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What happens after Defendant is Served?

State of Oregon, Small Claims Court

First, if you utilize to process your case, you will receive an email from our office shortly after the Defendant has been served. If for some reason you don’t get the email, check your online account for status.

After the Defendant has been served with the Claim and Notice of Claim, he/she has 14 days to do one of the following things:

1. Pay the Claim plus filing and service expenses paid by you, the Plaintiff
2. Deny The Claim And Demand a hearing Must pay filing fee of $74.50 if amount claimed is $1,500 or less or $143 if amount claimed is over $1,500
3. Deny The Claim, Demand A Hearing And File a Counter-Claim Must pertain to the same matter as the Plaintiff’s Claim
4. Demand A Jury Trial Can only be made if the amount or value of the claim exceeds $750, must pay $287

Naturally, the Defendant has the right to call the Plaintiff and settle the case before the day of the hearing. Further, the Plaintiff has the right to file a Continuance (ask the court for a hearing date farther out). If this happens, you will be notified by the court before your hearing.

Assuming that a hearing has been set. If the Plaintiff appears and the Defendant does not, the Plaintiff will most likely be awarded a Default Judgment. You will still be required to show the Judge evidence of your claim. If you are unable to substantiate your claim, you are not guaranteed this Default Judgment. The Judge can order a new trial if he/she believes that more evidence is required.

Many Counties in Oregon have established a program of pretrial mediation conferences to offer you a final opportunity to maintain control over the outcome of your dispute before turning it over to a judge. Cases are automatically selected for mediation as part of this program. The mediator will help the parties put their agreement (if one is made) to present to the judge for approval. If the parties do not reach an agreement during mediation, the trial will be held at a later date as though the mediation had never occurred.

Important note for Plaintiff’s. If you do not appear at your hearing (regardless if the Defendant appears), the case will be dismissed. However, almost all states dismiss the case Without Prejudice. This means that you are able to file the case again at a later time.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this site is not legal advice, but general information on legal issues commonly encountered in the California Small Claims process.'s Legal Document Service is not a law firm and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. cannot provide legal advice and can only provide self-help services at your specific direction.
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