United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma is a United States district court.
Vacancy warning level
The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma's vacancy warning level is currently set at yellow. The court currently has one vacancy out of its seven posts.
The Western District of Oklahoma has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
|Federal Court Case Load Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September. **Time in months from filing to completion.|
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts. ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
The Western District of Oklahoma has only one courthouse. Robert D. Dennis is the official clerk of court. Clerks' offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the courthouse is open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. Contact information is listed below:
Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
200 NW 4th Street
Oklahoma City OK 73102
Main Number: (405) 609-5000
Fax Number: (405) 609-5099
ECF Helpdesk: (405) 609-5555
or (888) 609-OKWD (6593)
The Western District of Oklahoma was established by Congress on June 16, 1906, with one post each for the Western and the Eastern districts. Over time, six additional judicial posts were added for a total of seven current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Western District of Oklahoma:
|June 16, 1906||34 Stat. 267, 275||1|
|June 22, 1936||49 Stat. 1804||2(1 Shared for 3 Districts)|
|May 24, 1940||54 Stat. 219||3(1 Shared, 1 Temporary)|
|August 3, 1949||63 Stat. 493||3(1 Shared)|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||4(2 Shared for 3 Districts)|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||5(2 Shared)|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||6(2 Shared)|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||7(1 Shared)|
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions of the Western District of Oklahoma.
| • Islamic Shariah law (2010) Judge(s):Vicki Miles-LaGrange|
*Awad v. Ziriax et al 5:2010cv01186
|Following the general election in 2010, Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange issued a temporary restraining order blocking certification of the election results for an Oklahoma ballot measure banning the use of Islamic Shariah law.
State Question 755 passed overwhelmingly with 70.08% of the vote on November 2, 2010. The vote supporting it would have prevented state courts from using international law, and Islamic Shariah law, when deciding on a case.Muneer Awad, a Georgian representing the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), filed suit against the law on the basis of its constitutionality. Miles-LaGrange agreed with CAIR and declared the law unconstitutional. On January 10, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that the law favored by voters violated the United States Constitution.
For new stories and other related material see Oklahoma judicial news.
- United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma Official Website
- United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma Official Website
- The Judges of the Western District of Oklahoma
- Opinions of the Western District of Oklahoma
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- History of the Districts of Oklahoma on the Federal Judicial Center website
- Oklahoma "Sharia Law Amendment," State Question 755 (2010)
- Oklahoma Watchdog, "Shariah-free state? Activist judge puts will of the people on hold," November 8, 2010
- Federal 10th Circuit upholds lower court lower court Sharia ruling
- United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, "Awad v. Ziriax et al.," January 10, 2012
|2.1 Active Judges|
|2.1.1 Article III judges|
|2.1.2 Pending appointments|
|2.1.3 Senior judges|
|2.2 Past judges|
|2.2.1 Former Chief judges|
|2.2.2 Former judges|
Article III judgesThe United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has 7 posts. This is a list of the current judges on the court:
|Judge James Payne||1941||Lubbock, TX||W. Bush||10/24/2001 - Present||2002 - Present (EOK)||Billy Burrage||U. of Oklahoma, B.S., 1963||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1966|
|Judge Robin Cauthron||1950||Edmond, OK||H.W. Bush||3/25/1991 - Present||2001 - 2008||New Seat|104 Stat. 5089||U. of Oklahoma, B.A., 1970||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1977|
|Chief Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange||1953||Oklahoma City, OK||Clinton||11/28/1994 - Present||2008 - Present (WOK)||Lee West||Vassar College, B.A., 1974||Howard U. Law, J.D., 1977|
|Judge Stephen Friot||1947||Troy, NY||W. Bush||11/12/2001 - Present||Wayne Alley||U. of Oklahoma, B.A., 1969||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1972|
|Judge Joe Heaton||1951||Alva, OK||W. Bush||12/10/2001 - Present||Ralph Thompson||Northwestern Oklahoma State U., B.A., 1973||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1976|
|Judge Timothy DeGiusti||1962||Oklahoma City, OK||W. Bush||8/9/2007 - Present||Timothy Leonard||U. of Oklahoma, B.A., 1985||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1988|
There are no current pending appointments for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Senior judgesSee: Federal judges on senior status
The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has 4 judges on senior status currently. This is a list of the current senior judges on the court:
|Senior Judge Lee West||Carter||11/2/1979 - 11/26/1994||1993 - 1994||11/26/1994 -Present||University of Oklahoma, B.A., 1952||University of Oklahoma College of Law, J.D., 1956|
|Senior Judge Timothy Leonard||H.W. Bush||8/12/1992 - 8/21/2006||8/21/2006 - Present||University of Oklahoma, B.A., 1962||University of Oklahoma College of Law, J.D., 1965|
|Senior Judge David Russell||Reagan||12/17/1981 - 7/7/2013||1994 - 2001(WOK)||7/7/2013 - Present||Oklahoma Baptist U.,, B.S., 1963||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1965|
|Senior Judge Wayne Alley||Reagan||7/11/1985 - 5/16/1999||5/16/1999 - Present||Stanford U., A.B., 1952||Stanford Law, J.D., 1957|
|Magistrate judge Gary Purcell|
|Magistrate judge Valerie Couch||03/08/1999 - Present||U. of California, B.A.||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1983|
|Magistrate judge Shon Erwin||1995 - Present||Oral Roberts U., B.A., 1983||U. of Oklahoma, J.D. 1986|
|Judge Suzanne Mitchell||02/01/2013-Present|
Former Chief judges
|David Russell||1994 - 2001(WOK)|
|Lee West||1993 - 1994|
|Robin Cauthron||2001 - 2008|
In order to qualify for the office of Chief Judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as Chief Judge. A vacancy in the office of Chief Judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The Chief Judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a Chief Judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion. See 28 U.S.C. § 45.
These rules for Chief Judges in the federal judiciary have been in effect since October 1, 1982. The office of Chief Judge was created in 1948. Until August 6, 1959, the position was filled in each federal court by the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as Chief Judge. From then until 1982 it was filled by the senior such judge who had not turned 70.
|Magistrate judges||Gary Purcell • Valerie Couch • Shon Erwin • Suzanne Mitchell •|
|Former Article III judges||
John Hazelton Cotteral • Alfred Murrah • Edgar Vaught • Bower Broaddus • Luther Bohanon • William Wallace • Billy Burrage • Harold Cook • Frederick Daugherty • Stephen Chandler • Luther Eubanks • Layn Phillips • Ross Rizley • Ralph Thompson •
|Former Chief judges|