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Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals

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The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals is an intermediate appellate court in the state of Oklahoma, with the Oklahoma Supreme Court as the final court of recourse for civil matters. The Court of Civil Appeals consists of twelve judges in four divisions. The Supreme Court may choose to release the lesser court's opinions for publication, which grants these cases precedent value.[1]

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
Court information
Judges:   12
Salary:   $130,000[2]
Judicial selection
Method:   Assisted appointment
Term:   6 years


JudgeTermAppointed by
Judge Bay Mitchell2002-2018Gov. Francis Keating
Judge Keith Rapp1984-1/10/2021
Judge Jerry Goodman1994-1/10/2021
Judge John Fischer (Oklahoma)2007-2016
Judge Robert D. Bell2005-2018Gov. Brad Henry
Chief Judge Kenneth Buettner1996-2018Gov. Frank Keating
Judge Larry Joplin1994-2016
Judge Jane Wiseman3/2005-1/10/2021Gov. Brad Henry
Judge Deborah Barnes (Oklahoma)2008-1/10/2021Gov. Brad Henry
Judge William Hetherington2009-2018Gov. Brad Henry
Judge Brian Goree2012-1/10/2021Gov. Mary Fallin


The state created the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals because the Oklahoma Supreme Court had neither the time nor resources to hear all cases brought before it. When a case is brought before it, the Supreme Court may choose to send the case to one of the four division of the Court of Civil Appeals, two located in Tulsa and two in Oklahoma City. Each division of the court has three judges, appointed for life, but must stand for election every six years to retain their positions.[1]


The Court of Civil Appeals is responsible for the majority of appellate decisions. These opinions may be released for publication either by the Court of Civil Appeals or by the Supreme Court. When the opinions are released for publication by the Supreme Court, they have precedential value. The Court of Civil Appeals is made up of four divisions, each composed of three Judges. Two divisions of the Court of Civil Appeals are located in Oklahoma City and two are housed in Tulsa. Two of the three judges may choose to reaffirm, modify, or overturn any ruling of any lower court. However, if the Oklahoma Supreme Court disapproves of the courts ruling, it may review the decision as change it as the Court demeans necessary. Cases are assigned to the Court of Civil Appeals from the Oklahoma Supreme Court.[1]

Judicial selection

Members of the Court of Civil Appeal are appointed by the current governor of Oklahoma from a list of three names submitted by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission.

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
  2. May vary for chief judge


JudgeElection Vote
BarnesDeborah Barnes (Oklahoma) 62.0% ApprovedA
RappKeith Rapp 59.3% ApprovedA
GoodmanJerry Goodman 60.9% ApprovedA
WisemanJane Wiseman 60.9% ApprovedA
GoreeBrian Goree 61.0% ApprovedA


CandidateIncumbencyPartyDivisionPrimary VoteElection Vote
MitchellBay Mitchell   ApprovedAYesDivision 1   ApprovedA
BuettnerKenneth Buettner   ApprovedAYes   ApprovedA
ThornbrughP. Thomas Thornbrugh   ApprovedAYes   ApprovedA
BellRobert D. Bell   ApprovedAYes   ApprovedA
HetheringtonWilliam Hetherington   ApprovedAYes   ApprovedA