OSCN Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules (part VII)

Part VII. Manner and Form of Opinions in the Appellate Courts

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RULE 1.200 OPINIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT AND THE COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS

(a) Memorandum Opinions.

An opinion shall be prepared in memorandum form unless it:

(1) Establishes a new rule of law or alters or modifies an existing rule;

(2) Involves a legal issue of continuing public interest;

(3) Criticizes or explains existing law;

(4) Applies an established rule of law to a factual situation significantly different from that in published opinions of the courts of this state;

(5) Resolves an apparent conflict of authority; or

(6) Constitutes a significant and non-duplicative contribution to legal literature:

(a) by an historical review of law; or

(b) by describing legislative history.

(b) Publication of Memorandum Opinions and Unpublished Opinions.

(1) Opinions shall be published in the official reports and on the Oklahoma Supreme Court World Wide Web site only when they satisfy the standards set out in this rule. Disposition by memorandum, without a formal published opinion, does not mean that the case is considered unimportant. It does mean that no new points of law making the decision of value as precedent are believed to be involved. A memorandum opinion shall not be published unless it is ordered to be published by the Supreme Court.

(2) A party or other interested person who believes that an opinion of either the Supreme Court or Court of Civil Appeals which has not been designated by the Court for publication has substantial precedential value may file a motion in the Supreme Court asking that it be published. The motion shall state the grounds for such belief, shall be accompanied by a copy of the opinion, and shall comply with Rule 1.6.

(3) Regardless of the foregoing, no opinion superseded by an opinion on rehearing shall be published in the official reports. An opinion that is modified on rehearing shall be published as modified if it otherwise meets the standards of this rule.

(4) An opinion shall be published only if the majority of the justices or judges participating in the decision find that one of the standards set out in this rule is satisfied. Concurring and dissenting opinions shall be published only if the majority opinion is published.

(5) All memorandum opinions, unless otherwise required to be published, shall be marked: "Not for Official Publication." Because unpublished opinions are deemed to be without value as precedent and are not uniformly available to all parties, opinions so marked shall not be considered as precedent by any court or cited in any brief or other material presented to any court, except to support a claim of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or law of the case. Opinions marked Not For Official Publication shall not be published in the unofficial reporter, nor on the Supreme Court World Wide Web site, nor in the official reporter.

(6) An opinion designated For Publication in O.B.J. Only shall be published in the unofficial reporter and on the Supreme Court World Wide Web site. Such an opinion shall not be published in the official reporter. An opinion designated For Publication in O.B.J. Only shall not be considered as precedent.

(7) Disposition of cases by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in which there is no published opinion will be reported in the Oklahoma Bar Journal by brief reference to the case and the decision reached therein on appeal. The opinion in the matter shall not be published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, or the official reporter, or on the Supreme Court World Wide Web site. The decision and reference may be published on the Oklahoma Supreme Court Web site as a Disposition of Cases Other Than by Published Opinion. The decision and reference shall not be in paragraph citation form and shall not be considered as precedential.

(8) Disposition of cases by the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals in which there is no published opinion will be reported in the Oklahoma Bar Journal by brief reference to the case and the decision reached therein on appeal. The decision and reference shall not be in paragraph citation form and shall not be considered as precedential. The Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court may designate a procedure for publishing such dispositions on the Supreme Court World Wide Web site.

(c) Effect of Publication of Formal Opinion.

(1) Opinions of the Supreme Court designated For Official Publication when adopted will be published in the unofficial reporter, (Oklahoma Bar Journal), on the Oklahoma Supreme Court World Wide Web site, and published after mandate in the official reporter (Pacific Reporter 2d). Such opinions may not be cited as authority in a subsequent appellate opinion nor may they be used as authority by a trial court until the mandate in the matter has been issued.

