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Oregon Public Records

The Oregon Open Records Act, found in Chapter 192 of the State Statutes, describes a public record as a document, paper, book, file, photograph, sound recording, or electronic record made or filed in the course of public business, or pursuant to law.

Records restricted from public view include audits, medical records, sealed records, student records, records related to current litigation, trade secrets, open investigation records, test questions, appraisal records, archaeological data, and endangered species data, to name a few.

Below you will find resources for the Oregon statewide public records that typical researchers are looking for.  Other types of databases, such as those for cities and counties within the state, can be accessed via the menus on the left.

  • Court System - The Oregon court system has four levels. First are the local Municipal, County, and Justice Courts, which handle violations, misdemeanors, and small claims matters. Second are the two state trial courts: the Tax Court handles tax law, and its Magistrate Division handles tax appeals; the Circuit Court is the state trial court of general jurisdiction. In 1998 the District Courts merged with the Circuit Courts, which handle civil, misdemeanor, felony, divorce, custody, juvenile, adoption, commitment, and probate cases. Third is the Court of Appeals, which reviews decisions from the Circuit Courts. Fourth is the Supreme Court, which hears all death penalty appeals, and those from the Tax Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court has discretionary review of other cases from the Court of Appeals.  Oregon Court Records
  • Criminal Records - Violations and lesser misdemeanors are handled by the local Municipal, County, and Justice Courts. Serious misdemeanors and felonies are handled by the Circuit Courts.  Oregon statewide misdemeanors and felonies may be found through the Oregon Judicial Information Network (OJIN) system or through our Search Systems Premium service.  The Oregon State Police offers a criminal history service online.  Federal criminal court records and inmate records in Oregon are separate from Oregon State records.  For rules about searching in the state, and to access the databases, go to our Oregon Criminal Records page.
  • Vital Records - Birth, death, marriage & divorce certificates are provided by: Oregon Vital Records, 800 NE Oregon Street, Ste 205, PO Box 14050, Portland, OR 97293, (971) 673-1190, Fax: (503) 234-8417.  Visit our Vital Records area for links to statewide historical birth indexes; the Social Security Death Index for Oregon, historical statewide death & burial databases; death records, cemetery indexes, coroner reports & obituaries from available cities & counties; historical statewide marriages; statewide divorce court filings; and historical divorce databases from available counties.

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