Call Us503.954.2557

A note from Thompson Law Group about COVID-19

 

How is COVID-19 virus impacting the court system? It’s a question we’ve been getting a lot recently, and with good reason. The court system in Oregon has long been reliable and present, ticking along and offering relief for parties. Currently, the courts are only hearing a limited docket of family law cases; restraining orders and immediate danger order hearings. So, what do you do if you have a pending case?

First, if you’re a client of Thompson Law Group, know that we are working on it, albeit from our respective homes (and with our respective dogs). We are in contact with all the courts we practice in, rescheduling with clerks and opposing counsel, filing necessary documents, doing research, drafting documents, talking to clients, and progressing your case as much possible. We are still advocating for you and your family, and that won’t stop. Your case will still move forward, but unless you have retained Thompson Law Group to help with a pending Restraining Order or Immediate Danger Order, you case is on a pause with the court currently. If you haven’t heard from us since COVID-19 turned the world upside down, it is because we don’t have any news from the court about your case. When we get updates, so will you.
So back to the courts; what’s going on there? Chief Justice Walters of the Oregon Supreme Court issued court guidelines in response to the COVID-19 virus on March 13 and 16, 2020. Her guidelines are general and state a best practices approach; clean more, limit interactions between people, only essential activities at the court house. She left it up to each court to decide how they would handle their case load, and each county courthouse has responded differently to meet the needs of their community.
One commonality; all the courts are currently understaffed in order to protect their most vulnerable employees. Our office has been having some difficulty getting through to a human at some of the courthouses and so, as you treat the pharmacist, grocery store cashier, and pizza delivery person, please be gentle and patient with court staff when you do get the opportunity to interact with them during this pandemic. They are working hard and doing their best, as we all are in these novel times.
For more specific information about updates related to your case, please contact your attorney.
Below, links to relevant information from each Courthouses in which Thompson Law Group has active cases and a brief summary of how that county is handling family law matters. Please note, this blog entry was updated as of March 24, 2020. The courts will likely update and adapt as this pandemic progresses.
Multnomah County
The Multnomah County family law bench will only be hearing matters related to restraining orders or immediate danger orders until April 30, 2020, so if you have a matter scheduled between now and April 30, 2020 that does not concern a restraining order or an immediate danger order, your appearance has been, or is in the process of being, rescheduled.
The public service phone numbers are not being answered currently, so if you need to contact the courthouse about a family law matter, please do so at Mul.Familylaw@ojd.state.or.us
Clackamas County
The Clackamas County family law bench will only be hearing matters related to restraining orders or immediate danger order until at least March 27, 2020, so if you have a matter scheduled between now and March 27, 2020 that does not concern a restraining order or an immediate danger order, your appearance has been, or is in the process of being, rescheduled. In person and by-phone courthouse hours have been reduced to 10am-4 pm, with the exception of those seeking a protective order (restraining order); protective orders can be filed between 8:30 am and 10 am.
Washington County
The Washington County family law bench will only be hearing matters related to restraining orders or immediate danger order until at least March 27, 2020, so if you have a matter scheduled between now and March 27, 2020 that does not concern a restraining order or an immediate danger order, your appearance has been, or is in the process of being, rescheduled. Washington County Courthouse has reduced their open hours to 10am-3pm.
Yamhill County
The Yamhill County family law bench will only be hearing matters related to restraining orders or immediate danger orders until April 30, 2020, so if you have a matter scheduled between now and April 30, 2020 that does not concern a restraining order or an immediate danger order, your appearance has been, or is in the process of being, rescheduled. The Yamhill County Courthouse has reduced open hours from 10am to Noon, and 1pm-3pm.
Wasco, Hood River, Sherman, Gilliam, and Wheeler Counties (7th judicial district)
The family law benches for the 7th judicial district will only be hearing matters related to restraining orders or immediate danger order until at least March 27, 2020, so if you have a matter scheduled between now and March 27, 2020 that does not concern a restraining order or an immediate danger order, your appearance has been, or is in the process of being, rescheduled. Linked below the various changes to court operational time.
Marion County
The Marion County family law bench will only be hearing matters related to restraining orders or immediate danger order until at least March 27, 2020, so if you have a matter scheduled between now and March 27, 2020 that does not concern a restraining order or an immediate danger order, your appearance has been, or is in the process of being, rescheduled.