Frequently Asked Questions

Access to Court Buildings

Q. What documentation is required to enter the federal court buildings?

Photographic identification (such as a passport, government-issued identification card, or driver’s license) is required to enter the buildings that house the District Court and the Bankruptcy Court.  In November 2014, the Judges of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma determined that the public may continue to use drivers’ licenses from Oklahoma and other states as photographic identification to enter the Courthouse and the Old Post Office Building.  That policy remains in effect until further notice.

Bar Admission

Q. What are the requirements for admittance to the Bar of the District Court?

Local Rule 83.1 governs the role of attorneys, the committee on admissions and grievances, procedure for admission, eligibility, reciprocity, attorneys representing the United States, and admission pro hac vice.

Link to Local Rules

CJA (Criminal Justice Act)

Q. I served as Court appointed counsel pursuant to the CJA of 1996. Am I responsible for the appeal?

Local Criminal Rule 44.1 and 44.2 and General Order 16-2 govern the Western District of Oklahoma’s plan for the implementation of the CJA. In accordance with General Order 16-2, your appointment remains in full force and effect until relieved of duty by order of the district Court or the Court of Appeals. See General Order 16-2 for more details.

Local Rules

Q. How do I get on the CJA panel of attorneys?

Application forms for membership on the CJA Panel are available. Please contact CJA PANEL ADMIN at 405-609-5969.

Q. How long does it take to process my payment?

It generally takes 2-4 weeks to process payments depending on whether Circuit approval is needed.

Q. Who do I contact about my payment?

Contact Kathy Rose in the U.S. District Court Clerk’s office at 405-609-5028.

CM/ECF

Q. What is CM/ECF?

Case Management/Electronic Case Files is an electronic filing system that streamlines the process of creating, filing and noticing legal documents by permitting attorneys to file documents electronically with the Court using the Internet. It has the potential to provide substantial savings to attorneys, their clients and the Court while improving access to Court records. Benefits include:

  • 24 hour access to file or view documents
  • immediate creation of docket entries
  • immediate access to updated docket sheets and to the documents themselves
  • potential elimination of paper files that can be misplaced or lost
  • potential savings in copying, courier and noticing costs
  • ability to store and search documents electronically
  • multiple users can view the same file simultaneously

Q. What do I need to file electronically?

  • A personal computer running a standard platform such as Windows or Macintosh.
  • Word processor like Macintosh or Windows-based versions of WordPerfect or Word.
  • Internet service.
  • An account with PACER www.pacer.gov
  • A compatible internet browser (current versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox have been tested with CM/ECF).
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free, is needed for viewing pdf documents.
  • Software to convert documents from a word processor format to portable document format (pdf).
  • A scanner may be necessary to create electronic images of documents that are not in your word processing system, such as exhibits.

Q. How does electronic filing work?

To file electronically, attorneys create their documents on their computers just as they normally do. Instead of printing the document on paper, it is saved in a portable document format (pdf). Attorneys then access the electronic filing system through their Internet provider over the World Wide Web. After logging in, attorneys select the appropriate case, party, and pleading. The document is then sent over the Internet to the Court’s computer which immediately sends a receipt back to the attorney verifying that the document has been received. The receipt can be printed or saved to disk for future reference. This process creates a docket entry and makes both the updated docket sheet as well as the document itself instantly electronically available. The system also sends email notification of the filing to the attorneys in the case.

Q. What is PACER?

The PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system enables users to obtain, view and print case records from Federal Appellate, District and Bankruptcy courts via the Internet. Registration for ECF is separate from and in addition to registering for PACER. To register for PACER, visit their website at www.pacer.gov.

Q. I am having problems with PACER, what do I do?

If you are having trouble with PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), call the PACER center at 1-800-676-6856 or visit their website at www.pacer.gov.

Q. Who can file pleadings electronically?

Attorneys admitted to practice before the Court and others authorized to file electronically can register for CM/ECF. Pro se litigants must file their documents conventionally (in paper form) at the Court Clerk’s Office.

Q. How do I file a proposed order?

See Policies and Procedures Manual regarding submitting orders and other proposals. After an Order has been signed, Court staff will file the Order.

