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Lenght of time to file in small claims for unpaid rent, damages, etc.

Hello all...  I recently filed a small claims case against ex-renters within a year's time of their departure.  I understood that I had to file within one-year's time to collect past-due rent and had seven years to collect for damages.  Armed with that information, from the owner of a local property management company, I filed three-days before my year's statute was up.  Confirmed verbally by a court clerk, I was told that as long as I filed within that year's time they could be served after that year's time, which is what happened.  When we showed-up to pre-trial mediation, the ex-renters claimed an attorney told them they had to be served as well before that year's statute time which is contrary to everything I've been told.  Not being able to find any statutes specifying that, I'm posting the question here before we go to trial in about a month's time.

Well I am not completely sure on Oregon law but knowing that I had to do just this a year ago I found some links with law, this one was Oregon's I hope this helps. Good Luck!
Hi Patty, thank you.  I had previously found that site but I'm just having a heck of a time finding a specific statute for whether or not a party can be filed-apon within a year's time, or if they have to be served within a year's time, having to do with monetary/rent issues.  I know the general statute is a year, but in civil mediation they claimed I had no suit because they were served about a week after a year's time had passed.  So, I'm still searching...
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