Civil Division

The Civil Division is statutorily responsible for the representation and defense of the officers and employees of District 21, Cleveland, McClain, and Garvin Counties. The Civil Division provides legal opinions and advice to all county officers regarding labor and employment issues; civil rights issues; contracts and contract negotiation issues; tort and negligence law issues; and record and opening meeting law issues; unemployment law issues; county government issues; tax collection and tax assessment issues; municipal bond issues; mental health issues; property foreclosure issues; and property forfeiture issues and any other matter to ensure the elected officials or employees do not become liable or subject to liability in a civil proceeding.

Requests for legal opinions may be submitted and responded to in writing or may be oral. Critical issues should be documented in writing for all requests and replies when possible and indexed by department. Assistants in Civil Division are required to have knowledge of all laws and regulations in the State of Oklahoma as well as Federal law, regulations and procedures in the United States Code or Code of Federal Regulations.

The Civil Division is responsible for (but not limited to) the following litigation in either or all federal or state courts, boards, or commissions state or federal:

  1. Foreclosure and tax collections for the County Treasurer
  2. Ad Valorem Tax investigations or protests to the Board of Equalization and Assessors office. Municipal Bond issues and taxation.
  3. Issues arising under the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Services, Health Department, or Mental Health.
  4. Defense of the County Sheriff regarding prisoner rights, false arrest, internal investigations, false imprisonment, employee involved traffic accidents constitutional rights regarding jail operations or standards.
  5. Defense of County officials or employees acting within the scope of their employment, issues arising under the Governmental Tort Claims Act; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; Americans with Disabilities Act; Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Equal Employment Opportunities Commission; Open Meeting and Open Records Act and Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, or Workers Compensation Act. Internal Revenue Service Audits
  6. Asset forfeitures regarding real and personal property being used or involved in criminal or drug activity.

The Civil Division advises elected officials or county employees in almost all matters concerning the operation of county government and determines and ensures their actions are within the statutory powers of county government. Civil Assistants deal primarily with Titles 12, 19, 51, 61, 62, 63, and 68 of the Oklahoma statues and at various times all other civil titles. In addition, Titles 29 and 42 of the United States Code primarily, but also the United States Tax Code and various other federal statutes or Code of Federal Regulations.