Recovering Your Attorney Fees


The 71st Oregon Legislative Assembly adjourned on July 7, 2001. One Thousand Seventy-five (1,075) bills and other measures were passed by both houses of the legislature. One of the bills passed in the 2001 legislative session is House Bill 2381.

House Bill 2381 provides that, subject to the provisions of the statute, the prevailing party on any claim based on a contract will be awarded attorney fees regardless of whether the contract provides for an award of attorney fees if the amount of principal and interest due on the contract at the time the claim is filed is Five Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($5,500.00) or less.

“Contract” is defined as all express or implied contracts and instruments or documents evidencing a debt. The provisions of House Bill 2381 do not apply to the following contracts:

  1. Contracts for insurance;
  2. Contracts for which another statute authorizes or requires an award of attorney fees;
  3. Any action for damages for breach of an express or implied warranty in a sale of consumer goods or services that is subject to ORS 20.098 (regarding certain proceedings for breach of warranty);
  4. Any action against the maker of a dishonored check that is subject to ORS 30.701.

Attorney fees are also available in other actions for damages or injury to persons or property when the amount pleaded is Five Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($5,500.00) or less.

To recover attorney fees, the plaintiff in the action must make written demand for payment at least ten (10) days before the action commences.