Hearings Referee

Oregon Judicial Department | Portland, OR

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Posted Date 6/23/2022

Note:  Interviews will occur within 7 to 14 days of the application deadline.  This recruitment originally posted under REQ-96864; if you applied to the original requisition, you do not need to apply again. The deadline for this recruitment has been extended through July 5, 2022.    


Application Tips & Requirements

  • Workday times out after approximately 15 minutes of inactivity. 

  • REQUIRED: A cover letter that demonstrates how you meet the Minimum Qualifications, Special Qualifications, and Requested Skills and Attributes, listed below.  

  • Prepare your cover letter before starting your Workday application.

  • REQUIRED: a completed work history, either through your completion of the Job History (internal candidate) or Work Experience (external candidate) portion of your Workday profile, OR by attaching an updated resume.

  • Your cover letter and work history must demonstrate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications, Special Qualifications, and Requested Skills and Attributes, listed below.

  • You must follow all Instructions to be considered for this position.

  • Failure to provide a completed work history and cover letter will result in your removal from consideration.


Multnomah County Circuit Court, Oregon’s Fourth Judicial District, is recruiting for a Hearings Referee. The Fourth Judicial District is the largest in the State of Oregon. Multnomah Circuit Court has over 320 staff, 14 hearings referees and 38 elected judges working in five courthouse facilities in Multnomah County. 


As a Hearings Referee…

You will preside over a variety of legal matters before the court, including but not limited to routine preliminary criminal proceedings;; traffic, parking and Tri-Met violation matters; DUII Diversion, misdemeanor criminal hearings and trials, small claims and landlord/tenant motions, hearings, and trials; mental illness commitment proceedings, and other cases as assigned. You will have Pro Tempore appointments as a circuit judge for felony, misdemeanor, violations, small claims, and civil cases. You will rotate approximately every four months to cover assigned courtrooms, or as required due to courtroom coverage needs.


Some highlights of this role:

  • Conduct arraignments, hear and decide pre-trial motions, conduct preliminary hearings, preside over some pleas/sentencings, and preside over criminal trials.

  • Conduct hearings and make decision in designated cases:

    • Investigate facts by examining evidence and testimony.

    • Instruct participants as to their rights.

    • Rule on subpoenas for witnesses or the production of evidence.

    • Rule on the relevancy or admissibility of evidence.

    • Make findings of fact and conclusions of law.

    • Impose fines, fees, and sentences.

  • Conduct hearings and trials on criminal cases; preside over landlord/tenant and small claims trials; civil commitment, traffic, and parking proceedings.

  • Instruct parties on legal rights and procedures as required by law, make and transmit findings of fact and conclusion of law, orders, and judgments.

  • Review mail pleas and correspondence from litigants and make judicial determinations. 

  • Other matters as assigned.


Assigned tasks may be changed to accommodate workload and organizational needs. We welcome all candidates who are inspired by our work and mission


It’s important to know your application will be read by an actual person, not a computer algorithm. When we read your cover letter, we are looking to see if you are writing to us, at OJD, and whether you have addressed the Requested Skills and Attributes listed below. Using a generic cover letter is likely not going to get you an interview, so please take the time needed to personalize your cover letter.


Instructions for All Required Attachments

This recruitment requires a cover letter and a resume that addresses the Requested Skills and Attributes. This recruitment requires additional documentation.  To be considered for this position, you must follow these instructions:



  • Attach your updated resume in the Resume / CV / Cover Letter section of the application.  The attached resume file should include your name.

Cover Letter

  • Use a minimum of 11-point font.

  • Do not exceed 4 pages or approximately 2,000 words.

  • Address your cover letter to the Hearings Referee Hiring Committee.

  • In the body of your cover letter, please fully explain why you want this position and specifically how your education and professional experience make you the best candidate for this position. 

  • Please identify your background of judicial work either as a judge or as a pro tempore judge (if any).

  • Use specific examples in your description to demonstrate your accomplishments.

Additional Documents

Follow these instructions for submission of your Biographical Statement and Judicial Application Form (if applicable):


In addition to whether and how you meet the requested skills and attributes, all application materials are evaluated for proper language, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.


