Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Court Clerks' Offices -- Times of Operation

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Court Clerks' Offices -- Times of Operation

Article excerpt

The old song that asks "Does anybody really know what time it is, does anybody really care?" was brought to mind by a question I had recently about the days and hours of operation of Oklahoma's district court clerks.

A lawyer called to ask if Oklahoma district court clerks really ever closed at all, or if we were required to be open all the time like the federal court clerks' offices. Being a veteran of the federal court system, I knew immediately what the lawyer meant.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedures 77 states, "The district courts shall be deemed always open for the purpose of filing any pleading or other proper paper"

The rule goes on to state that the federal district court may by order or rule determine days and hours of operation of federal court clerks' offices that are in addition to usual business days and hours. Our response to the lawyer's inquiry that there is no similar rule of which we are aware is supported by the Oklahoma Bar Association's survey of court clerks' operations.

The Oklahoma Bar published a guide of county courthouses in its June 10 Bar Journal listing the days and office hours of each of the 77 court clerks' offices in our state. Interestingly, the lawyers' journal illustrated that hours of operation among the 77 court clerks are far from uniform.

Some, like mine, open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. and are open Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays. Others open at 8:30 a.m. Still others open at 9 a.m. Some are open over the lunch hour and some are not. Some close as early as 4 p.m.

The list of business days of the week for Oklahoma court clerks' offices was especially interesting. The days listed for various court clerk offices under the heading "Special Holiday Office is Closed" were early on Christmas Eve; for funerals; Good Friday; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; 4 p.m. Veterans Day, (some counties rotate Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Martin Luther King's birthday); primary, runoff and general election days; county election day; all elections; Lawton's B-D (birthday? …

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