Six counties in Oregon (Gilliam, Sherman, Wheeler, Grant, Harney, and Malheur) have County Courts. These courts are not part of the unified court system of Oregon, but The Board of Commissioners created them in each county. The judge who presides over County Courts is the chair of the Board of Commissioners, and he or she has limited judicial functions. These judges also serve in a non-judicial capacity tasked with administrative responsibilities.
The types of cases resolved in County Court are probate and estate cases, wills, mental health cases, and involuntary commitments, adoptions, and juvenile issues (except for the termination of parental rights). These courts do not use juries in their trials. Since every county already has a Circuit Court, in Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler Counties the County Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over juvenile cases except for the termination of parental rights. In Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Sherman and Wheeler Counties, the County Courts there have exclusive jurisdiction over probate cases, adoptions, guardianships, and conservatorship cases.
County judges must live within ten miles of the county they serve in. The Supreme Court can assign a Circuit Court judge to any court in the state, including County Court.
The Oregon Secretary of State website has a section on County Courts and information on the towns that have them. They also have a link back to the main Oregon Judicial Branch website listing each county within a judicial district, and from there, users can view all the types of courts, court locations with address, phone number, fax number, contact information, hours of operation and a link to the County Courts website. They also list additional details for each court when available. Each individual court page has a map, directions, ADA accommodations, and history information about the county and the court.