We will update this post as more information becomes available.

UPDATE – AUGUST 18, 2020

Clackamas and Washington counties have both instituted policies to facilitate e-filing exhibits. Exhibits in Washington County may be filed as ‘confidential.’ Exhibits must be e-filed prior to the hearing in both counties.

UPDATE – MAY 16, 2020

The Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court has announced the plan to gradually reopen the courts. Each court will be able to ease their restrictions as their county is approved to enter Phase One of the Oregon reopening plan. At this moment, this plan does not affect the restrictions in place in Clackamas, Multnomah, or Washington County (UPDATE: All three counties have entered Phase One of the Governor’s reopening plan).

COVID-19 has altered the lives of all Oregonians, including how we are able to interact with and access the court system. Oregon courts have responded by limiting court hours and accessibility.  If you have or want to start a family law case in Washington, Multnomah, or Clackamas County, the restrictions below currently apply.

Multnomah County: (Last Updated on July 12, 2020)

UPDATE: The court has announced that they will begin hearing temporary issue matters, pre and post-judgment Status Quo Orders, and Applications for Orders of Assistance when Multnomah County enters phase one. They will also begin to hear trials that began before the closure, assuming that they can be resolved in a day or less.

The court also announced that they will not schedule any new hearings on Petitions for Dissolution and/or Custody, or Motions for Modification, until 2021.

These proceedings will all be held remotely. If a participant elects to make a personal appearance at the courthouse, they must wear a mask and follow social distancing measures.

The Court now requires all people onsite to wear a face mask or face covering. If you are unable to bring your own, the court can provide you with one.

The court will still hold the following hearings:

  • Trial Assignment will still occur on scheduled dates. However, they will assign court dates beginning after January 2021. If you have a scheduled trial assignment date, the court will contact you with information about remote appearance and procedure.
  • Motions for Restraining Orders will be accepted at the Justice Center (1120 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204) before 12:00pm each day. They will be heard by a judge at 8:30am and 1:30pm at the Multnomah County Circuit Courthouse each day. Contested restraining order hearings will be scheduled, and the parties will be sent notice of the time, date, and location of the hearing by mail and/or email.
  • Motions for Immediate Danger Orders will be heard by a judge at 1:15pm at the Multnomah County Circuit Courthouse each day during the restraining order docket. Contested immediate danger hearings will be scheduled, and the parties will be sent notice of the time, date, and location of the hearing.
  • Temporary Issues hearings, including Status Quo matters, can be heard before January 2021.
  • Restraining order violation hearings when the accused is held in state custody will be scheduled and heard.
  • Support enforcement hearing when the accused is held in state custody will be scheduled and heard.
  • Civil commitments hearings will be held by phone.

The following legal filings are still being accepted electronically and processed, but are being processed at a slower than normal rate. Other legal filings which require a hearing date or a judge’s signature are not currently being accepted or processed:

  • Pleadings initiating a case (such as Petitions)
  • Proposed Judgments (stipulated and not stipulated)
  • Requests for hearings on restraining orders and immediate danger orders
  • Motions to Modify (but not proposed Orders to Show Cause for those motions)
  • Attorney withdrawals, substitutions, and notices of representation
  • Identity change documents
  • Proofs of Service
  • Adoption judgments
  • Requests & Motions for an appointment of attorney to represent minor children
  • Proposed orders to defer or waive a parent education class requirement accompanying a proposed stipulated judgment
  • Support Enforcement Division administrative filings

Fee Waiver or Deferral Applications:

  • An application for a fee waiver or deferral can be sent by mail along with the documents being filed. The Court’s mailing address is Multnomah County Courthouse, 1021 SW Fourth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204.
  • Your fee may not ultimately be waived or waived completely. You should check to see if any fee amount is owed before completing your case.
  • Alternatively, you can submit your Application for Fee waiver in person in room 106 of the Downtown Courthouse.

Mediation and Parent Education Classes:

  • Family Court Services will continue to perform mediations, but by phone. For questions about mediation, call 503-988-3189 and leave a message.
  • In-person parent education classes are cancelled, but are offered online.

Custody and Parenting Time Orders:

Judicial Settlement Conferences:

  • The court is not currently offering judicial settlement conferences.

Still have questions? Send an email to Mul.Familylaw@ojd.state.or.us.

Washington County: (Last Updated on June 5, 2020)

The Washington County Courthouse is open to the public from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Starting June 8, there will be one Judge at the courthouse handling ex parte matters and one Judge handling their normal caseload.  If your case is scheduled during the week that your assigned Judge is present in the courthouse, it is likely that you will be heard. Otherwise, you will likely be rescheduled to a later date.

