Filing Questions

How can I access the Court Rules?

Visit our website at www.okcca.net to access this Court’s Rules.

How does the Court compute time limitations?

In computing a time limit prescribed in our Rules, the first day shall be excluded and the last included to complete the time period.  The Court does not recognize the “Mail Box Rule.” See Rule 1.4.

Where do I file my appeal?

All pleadings and motions must be filed with the Clerk of this Court at the address listed in Rule 1.7See also Rule 1.9.

What should I do if I can’t afford to pay the filing fee?

Any person who asserts indigency and an inability to pay the filing fees required under the Rules of this Court must execute and file with the Clerk of this Court an Affidavit in Forma Pauperis.  See Rule 1.11, Application in Forma Pauperis, and Form 13.2, Affidavit in Forma Pauperis.

May a third party sign and submit pleadings to the Court on my behalf?

No.  Only pro se Appellants/Petitioners and licensed attorneys may sign and file pleadings with the Clerk of this Court. See Rule 1.6. See also Rule 1.16 for the procedure to be followed when an appellant desires to represent himself or herself in a direct appeal to this Court.

What is the proper procedure to obtain an appeal out of time?

See Rule 2.1(E) for the general procedures for obtaining a direct appeal out of time, a certiorari appeal out of time, or a post-conviction appeal out of time.

How can I get an extension of time?

See Rule 3.4(D) for the procedure to file an application for an extension of time.  The application must be supported by an affidavit. Extensions will not be granted for more than thirty (30) days upon each application.  If an appellant is proceeding pro se and an extension of time beyond sixty (60) days is required, appellant must file an affidavit as set forth in Rule 3.4(D)(2)(a).  A request for an extension beyond sixty (60) days for appellants proceeding pro se will be reviewed by this Court en banc and if granted, will be a final extension and will not be for more than an additional ninety (90) days.

Can my application be hand written?

A pro-se handwritten brief must be legible, printed, double-spaced and written with a pen, not pencil.  Writing on the back of pages is not allowed. Rule 3.5(A)(9).  Illegible pleadings will be noted as such and returned.

For briefing limitations and contents see Rules 3.5(D), (E), (F) and (G) and Rule 5.2(C)(3).

No instrument filed in this Court shall contain language showing disrespect for or contempt of the trial court or this Court. Rule 3.7.

When will my appeal be decided?

When the case is at issue, the appeal or application will be submitted to the Court for disposition.  A judge will be assigned to decide the appeal or application.  The Court’s decision will be in writing and will be transmitted to the parties.  There is no requirement that the court issue its decision within any particular time frame.

If relief is denied, can I file a motion for rehearing?

A petition for rehearing may be filed only in regular appeals. See Rule 3.14(E).  Rehearing is not allowed when relief is denied in post-conviction appeals or when an extraordinary writ is denied. See Rules 5.5 and Rule 10.6(D)

Election Questions

How often do we vote on judges?

Trial judges are elected by a vote of the people every four years.

Appellate judges terms are for six years. Appellate judges are first appointed by the Governor from a list of three names of qualified individuals prepared by the Judicial Nominating Commission. They are then retained in office by vote of the people.

Judges cannot be listed on the ballot by their political party (Democrat, Republican, etc). In fact, judges are prohibited from publicly stating their political party affiliation. For the exact wording of that law, go to 20 O.S. § 1404.1

How do I find out more about the judicial candidates who are running for office?

Since it is very important for judges to be independent and not favor one person over another, the campaigns for judicial office are very different than any other office in the state. Judges are not allowed to say how they would rule in a case if it came before them or what their predisposition is toward a particular situation.

The best information available on judges is from the lawyers who appear before the judge or other people who know the candidates and know if the candidate is fair, unbiased, independent, can follow the law, has integrity and a good work ethic.

Why don’t judicial candidates tell us what they think about issues so I know how to vote on them?

Sitting judges and lawyer candidates are prohibited from stating how they would rule in a particular instance or on a particular issue. Judges need to consider evidence in each specific case and then apply the law to that particular case. Further, in cases that go to trial, juries decide the verdict. The judge imposes the jury’s verdict unless it was an exceptional verdict not supported by the evidence.