v. City of Portland, 360 Or 544, 383 P3d 800 (2016)

Where district attorney is charged with prosecuting and sentencing for crimes that occur in county, district attorney’s uncertainty regarding how particular statute limiting sentencing recommendations should be interpreted is not grounds for standing under this section in action seeking to invalidate legislation amending that statute. Foote v. State, 364 Or 558, 437 P3d 221 (2019)

Law Review Citations

2 EL 331 (1972); 40 WLR 563 (2004)

Green check means up to date. Up to date