In addition, the court is beginning to process Motions for Default. However, they are prioritizing documents by the date they were submitted. This means that there may be a period of time before a Motion for Default is processed.

The court will still hold the following hearings as scheduled:

  • Civil Commitment hearings.

The court will hear the following Motions or hold the following hearings. If possible and allowed by law, hearings will be held via remote means:

  • Motions for Immediate Danger and contested Immediate Danger hearings. Motions for Immediate Danger must be presented in person at ex parte, which occurs at 10:30am each day (or at 8:30am after June 1st). Get there early to go to the clerk’s counter first.
  • Motions for Orders of Assistance for the return of a child held in violation of a custody order. Motions for Orders of Assistance must be presented in person at ex parte, which occurs at 10:30am each day. Get there early to go to the clerk’s counter first.
  • Motions for Restraining Orders or other Protective Orders. Motions for Restraining Orders must be presented in-person between 10:00am-11:00am. Hearings will be held at 1:00pm, by phone if requested.
  • Contested restraining order hearings will be scheduled, and the parties will be sent notice of the time, date, and location of the hearing.

Other Family Law Hearings:

All other hearings scheduled before June 1, 2020 will be postponed and rescheduled. The parties will be sent notice of the postponement.

Other Ex Parte filings can be sent by email to wsh.family.level.3.communications@ojd.state.or.us for processing.

The Court is beginning to process other filings again. They have prioritized processing documents that they received during the closure, so there may be a delay in processing documents that have been recently filed.

Fee Waiver or Deferral Applications:

  • Applications for fee waivers or deferrals can be filed in person or by sending them in the mail to Washington County Circuit Court, 150 N. 1st Avenue, MS37, Hillsboro, OR  97124, along with the pleadings to be filed.

Custody and Parenting Time Orders:

Mediation and Parent Education Classes:

Judicial Settlement Conferences:

  • Judicial Settlement Conferences are not currently being offered.

Still have questions? You can call the Court at 503-846-8888 between 10:00am and 3:00pm, Monday through Friday.

Clackamas County: (Last Updated on August 6, 2020)

Clackamas County has published a web page with instructions on how to proceed in person and remotely. Their advice includes guides for witnesses, parties, and attorneys who would like to appear by phone or video.

In addition, Clackamas County has temporarily lifted its requirement of filing a Motion for Remote Appearance. Parties can arrange appearance by phone or video when reporting readiness to the court.

When the court is able to perform in-person proceedings, visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face masks. They will be available for those who do not have their own. However, security may ask visitors to lower their masks for safety concerns. In addition, witnesses will be asked to lower their masks during testimony.

The Clackamas County Courthouse is open to the public from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Certain documents can be filed in person at earlier times (see below).

The court will hear the following Motions or set the following hearings:

  • Motions for Restraining Orders or other Protective Orders. Motions for Restraining Orders must be filed in person between 8:00am-10:30am. In person appearances will be required at 1:00pm the same day.
  • Stalking Order Applications must be filed in person between 10:00am and 4:00pm. In person appearances will be scheduled for the next judicial day.
  • Contested or other restraining order hearings will be scheduled, and the parties will be sent notice of the time, date, and location of the hearing. Hearings will generally be conducted remotely or electronically.
  • Immediate Danger, Status Quo, and Enforcement filings must be presented in person at 1:00pm in the courtroom scheduled to hear ex parte. If a hearing is requested or required, the parties will be sent notice of the time, date, and location of the hearing. Hearings will generally be conducted remotely or electronically if requested.

Other Family Law Hearings:

  • All other hearings scheduled before June 1, 2020 will be postponed and rescheduled. The parties will be sent notice of the postponement.
  • Electronic filings are still being accepted, but are being processed at a slower than normal rate.

Fee Waiver or Deferral Applications:

  • Applications for fee waivers or deferrals must be filed in person between 10:00am and 4:00pm.

Mediation and Parent Education Classes:

  • Mediations will be conducted by video conferencing. For questions, contact Clackamas County Resolution Services by phone (503) 655-8415 or e- mail rs@clackamas.us.
  • In-person parent education classes are cancelled, but are offered online.

Custody and Parenting Time Orders:

Still have questions?

For self-represented family law parties only, send an email to cla.familylaw@ojd.state.or.us.

For other general questions, send an email to cla.court.info@ojd.state.or.us.

Still Need Help?

Many of these new restrictions may be unclear or confusing. If you have more questions or would like to learn more about how these closures may affect you and your family, contact The Commons Law Center by calling 503-850-0811 or by emailing your Commons attorney.

About the author 

Staff Attorneys

Articles co-written by our team of attorneys.

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