Upon entry of an order of the presiding judge for a judicial district referring an action under ORS 3.305 (Request for referral of action to reference judge), the clerk of the court shall cause a copy of the order to be delivered to the reference judge. Upon receipt of the copy of the order, the reference judge shall set the action for trial on reference at a time and in a place agreeable to the parties.
At least five days before the date set for a trial on reference, the reference judge shall notify the clerk of the court of the time and place of the trial. The clerk shall post a notice of the time and place of the trial in a conspicuous place for trial notices at the principal location for the sitting of the court in the county in which the action is commenced.
Any person interested in attending a trial on reference is entitled to do so as in a trial of a civil action in the court. Upon receipt of written request by any person, the reference judge shall give the person written notice of the time and place set for a trial on reference.
The reference judge shall provide clerical personnel necessary for the conduct of the proceedings in the trial on reference, including a trial court reporter unless waived by the parties. If use of a trial court reporter is waived by the parties, the proceedings in the trial shall be reported by an audio record reporting device.
The trial on reference shall be conducted in the same manner as a trial by the circuit court without a jury. The reference judge shall apply the substantive law used in the courts of this state in deciding the issues submitted by the parties. Unless waived in whole or part by the parties, the reference judge shall apply the rules of pleading, practice, procedure and evidence used in the circuit courts of this state.
The parties may procure the attendance of witnesses before the reference judge by the issuance and service of subpoenas as provided in ORCP 55. If, without adequate excuse, a witness fails to appear or give evidence, that witness may be punished as for a contempt by the reference judge and be subjected to the consequences, penalties and remedies provided in ORCP 55 G.