Deliver copies of motions to the judge directly

July 2006
By Judge John Wittmayer, Multnomah County Circuit Court

In both civil and criminal litigation, too often the judge does not receive a copy of the motion, memorandum, etc. in time to prepare for the hearing. You should not assume that just because you filed a motion or a response to the other side's motion, it will be in the court file for the judge to read in time for the hearing.

This is a significant problem in criminal cases, especially in misdemeanors, because we are frequently short-staffed in the file room. Defense counsel in criminal cases should always assume that the motion to dismiss, the motion to suppress, etc. is not in the court file. Counsel should always deliver a copy to the assigned judge at least the day before the hearing is set.

In civil litigation, Multnomah County Supplementary Local Rule 5.015 requires counsel to deliver copies of motions, responses to motions, etc. to the assigned judge.