In the Matter of Court Closures
And Service Limits to Address
Budget Limitations; Establishing
Requirements and Procedures;
Suspending Certain UTCR
Requirements and SLR;
Approving Certain Related
Out-of-Cycle SLR Amendments.

Whereas, to accommodate government budget limitations in this state, it may be appropriate from time to time for one or more Oregon state courts to decide to close or limit services for all or part of the days or hours the court would normally be open to provide services to the public; and

Whereas, each judicial district now locally determines the appropriateness of and need for budget-necessitated court closure or service limitations based on that judicial district's resources, resource reductions that may occur to other government entities within the district, ability to provide services given the resources available, and the need to minimize long-term impact of limited resources on public access to courts; and

Whereas, the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court must approve any closure of a state court or limit of that court's services during normal court business hours; and

Whereas, suspension or out-of-cycle change to Uniform Trial Court Rules (UTCR) or mandated local court rules (SLR) announcing court hours requires action by the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court; and

Whereas, the statutes and rules extending time within which an act is legally required to be done when courts are closed or court services limited apply to address budget limitation situations when the closure or limit is pursuant to order of the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court; now, therefore,

I HEREBY ORDER the following pursuant to ORS 1.002 and for purposes of engaging the extension of statute of limitations under ORS 1.060(3) and 174.120 and ORCP 10A (as amended by sections 6, 7, and 9, chapter 10, Oregon Laws 2002, first special session, Senate Bill 1006):

A. Any state-funded Oregon court is closed or the services normally provided at or by such court are limited, or both, pursuant to this Order when the presiding judge of the judicial district in which the court is located does all of the following:

1. Obtains approval, oral or otherwise, from the State Court Administrator (SCA) of a budget reduction plan that includes a limit on normal court operation days or hours, that may include complete or partial closure at the times designated, or a limit on services provided on certain days or hours.

2. Files a Presiding Judge Order (PJO) with the office of the SCA that does all of the following:

a. States that the closure or limitation imposed is to accommodate budget limitations according to a budget reduction plan approved by the SCA.

b. Specifically cites to this order as authority for the closure or limitation.

c. Sets forth the specifics of court and service availability established.

d. Specifically states that it supercedes existing SLR 1.151 unless or until that SLR is amended to reflect the court and service availability established by the order or the PJO no longer applies.

e. Describes how notice of the change in court and service availability has been or will be given for purposes of part "A3" of this order before or at the time the change takes effect.

f. Specifies the date on which the change will take effect.

3. Provides for notice of the change in court or service availability, before or at the time such change occurs, in a manner that the presiding judge determines will be most likely give appropriate notice of the change to the public and to the state and local bar organizations and to other government entities and likely to give sufficient notice of any temporary SLR change adopted to announce the court and service availability change.

4. If the SLR 1.151 of the judicial district will be temporarily amended out-of-cycle for purposes of announcing the court and service availability, files a certified copy of an amended SLR 1.151 stating hours of court operation with the SCA in the manner required by ORS 3.220.

B. A change in court or service availability authorized and imposed by this Order will be in effect:

1. To the extent provided by the PJO on file with the SCA.

2. Until either a subsequent rescinding or authorized superceding PJO is filed with the SCA and any changes necessary to the judicial district's SLR 1.151 are effected or a subsequent order of the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court rescinds or supercedes the PJO.

C. The requirements of UTCR 1.150 and any SLR 1.151 adopted by a judicial district are temporarily suspended for a judicial district when a PJO changing court or service availability authorized by this Order takes effect and during the period of time a PJO authorized by this Order is in effect. If the change is of a nature that the presiding judge determines the change would be appropriately announced by SLR, this Order waives the time limits established by UTCR 1.050 and authorizes out-of-cycle SLR adoption for temporary adoption of an SLR 1.151 for that purpose without further specific authorization. This Order does not require amendment of SLR for purposes of the effectiveness of the authorized change, but allows such amendment at the discretion of the presiding judge as appropriate during the effectiveness of the PJO and upon providing appropriate notice as determined by the presiding judge.

D. SCA is the official custodian of all PJO authorized by this Order.

E. This order cures any defects in the process for establishing, validates, and does not supercede any existing change to court or service availability established by a judicial district to address budget limitations. Any such change established before the effective date of this order that is not reflected in the existing SLR of a judicial district should be memorialized by PJO from the district explaining the specifics of the court or service availability change and when the change was imposed. A memorializing PJO should be filed with the SCA within a reasonable time after the effective date of this Order. Subsequent change to such existing court or service availability shall be accomplished as provided in this Order.

F. Procedures for establishing court or service availability by this Order are not required to be followed if a court establishes court or service availability pursuant to UTCR 1.150 in the regular cycle of SLR adoption as provided in UTCR 1.050.

G. This order authorizes subsequent rescinding or superceding PJO to establish temporary court or service availability by following the procedures set forth in this Order.

H. The procedures established by this order apply only to changes in court or service availability to accommodate budget limitations and do not apply to such changes necessitated or appropriate for other business, emergency, security, practical, or similar reasons. The procedure for such other changes to court or service availability remains direct contact with the office of the Chief Justice or the State Court Administrator.

This order takes effect immediately.

DATED this 28th day of May, 2002.

Wallace P. Carson, Jr.
Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court

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