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Oregon Court Records

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Contract Disputes and Property Disputes in Oregon

In Oregon, a contract dispute happens when one of the parties involved in an agreement does not accept or goes against the terms of the contract, which leads to a breach of contract. A property dispute is a lawful dispute involving real estate. The property causing the disagreement can be a condominium, a driveway, a vacant home, a land, a deck, a manufactured home, or any elements of real estate. The Circuit Court in Oregon handles all cases involving contract or property disputes.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are Contract Disputes in Oregon?

According to ORS 84.001, a contract is a lawful commitment resulting from an agreement between two or more parties. Going against the terms in the contract ensues dispute. Contract disputes are of two types;

Material Breach: Also called a total breach, a material breach is when a contract is irredeemably broken. The breach makes the contract completely useless, and the terms of the contract can not be fulfilled. Also, the breaching party will be held liable for damages. For example, a person purchases a house, signs all the necessary documents, and completes all the steps required to get the house. Then all of a sudden, the seller decides not to give the buyer the deed and keys.

Minor Breach: Known as a partial breach, a minor breach happens when a party does not affect the contract’s full purpose. For example, a homeowner hires an electrician to install lightning with a new type of wiring, but the electrician uses different wiring than agreed. This is a minor breach because the electrician did not complete the purpose of the contract.

What are the Most Common Contract Disputes in Oregon

Contract disputes that frequently occur in Oregon are;

  • Breach of Contract: Typically arises due to incomplete or unclear issues from the contract.
  • Partnership Disputes: This happens when partners disagree on a decision or what is in the best interest of the organizations.
  • General Liability: This type of dispute addresses individuals with properties that have pedestrian traffic. If someone sustains injuries or falls due to this, the owner might be held accountable.
  • Business to Business Disputes: This is when one business senses other business activities to be deceptive or unfair in the free market.

What is Oregon Contract Law?

Oregon Contract law defines a contract as a legal responsibility resulting from agreements between two or more parties, according to ORS 84.001 (Short title) to 84.061 (Federal electronic signatures law partially superseded). Oregon contract law requires offer, acceptance, and consideration to form a contract. Contracts are legally binding and negotiated for trade/exchange. In such a deal, a guarantor needs something from a guarantee in return for a promise.

What is a Breach of Contract in Oregon?

A breach of contract is defined as one party breaking the terms and conditions agreed upon by two or more parties. It could be not accomplishing a responsibility during the assigned period, for example, being late with rent payment. When this occurs, one or both parties will wish to enforce the terms of the contract or restore any financial damage caused by the breach.

What are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract in Oregon?

Appropriate remedies for breach of contract in Oregon are;

Legal Remedies: Some contracts incorporate a liquidated damages clause stating how much damages are to be accepted once there is a breach of contract. Legal remedies could be restitution, liquidated damages, or compensatory damages.

Equitable Remedies: This remedy allows the party that did not breach the contract to gain monetary damages and incorporate court rules to settle the dispute.

The Circuit Court has jurisdiction over all contract dispute cases. To file a breach of Contract in Oregon, interested persons must pay a $50 processing fee and use one of the following forms:

  • Property Owner Complaint form Res and Small Comm.pdf
  • Prime Contractor Complaint form Res and Small Comm.pdf
  • Property Owner Prime Contractor Complaint Form Large Comm.pdf
  • Subcontractor and Material Supplier Complaint Form​ ​
  • Employees Complaint Form​

Upon completing the form, interested parties will mail the form to the Circuit Court.

What Defenses Can Be Used Against a Breach of Contract Claim in Oregon?

The Revised Oregon Statutes §72.6010- 72.7250 makes provision for possible breach of contract claims and possible remedies. Oregon courts recognize impossibility, the frustration of purpose, and impracticability as suitable defenses to breach of contract claims.

Impossibility: Impossibility is an argument showing the reasons why a binding event stated in a contract was not possible. Under OREF Oregon Real Estate Sale Agreement, below are the only form of impossibility argument that can nullify a breach of contract;

  • An act of God
  • Supervening illegality
  • Death or a near-death experience
  • War
  • Labor strikes/unavailability of goods
  • Occasionally a sixth ground is raised that the performance is possible, but the expense or difficulty renders performance practically impossible. However, this requires proper evidence to show the court that it is not just a case of circumvention.

The Frustration of Purpose: To be successful, the defense must be based upon a supposition that such an event would not happen. The court generally examines the supervening event to see if it something both parties should have foreseen.

Impracticability: This is often regarded as a newer concept than the other two defenses as it incorporates the basics of impossibility and frustration of purpose. To prevail, the contract must include a clause stating that the non-occurrence of an event is a valid reason for failure to act. Hence the defaulting party is not guilty. Notwithstanding, the parties to the contract are to exert reasonable efforts to surmount all obstacles.

What are Property Disputes in Oregon?

A property dispute is a type of legal dispute involving real estate, including condos, pond, driveway, and other forms of properties. Property disputes vary, and different laws apply for different cases. Oregon Real estate statute ORS § 696 addresses property disputes.

What Are Some Common Types of Property Disputes in Oregon?

Commonly reported property disputes in Oregon include;

  • Boundary disputes (encroachment)
  • Commercial landlord or tenant dispute (eviction, unpaid rents, and commercial lease)
  • Easement dispute (property easement arrangement and termination),
  • Real estate fraud (misrepresentation, forgery, failure to disclose defects and any form of fraud and conflict of interest)
  • Adverse possession claims (forceful or illegal acquisition of land)
  • Nuisance (e.g. pollution) and trespass claims (entering a no-trespass zone)
  • Landslide liability claims (occurs when two people co-own property and both parties are at loggerheads)
  • Drainage/flooding claims
  • Non-conforming land use or zoning
  • Mortgages and foreclosure
  • Construction disputes

How to Find Property Lines

Also referred to as delimitation or borderline, a property line is a term that describes the boundary of a property at various points, and it separates it from surrounding properties. A property line defines the total surface area of landed property, revealing the land’s specific dimensions, and may also list any easements or restrictions. To find property lines in Oregon, contact a licensed surveyor. Again, confirm recorded surveys at the County Surveyor’s office. Additionally, interested individuals can use an online map in a preliminary search for a property line but will still need to see a surveyor for accurate onsite dimensions.

How do I Find a Property Dispute Lawyer Near me?

To find a licensed property dispute lawyer in Oregon, interested persons can search online databases using practice areas, location, disciplinary records, and lawyer reviews as search queries and filters. This information may be available on the local or state bar association website. The Oregon state bar association offers referral services based on location, facts of a case, income level, and status of an applicant.

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