J.W. Long Law Library


Public Records

Where do you find Public Records?

Essential to every law practice is factual information contained in public records. Two useful guides are:

  • Manual to Online Public Records, Law Ref. JK468.P76.
  • The Sourcebook to Public Record Information, JK 468.P76. A comprehensive guide to County, State and Federal public record sources.

Free public records sites are groups together at www.brbpub.com/pubrecsites.asp

The Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) are the primary source of information regarding public records in Oregon. Exclusive of real estate title and probate records, the following are some of the more commonly sought public records by attorneys:

  • Accident Reports: ORS 802.220(5)(a) Limited information is available to any party involved in the accident or to their personal representative. This includes names of witnesses to the accident.
  • Corporations Doing Business in Oregon. ORS 60.027. Anyone may apply to the Secretary of State to furnish a certificate of existence for a domestic corporation or a certificate of authorization for a foreign corporation.
  • Criminal Records: ORS 181.560(1). Information may be disclosed regarding convictions or any arrest less than 1 year old on which there has been no acquittal or dismissal.
  • Medical Records: ORS 192.520 Information may be disclosed in a manner that is consistent with an authorization provided by the patient or a personal representative.
  • Motor Vehicle Information: ORS 802.179(4) Personal information may be disclosed to an attorney for use in connection with a civil, criminal, administrative, or arbitration proceeding.
  • UCC Filings: ORS 79.0523(3) Filing statements may be disclosed to any person upon payment of a fee.
  • Vital Statistics: ORS 432.121(2). Birth, marriage, divorce and death information may be disclosed to the subject of the records; spouse, child, parent, sibling or legal guardian of the subject of the record or an authorized representative of any of the above.