How to Find Court Records in Deschutes County

Posted on March 24, 2021Comments Off on How to Find Court Records in Deschutes County

The Circuit Court is the highest trial court in Deschutes County. The court has original jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases that originate within the county. One can think of the circuit court as the midpoint in the Oregon judicial system. The losing party in a Circuit Court case can appeal to the Court of Appeals or directly to the Supreme Court. Likewise, the Circuit Court has the power to hear appeals from the lower county, justice, and municipal courts. 

Either way, court officials maintain relevant documents on every case that begin, come to, or leave the circuit court. And per Chapter 192 of the Oregon Revised Statutes, interested persons have the right to access, view, and obtain copies of court records in Oregon. Nevertheless, they must know how, when, and where to make a request. 

Getting Physical Copies In Person

If you reside in Deschutes County and have interests in a case filed in the Circuit Court, visit the Record File Room during business hours to submit a public records request. This court receives and handles a sizable number of cases every day, so you cannot expect the court staff to know the records or specific documents you seek. Besides, if the court case is old or disposed of, the record custodian must have filed the court records away in a secure archive. 

Thus, a requester must prepare a typewritten request stating the details of the case that the administrative staff can use to identify and retrieve the court records sought. Generally, your letter must state the name of the parties involved and the case number if known. It is also helpful to provide the date of filing or disposition. If you do not know these, state the name of the presiding judge or the representing attorneys. All of this helps speed up record retrieval and reduce your waiting time. Visit the Record Files Room at:

Deschutes County Circuit Court

First Floor, File Viewing Window (#4)

1100 NW Bond Street

Bend, OR 97703

Business hours: 8 A.M. – 5 P.M.

Finding Court Records Online From Wherever You Are

Going to the courthouse is not the only way to get the court records you seek. The Oregon judiciary maintains an electronic database for online records search. However, while this database is publicly accessible, interested persons only have access to basic case information. Persons interested in detailed case information and access to digital copies of the court records must subscribe to the Oregon Judicial Case Information Network (OJCIN). Alternatively, you may use independent service providers that collect aggregate court records and make them available to the public. 

These options are particularly great if you want Deschutes circuit court records, but you live out-of-town or busy with work. You only need to have an internet connection and a personal computer to get the court records at your convenience. However, the availability of the latest case records is not guaranteed. The upload of case documents to the central repository is often subject to administrative workload, personnel, and technology at the courthouse. 

I Cannot Visit The Court, But I Don’t Need The Records Immediately

If this is the case, consider sending a mail request to the Record File Department. Here, you write to the court, stating the name of the persons involved, the case number or year of filing, and specific documents needed – you can also request the entire case record. Furthermore, protocol requires that you state how you want to receive the documents, i.e., by mail, email, or office pick-up. Enclose the request in a self-addressed stamped envelope and address it to:

Deschutes County Circuit Court

Attn: File Room Department

1100 NW Bond Street

Bend, OR 97703 

Phone: (541) 388-5300 Ext.2010

For all the methods of obtaining court records from the Deschutes circuit court, you must pay for the service rendered. The court generally charges $0.25 per page for hard copies and $0.20 per page for digital copies. If you need the documents certified, you must pay $5.00 per document. Likewise, exemplification costs $10.00 per document. Of course, if you are requesting the court records by mail for the first time, there is no way to estimate the total cost. Thus, you may enclose a Not-To-Exceed (NTE) check along with the written request. In this case, the court advises a maximum of $30.00. 

Exercising your statutory right to public information is inalienable as an Oregon resident and American. If the court records you seek are under seal from the public, you should petition the court for access. Your petition is more likely to be granted if you have compelling reasons that outweigh the need for public sequestration. 

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