(2) Opinions of the Court of Civil Appeals which resolve novel or unusual issues may be designated for publication, at the time the opinion is adopted, by affirmative vote of at least two members of the division responsible for the opinion. Such opinions shall remain unpublished until after mandate issues, after which time they shall be published in the unofficial reporter, (Oklahoma Bar Journal), the Oklahoma Supreme Court World Wide Web site, and in the official reporter (Pacific Reporter 2nd). Such opinions shall bear the notation "Released for publication by order of the Court of Civil Appeals", and shall be considered to have persuasive effect. Any such opinion, however, bearing the notation "Approved for publication by the Supreme Court" has been so designated by the Supreme Court pursuant to 20 O.S. 1991 § 30.5, and shall be accorded precedential value. The Supreme Court retains the power to order opinions of the Court of Civil Appeals withdrawn from publication.

(d) Supreme Court World Wide Web Site.

Opinions of the Supreme Court designated for official publication shall be published on the Court's World Wide Web site. They shall be published on the web site when filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court opinions shall contain the following notice: "NOTICE: THIS OPINION HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED FOR PUBLICATION IN THE PERMANENT LAW REPORTS. UNTIL RELEASED, IT IS SUBJECT TO REVISION OR WITHDRAWAL." Such opinions may not be cited as authority in a subsequent appellate opinion nor may they be used as authority by a trial court until the mandate in the matter has been issued. The date of the effectiveness of opinions in original proceedings is governed by Okla. Sup. Ct. R. 1.193. When opinions published on the web site are modified or withdrawn the text of the opinion shall be deleted and any subsequent opinion in the matter shall be published on the web site if it meets the requirements of Rule 1.200.

Opinions of the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals designated for official publication by either the Supreme Court or the Court of Civil Appeals shall be published on the Supreme Court web site. An opinion of the Court of Civil Appeals shall not be published on the web site until mandate has issued in the matter. An opinion of the Court of Civil Appeals published on the web site is governed by Rule 1.200(c)(2) and is accorded precedential value only if it bears the notation "Approved for publication by the Supreme Court".

The Oklahoma Supreme Court may publish on the web site Dispositions by Supreme Court of Petitions for Certiorari. These dispositions shall not be published in the official reporter, and they shall not have a paragraph citation form. A disposition of the Oklahoma Supreme Court that denies a petition for certiorari to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals has no precedential effect. The Supreme Court may also publish lists on mandates issued and any other matter deemed appropriate by the Court.

(e) Citation to Designation by Supreme Court and Reporters.

Published opinions of the Oklahoma Supreme Court promulgated after May 1, 1997 shall bear as an official cite the Oklahoma Supreme Court's paragraph citation form in accordance with this Rule. Opinions of the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals that are published after May 1, 1997 shall bear as an official citation form the Oklahoma Supreme Court's paragraph citation form in accordance with this Rule. The numbers of the paragraphs are assigned by the Court. The parallel cite to the official reporter is also required.

The court designation for the Oklahoma Supreme Court is OK when the paragraph citation form is used. The Court designation for the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals is "OK CIV APP" for the purposes the Supreme Court paragraph citation form. The court designation for Court of Appeals of Indian Territory is IT when the paragraph citation form is used to cite opinions of that court.

Prior to January 1, 1998 citation to opinions of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and Court of Civil Appeals shall include citations to Pacific and Pacific 2d Reporters. Citation to the Supreme Court's paragraph citation is allowed as a parallel cite, but not required. Effective January 1, 1998, citation to opinions of the Oklahoma Supreme Court shall be as follows:

1. Oklahoma Supreme Court Opinions Promulgated Prior To May 1, 1997.

Opinions promulgated (filed) prior to May 1, 1997 shall be cited by reference to the Pacific and Pacific 2nd Reporters. Parallel citation to the Supreme Court's official paragraph citation form is strongly encouraged for opinions promulgated prior to May 1, 1997. Parallel citation to Oklahoma Reports is allowed. However, parallel citation to Oklahoma Reports shall not be made when the Supreme Court's official paragraph citation form is used.

