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The circuit courts are the state trial courts of general jurisdiction. The circuit courts have juvenile jurisdiction in all counties except Gilliam, Morrow, Sherman and Wheeler, where the county court exercises juvenile jurisdiction except for termination of parental rights proceedings, over which the circuit courts have exclusive jurisdiction. The circuit courts also exercise jurisdiction in probate, adoptions, guardianship and conservatorship cases in all counties except Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Sherman and Wheeler.
Circuit court judges are elected on a nonpartisan ballot for a term of six years. They must be citizens of the United States, members of the Oregon State Bar, residents of Oregon for at least three years and residents of their judicial district for at least one year (except Multnomah County judges, who may reside within ten miles of the county). Since January 1, 2007, there are 173 circuit judges serving the 36 Oregon counties. The circuit judges are grouped in 27 geographical areas called judicial districts. Multnomah County district has 38 circuit judges; Lane, 15; Marion, 14; Washington, 14; Clackamas, 11; Jackson, 9; Deschutes, 7; Coos-Curry, 6; four districts have five judges, three districts have four judges, six districts have three judges, three districts have two judges and three districts have one judge.
To expedite judicial business, the chief justice of the Supreme Court may assign any circuit judge to sit in any judicial district in the state.