Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals is an intermediate appellate court in the state of Oklahoma. Cases are assigned to it by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the state's highest court for civil matters.
|Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals|
|Composition method||Intermediate appellate court|
|Authorized by||State legislature|
|Appeals from||Oklahoma Supreme Court|
|Number of positions||12|
|Website||Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals|
The court consists of twelve judges divided into four panels with three judges each. They are responsible for the majority of appellate decisions in Oklahoma. Furthermore, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has the power to release the court's opinions for publication, in which case they have value as precedent.
The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals was established by the state legislature in 1970 under Title 20, section 30.1, of the Oklahoma Statutes, which provides: "There is hereby established an intermediate appellate court to be known as the Court of Civil Appeals of the State of Oklahoma which shall have the power to determine or otherwise dispose of any cases that are assigned to it by the Supreme Court." Any decision of the Court of Civil Appeals in any case assigned to it, upon petition by one of the parties involved, may be reviewed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court if a majority of its Justices direct that a petition for certiorari be granted, and the Supreme Court may, by order, recall a case from the Court of Civil Appeals.
Appellate judges are appointed by the governor from a list of three candidates nominated by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission. The commission is composed of six attorneys who are "members of the Oklahoma Bar Association and who have been elected by the other active members of their district," 6 non-attorneys appointed by the governor, and 3 non-attorney "members at large," one to be selected by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, one to be selected by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and one to be selected by at least eight members of the commission itself. Article 7B, section 3, of the Oklahoma Constitution sets forth the composition of the nominating commission in even greater detail.
The judges of the Court of Civil Appeals are:
|Name||District||Division||Duty station||Position||Date of appointment||Appointed by||Law school||Birth city||Length of service||Previous positions||Succeeded|
|Trevor Pemberton||4||3||Oklahoma City||Presiding Judge||August 24, 2020||Kevin Stitt||Oklahoma City||1 years||Judge, Oklahoma County (2017-20)||Larry Joplin|
|Thomas E. Prince||5||1||Oklahoma City||January 1, 2021||Kevin Stitt||Oklahoma City||0 years||Judge, Oklahoma County (2012-20)||Kenneth L. Buettner|
|Robert D. Bell||5||3||Oklahoma City||2005||Brad Henry||Tulsa||Norman, OK||16 years||Private Practice (1992-2005)||Carl Jones|
|Deborah Barnes||2||2||Tulsa||2008||Brad Henry||Oklahoma City||Oklahoma City, OK||13 years||Private Practice (2002-2008)|
|John F. Fischer||2||4||Tulsa||Vice Chief Judge||2007||Brad Henry||Oklahoma||Rush Springs, OK||13 years||Private Practice (1980-2007)|
|Jane P. Wiseman||1||2||Tulsa||Presiding Judge||2005||Brad Henry||Tulsa||Tulsa, OK||16 years||Judge, Tulsa County (1977-2005)||Joe C. Taylor|
|E. Bay Mitchell||6||1||Oklahoma City||2002||Frank Keating||Oklahoma||Enid, OK||19 years||Staff Attorney, Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals (1993-2002)||James P. Garrett|
|Barbara Swinton||4||3||Oklahoma City||Chief Judge||2016||Mary Fallin||Georgia State||Oklahoma City, OK||5 years||Judge, Oklahoma County (1996-2016)||William Hetherington|
|Brian Jack Goree||6||1||Oklahoma City||Presiding Judge||2012||Mary Fallin||Tulsa||Killeen, Texas||9 years||Private Practice (1989-2012)||Carol M. Hansen|
|Gregory Blackwell||3||2||Tulsa||June 21, 2021||Kevin Stitt||Oklahoma||0 Years||Staff Attorney, Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals||P. Thomas Thornbrugh|
|W. Keith Rapp||3||4||Tulsa||1984||George Nigh||Tulsa||Wheelersburg, OH||37 years||Judge, Tulsa County (???-1984)|
|Stacie Hixon||1||4||Tulsa||Presiding Judge||March 11, 2020||Kevin Stitt||Tulsa||Owasso, Oklahoma||1 years||Private Practice (2002-20)||Jerry L. Goodman|
This graphical timeline depicts the length of each current judge's tenure (but not seniority) on the Court:
Timeline of justicesEdit
Beginning in 1987, seats on the Court of Civil Appeals are filled by non-partisan appointment by the Governor of Oklahoma upon nomination by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission. Judges serve until the next general election following their appointment at which they are retained or rejected. If retained, they serve for an additional six-years until the next retention election.
Note: The blue vertical line denotes "now" (September 2021).
Bar key: Democrat appointee • Republican appointee
- , Stephens, Jerry E.,"Judiciary." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. May 31, 2010.] Accessed May 2, 2018
- Oklahoma Bar Association, "Judges and Courts" (accessed June 23, 2010).
- Oklahoma Supreme Court Network, "The Supreme Court of Oklahoma," p. 3 (accessed June 23, 2010).
- Oklahoma Supreme Court Network, "The Supreme Court of Oklahoma," p. 5 (accessed June 23, 2010).
- Casteel, Chris (22 July 2021). "Gov. Kevin Stitt taps OKC attorney for state appeals court". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 24 July 2021.