FAQ - Enforcement 

Someone towed a vehicle and left it on the street/across the road in a field/in their driveway and it’s leaking fluids/is an eyesore/hasn’t moved for months.  What do I do?

For those vehicles in the County - if the vehicle is parked in an appropriate location on the street, and has no flat tires, is not up on blocks, appears to be in running order, and the tags are current; it is considered legally parked.  However, if the vehicle is in disrepair, is leaking fluids, does not have current registration tags, or otherwise appears to be abandoned; contact the Lane County Weighmaster at 541-682-6412 to report the location and description of the vehicle; including the license plate information.  

Can I target shoot in the woods?

Recently (2013), two county codes were passed that prohibit shooting at live standing timber and the unsafe discharge of firearms, which would include shooting in an area with no safe backstop, shooting on a roadway or ATV trail, or shooting in the direction of a residence.

Who enforces the noise ordinance?

The county noise ordinance is currently enforced by Lane County Land Management.  For further information, you can contact their Compliance Officer at 541-682-3724.


Who do I contact for a boat inspection?

Contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol at (541) 682-6446 for an appointment.  Some boats in Oregon require an inspection by a marine law enforcement officer before they can be titled and registered; including home-built boats never titled or registered in Oregon or any other state.


The inspection focuses on the hull identification number (HIN).  The Marine Board, upon receiving your Application for Boat Title, determines whether your boat needs to be inspected.  If so, the Board will notify you in writing and will provide you with a list of contacts for the inspection.


What’s the law on public nudity?

Lane County’s Nudity Ordinance is located in the Lane Code – Chapter 6 – Offenses, at:



There’s a vacant house next door, and we suspect that there may be unwanted and unauthorized occupants using the residence.  We aren’t able to locate or contact the owner of the home.  Who should we call?

Contact the Lane County Land Management Code Enforcement at (541) 682-3724.  The Code Enforcement Program enforces Lane County’s nuisance ordinances by responding to and investigating reports and inquiries from the public.


The Sheriff’s Office can only enforce trespass complaints on private property if the property owner or responsible party for the property is the one making the complaint.  This is necessary because if an arrest is made, we must show that we acted on the authority of the property owner.


I plan on getting an alarm system for my house, will the SO respond when the alarm company calls when the alarm goes off?

The Sheriff’s Office currently has a “verified response” alarm policy.  We adopted this policy after statistics confirmed that the majority of alarms the Sheriff’s Office responded to were false activations.  When deputies are responding to these false activations, they are not available for other priority calls for service.  With our staffing reductions, this policy became necessary in order to keep our deputies clear for actual emergency calls. 


We will dispatch on any alarm that is activated by a person on scene, such as a panic button or duress alarm.  For other alarms, such as motion detector, glass breakage, general burglar alarm, we require that someone has verified that it’s a legitimate alarm before we will respond deputies.  As for who can verify, it can be a neighbor, family member, private security company, etc.  For example, if a neighbor looks out and sees that a side window to the residence is broken, we will take that as verification of the alarm and respond deputies.


This policy does not mean we expect citizens to place themselves in any danger during the verification process.  Verification should be done from as far away as is practical.  If you see something suspicious, or anything that suggests a building has been entered, you should back off immediately and call our office.


It is also important that you work with your alarm company to make sure they are contacting the proper authorities for the kind of alarm you have installed.  This will make sure the correct emergency resource is dispatched.  For example, if you have a Lifeline alarm, the alarm company should be contacting the fire department, not the Sheriff’s Office.


I’m having a party; do I need a permit to serve alcohol?   For noise?

Generally, private citizens who are serving alcohol at their residence in a social setting do not require a permit to do so.  Permits are generally needed if a person will be selling alcoholic beverages.  For further information, you can go to www.oregon.gov/olcc or call the Oregon Liquor Control Commission at 541-686-7739.


Regarding noise concerns, there is not currently a permitting process in place for what is considered to be low level noise.  For specifics and to confirm if you need to pursue a permit, you should contact Code Enforcement for Lane County Land Management at 541-682-3724.


We’re having a parade or an event, such as a bicycle race; do I need a permit?

Yes, if you are going to be conducting a parade on a public street or roadway, a permit is required.  You should contact Lane County Public Works at 541-682-6900 to get information on the permitting process. 


I got an email that must be a scam.  Who should I notify?

You should report this kind of situation to the Oregon Attorney General’s Office at 1-877-877-9392.  Their website at www.doj.state.or.us lists important information about scams, identity theft, the lemon law, etc.  The website also allows you to sign up for email alerts as part of the Oregon Scam Alert Network and lets you file a consumer complaint on-line.


I received a call or card in the mail soliciting donations, how do I know if this is a legitimate fundraiser?  
The following websites are useful to determine the legitimacy of charitable organizations, as well as how much of the donated funds are actually used for the charitable cause.



I found property valued under $100, what should I do?

If the item has a serial number, or other identifying marks, you can contact our Police Records Unit in order to run those numbers through our local/state/national computer systems. 


Once your have made a good faith effort to find the owner and/or determine if the item was stolen, you are free to dispose of property valued at under $100 as you see fit.  Due to space and staffing issues, our department is not currently picking up these items for disposal.


This DOES NOT apply to any firearm despite condition when found.  It also does not apply to items which may have been used in the commission of a crime, or items that were obviously stolen during a crime, such as a safe with the door pried open.  For these kinds of items, please report this to our Dispatch Center at 541-682-4141.


I found property valued over $100, what should I do?

Property valued at over $100 is governed by the State Finder’s Law (ORS 98.005).  That law states:

1.      If any person finds money or goods valued at $100 or more, and if the owner of the money or good is unknown, such person, within 10 days after the date of finding, shall give notice of the finding in writing to the county clerk of the county in which the money or goods was found.  Within 20 days after the date of finding, the finder of the money or goods shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county a notice of the finding once each week for two consecutive weeks.  Each such notice shall state the general description of the money or goods found, the name and address of the finder and final date before which such goods may be claimed.

2.      If no person appears and establishes ownership of the money or goods prior to the expiration of three months after the date of the notice to the county clerk under subsection (1) of this section, the finder shall be the owner of the money or goods.


The Sheriff’s Office will take custody of items valued at over $100 and they will be lodged in the Property/Evidence Unit.  If you intend to pursue the Finder’s Law process, you should advise the deputy of that at the time of response and then follow the guidelines listed above.  Before the Property/Evidence Unit pursues disposal, they will then contact you to confirm you followed the guidelines.  Otherwise, the property will be disposed of per Sheriff’s Office protocols.

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