Q. Where do I get Adobe Acrobat?

Several companies offer pdf readers and writers. This Court uses Adobe Acrobat. The website is www.adobe.com.

Q. My document is more than 20 MB. Should I just file it conventionally?

If your document is larger than 20 MB, you need to break it into parts. Be careful to properly label each part (i.e., Exhibit 3, Part 1 Depo of John Smith, Pages 1-20; Exhibit 3, Part 2 Depo of John Smith, Pages 21-40.)

Q. How can I determine the size of my document before I begin?

Open the pdf document you are filing. If you are using Adobe Acrobat, use “Ctrl + D” for a document summary. Other programs may allow you to view the document properties through the drop-down menus at the top of the screen.

Q. What documents must be filed conventionally?

Refer to the Policies and Procedures Manual section that addresses conventional filing of documents. A list of exceptions is included in the Manual. If your document meets one of the exceptions, you will file a “notice of conventional filing” electronically and then submit the paper document to the Court clerk.

Q. What should I do if I can’t find the type of motion on the drop down list?

An example of this kind of motion might be “Motion to be Allowed to Participate in a Settlement Conference by Telephone.” This type of motion cannot be found in the drop down menu. Use “Order” because this is really a motion for an order to be allowed to do something. At the text screen, include the title of your motion.

Q. Can I file a motion and brief in the same document?

Yes. File your document as a motion. When you get to the docket text screen, text in “and brief.” You many also file these documents separately and link them together.

Q. How do I select only certain parties from the pick list?

If you represent certain parties or are filing a document on behalf of certain parties, use the “Ctrl” key to select multiple parties. Hold the “Ctrl” key down and use your mouse to make your selections.

Q. I have received an NEF but cannot view the document.

Each time you visit a web site information is stored on your computer. This stored information will interfere with the sending and viewing documents. To correct this problem, clean out your temporary files (or cache).

Q. I can’t view a document in certain cases – why not?

Remote access to Social Security and Immigration cases is limited to attorneys of record in the case. If you are an attorney in the case, please note that you can access documents in these cases only through use of your ECF filer ID and password. When you receive an NEF you may receive a message that states you do not have rights to view the document. Use your ECF login and password if prompted and you will be able to view the document.

Q. What do I do if I forgot my password?

The ECF login has a link for you to reset your ECF password. After selecting the link and requesting that your password reset you will receive an email at the primary email address. Follow the prompt in the email to reset the password.

If the primary email address is not correct, you will need to call the Helpdesk at 609-5555 or toll free at 1-888-609-6593.


Court Of Appeals

Q. Does the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals hear oral arguments from Oklahoma City?

Yes. Conferences are scheduled by the Tenth Circuit and are conducted either in person or by video conference.


Employment

Q. How do I apply for a position with the Court?

Vacancies are posted at www.uscourts.gov. Law clerk positions are generally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal. The Court requests applicants submit a resume rather than a government application form. Law clerk applicants are also requested to submit a writing sample and sometimes submit resumes directly to the Judge’s chamber throughout the year.

Finance

Q. To whom should attorneys or the public in general write out check or money orders when making payments at the Clerk’s Office?

All checks must be written to the Clerk of Court or Clerk, U.S. District Court. The Clerk’s Office also accepts the following credit cards:
ccLogo

Q. What must be done to get back a cash bail or bond posted in the Clerk’s Office?

You must file a motion requesting disbursement of the cash bail or bond. The motion must stipulate the name of surety, name of defendant, and amount to be disbursed. A check will only be issued in the name of the person who was shown as surety on the bail form.

Q. When does the Clerk’s Office pay out attorneys or interested parties from funds in the Court registry?

Payment is made only after a Judge directs disbursement to the attorney or party in interest. Once the financial section of the Court Clerk’s office receive the order, a check is generally disbursed within two business days. The finance clerk will mail the check.

Q. Is all money received at the Clerk’s Office registry invested?

No. A Court order must state that the money is to be deposited into an interest bearing account. Any investment involving the assumption of market risk is made only pursuant to Court order.

Q. If we want to pick up the check instead of mailing, whom shall we contact?

You may contact the financial administrator at (405) 609-5047.

