Supreme Court of Oklahoma
No published opinions this week.
Court of Criminal Appeals in the State of Oklahoma
No published decisions this week.
Court of Civil Appeals in the State of Oklahoma
No published decisions this week.
Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
March 4, 2021
118,576 – In the Matter of L.M. and L.M., Deprived Children: Ronrege Green, Appellant, v. State of Oklahoma, Appellee. Appeal from the District Court of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. Honorable Susan Johnson, Judge. A father appealed the trial court’s judgment terminating his parental rights to his twin boys after a jury trial. After a thorough review of the evidence, we find that the state failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the father failed to correct the conditions that led to the children’s adjudication of deprivation, which was the only statutory ground alleged for the termination. We also find that the state failed to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt as required by federal law in this case, that custody by the father was likely to result in serious emotional or physical harm to the children. Because the evidence was insufficient to support the jury’s verdict as to both these required elements, we reverse the order of terminating parental rights. Opinion by MITCHELL, J.; GOREE, P.J., and PRINCE, J., concur.
March 4, 2021
118,019 – In re the marriage of: Avis Dale, Petitioner/Appellant, vs. Tommy Dale, Respondent/Appellee. Appeal from Order of the District Court of Creek County, Hon. Richard A. Woolery, Trial Judge. Appellant Avis Dale appeals the district court’s order finding her guilty of indirect contempt of court. We find that Tommy Dale’s application for contempt was filed out of time to preserve the district court’s jurisdiction over the temporary order, pursuant to 43 O.S.2011 § 110(C). Consequently, those portions of the district court’s order finding Avis Dale guilty of indirect contempt for violations of the November 21, 2016 Temporary Order are vacated. VACATED IN PART. Opinion on Rehearing from Court of Civil Appeals, Division II, by FISCHER, J.; BARNES, P.J., and RAPP, J., concur.
March 4, 2021
118,722 – Cindy Coyle, (n/k/a Cindy McNeill), Plaintiff/Appellant, vs. Patrick Coyle, Defendant/Appellee. Appeal from the District Court of Wagoner County, Oklahoma. Honorable John D. Luton, Trial Judge. Cindy Coyle (now McNeill), the prevailing plaintiff in a victim protective order proceeding, appeals from an order awarding attorney fees against Patrick Coyle. Mrs. McNeill contends the fee award of $2,500.00 was not grounded in the appropriate standard and also that she should have been awarded attorney fees incurred to pursue the fee award. The appeal turns on whether an award of attorney fees to the victim in a protective order proceeding must comport with the teachings of State ex rel. Burk v. City of Oklahoma City, 1979 OK 115, 598 P.2d 659 and its progeny, and if so, whether the trial court properly applied the standard. We hold, if a trial court determines the victim in a protective order proceeding is entitled to attorney fees pursuant to 22 O.S. § 60.2(C)(1), the court must abide by directives of Burk and its progeny in determining the amount of fees to which the victim is entitled. Because the record before us does not reveal the trial court applied the appropriate standard after finding Mrs. McNeill was entitled to attorney fees, we reverse the order as to the amount awarded. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART AND REMANDED. Opinion by PEMBERTON, P.J.; SWINTON, C.J., and BELL, J., concur.
March 4, 2021
118,862 – Francis Oliver, M.D., and Southern Oklahoma Cardiology Specialists, Plaintiffs/Appellees, vs. MHM Support Services, a foreign not for profit Corporation; Mercy Hospital Ardmore, Inc., an Oklahoma Corporation; and Ann Rucker, Defendants/Appellants. Appeal from the District Court of Carter County, Oklahoma. Honorable Dennis Morris, Trial Judge. This appeal stems from the trial court’s denial of Defendants’, MHM Support Services and Mercy Hospital Ardmore, Inc., request for dismissal under the Oklahoma Citizen’s Protection Act (OCPA). On remand from a prior appeal in which it was determined the OCPA applies to plaintiff’s claims, the district court analyzed and denied a subsequent motion to dismiss filed pursuant to the OCPA. Under the applicable standard of review and burden shifting framework set out in Krimbill v. Talarico, 2018 OK CIV APP 37, 417 P.3d 1240, we AFFIRM and REMAND for further proceedings. Opinion by PEMBERTON, P.J.; SWINTON, C.J., and BELL, J., concur.
March 3, 2021
118,171 – Verdeen L. Slatten; Jack A. Slatten; Jack A. and Verdeen L. Slatten Family Limited Partnership; Neva M. Dorman; Ann Ell Boles; Fincher-Jones, LLC; B. N. Taliaferro, Jr., Individually, and as Trustee of the B. N. Taliaferro Management Trust; Jack B. Searle; Tamara D. Searle; and OGI, Inc., Plaintiffs/
Appellants, vs. Range Resources Corporation; Range Resources Mid-Continent, LLC; and Range Production Company (including predecessors, successors and affiliates), Defendants/Appellees. Appeal from an Order of the District Court of Caddo County, Hon. Kory Kirkland, Trial Judge. The plaintiffs appeal the judgment entered on a jury verdict in favor of the defendants. Plaintiffs also appeal an Order denying their Motion for Judgment NOV. Plaintiffs claim that Defendants have not paid all royalties due on Plaintiffs’ gas wells. Plaintiffs maintain that Defendants’ sales to midstream companies are not market sales, but rather service contracts where the midstream companies process the raw gas from the wells for sale to a consumer of processed gas and its constituents. Plaintiffs claim that the midstream companies deducted the processing costs, the value of fuel gas and the fees charged for processing the gas and that these charges are not permitted according to the law and the leases. Defendants claim that the sales to the midstream companies are market sales and that the sales take place in a marketplace. Defendants claim that they did not deduct anything and paid royalties on the amount they received for sale of the gas. The cause was tried before a jury. The jury returned a verdict for Defendants. Plaintiffs moved for judgment NOV. Under the standard of review of judgments entered on jury verdicts and on orders denying motions for judgment NOV, this Court affirms the Judgment on the jury verdict and the Order denying the motion for judgment NOV. AFFIRMED. Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV, RAPP, J.; FISCHER, V.C.J., and WISEMAN, J. (sitting by designation), concur.
