Oklahoma Courts Overview
It helps to understand how the Oklahoma state court system works when you’re trying to find court records. The Oklahoma trial court system consists of District Courts, Municipal Courts, Workers' Compensation Court, and Court of Tax Review.
District Courts and Municipal Courts are the primary trial courts in Oklahoma. District Courts have general jurisdiction and handle most civil and criminal cases. Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of criminal cases. Oklahoma also has specialized courts that handle limited types of civil cases for the entire state, including The Court on the Judiciary, The Workers\' Compensation Court and The Court of Tax Review.
If you prefer, you can start your search by going to Oklahoma courts by county.
Oklahoma District CourtsDistrict Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but typically handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts.
Each District Court has a Small Claims division that handles most general civil claims for less than $6000, exclusive of attorney fees and costs. The Small Claims Court handle most cases seeking money damages based on a contract or tort, the return of personal property valued at less than $6000, and interpleader when less than $6000 is in dispute. Certain types of parties, including collection agents, and certain types of claims against a city, county or state agency may not be heard in Small Claims Court.
District Courts may have specialized divisions for certain types of cases, including Business Court and Drug Courts. In counties with large populations, a Business Court division may exist to handle complex commercial cases. District Courts may have a Drug Court division and/or a Juvenile Drug Court division to handle some non-violent criminal cases where the defendant has a treatable condition or addiction.
The Court of Tax Review is a specialized panel that operates out of one office location and handles certain types of civil cases for the entire state.
District Courts have jurisdiction previously exercised by abolished Oklahoma courts as well as the civil jurisdiction formerly granted to Municipal Courts. Municipal Courts continue to exist in some cities and towns in Oklahoma, but Municipal Courts only handle certain types of criminal and traffic cases.
Oklahoma Municipal CourtsMunicipal Courts handle most criminal and traffic cases based on violations of municipal ordinances, and some Municipal Courts also handle misdemeanor criminal cases.
There are two types of Municipal Courts, referred to as either \"of record\" or \"not of record.\" Cases typically heard by Municipal Courts \'of record\' include most violations of parking, traffic, criminal and environmental ordinances and some misdemeanor criminal cases. Cases heard by Municipal Courts \'not of record\' are limited to violations of municipal ordinances.
Oklahoma Workers' Compensation CourtThe Workers' Compensation Court has limited jurisdiction over claims made pursuant to the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act, including claims for compensation, the liability of employers and insurers, and any rights asserted under the Act.
Oklahoma Court of Tax ReviewThe Court of Tax Review is a specialized District Court panel with limited and exclusive jurisdiction over certain cases related to ad valorem taxation.
The Court of Tax Review handles cases for the entire state from one office location.
Oklahoma Court on the JudiciaryThe Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary has exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings against judges for their removal or compulsory retirement from office. It consists of a trial division and an appellate division, each with nine judges. Judges are selected by the Secretary of State, Oklahoma Supreme Court, Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Executive Council of the Oklahoma Bar Association.
Where to Find Court Cases in Oklahoma
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of Oklahoma court.
|Case Type||Court Type|
|Civil||District Courts||Municipal Courts|
|General Civil - Unlimited|
|General Civil - Limited|
|Foreclosures and Liens|
|Real Estate Title and Boundary|
|Landlord / Tenant|
|Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders|
|Administrative Agency Appeals|
|Criminal||District Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Felony Preliminary Hearings|
|Traffic and Infractions|
|Domestic Relations||District Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Child Custody and Visitation|
|Domestic Violence Protection Order|
|Juvenile||District Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Child Abuse and Neglect|
|Termination of Parental Rights|
|Children in Need of Supervision|
|Mental Health||District Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Other Mental Health Cases|
|Probate||District Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Wills & Estates|
|Guardianships and Conservatorships|