Jury Administration

Q. What documentation is required to enter the federal court buildings?

Photographic identification (such as a passport, government-issued identification card, or driver’s license) is required to enter the buildings that house the District Court and the Bankruptcy Court.  In November 2014, the Judges of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma determined that the public may continue to use drivers’ licenses from Oklahoma and other states as photographic identification to enter the Courthouse and the Old Post Office Building.  That policy remains in effect until further notice.

Q. How did I get selected as a juror?

The selection process for Grand and Petit jurors is governed by General Order 00-3.

Q. Can I “apply” to be a juror?

No. Pursuant to the laws and procedures of the U.S. Courts, each Court must have in place a standard procedure in electing jurors at random. This Court uses official voters’ lists from which names are drawn at random. It is against the law to allow “volunteer jurors” as it would interfere with the random selection procedures.

Q. When I end my jury duty service, can I be requested to serve in the future or will I be excused from any further service?

Yes. You can be asked to serve in the future if your name is selected at random again. However, if two whole years have not passed since you ended your previous Federal jury duty, you may request to be excused.

Q. If I work, do I still have to serve as a juror?

Yes. A great majority of jurors work. The employer has to provide the employee with time to serve as a juror.

Q. Can my employer fire me because I am serving as a federal juror?

No. Jury service is a citizen’s obligation and the employer has to provide the employee with time to serve. Your employment is protected by Federal and State law. It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee because of jury service.

Q. Is my employer obligated to pay regular salary even on jury duty days?

No. The employer is not obligated to do so. Although most private companies do, some reach an agreement with the employee to have them return the daily allowance paid to the juror ($40 a day), and they pay the employee in full. Other employers may just deduct the $40 from that person’s daily salary and come out even, and some companies simply do not pay the employee when out on jury duty.

Q. What are the reasons to request to be excused from jury duty and what is the correct procedure to follow when doing so?

The judges of this Court deem any person to be qualified to serve on grand and petit juries in this district unless he or she:

  • Is not a citizen of the United States 18 years old who has resided for a period of one year within the judicial district;
  • Is unable to read, write, and understand the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to fill out satisfactorily the juror qualification form;
  • Is unable to speak the English language;
  • Is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, to render satisfactory jury service; or
  • Has a charge pending against him for the commission of, or has been convicted in state or federal Court of record of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and his civil rights have not been restored.

The judges find it to be in the public interest and not inconsistent with the Jury Selection and Service Act of 1968 to exempt from jury duty the following:

  • Members in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States;
  • Members of the fire or police department of any state, district, territory, possession or subdivision thereof;
  • Public officers in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the government of the United States, or any state, district, territory or possession or subdivision thereof, who are actively engaged in the performance of official duties. Public officer shall mean a person who is either elected to public office or who is directly appointed by a person elected to public office.

The judge who is qualifying a jury panel is vested with complete authority to make a final decision with respect to whether a particular person may be disqualified, exempt or excused. Any person summoned for jury service may be excused by the Court, or by the Clerk under supervision of the Court, upon a showing of undue hardship or extreme inconvenience, for such period as the Court deems necessary, or the name of such person may be reinserted into the qualified jury wheel for selection.

For more information regarding jury service, contact the Jury Clerk at (405)609-5040 or visit the Petit Jury or Grand Jury pages on this website.

PayGov FAQs

Which Court fees may be paid using CM/ECF and Pay.gov?

Civil complaint filing fee
Pro hac vice admission fee
Appeal filing fee
Certificate of good standing fee

Payment for other Court fees, such as the miscellaneous case fee, restitution payments, copy requests, etc. must be made with the Clerk’s office.

How do I use the CM/ECF events with Pay.gov?

See the Court’s Electronic Payments Procedure Guide for detailed instructions and screen shots of Pay.gov functions.

What types of payments are accepted through Pay.gov?

Pay.gov accepts credit card and ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments.

What are ACH Payments?

ACH payments are the electronic transfer of funds from either a business or personal checking or savings account directly to the U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma.

Which credit cards are accepted for Pay.gov?

Pay.gov accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Diner’s Club cards.

How secure is my payment and credit card information?

