Guide Federal Courts in Oklahoma

The Comprehensive Guide Federal Courts in Oklahoma


The United States Constitution gives Congress the power to create a federal court system. The U.S. Constitution also provides that only states may establish district courts, which are courts of limited jurisdiction that hear cases involving state law only. Federal courts have jurisdiction over all other matters, including those that involve federal law and those that involve both state and federal laws.

In addition to hearing civil cases, federal courts also have authority to issue orders regulating commerce between states as well as between foreign nations and the U.S., declare war, appoint inferior officers and advise the president on judicial appointments and removal from office, among others. In addition, certain procedur rules (such as the rules for discovery) apply only to federal courts; these rules do not apply in state court proceedings or in tribal court proceedings (see Tribal Court Jurisdiction).

The federal courts of Oklahoma are created by Article III of the Constitution. The United States District Courts, located in each state, have jurisdiction to hear civil cases, criminal cases and certain appeals. The U.S. District Courts are part of the judicial system that is overseen by the Judicial Conference of the United States, which meets biannually at times specified by Congress.

Different types of Federal courts in Oklahoma

Federal courts in Oklahoma have a number of different types of jurisdictions. The most common types of federal court in Oklahoma are the district court and bankruptcy court.

·       District Courts

The United States District Court is the main trial court for most criminal cases and some civil cases. Most serious federal crimes, such as murder or kidnapping, are prosecuted in the district court. The district court also hears all appeals from state courts, including appeals from the state supreme court. The district courts are divided into two geographical regions: Northern and Southern. Each has 11 judges who hear cases in their respective region’s courthouse.

·       Bankruptcy Courts

The United States Bankruptcy Court hears bankruptcy cases filed by individuals, companies and government agencies that cannot pay their debts. Federal bankruptcy law governs these types of cases. Under this law, people who cannot repay their debts must file a petition with the bankruptcy judge asking him or her to allow them to be discharged (have their debts wiped away).

·       Supreme Court

The highest court in the nation is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court was established under the United States Constitution’s Article III, and Congress was given the power to enact legislation that established a system of inferior courts. 94 district level trial courts and 13 courts of appeals make up the current structure of the federal court system, which is below the Supreme Court.

The following is a list of Federal Courts in Oklahoma.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma has jurisdiction over cases filed in the following counties: Beaver, Beckham, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coal, Craig, Harmon, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, Kingfisher and Lincoln. The court has 31 judges who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The court hears civil and criminal cases.

Who is over the judges in Oklahoma?

All Oklahoman judges and justices that need to be appointed are chosen by the state’s governor. Candidates must first go through the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission’s nomination procedure, which chooses three candidates to present to the governor for a single appointment to the position.

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