March 8, 2021
118,101 – Arvest Bank. Plaintiff/ Appellee, vs. Vera D. Evans, Defendant/ Appellant, and Occupants of the Premises; Dennis Semler, Treasurer of Tulsa County; and Board of County Commissioners of Tulsa County, Oklahoma, Defendant. Appeal from an Order of the District Court of Tulsa County, Hon. Daman H. Cantrell, Trial Judge.
Vera D. Evans (Ward) appeals an Order Confirming Sheriffs Sale dated June 4, 2019, following a judgment against her person and certain real property, entered November 27, 2018.
We hereby vacate the Order Confirming Sheriffs Sale and remand this matter for further proceedings. Ward was incapacitated, and unrepresented throughout the underlying proceeding. Though her guardian, Boris Nichols (Guardian), appeared and argued on her behalf throughout the foreclosure proceeding and sheriffs sale, Guardian is not an attorney. He may not appear ''pro se"1 to represent Ward in this Court, or below. We therefore vacate the Order Confirming Sheriffs Sale against Ward, and remand for further proceedings. VACATED AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTION. Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV, by HIXON, P.J.; FISCHER, V.C.J., and RAPP, J., concur.
Nominations for Judicial Nominating Commission
The Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) consists of 15 unpaid volunteer members. Of the 15 members, only six members are lawyers. Lawyer commissioners are elected by their fellow Oklahoma Bar Association members, each representing one of six congressional districts across the state, as they were in 1967 when the commission was established.* They each serve a 6-year term. Elections are held each odd-numbered year for members from two districts. In 2021 there will be elections for members in Districts 5 and 6.
District 5 is composed of Oklahoma County, excluding eastern Oklahoma County and south of 89th Street. District 6 is composed of 23 counties in the north central and northwestern part of the state, as they existed in 1967.*
Read more about the nomination and balloting process.
Applicants Announced for Judicial Vacancies
March 9 – The Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) today announced the three nominees for the position of District Judge in Oklahoma County, 7th Judicial District, Office 9. After concluding the review process and conducting in person interviews today, the JNC submitted the following nominees for this position to the Governor:
1. Anthony L. Bonner, Jr., Midwest City
2. Erick W. Harris, Oklahoma City
3. Kari Y. Hawkins, Forest Park
The JNC also announced the three nominees for the position of District Judge in Oklahoma County, 7th Judicial District, Office 13. After concluding the review process and conducting in person interviews today, the JNC submitted the following nominees for this position to the Governor:
1. John E. Barbush, Edmond
2. Albert J. Hoch, Warr Acres
3. Kristina N. Kirkpatrick, Edmond
Under Article 7B Section 4 of the Oklahoma Constitution, the Governor has sixty days to appoint one of the nominees for each respective judicial position. If he fails to do so within sixty days, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall make the appointments.*
*On March 2, 2021, scheduled interviewee Joseph H. Young withdrew his applications for both judicial positions.
On March 2 – The JNC announced the following applicants for the position of Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court comprised of Congressional District 1 and created by the retirement of the Honorable Tom Colbert:
Kurt G. Glassco, Tulsa; Stacie L. Hixon, Owasso; James R. Huber, Tulsa; Dana L. Kuehn, Tulsa; James C. Milton, Tulsa; Rebecca B. Nightingale, Tulsa; Jennifer L. Struble, Tulsa, and Russell C. Vaclaw, Bartlesville.
The JNC is accepting public comments on the applicants. Read more.
On March 3 – The JNC announced the following applicants for the position of Judge for the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, District 3 Office 1 and created by the retirement of the Honorable P. Thomas Thornbrugh:
Elliot P. Anderson, Jenks; Tammy D. Barrett, Tulsa; Gregory C. Blackwell, Norman; Mark R. Campbell, Durant; Brant M. Elmore, Norman; Jennifer Struble, Tulsa, Jana K. Wallace, Antlers, and Randall J. Yates, Locust Grove.
The JNC is accpeting public comments on the applicants. Read more.
On March 5, the JNC announced three nominees for the position of Associate District Judge for Osage County, Tenth Judicial District.
Julie R. Bushyhead, Sperry; Burl O. Estes, II, Bartlesville, and Brinton Skalnik, Skiatook.
According to the Oklahoma Constitution, the Governor has sixty days to appoint one of the nominees. Read more.
Is Chrome Your Best Browser Choice?
By Jim Calloway, Director OBA Management Assistance Program
Chrome is the browser used by the majority of internet users. But using Chrome means you may be missing features or enhanced privacy and security options. This feature Dump Chrome: 7 Alternative Web Browsers profiles seven options for you to consider. In particular, you may consider DuckDuckGo for your mobile device. The secure search engine DuckDuckGo has a private browser app which includes the private DuckDuckGo search engine, tracker blocker, encryption enforcer and more. It is available for iOS and Android. The mobile version has a “burn” button for one-click clearing of all tabs and data. I know several lawyers who have started using the Brave browser for increased privacy and security. Brave also uses less battery power on mobile devices.
Whether you are hiring, looking for a career move, offering office space or searching for a service - let the OBA Classified service help. For advertising rates and details, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone (405) 416-7018.