Oregon Chief Justice Order 21-031

On August 19, 2021, The Honorable Martha J. Walters, Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, signed Order 21-031. This Order goes into effect immediately and changes the timelines of Forcible Entry Detainer (FED) action.

Specifically, the changes are as follows:

  1. CJO 21-031 changes the date of the first appearance for a nonpayment case from 7 days after filing the case to no sooner than 21 days after filing and no later than 28 days. In other words, after an FED on a nonpayment action is filed, first appearance will not occur until 21 days later at the earliest, but no later than 28 days. Additionally, for cases that are NOT related to nonpayment, instead of the first appearance being set 7 days after filing, the date of the first appearance may occur as late as 14 days after filing.
  2. CJO 21-031 also mandates that a trial on a nonpayment action shall be set no sooner than 21 days after the first appearance, and not later than 30 days from the first appearance. For cases that are NOT related to nonpayment, the trial may be set as late as 30 days from the date of the first appearance. For context, the law formerly stated that all FED trials be held within 15 days of the first appearance.

The practical effect of CJO 21-031 is that for a nonpayment action, the soonest a landlord will have a trial is 42 days after filing the case. This will also increase the likelihood that a tenant will have time to apply for rent assistance under the Oregon Emergency Rent Assistance Program. It will also decrease the odds of obtaining possession of the unit based on nonpayment of rent.

This article is not intended as legal advice. Please obtain advice of an attorney for any policy change or decisions regarding residential and commercial Landlord-Tenant matters.