Understanding the Role of a District Judge
Hello, I’m James Wirth. As a Tulsa attorney, I often get asked about the different types of courts in the state of Oklahoma, especially the lower-level state courts such as the district courts and county courts. At the top of the judicial hierarchy in these courts are the district judges, who are responsible for the administration of the court.
Each judicial district in Oklahoma has at least one district judge, but some districts may have many more depending on population. The district judges supervise the respective district courts and have the power to assign associate district judges and special judges within their districts. They essentially determine which judges handle which docket.
The Role of Associate District Judges and Special Judges
Associate district judges are appointed in every county and work under the district judges to determine the cases they handle and their assignments. On the other hand, special judges are not elected and are hired and fired by the district judges. They handle cases assigned to them by the district judges.
If you have a case in state court in Oklahoma, it’s important to understand the role of district judges and how they impact your case. District judges are the highest-level judges in this lower-level state court and are therefore paid the most. According to Title 20, Section 92.1A of the Oklahoma Statutes, the district judge’s salary is set at $145,567 per year as of April 2021.
Proposed Increase in District Judge Salaries
In April 2021, a new law went into effect, and there’s a current suggestion that those rates go up again. The board that makes recommendations regarding that is recommending a 7.67% pay increase for district judges, associate district judges, and special judges. If passed, the districts’ salaries would increase to $156,732 per year.
Contact an Attorney for Legal Advice
Do you have questions about district judges or proceedings in state court in Oklahoma? The best way to get legal advice is to speak privately and confidentially with an attorney about your specific circumstances. To schedule a free consultation with an Oklahoma court lawyer at my office, visit makelaweasy.com.