Both the CM/ECF and Pay.gov systems use 128-bit SSL encryption to protect on-line payments. In addition, individual credit/debit card numbers and billing information are not maintained on the Court’s CM/ECF system, and Court staff does not have access to that information on the Pay.gov

How do I know my payment was successful?

At the end of submitting your payment, you will see a confirmation screen indicating your payment was successful. This confirmation screen is your receipt and should be printed or saved for your records.

During the payment process, you will be asked to provide an email address. This does not have to be your email address. You may want to use an email address of your financial or accounting department or provide multiple email addresses. A receipt will be sent to the email address you provide, along with your credit card or bank account information.

How quickly is my credit card payment processed?

Credit card payments submitted by midnight Eastern Standard Time will settle in your account the next business day.

How will the transaction appear on my bank or credit card statement?

Pay.gov transactions will usually appear with the description “PAYMENT” and text indicating which government agency you made the payment to, such as an abbreviated form of the agency name. If you’re not sure what a particular payment is, the first point of contact should be your financial institution. They can help identify the payment history.

How can I find a history of payments I made through CM/ECF and Pay.gov?

CM/ECF users may access their history of “internet payments” payments made through Pay.gov by using the CM/ECF system. In CM/ECF select Utilities>Internet Payments Made. From here, the user can select the date range they wish to view. This report will provide users with information including the case number, attorney name, date paid, receipt number, and the amount of the payment.

How can I correct a payment error?

Occasionally, erroneous electronic payments may be processed through the Pay.gov system – for example, if payment is made in the wrong case, or if a duplicate payment is processed due to the e-filer using the browser’s back button and submitting the same transaction twice. If the Court’s Finance Department staff discovers a duplicate payment immediately upon filing, they may issue a refund (Credit Card payments only) or cancellation (ACH payments only) of the duplicate fee without any further action required by the e-filer. However, if an erroneous payment is discovered after the Pay.gov transaction has been posted (fully processed); the attorney e-filer must file a “Request for Refund” in CM/ECF. Please see the Court’s Electronic Payments Procedure Guide for more information.

Who do I contact at the Western District for assistance?

For help with technical problems using the e-filing events with Pay.gov functions or payments made in error, contact the Court’s CM/ECF Help Desk at (888) 609-6593 or (405) 609-5555, or by e-mail at helpdesk@okwd.uscourts.gov.

Who do I contact at Pay.gov for assistance regarding my account?

Mailing address: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
ATTN: eGov Customer Service (Pay.gov)
P.O. Box 6387 Cleveland, OH 44101

Phone: (800) 624-1373 or (216) 579-2112
Fax: (216) 579-2813
Email address: pay.gov.clev@clev.frb.org

Policy on Electronic Availability of Transcripts

Q. Will I receive notice that a transcript has been ordered?

A. Yes. Whenever a Court reporter receives an order for a transcript, he or she will file a Notice of Transcript Order in the case, and you
will receive notice of this filing from the Court Clerk in the same manner you would receive an order issued by the court.

Q. How is the Court reporter notified that a party is requesting a redaction?

A. When a Redaction Request is filed, the Court Clerk sends an electronic notice to the Court reporter.

Q. If I did not order preparation of the transcript, how may I obtain access to it to determine if a Redaction Request is necessary?

A. An electronic version of the transcript will be available for viewing only at the Court’s public terminal during the initial 90-day period after the transcript is filed. The Court Clerk will not provide printed copies of the transcript during this time. If you want a copy of the transcript during the initial 90-day period, you must order a copy from the Court reporter. Any attorney of record who has purchased a copy of the transcript from the Court reporter may also access the transcript via the Court’s ECF System during the 90-day period.PACER fees, however, will apply any time a transcript is accessed remotely; there is no “free look” for transcripts. In addition, PACER  charges are not capped at 30 pages and will be incurred each time the transcript is accessed.

Q. Who is responsible for identifying personal data identifiers and requesting redactions in transcripts ordered by the media or other non-parties?

A. The attorney of record or self-represented party is responsible for ensuring that the redactions required by the Court’s Policy on Electronic Availability of Transcripts are requested regardless of who has ordered the transcript.

