Starting February 1, 2022, filers are now able to electronically submit fee waiver and deferral applications to Oregon’s circuit courts and the Oregon Tax Court through File & Serve. Chief Justice Order 21-051 amends UTCR 21.050 and 21.070 to permit electronic submission of these filings.
The electronic submission process was created to comply with ORS 21.100, which requires all statutory filing fees to be paid, waived, or deferred before a pleading can be filed, and allows accepted filings to be filed on the date they are submitted for statute of limitations purposes. See this announcement from the Oregon Judicial Department with more information about the submission process. Below are some pertinent details from these documents.
Court staff will leave the pleadings in the File & Serve queue while the application is reviewed. If a waiver or deferral is granted, the pleadings will be accepted. The court filing date will be the date the documents were submitted to the court. Unless a filer has opted out of receiving File & Serve communications, the filer will receive an email notification for each document that is submitted, accepted, or rejected. Filers will need to monitor their emails to determine whether their pleadings have been accepted. The email notification will indicate whether a waiver or deferral was granted. Please note that it is possible for a court to grant a fee waiver or deferral and reject the pleadings. If this happens, follow the court’s instructions for resubmitting the pleadings.
Review of Applications and Acceptance or Rejection of Pleadings
If the request for a fee waiver or deferral is denied, court staff will contact the filer and provide an opportunity for the filer to pay the filing fee. If the fee is paid, the pleadings will be accepted. If the fee is not paid, the pleadings will be rejected. When the pleadings are rejected, the File & Serve email notification will indicate that the request for a fee waiver or deferral was denied and state that the fee must be paid in order to file the pleadings. A filer whose application has been denied and whose pleading has been rejected may request relation back under UTCR 21.080(5)(a), even if the filer was contacted and did not pay the filing fee.
Denial of Waiver or Deferral, Rejection of Pleadings, and Relation Back
For questions related to specific cases or court processes, contact the court where you are submitting your documents. Oregon circuit court and Tax Court contact information can be found here.
For questions related to how to use File & Serve and general electronic filing processes, contact Sam Dupree at 971.283.1133 or at L.S.Dupree@state.or.us.
For questions related to File & Serve account management and technological issues, contact Tyler Technologies at 800.297.5377 or through their help desk.
For general information, see Oregon eCourt Resources (PLF practice aid), eCourt for First-Time eFilers (PLF CLE), and Oregon eFiling Checklist for First Time eFiler (PLF practice aid).