How to Find and Research Oregon Laws and Oregon Statutes Online
Using the Oregon Revised Statutes on the Internet
The Oregon Legislative Assembly uses its Legislative Counsel Committee to produce the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS). The statutes are the Oregon laws passed by the Oregon Legislative Assembly. This is the Oregon state law passed directly by elected lawmakers. While other types of laws exist in every state, knowing how to find and research Oregon statutes and other laws can save money on potential legal concerns. Using the ORS online will not provide as much information as going to a lawyer or using a professional database like Westlaw or Lexis-Nexis. However, it is free legal research. Use this information for preliminary fact gathering. Seek a lawyer for specific advice.
Oregon publishes its ORS Oregon laws online. This is not an official copy of Oregon statutes and other law, so double check in a law library with the official publication before acting on information.
Use the Table of Titles and Chapters of the ORS to find major categories of law. For example, if you are interested in marriage and divorce law, look for the Domestic Relations section or something like the Family Code. The names differ from state to state for the names of Acts and statutes.
Use the General Index to search for more specific topics. The Quick Search has an exhaustive list of subjects covered by Oregon statutes. Use the statute and code numbers to find the subjects within the text of the statutes.
Click on "Search the Oregon Revised Statutes" to run keyword searches. This may save you time but also brings back a lot of information that may not be relevant for your purposes. It is best to find the entire area of law, such as licenses, and scan the text to find what you are looking for.
Click on the "Oregon Constitution" link to research Oregon constitutional law. A state constitution generally trumps statutes. However, the Constitution also gives authority to the legislature to pass laws.
Remember that research on Oregon case law may be necessary to interpret Oregon statutes and other law. Use the "Annotations" to the ORS to get some case law. However, it is best to hire an Oregon lawyer when it comes to actually suing someone in Oregon, defending yourself, or conducting legal transactions.