Q. Can I object to a requested redaction?

A. Yes. In the rare event you have an objection to a requested redaction, you should promptly address the objection by conferring directly with the attorney or self-represented party making the redaction request. If the objection cannot be resolved, you may file a motion with the Court requesting a ruling. Also, if a motion for additional redactions is filed, a party may oppose that motion in accordance with the Court’s Local Rules.

Q. Does the Court’s Policy on Electronic Availability of Transcripts supersede other redaction requirements?

A. No. The parties may have obligations pursuant to statutes and protective orders that may apply to a transcript. Compliance with the Court’s Policy on Electronic Availability of Transcripts may not be sufficient to comply with those obligations.

Q. How quickly must the Court reporter prepare the redacted transcript?

A. Pursuant to the Judicial Conference Policy, the Court reporter must electronically file a redacted version of the transcript no later than 31 days after the date the transcript was initially filed, unless an extension is ordered by the Court.

Q. Which version of the transcript will be transmitted to the Court of Appeals?

A. If the appellate Court is an ECF user, the Court will have access to the entire case file electronically through ECF. The Court will thus have access to both the redacted and the unredacted transcript. If the appellate Court requires a paper record on appeal, the Clerk’s Office will transmit the unredacted version of the transcript to the Court for review unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

Services Provided By the Clerk's Office

Q. What can I do if I have to conventionally file a document after 4:30 p.m.?

A night drop box is located in the lobby of the Courthouse just outside of the Clerk’s Office on the 1st floor. The building is open until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You must arrive before 6:00 p.m. to access the drop box. The documents are picked up by our staff each day and file-stamped the day that they are placed in the box.

Q. How do I view a paper file and order copies (regular or certified)?

Electronic case files are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Please see the CM/ECF section of the Court’s web site for additional information

Our file room and intake counter are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  You may request to view a file and/or order copies (regular or certified). If you desire copies after 3:30 p.m., you may order the copies and the intake clerk will notify you by telephone when the order is complete. Copies cannot be made after 3:30 p.m. Copy requests can be made in person or in writing but not by telephone. You will need to know the case number and the document(s) to be copied. Written requests require payment in advance. The cost is $.50 per page. The cost of certification is $11.00 per instrument.

Q. How do I obtain a file from Archives?

Court files are stored in the Clerk’s Office for approximately four years. Inactive cases older than approximately fours years are archived at the Federal Records Center in Ft. Worth, Texas. Files may be retrieved through the Clerk’s Office for a fee of $64. Retrieval takes 5 to 10 working days. Archival requests can be made in person or in writing but not by telephone. Copies of documents from the file may be obtained for a fee of $.50 per page.

Q. What is the procedure for ordering a transcript of Court proceedings?

To order a transcript of a Court proceeding that was recorded by a Court reporter, you must contact that specific Court reporter. If ordering for purposes of filing an appeal, complete a transcript order form (Form A-8), available under Appeal Forms on the website, with the case docket number, dates of proceeding for which transcript is requested and Court reporter’s name. The form must be signed by the Court reporter before it is filed. If the case will be paid with CJA (Criminal Justice Act) funds, you must complete and attach CJA Form 24, available at the intake counter.

The Judicial Conference of the United States has determined that in multi-defendant case proceedings under the CJA, only one transcript should be purchased from the Court reporter by one of the appointed attorneys on behalf of all CJA defendants. Then, one of the attorneys should arrange for the duplication at commercially competitive rates. Ten cents ($.10) per page is the maximum copy rate. For more information concerning commercial duplication of CJA transcripts, you may contact the duty attorney, Administrative Office (AO) Defender Services Division at (202) 502-3030.

Q. How do I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing?

Certificates of good standing for members of the bar of this Court are available through the Electronic Case Filing (ECF) website. Log in using the ECF login and password of the attorney requesting the certificate. Select Utilities and Certificate of Good Standing Request. You will be prompted to pay the fee of $18.00 through pay.gov.

The certificate will be emailed to you.

Certificates are also available from the Court Clerk’s Office for a fee of $18.00. Please contact the Attorney Admissions Clerk at (405) 609-5051.

Q. How are cases assigned to Judges?

All civil and criminal actions are assigned by a random selection process in order to ensure that the identity of the judge is not disclosed before the case is officially filed.