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Oregon Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims and Collections for Oregon on
Q: Statute of limitations for 10-year debt?


I received a collection notice from a debt collector (from old phone company) for a 10-year debt. Are they within the SoL to collect? I wrote and confirmed the balance owed from 2011, but had never received a bill for this balance until last week. I haven't received any other... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Apr 27, 2021

Whether it is past the statute of limitations depends on a few things. First, exactly what is trying to be collecting upon? The original debt or a court judgment against you arising out of that debt? IF it ever was reduced to a court Judgment, Judgments in Oregon are good for 10 years and maybe... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: In Oregon small claims trial, phone/ video trial, what if Plaintiff misses a deadline for sending evidence to the court?

If the Plaintiff did not send documents, exhibits to the Defendant 7 days before the video/phone trial, can the Plaintiff enter any evidence on the day of the trial? Should the Defendant object to any evidence presented?

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Mar 22, 2021

Yes the defendant should (and likely will) object. The penalty, if any, is up to the Judge. They could go forward anyway; they could dismiss the plaintiff's case for failure to comply with the rules; the judge issue a continuance with instructions to finish the production and come back to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: I send a woman in MO. $1,000 for a puppy that was never given to me

She took it to her vet and there was a problem with his knee which she hid from me.She was mad when I called her vet in MO. and found out .Bottom line she won’t give me my deposit back and won’t answer the phone . What can I do ?

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Feb 4, 2021

Assuming it is too late to stop payment or request a charge back on a debit or credit card payment, and negotiation doesn't resolve anything, your bottom line options are to sue her in court - and then try to collect. Normally, you could sue in either the location the transaction was made or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation, Criminal Law and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: What are the laws regarding animal ownership when it pertains to not giving a dog back?

My sister-in-law moved into a house with some friends. She also brought her dog. She was kicked out a few weeks later. When asked when they would be home to pick up the dog, they said that they were not going to give the dog back. They had stolen a family member of our house. What are the options... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Jan 11, 2021

Stealing an animal is no different than stealing anything else - legally speaking. The real issue is likely to be how can you prove the dog is hers? Receipts? Vet appointments? Especially prior to her moving in? If you think you can prove the ownership issue, then you can first file a police... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Small Claims for Oregon on


Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Nov 4, 2020

They do not have to provide you with any of their records unless and until you file a lawsuit against them in court and then issue a request for production. At that point, if they admit having the records, they would be obligated to either provide the requested material or to legally deny their... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: I broke a window in a house near the park and the owner is charging me for the window repair and his labor fixing it

The owner of the home sent me the invoice of the new window cost, and then wants to charge me $25 an hour for 4 hours of his labor putting in the new window. Do I need to pay for his labor?

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Oct 21, 2020

Of course you owe the labor cost for repairing the damage you caused. $25 per hour seems reasonable but whether 4 hours is a reasonable amount of time depends upon the exact details. It might or might not be. Do consider, however, that someone had to go to a store; get a replacement window... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: So I have a legit claim in small claims court? Or should I go a different route to recover my financial loss?

I got in a relationship with my ex girlfriend in November of last year. She was in just an absolutely terrible financial situation. She was gonna lose the house due to unpaid property taxes the city was gonna forclose on the house In 6 months or less and she was gonna lose the house. So I stepped... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Sep 14, 2020

Much depends upon the exact details of what the mutual understanding was at the time. At the time you paid the property taxes, was it structured as a loan? What were the re-payment terms? Interest? Or was it a gift at the time or simply not discussed? Are you seeking reimbursement for expenses... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: I was awarded spousal support in my divorce. My ex suddenly stopped paying it. With limited resources, what can I do?

I have tried to reach out to him but he will not respond to my calls/texts/emails but I do know he is working. I don't live in the area where he resides and where our divorce took place either, so that makes it difficult as well. What can I do to compel him to pay the support that he owes? He... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Jun 19, 2020

This is really a matter best taken up with your divorce lawyer since they are the most familiar with all the details of your case. You likely have options such as asking the divorce court to find him in contempt of court (that usually gets results) for failing to pay per the court order; you can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Do I have to file a small claims suit in the state that the business is in !!
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on May 18, 2020

If a company does business in Oregon, it is subject to being sued in Oregon. If it does not, it likely is not.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Do I have to pay for the satisfaction of judgement paperwork to be notarized for the person who sued me?

