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Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Human Resources

Knowledgeable | Helpful | Responsive

Phone: 503-823-3572

Benefits Line: 503-823-6031

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Rm 404, Portland, OR 97204

Frequently Asked Questions about the Civil Service Board

Is there a time limit to file an appeal with the Civil Service Board? 

Yes.   Human Resources Administrative Rule (HRAR) 3.15 at pages 2-3 provides the timelines in which to file an appeal.  As provided in HRAR 3.15, failure to file an appeal within the time frame required means that the Board lacks jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

For more information, click the following link:

Are there forms available for me to use?

Yes.  Forms are available in fillable PDF format.  Although the Board does not require a party to use the forms, the parties are required to file and serve documents in a similar format as the forms provided.  All documents served or filed must be dated and signed.  Click here to access the Forms Table of Contents with instructions: You will need to have the Adobe program in order to use the forms.  If you do not have Adobe, you can download a free trial version by clicking here:

How do I file an appeal to the Civil Service Board?

Per HRAR 3.15, an appeal must be filed with the Civil Service Board Administrator.  A Notice of Appeal form is included in the fillable forms.  You may file the Notice of Appeal in one or more of the following ways:

1)         By e-mail to the Civil Service Board Administrator’s e-mail address;   

2)         By facsimile to the Civil Service Board Administrator's fax number;

3)         By interoffice mail to the Civil Service Board Administrator’s interoffice address; or

 4)        By hand delivery, U.S. first class mail, registered mail or certified mail at the Civil Service Board Administrator’s physical office address.

Click here for the Civil Service Board Administrator's contact information:

Can an attorney represent me at my Civil Service Board hearing?

Legal counsel cannot represent a party at an expedited hearing.  Legal counsel can represent a party at a formal hearing. 

If you hire an attorney, the attorney must file a Notice of Appearance with the Civil Service Board Administrator.  A Notice of Appearance form is included in the fillable forms.   

For more information about the difference between an expedited hearing and a formal hearing, click here:

How will I know when my hearing is scheduled?

You will receive written notice of the time, date and location of your hearing from the Civil Service Board Administrator. If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney will receive the notice.

What if I have a conflict with the date and time of my hearing?

If you cannot attend on the date and time shown on your Notice of Hearing, you must file a motion for postponement of the hearing with the Civil Service Board Administrator.  A pre-hearing motion form is included with the fillable forms. 

The Board will determine whether there is reasonable cause to postpone the hearing in accordance with HRAR 3.15 at page 4. - Notice of Hearings. 

How do I obtain documents for my hearing? 

If you do not have ready access to documents that you wish to present as exhibits at your hearing, you may file a City of Portland Uniform Public Records Request with the appropriate bureau.   For more information about filing a Public Records Request, click the following link:

For more information regarding Public Records Laws, click the following link:

How do I prepare exhibits for my hearing?  

You can use the checklist provided on this website to assist you, by clicking the following link:     

What happens if I need a witness to attend and testify at my hearing and the witness refuses to do so voluntarily?

You may file an Application for Issuance of a Subpoena to request that the Board issue a subpoena to compel the witness to attend and testify at your hearing.  A form is included in the fillable forms. 

The Board will meet and deliberate to determine if there is good cause for the subpoena to be issued.  See HRAR 3.15 at page 5 - Oaths and Subpoenas.  If the Board determines there is good cause, you will be responsible for ensuring that the witness is properly served.  See Appendix B to HRAR 3.15 at page 21 at Section 6.06 - Application for Subpoenas and page 22 at Section 6.07 - Valid Service of Subpoenas.

Does each member of the Board have to be present for my hearing to take place?

No.  Per HRAR 3.15 at p. 1 - Meetings and Quorum, two members of the Board constitute a quorum and the votes of any two members concurring is sufficient to make a decision.  

The Board is also empowered to refer an appeal to a Hearings Officer to conduct a hearing in accordance with HRAR 3.15 at p. 6 - Use of Hearings Officers.  Following the hearing, the Hearings Officer issues a Recommended Order and Report.  The Board will review the Hearings Officer's Recommended Order and Report and will determine whether to adopt, modify or reject the Hearings Officer's Recommended Order.  All procedural rules that apply to the Board also apply to a Hearings Officer. 

Are hearings open to the general public?

It depends on the nature of the appeal.  If the hearing is concerning a classification or exam appeal, the hearing is open to the general public.  If the hearing is concerning a disciplinary action, the Board conducts the hearing in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(b) of the Public Meetings Law.  Executive session hearings are closed to the general public unless the affected employee requests an open hearing. 

Do I have a right to appeal a decision of the Board? 

Yes.  A final decision of the Board is subject to review by a court of competent jurisdiction in the manner provided by statute for review of quasi-judicial decisions of lower tribunals.

Who do I contact if I still have questions?

Although the Board and its staff cannot provide you with legal advice, you may contact the Civil Service Board Administrator for general information regarding procedural matters and to find out the status of your appeal.  Click here for contact information: