ORS 51.050
Criminal jurisdiction

  • transfer to circuit court


Except as otherwise provided in this section, in addition to the criminal jurisdiction of justice courts already conferred upon and exercised by them, justice courts have jurisdiction of all offenses committed or triable in their respective counties. The jurisdiction conveyed by this section is concurrent with any jurisdiction that may be exercised by a circuit court or municipal court.


In any justice court that has not become a court of record under ORS 51.025 (Justice court as court of record), a defendant charged with a misdemeanor shall be notified immediately after entering a plea of not guilty of the right of the defendant to have the matter transferred to the circuit court for the county where the justice court is located. The election shall be made within 10 days after the plea of not guilty is entered, and the justice shall immediately transfer the case to the appropriate court.


A justice court does not have jurisdiction over the trial of any felony or a designated drug-related misdemeanor as defined in ORS 423.478 (Duties of department and counties). A justice court does not have jurisdiction over Class E violations. Except as provided in ORS 51.037 (Agreement between city and county for provision of judicial services), a justice court does not have jurisdiction over offenses created by the charter or ordinance of any city. [Amended by 1963 c.513 §3; 1969 c.180 §1; 1971 c.743 §313; 1973 c.625 §1; 1995 c.658 §55; 1999 c.605 §1; 1999 c.682 §10; 1999 c.1051 §41; 2017 c.706 §20; 2021 c.591 §28]

Source: Section 51.050 — Criminal jurisdiction; transfer to circuit court, https://www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/bills_laws/ors/ors051.­html.

Notes of Decisions

Mandamus would issue to direct municipal court judge to transfer to district court the case of petitioner charged with state traffic offense. Henderson v. Smith, 282 Or 109, 577 P2d 504 (1978)

Attorney General Opinions

Right of defendant charged with violation municipal ordinance to transfer case to district court, (1978) Vol 39, p 355

Law Review Citations

53 OLR 416, 419 (1974)

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