I was involved in a small claims court case. There was a judgement filed against me. After 2 years I finally had the money to send them in full with interest. I sent them a cashiers check, along with a prestamped envelope to send back to me so I could deliver it to the court. They mailed it back to... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Mar 31, 2020

Really? You want to fight over the cost of a notary? The Covid-19 situation may impede the processing of the Satisfaction of Judgment but it is the creditor's obligation to file the satisfaction with the court. You should just stay out of it, beyond demanding that they file the document of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: 1/2 I told the wrong info to my coworker about our work schedule(not my intention, it is an honest mistake) resulting to

(2/2) ...him not able to work on his other job at other company. Am I obligated to pay him for his lost job hours? (Again not my intention to tell him wrong info)

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Mar 15, 2020

If you are this fellow's manager or the person who officially schedules his work hours, maybe there is some sort of potential liability. But if not, you just gave him your best knowledge. It did not come with a guarantee of accuracy and ultimately it was his responsibility to determine his... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Do I need to pay a deposit back to someone I replaced on an apartment lease?

There was no discussion of paying a deposit back and I’ve been threatened with a small claims court case.

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Mar 10, 2020

Unless you specifically agreed, any security deposit charges or refund is strictly between the landlord and the ex-tenant. If a new "replacement" tenant paid it to the out-going tenant, the new tenant can end up paying for any damages the landlord alleges caused by the out-going person.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: I was in small claims court mediation and Plaintiff communicated she had recorded our conversations, unknown to me.

Can a Plaintiff use recorded conversation as evidence in a small claims trial, if the recorded conversation was obtained without the knowledge of the Defendants?

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Feb 4, 2020

Anything said in court sponsored mediation is inadmissible at trial.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims, Civil Rights and Sexual Harassment for Oregon on
Q: What is considered evidence for pet theft.

Someone says they walked your dog and he got away. 2 months later and still no sign of dog. Flyers posted craigslist and fb postings. Checked dog shelters.

William Jaksa
William Jaksa answered on Sep 3, 2019

What could be considered evidence is something that depends on the circumstances. In your case, it seems that you would need something to prove that they had your dog, or control of your dog, after the time they say it ran away. Were they seen with the dog? Are they advertising a dog for sale? Is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Gov & Administrative Law, Small Claims and White Collar Crime for Oregon on
Q: If my employer takes money out of my check for a draw and there's no signed document giving permission can I ask 4 it b

Can I make him pay it back and can I make him pay back all money taken out of my checks this way ? If so how far back can I make him pay me? He wasn't showing draws on my check stubs for two years . He was taking hours away from my pay to pay himself back. I demanded he pay my hours and show... Read more »

William Jaksa
William Jaksa answered on Sep 2, 2019

He could be breaking the law, BUT it sounds more like a small claims or employment matter. That being said, there are some things that you need to consider. There doesn't need to be a written and signed document for you and your employer to have an agreement, but that is always best. You could... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: Hi thank you for taking the time to read my question. I have a contractor that I have started a small home project with

I had him replace widows, which started out wrong. He measured one of the windows completely wrong and we didn't discover it until they went to put it in and it didn't fit. Custom ordered mind you. He needed to fix that problem which is still incomplete from March 2019. I then, decided... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Jul 10, 2019

You need to review everything in detail with a local attorney. Depending upon the size/dollar amount of the job, contractors are usually required to put their bids in writing and give you written notice of your rights as a homeowner and notice that if you pay the general contractor but he fails to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: I lived with a friend for 8+ months rent free with no formal agreement. He gave me 19 days to leave. Is this legal?

My friend let me stay rent-free and off-lease in the second bedroom of his apartment(s) in the city of Portland (we moved to a 2nd apt during 8+ months). On April 11th he text me that I needed to start paying $1,000/month, including the month of April, or leave by May 1st. I left to go out of town... Read more »

Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott answered on Jun 10, 2019

There is no question that you are entitled to recover your mattress and any other personal property. IF you were a tenant, then you might have claims against him for landlord-tenant violations (or perhaps not since you apparently left "voluntarily" - it depends upon the exact details).... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents, Civil Rights, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: A car drove into the side of my house what can I use the driver for? It scared my grandchildren my pets and my family
Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman answered on Jun 8, 2019

You can sue the driver for the damage to your house. Emotional damages (pain and suffering) can only be requested by a person who was physically injured.

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1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Small Claims for Oregon on
Q: When notifying a client of a bad check, does a Certified Mail letter serve as proof, even if failed delivery attempt?

I need advice on collecting on a bad check. A client of my pet care business wrote me a bounced check for $420. I have alerted her via email (no replies), phone (disconnected numbers), and Certified Mail (failed delivery attempt). I understand that I likely need to take this to Small Claims Court,... Read more »

Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman answered on May 9, 2019

Do you have the original check back in your possession? I used to just take the check back to the bank it was written on (her bank) and ask the bank if they had sufficient funds so I could cash the check. Sometimes I would get lucky and the bank would pay me. You could try to cash it around the... Read more »

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