Examples of permissible citation form for opinions prior to May 1, 1997:

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 1995 OK 11, 890 P.2d 922.

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 199S OK 11, ¶9, 890 P.2d 922.

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 1995 OK 11, 890 P.2d 922, 925. Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 890 P.2d 922 (Okla. 1995)

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 890 P.2d 922, 925 (Okla. 1995).

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 890 P.2d 922 (Okl. 1995).

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 890 P.2d 922, 925 (Okl. 1995).

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, Old., 890 P.2d 922 (1995).

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, Old., 890 P.2d 922, 925 (1995).

In "Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 1995 OK 11, ¶9, 890 P.2d 922" "1995" refers to the year the opinion was promulgated, "OK" is the court designation for the Oklahoma Supreme Court, "11" is the number of the opinion in 1995 assigned to that opinion by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, "¶9" is paragraph number 9 of the opinion as designated by the Supreme Court, and "890 P.2d 922" is the parallel citation to Pacific 2d Reporter.

2. Oklahoma Supreme Court Opinions Promulgated After May 1, 1997.

Opinions promulgated (filed) after May 1, 1997 shall be cited by reference to the Supreme Court's official paragraph citation form. Parallel citation to Pacific 2nd and subsequent Pacific Reporters is required. The parallel cite to Pacific 2d Reporter may include a cite to the specific page of that Reporter if a specific paragraph is cited. When the Supreme Court paragraph citation form is used citation to a footnote need not include the paragraph number where the note occurs in the opinion.

Examples of citation form for post-May 1, 1997 opinions using a pre-May 1, 1997 opinion:

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 1995 OK 11, 890 P.2d 922.

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 1995 OK 11, ¶9, 890 P.2d 922.

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 1995 OK 11, 9, 890 P.2d 922, 925.

Skinner v. Braum's Ice Cream Store, 1995 OK 11, n. 10, 890 P.2d 922.

An opinion cited subsequent to issuance of the mandate therein but prior to official publication shall be cited using the following as an example: Wilkinson v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 1997 OK 20, P.2d, (mandate issued April 3, 1997).

In a matter where no mandate issues an opinion may be cited prior to official publication when the time to file a petition for rehearing has lapsed and no petition for rehearing was filed. The following is an example: Edwards v. Basel Pharmaceuticals, 1997 OK 22, P.2d, (petition for rehearing not filed).

3. Opinions of the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.

Published opinions of the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals promulgated after May 1, 1997 shall be cited by reference to the Supreme Court's official paragraph citation form. Parallel citation to Pacific 2nd Reporters is required. Published opinions prior to May 1, 1997 shall be cited using the Pacific Reporter 2d, and parallel citation to the paragraph citation form is strongly encouraged. Opinions of the Court of Civil Appeals, no matter when published, are subject to the other provisions of Rule 1.200.

4. Citation to Opinions Supported by Less Than a Majority.

The paragraph citation form is also used to designate material in a published opinion where that opinion is supported by less than a majority of the members of the Supreme Court. When material from such an opinion is cited the name of the author, names of any Justices joining the opinion, and the type of opinion must be designated in the cite. For example, to cite paragraph number nine of the dissenting opinion in Edwards v. Basel Pharmaceuticals, 1997 OK 22, P.2d. The correct citation form is: Edwards v. Basel Pharmaceuticals, 1997 OK 22, ¶9, P.2d, (Opala, J., dissenting in part). A footnote of this dissenting opinion is cited thus: Edwards v. Basel Pharmaceuticals, 1997 OK 22, n.12, P.2d, (Opala, J., dissenting in part). A published opinion, or part thereof, of the Supreme Court has no precedential effect unless a majority of the Court have joined therein.

(f) Effective Date.

The policy adopted herein shall be in effect retroactively from and after April 1, 1983. Citation to opinions using the Supreme Court paragraph citation form shall be required after January 1, 1998 in accordance with Rule 1.200(e).

Historical Data