Finding Court Records in Oklahoma
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 of Existing Claims, 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 of Existing Claims, 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 department that handles most general civil claims for $10,000 or less, exclusive of attorney fees and costs. Types of cases include suits seeking money damages based on a contract or tort, the return of personal property, and interpleader. Certain types of parties, including collection agents, and certain types of claims against a city, county, or state agency may not be heard in a Small Claims department.
District Courts may have specialized divisions or programs for certain types of cases, including Business Court, Drug Court, and Mental Health Court. In counties with large populations, a Business Court division may exist to handle complex commercial cases. District Courts may have a Drug Court, Juvenile Drug Court, or Mental Health Court program 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 cases related to property taxation 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. Some Municipal Courts may have a Mental Health Court program to handle some non-violent criminal cases where the defendant has a treatable condition or addiction.
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" (also known as Municipal Criminal 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. Judges of Municipal Courts "not of record" are not required to be licensed attorneys.
Appeals from Municipal Courts "of record" are heard by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals; appeals from Municipal Courts "not of record" are heard by District Courts.
Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court of Existing ClaimsThe Workers' Compensation Court of Existing Claims has limited jurisdiction over claims made pursuant to the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act for injuries that occurred prior to February 1, 2014, including claims for compensation, the liability of employers and insurers, and any rights asserted under the Act. Claims for injuries that occur on or after February 1, 2014 are handled by the Workers' Compensation Commission, a state administrative agency.
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, including appeals from decisions of state tax agencies. Tax cases are referred to the administrative district from which the case originated, and three judges from that district are appointed to the panel for that case. The judges appointed to the panel then decide in which county the case will be heard.
Oklahoma Tribal CourtsOklahoma has an independent Tribal Court system that shares some civil and criminal jurisdiction with District Courts.
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|