Minimum Qualifications

(These must be evident in your resume or work history for full consideration.)

Must be an active member of the Oregon State Bar.  The qualified candidate must currently be approved by the Oregon Supreme Court to sit as a Circuit Court Judge pro tempore.
If not currently approved, must be approved and complete the process to sit as an Oregon Circuit Court Judge pro tempore within 60 calendar days of the date of hire (additional days to complete the process may be granted to address circumstances beyond the control of the candidate).


Special Qualifications

(These must be verifiable in your application.)



Requested Skills and Attributes

(These must be addressed in your cover letter for full consideration.)

  • Currently approved to sit as a circuit judge pro tempore by the Oregon Supreme Court or able to obtain approval within 60 days of hire.

  • Current Oregon resident.

  • Skill conducting quasi-judicial or administrative hearings.

  • Skill communicating effectively orally and in writing to a variety of audiences.

  • Commitment to the tenets of procedural fairness.



  • This is a full-time, FLSA-exempt position and the work schedule is typically 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  It is not eligible for overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per work week.

  • Frequent after-hours work (before and after regular courthouse hours) is required.

  • Frequent contact with people from diverse backgrounds.

  • Frequent contact with people who may at times be angry, hostile, confused, frustrated, or who have behavioral health issues.

  • Daily exposure to situations that can be tense, emotional, or upsetting.

  • Depending on assignments, daily contact with alleged mentally ill persons in civil commitment hearings.

  • Court files are in an electronic format and are accessed by use of a computer.

  • Regular use of the following office equipment: telephone, OJD-assigned computer, copier, fax machine, and scanner.

  • Daily prolonged periods of sitting and working at a computer, both on the bench in courtrooms and in chambers.

  • The employee must maintain membership in good standing in the Oregon State Bar.

  • The employee must obtain (if not already in possession) and maintain a pro tempore appointment to sit as a circuit judge.

  • Referees are assigned to one of four courthouses in Multnomah County and one courtroom facility at a local hospital; hearings are also sometimes conducted in alternate locations.


Criminal Background Check

You will be subject to a criminal background check if you are a finalist. Adverse results are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may result in disqualification if the circumstances are directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.
United States Employment Eligibility
OJD does not offer visa sponsorships. If you are hired, you will be required to fill out the US Department of Homeland Security’s I-9 form confirming you are able to work in the US.
Future Vacancies
Apply now if you are interested in this or future vacancies. This job announcement may be used to fill future vacancies in this class of work.
Veterans' Preference
Eligible veterans who meet the qualifications will be given preference in the recruitment process. To receive preference, veterans must attach the appropriate documentation after they receive an email in their Workday in box requesting the information to verify eligibility. The action item, asking veterans to attach their documentation, will arrive after they have submitted their initial application materials. Visit the Oregon job opportunities Veterans web page for additional details, information, and resources.
Conduct Expectations
Because of the Oregon Judicial Department's role in providing justice and upholding the rule of law, employees of the Department are required to meet the highest standards of professional conduct and ethics while on the job, and also to maintain those same high standards when taking actions in their personal lives that could reflect on the Department. As an employee, you will be expected to preserve the confidentiality of information received in the course of OJD employment.
Pay Equity
As an employer, the Oregon Judicial Department complies with Oregon’s pay equity law. We determine salary from applicable professional experience and education. For more information on pay equity, click here.
Employee Benefits
Click here to access information specific to Oregon Judicial Department employee benefits.
Questions and Support

  • If you require an alternate format to complete the application process, call 503-986-5930, or TTY: Oregon Relay Service 711 for the hearing impaired. Be prepared to describe the alternate format needed.

  • Workday related information and resources are available at https://www.oregon.gov/jobs/Pages/index.aspx.

  • For questions about a specific Oregon Judicial Department job posting, call 503-986-5930.


Listing Type
Government/Public Agency
Position Type
Full Time
Experience Level
Entry Level
Employer Type
Direct Employer
$6,989 - $11,381
Salary Type

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