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City of The Dalles, OR

Traffic Court

The  Court's mission is to dispense justice fairly and equitably within its jurisdiction over a variety of violations and misdemeanor offenses. The Court's jurisdiction is comparable to the jurisdiction exercised by a justice of the peace.

Court Rules

Court Hours: 1st and 3rd Monday of each month, 8:30 am
Court Location: City Hall, 313 Court Street, The Dalles, OR 97058, upstairs and to the right

This website is for procedural information and is not intended to be legal advice. The court clerks are prohibited from providing legal advice (ORS 9.160). If you have legal questions, you should contact an attorney. You can locate an attorney through the Lawyer Referral Service of the Oregon State Bar Association by calling (800) 452-7636 or (503) 684-3763.

For violations, you must notify the Court and the prosecuting attorney's office before you are required to appear in court if you are going to have an attorney represent you.

For further information, contact the Court Clerk, trafficcourt@ci.the-dalles.or.us

I received a citation, what are my options?

If your citation shows you are charged with a crime:
Persons charged with a crime must appear in court on the day and time written on the front of the citation.
If your citation shows you are charged with a violation: No contest

Persons charged with a violation must do one of the following if they choose not to contest the charges:

  • Option 1: Enter a plea of no contest and pay the court the amount of the presumptive fine written on the front of the citation. If the court accepts your plea, the court may not impose a fine that is more than the amount of the presumptive fine.
  • Option 2: Enter a plea of no contest and send a letter of explanation. You must do all of the following before the day and time the citation requires you to appear in court. If you respond by mail, the mail must arrive at the court before you are required to appear.
    • Sign/date the back of the citation; AND
    • Send or take to the court the citation and the full amount of the presumptive fineAND
    • Attach a written statement explaining the circumstances of the violation(s) charged.

IMPORTANT: If you choose this option, you will make a written appearance and waive your right to a trial. The court may consider your written statement when establishing the amount of the fine. The court cannot impose a fine that is less than the minimum fine amount. If the court finds you guilty, the court may keep all or part of the money you paid. The court will not fine you more without giving you notice to come to the court for a hearing.

If your citation shows you are charged with a violation: Plea not guilty, request a trial

Persons charged with a violation must do one of the following if they choose to enter a plea of not guilty of the charges:

  • Option 3: Enter a plea of not guilty and request a trial by doing one of the following:
    • Go to the court on or before the day and time written on the citation to plead not guilty and request a trial.
    • Submit a written request for a trial by doing all of the following before the day and time the citation requires you to appear in court. If you respond by mail, the mail must arrive at the court before you are required to appear.
      • Sign/date the back of the citation; AND
      • Send or take to the court the citation by itself or with a written request for a trial.

IMPORTANT: You have a right to a trial. The court will give you notice of the time and place when you MUST appear in person and my impose penalties if you do not appear. The court may require you to deposit money to assure you appearance if you failed to appear on any offence charges in the past. If the court finds at trial that you are guilty, the court cannot impose a fine that is less than the minimum fine amount. The court will not impose a fine if it finds you not guilty.

  • Option 4: Contact the court before the day and time the summons requires you to appear to determine if you qualify for a trial by affidavit. If so, the trial will be based upon sworn, written statements. Future court appearances may not be necessary. If you do not qualify or the court does not offer this option, you must comply with one of the other options listed above.

Please call the Court Clerk at (541) 296-5481 ext. 1124 to to determine if you qualify for a trial by affidavit.
Am I eligible for a diversion program?
Persons wishing to participate in a diversion program must appear before the Judge who will determine if you are eligible for a diversion program.

Diversion programs provide offenders with essential services that can address the underlying causes of criminal behavior. It is hoped that diversion will allow offenders to establish a normal lifestyle, without the burden of a criminal record.

If eligible, the Judge will determine the terms of compliance with a diversion program.
How do I reschedule a court date?
You must contact the Court Clerk before the appearance date listed at the bottom of the citation.

Please call the Court Clerk at (541) 296-5481 ext. 1124 to reschedule the date you are scheduled to appear in court. 

Court appearance dates can be rescheduled one time only.

How do I pay a fine?

What are my payment options?
Payment can be made online (includes a processing fee), by mail, in person, by telephone, or by drop box.

Click here for more information about how to pay a fine.

Citation fine payments are not eligible for the Average Payment Plan or Automatic Bill Pay.
Can my fine be reduced?
Persons wishing to reduce the fine must appear before the Judge who will determine if the fine can be reduced.
Can I make a payment arrangement?
Persons wishing to request a Traffic Court Payment Agreement, must do all of the following before the day and time the citation requires a court appearance:

  1.  Check OPTION 2 on the citation.
  2. Enter a  plea of no contest and write a letter of explanation.
  3. Sign and date the citation.
  4. Bring the citation to the payment window located on the 1st floor of City Hall.
The customer service representative will need your social security number and a signature on the payment plan form.

The Court Clerk can answer questions about a Traffic Court Payment Agreement. Email questions to trafficcourt@ci.the-dalles.or.us or call (541) 296-5481 ext. 1124.