ORCP 7 and 7A

ORCP 7 sets out the rules for service of summons in Oregon state court cases. It is one of the longest rules of civil procedure, and is the subject of much litigation – a lot of which arises from the expiration of the statute of limitations following botched service.

ORCP 7A (Definitions)

The literal language of this section is controlling. “[T]he word ‘defendant’ is used in ORCP 7 to designate ‘any party upon whom service of summons is sought’ by a plaintiff.” Hoyt v. Paulos, 310 Or 196, 202, 796 P2d 355 (1990) (emphasis in original).

Service on a party’s insurance company does not equal service on the party: “By definition, the rules do not consider the insurance carrier to be a party or defendant, nor could the rules coherently so classify the defendant’s insurer.” Id., at 203. Serving the party is a jurisdictional requirement. Id.