Oklahoma Court System

The Oklahoma court system is made up of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court of Civil Appeals, 77 district courts and courts of limited jurisdiction.

Courts of limited jurisdiction are limited to very specific cases, like municipal courts (where you go for city citations and traffic tickets).

District courts – also called courts of general jurisdiction – hear the majority of cases, both civil (like divorces and lawsuits) and criminal.

If a criminal case is appealed and the appeal is heard, it goes to the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Appeals for civil cases are heard by the Court of Civil Appeals or the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court also hears challenges to state laws and changes to the constitution.

Unlike most states, Oklahoma has two courts of last resort (meaning there are no higher courts). The Supreme Court determines all civil matters, and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decides all criminal matters. The Supreme Court has nine justices and the Court of Criminal Appeals has five judges. Every six years they appear on the retention ballot so voters can choose if these judges get to keep their position.

Although district court judges are usually elected, members of Oklahoma’s highest courts – the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals and Court of Civil Appeals – are appointed by the governor. To ensure the most qualified candidates are appointed, the Judicial Nominating Commission carefully reviews applications for these judgeships and provides the governor with only the three most-qualified applications.

405-416-7000
800-522-8065 (toll free)

P.O. Box 53036
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

1901 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

This website has been created by the Oklahoma Bar Association to provide facts about the third branch of government and accurate non-partisan information to Oklahoma voters.

Our goal is to ensure that every Oklahoman has access to a fair and impartial court system, where there is no bias, prejudice or political influence.

405-416-7000
800-522-8065 (toll free)

P.O. Box 53036
Oklahoma City, OK 73152

1901 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

This website has been created by the Oklahoma Bar Association to provide facts about the third branch of government and accurate non-partisan information to Oklahoma voters.

Our goal is to ensure that every Oklahoman has access to a fair and impartial court system, where there is no bias, prejudice or political influence.