Redmond residents will soon be able to access electronic state court documents without travelling to the Deschutes County Courthouse in downtown Bend, thanks to a pilot project spearheaded by the Deschutes County Access to Justice Committee and Deschutes Public Library. The new service starts March 1.
The pilot project makes the Oregon Judicial Court Information Network (OJCIN), hosted by the Oregon Judicial Department, accessible for free on public internet computers at Redmond Library. OJCIN OnLine includes the Oregon eCourt Case Information Network (OECI). Itis a valuable resource for court case information from all 36 of Oregon’s circuit courts, the Oregon Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Tax Court. It allows people to search for civil, small claims, tax, domestic and criminal (including misdemeanor and felony) cases.
“While there are sound legal and policy reasons for not publishing case file documents directly to the internet, in a large, rural county such as Deschutes County, it makes sense for people with a need for this information to have access closer to home, rather than having to drive 30 miles or more to get to the county courthouse in Bend,” said Jeff Hall, trial court administrator for the Deschutes County Circuit Court.
Case file documents are available electronically for most cases that were filed after January 1, 2015. Documents can be printed through the library’s print system, but certified copies can only be acquired at the courthouse. Some cases are confidential and protected statutorily and therefore not available to the public, including juvenile cases and protective orders.
The Oregon Judicial Department website, courts.oregon.gov, also provides information on court calendars, hours, services, contact information, self-help resources and electronic forms for a variety of legal topics, and more.