Within 20 days after the close of all evidence offered in a trial on reference conducted under ORS 3.311 (Delivery of order to reference judge), unless a later time is agreed upon by the parties, the reference judge shall mail to each party a copy of the proposed written report of the reference judge. The proposed report shall contain the findings of fact and conclusions of law by the reference judge, and the judgment thereon of the reference judge.
Within 10 days after receipt of the copy of the proposed report, any party may serve written objections and suggested modifications or corrections to the proposed report upon the reference judge and the other parties. The reference judge without delay shall consider the objections and suggestions and prepare a final written report. If requested by any party, the reference judge shall conduct a hearing on the proposed written report and any objections or suggested modifications or corrections thereto before preparing the final written report.
Upon completion of the final written report, the reference judge shall file with the clerk of the circuit court:
Copies of all original papers in the action filed with the reference judge;
The exhibits offered and received or rejected in the trial on reference;
The transcript of the proceedings in the trial, if a trial court reporter was used in the trial;
The audio record of the proceedings in the trial, if a trial court reporter was not used in the trial; and
The final written report containing the findings of fact and conclusions of law by the reference judge, and the judgment thereon of the reference judge.
In the interest of economy, the presiding judge for a judicial district may allow the reference judge to file the final written report under subsection (3) of this section without any of the items listed in subsection (3)(a) to (d) of this section. However, the presiding judge shall require the reference judge to file the items listed in subsection (3)(a) to (d) of this section if timely notice of appeal of the judgment is filed.
At the time the reference judge files the final written report under subsection (3) of this section, the reference judge shall mail to each party a copy of the report.
Upon receipt of the final written report by the clerk of the court, the referral of the action shall terminate and the presiding judge shall order the judgment contained in the report entered as the judgment of the court in the action. Subsequent motions and other related post-trial proceedings in the action may be conducted and disposed of by the reference judge upon the order of the presiding judge, in the sole discretion of the presiding judge, or may otherwise be assigned by the presiding judge.
The judgment of the reference judge entered as provided in subsection (6) of this section may be appealed in the same manner as a judgment of the circuit court in a civil action. [1983 c.704 §4; 1995 c.781 §13; 2003 c.576 §231]