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CACV of Colorado v. Stevens

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 03-14-2012
Case #: A144594
Armstrong, J. for the Court; Haselton, P.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/sites/Publications/A144594.pdf

Civil Procedure: When another state’s otherwise applicable statute of limitation period is substantially different than Oregon’s and would impose an unfair burden in defending against the claim, a court may apply the appropriate Oregon statute of limitation.

Stevens appealed general and supplemental judgments against her in a contract action. CACV of Colorado (CACV) filed a breach of contract claim against Stevens, an Oregon resident, four years after Stevens defaulted on her credit card payments. Stevens raised a statute of limitation defense. The contract had a choice of law provision stipulating that Delaware law governed the contract. In Delaware, the statute of limitation for contract claims is three years, however, the statute is tolled if the defendant resides outside of Delaware. Thus, the statute of limitation could be tolled indefinitely. Under Oregon law, when another state’s otherwise applicable statute of limitation period is substantially different than Oregon’s and would impose an unfair burden in defending against the claim, a court may apply the appropriate Oregon statute of limitations. Therefore, the Court of Appeals determined that Oregon’s statute of limitations applied. Secondly, the Court found that the trial court erred in granting attorney fees to CACV under Oregon law because there was no fundamental policy in Oregon against the imposition of a specific monetary limit on attorney fee awards and Delaware law governed the contract. Therefore, CACV was subject to the cap on attorney fees under Delaware law. General judgment affirmed; supplemental judgment reversed and remanded.