June 25, 2009

Oregon divorce lawyers and filing fees – strict enforcement

Many divorce filings and motions made by Oregon lawyers require filing fees. Historically our experience has been that courts would extend a courtesy to our peers if they filed a case with the wrong filing fee by calling the lawyer and giving them an opportunity to pay the correct fee.

The Professional Liability Fund notified Oregon lawyers that at least three circuit courts (Bend, Multnomah, and Washington counties) are now strictly enforcing Oregon Chief Justice Order (CJO) 08-015 and returning all motions and responses that are unaccompanied by the correct filing fee-$50 for motions and $35 for responses. Circuit courts in other counties throughout the state are also considering strict enforcement of these motion and response fees.

Firms will no longer receive courtesy calls or letters from the court, and there is no grace period to submit the filing fee at a later date. Motions and responses submitted without the correct fee will not be filed with the court, and hearings based on the motion will be cancelled.

CJO 08-015 requires filing fees for the following trial motions and responses:

(1) ORCP 21 motions to dismiss, make more definite and certain, strike, and quash (such ORCP 21 motions, filed jointly, in any combination, are subject to one fee);

(2) ORCP 46 motions to compel discovery;

(3) ORCP 47 motions for summary judgment;

(4) ORCP 63 motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or reconsideration;

(5) ORCP 64 motions for new trial or reconsideration;

(6) Motions to reconsider rulings on the motions identified in CJO 08-015;

What does this mean to divorce lawyers and their clients? Failing to stay on top of the current filing fees may seriously prejudice a client’s case.