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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

0220.40 Lawsuits and Claims

220.40, Lawsuits and Claims


1.  Member Responsibilities: Lawsuits and Claims Against a Member or the City

1.1.  Members who receive a complaint, claim, summons, or any other document that seems associated with a lawsuit against the member or the City – whether it appears legitimate or not - will respond as if personal service has occurred. The member shall immediately inform the City Attorney’s Office Manager, the Police Legal Advisor, or the City Attorney Litigation Chief Deputy, at 503-823-4047, that a complaint, claim, summons or other document that appears to be associated with a lawsuit has been received.

1.2.  Should members experience difficulty in making contact with the City Attorney’s Office Manager, the Police Legal Advisor, or the City Attorney Litigation Chief Deputy, they may ask for assistance through their chain of command.

1.3.  Once contact has occurred, members may be directed to provide original documentation to the City Attorney’s Office, and copies of any documentation to the City’s Risk Management Division, Police Liability Management, and their supervisor. Members should keep a copy of original documentation for their personal files as well.

2.  Supervisor Responsibilities: Coordinate Member Receipt of Service

2.1.  In their effort to serve lawsuits, process servers often seek to have in-person contact with members at work, at home, or elsewhere.

2.2.  While members will not be called in from their tour of duty to receive service of civil summons and civil complaints, process servers will not be denied access to members.

2.3.  When members are not at work or not available when process servers come to a Responsibility Unit front desk, the Responsibility Unit front desk will provide process servers the next ten (10) dates a member is expected to report for duty.

2.4.  Servers will be invited to be present at the beginning of a member’s shift, at which time the member will accept service.

2.5.  To avoid contact by process servers at work, at home, or elsewhere, members may call the City Attorney’s Office to have a City Attorney accept service for the member.

3.  Member Responsibilities: Filing Claims

3.1.  Members filing claims against the City for any loss, damage, or destruction of personal property will contact City Risk Management.

3.2.  Members should be prepared to present a police report or supervisor’s memorandum describing the incident, in addition to a copy of the estimate or bill for repair or replacement.

4.  Public Claims:

4.1.  Because all persons have the right to file a claim with the City, members will refer interested persons to City Risk Management. Members will not:

4.1.1.  Inform the person that the City will compensate him/her for his/her injury or loss.

4.1.2.  Discuss the facts of any potential liability.

4.1.3.  Admit fault.

4.2.  When a member becomes aware of any potential for a claim or lawsuit, he/she will initiate a report or memorandum and include the details of the incident, the names of all involved officers and other witnesses, and forward a copy to City Risk Management.


  • Originating Directive Effective: 09/06/01
  • First Revision Effective: 01/01/07
  • Second Revision Effective: 05/01/15
  • Next Review Date: 05/01/17
  • Review By: Chief’s Office