We have been helping Clients with small claims for 24+ years, experience counts! We are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice, but we can prepare your documents at your direction by following the small claims procedure set by the Oregon courts.
What are the court fees?
Court fees for cases between $1 to $2499. the court will charge $57.
Court fees for cases between $2500. to $10,000. the court will charge $102
How long do I have to file my case?
If the subject owes you money you have 6 years from the date of the loan or 6 years from the last time the subject exchanged conformation of the debt.
If your case is regarding personal injury you have 2 years from the date of injury.
If your case is regarding property damage you have 6 years from date of damage.
How do I know what county to file my case in?
Your case must be filed in either the location of the incident/contract took place or the county the defendant lives in.
Why should I use PI Service and not just do it myself?
Because we have 24+ years of experience helping clients with small claims. It’s important to make sure the defendants are listed correctly. The original claim is not hard to fill out but the default judgment, military documents and cost declarations that needs to be filed later can be tricky, we take care of all of that. In order to get all cost back from the court things need to be done correctly. A DOB (Date of Birth) or SS# will be required to obtain a Certificate of Non-military service printout from the Department of Defense website (SCRA), required by the court when filing a default judgment. Don’t get stuck and stressed out. For only $40 we take care of all the paperwork. ($40 for small claims assistance, +$60 for service of process = $100 (total). Also the cost will be added to the claim, so the defendant will end up paying if you win. Then when you want to collect on your judgment we will offer you a discount on our writ of garnishment service because you used our small claims service.
Is the total cost for Small Claims assistance only $100 + court fees?
Yes we only charge $100 for local small claims case with one or two defendants at the same address. Local includes most addresses in the Portland Metro area. We serve papers from Coast to Coast. See our process serving page for more details or call or email us for a quote. Other locations in Oregon will run $5 to $30 more. Other locations in the USA will run $20 to $50 more.
What if I do not know the location of the person or company I want to sue?
We can help with locating a people. We can also help with locating a company if you are not finding them on the OR Secretary of States website. Do not fill out a request form if you do not have the address. An address will need to be found before moving forward with a small claims.
Does the Defendant have to live in Oregon?
No we can Serve them with papers at any location in the USA.
Do I have to live in Oregon?
No. If the defendant request a trial. You can request to appear by phone or zoom.
What if it takes a few attempts at a few locations to serve the Subject?
All cost incurred to locate and serve the subject will be added to the judgment if you win your case. Process Servers in Oregon charge a flat fee for each address attempted. Each address will get up to 4 to 5 attempts if needed. First time hiring a process server? Click here for more info.
Can I call the office or email to check on the status of service?
Yes if you pay an additional $35 rush fee. If not then, no please do not call or email every few days asking for a status. The status will be: “We are working on your case and will notify you after service or if we have any problems or issues.” If it was served then you would know as we would notify you. We will take care of things and contact you if we have any problems or issues. If you do not hear from us, that is a good thing, that means we do not have any issues or problems to report and we are doing what you pay us to do. We will notify you after service. Then we will track your case and provide you with updates. Please know we will take good care of your case and contact you when needed.
After the subject is served with the Notice of Small Claim, when is my court date?
You will only have a court date if the defendant pays the court and request one. If that happens the court will schedule a mediation first. If that happens we will let you know.
What if the subject contacts me after they are served with the Notice of Small Claim and they want to make a deal or a payment plan?
If you wish to make a deal or a payment plan, you can but we recommend you ONLY do any deal in the form of a Stipulated Judgment. We can provide a blank Stipulated Judgment agreement form if requested by our clients.
What if the subject does not request a court date?
We will prepare and file a Default Judgment and you will be awarded all amounts requested as well as all court cost and service fees. We will make sure you also get your $117 prevailing party fee.
The defendant(s) has 14 days in which to do one of the following:
a. Pay the claim in full, including court costs, and file proof of payment or delivery with the court.
b. Deny the claim and pay the Court to request a hearing
c. Deny the claim and pay to file a counterclaim and request a hearing,
d. Demand a jury trial (claims over $750) (this rarely happens as it costs the defendant much more)
Who tracks the case to see if the defendant responded?
We will track your case for you. If the defendant files a response we will let you know and so will the court by mail. The defendant has 14 days to respond. The court will need a few days to view and enter the responses they receive. So we will check with the court on the 17 or 18 day after service. If the defendant has not responded, then we will prepare and file a for a default judgment, with military exemption and cost affidavit. Do not call our office on the 14 day and ask if the defendant responded. We will track the case and let you know what is needed and when. Please do not call our office to see if we are tracking your case, we are. This is why you hire us to take care of this entire process.
If the defendant(s) pays to request a court date, then what?
The Court will set a mediation date first as it is required prior to trial court. We will let you know as soon as the court sets a date.
Most Oregon Circuit Courts have established a program of mediation for small claims cases. After a defendant(s) files their Notice of Defendant’s Election denying the claim and/or asserting a counterclaim against the plaintiff, the court will schedule a mediation hearing.
All disputed cases will be referred to the mediation program, if the County has a mediation process. You will are required to appear for mediation, but you can stop the mediation process anytime you like and move to trial.
Mediation has many benefits for the parties:
a. Mediation is a process that brings you and the other party together to discuss your dispute with a trained neutral mediator.
b. Mediation offers the parties a final opportunity to maintain control over the outcome of the dispute before turning it over to a judge.
c. Mediation is confidential. If it does not work out or you want to stop at any time you may do so and request a trial.
d. A mediated agreement is enforceable but will not appear as a judgment on a debtor’s credit report unless there is non-compliance with the agreement and a judgment is entered. This is beneficial for the defendant and can be used as a bargaining chip by the plaintiff.
If the parties decline to mediate or if they are unable to resolve the dispute through mediation, a trial will be set at a later date.
Can I get back all my cost?
We will provide a cost declaration to the court when requesting a judgment. The court does not provide them and they are not required but we have found submitting them is helpful especially when multiple services or costs are incurred. Another reason to use our small claims services. We can not guarantee the court will give all cost but if explained and asked the right way we have found that almost all do allow our clients all cost spent.
What is a Prevailing Party fee and how can I get an extra $117?
If the subject does not respond the Court will award a $117 prevailing party fee if the fee is requested in the Judgment. We will make sure it is requested. Or if you go to court and you win your case the judge will also award a prevailing party fee.
If I win at trial, when will I get paid?
You will be awarded a judgment from the Court. Then you can Garnish the Defendants wages or Garnish the Defendants Bank Accounts. Judgments are valid for 10 years earning 9% interest in Oregon. If the defendant owns property you can place a lien on the property. You can garnish wages or bank accounts anytime. You can also contact OR DMV and find out if you can place a lien on the subject’s vehicles. If your claim is from an auto accident you can contact OR DMV and request they suspend the subject’s drivers license or ID card privileges until they pay you in full.
After I have a Judgment, how can I find out where the subject works or banks, so I can garnish?
I know the subjects bank and/or employment info, can PI Services help with the writ of garnishment process?
Yes we can help. Check out our Writ of Garnishment page.
If the subject pays me in full do I have to do anything?
Yes after payment has cleared you must file a Satisfaction of Judgment with the Court if you have a judgment in the case. We will provide you with a blank form upon request. If a default judgment has not been obtained but you get paid in full, you should send a letter to the court and request they close your case.
Can I hire some guys named Guido and Rocky to go squeeze the subject for the money?
No, do not do that. Also do not tell them you are going to sue them either, that will just make in harder to get them served with the papers. Fill our our Small Claims Request Form and we will get them served for you! :)- Oregon Small Claims Request Form
Thanks for checking out the entire page! Give us a call or send an email if you have any other questions or concerns. If you have a good question we may add it to this list to help others.
We are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice, but we can prepare your documents at your direction by following the small claims procedure set by the Oregon courts.
Oregon Small Claims Questions and Answers
Oregon Small Claims Q and A
Oregon Small Claims Help
Oregon Small Claims Collections
Oregon Small Claims Assistance
Oregon Small Cla0ims Services