The Oklahoma Court System consists of a Municipal Courts, Court on Tax Review, Workers' Compensation Court of Existing Claims, District Courts, Court of Civil Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals and Supreme Court.
Oklahoma's Municipal Courts exercise local and general jurisdiction over cases regarding violations of city ordinances. These courts do not preside over any civil matters. These courts are not technically part of the state court system, but are still administered by the Supreme Court.
This court hears disputes regarding illegal tax levies imposed by city and county government agencies. Three judges are appointed to preside over such cases on a panel. Should a decision be appealed, it will go to the Supreme Court.
This court hears workers' compensation claims regarding injuries that happened prior to February 1, 2014. The state's original Workers' Compensation Court was dissolved, but a new Workers' Compensation Commission was created to hear cases regarding injuries occurring after February 1, 2014. A judge in Tulsa or Oklahoma City determines the case, and if the losing party disagrees they may appeal to a three judge panel.
Oklahoma's District Courts have original jurisdiction over nearly all civil and criminal matters in their district. There are 77 total District Courts in the state; each presided over by elected judges that serve four-year terms.
The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals was created to hear all civil case appeals from the District Courts to reduce the caseload of the Supreme Court. There are four divisions of the Civil Court of Appeals, located in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Cases are sent to the Court of Civil Appeals under discretion of the Supreme Court, though the Supreme Court may still review decisions and change them.
This court is the court of last resort in criminal cases in Oklahoma. Five appointed judges hear any appeal involving a death sentence. The Supreme Court always makes the final decision about whether a case should be under its own or the Court of Criminal Appeals' jurisdiction.
This is the state's highest court and court of last resort for all civil cases. The Supreme Court also decides matters concerning constitutional questions. There are nine justices who serve the Supreme Court, and there is a system in place in which a majority is required to affirm, modify or overturn rulings of lower courts.
Quite recently, an Oklahoma Sheriff was charged with corruption in office and willful neglect of duty after the FBI began an investigation into his practices. It is alleged that Sheriff Marion "'Joe" Russell allowed his son to deal meth out of his home, housed a fugitive at one point in time, and is accused of failing to properly investigate the disappearance of a young woman who was last known to be in the presence of a local methamphetamine dealer.