Oregon’s Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court of the state and hears appeals from the Circuit Courts. They hear both civil and criminal appeals except for death penalty cases, administrative agency, and tax-related appeals. Both of those will go directly to the Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeals has thirteen judges, and they are split into four panels. The Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals assigns cases to each panel. He or she participates in each review as a non-voting judge or substitutes as a voting judge if there is a vacancy or a conflict of interest (where the judge knows the parties involved).
For some cases, a two-judge panel may be used, which includes the Chief Judge and one other. These situations usually involve substantive motions “(motions that concern the rules and laws that determine the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups)” or judicial review cases.
Each panel of judges review cases from Circuit Courts to determine if any errors were made and if they agree or not with the original decision. Either way, they draft a decision called an “opinion.” These opinions are published for the public to review. All thirteen appeals court judges can comment on the decision and agree or disagree with it.
The Oregon Judicial Branch website has a section where all the Court of Appeals opinions are posted for review. They also have detailed information on each of the Court of Appeals judges, frequently asked questions, a self-help section to guide patrons through the appeals process and a dedicated section just for attorneys. Additionally, Oregon is technically savvy with a few e-filing options for both patrons of the court and lawyers. There is a particular appellate e-filing option and other resources to pay filing fees online.