There are two Justice Courts in Douglas County. These courts have jurisdiction to handle:
- Civil Suits and Small Claims up to $10,000.
- Forceable Entry & Wrongful Detainer (FED) cases (landlord-tenant evictions)
- Misdemeanor criminal cases
- Traffic violations
- Non-Traffic violations (fish & game, off-road, fire restrictions, county ordinance violations, etc.)
In addition, Justice Courts may hold preliminary hearings, issue arrest, and search warrants, and conduct felony arraignments. Justice Courts do not handle felony cases, nor do they deal with libel, slander, or disputes over title to property. Civil cases heard by the Justice Courts involve disputes between parties and are limited up to sums of $10,000 (Effective October 1, 2011). A Justice of the Peace may also perform marriage ceremonies anywhere in the State of Oregon.
Justice of the Peace
The Justice of the Peace is in charge of the Justice Court and is elected for a six-year term by voters in the justice district. There are two justice districts in Douglas County with courts in Canyonville and Reedsport. Justices of the Peace must reside and be registered voters in the County in which they are elected, however, they are not required to be attorneys. Non-attorneys must complete an eight-week course through the National Judges College.
Function of the Court
Justice Courts possess the same scope of responsibility as the former State District Courts. The primary function of Justice Courts is to relieve caseload pressure from the Circuit Courts in Roseburg and to serve the outlying areas of the County. Justice Courts are not State Courts as they are funded by the County.