Your Lawsuit Online – Who should pay?

A debate is rumbling that is of interest mostly to lawyers.  The days when Oregon lawyers had to send someone to the courthouse to file their documents is over. Now we go to the “courthouse” online and file our documents there.  Also gone are the days of going to the courthouse to look into a court file.  This is done online as well.

While Oregon lawyers can file documents for free, looking into the court’s file requires an account – for a fee.  Government budgets being what they are, those fees are about to increase.  So who should bear the burden of the fee increase?  Is the fee structure fair at all? Well that’s the debate.

To the casual reader of this blog, this issue is of little consequence. Most lawyers, including this one, will absorb the cost and move on.  It does matter to some, and so this post is mostly a place to put some relevant links to data.

For more information, please take a look at the Chief Justice’s Recommended Budget .  The fee proposal itself is found at CJO 17-037.  Since the budget itself does not discuss the impact of the fees, I have taken a brief – non-scientific – survey.  The summary results, along with comments responding to the proposal are found here.

Edit: Since the original post, the Chief Justice has approved a final fee schedule effective September 1, 2017.  This schedule has been adjusted, addressing the concerns of at least some solo practitioners.