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Oklahoma Court Decisions

Pacific Reporter Series

Oklahoma appellate decisions selected for publication are found in West’s Pacific Reporter, along with decisions from 14 other states:  Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.  The Pacific Reporter is now in its 3rd series.  A citation to a recent published Oklahoma decisions will include the volume number, an abbreviation for the Pacific Reporter 3rd Series, and the page number where the case decisions begins.  The citation allows a researcher to find the case in the multivolume reporter set.   For example, a case in 2011 involving a medical malpractice action between a Mr. Anderson and Access Medical Centers is briefly cited as 263 P.3d 328.  The researcher would pull volume 263 in the Pacific 3rd Series of reporter volumes, then turn to page 328 to find where the case decisions begins.  A more complete cite would be Anderson v. Access Medical Centers, 263 P.3d 328 (Okla.Civ.App. Div. 2 2011).

Oklahoma Decisions

Because the Pacific Reporter set contains a great number of cases requiring many volumes, West Publishing Co. has provided a reporter for use in Oklahoma, containing only Oklahoma cases.  That reporter is Oklahoma Decisions.  The first volume of Oklahoma Decisions contains cases dated from August to December 1931.  West Publishing Co. lifts the cases from the Pacific Reporter, keeping the original page numbering intact, and places them into the Oklahoma Decisions.  On the spine of each Oklahoma Decisions volume is a label containing the information needed to locate cases:  the Pacific Reporter series number, the Pacific Reporter volume number(s), and the page range taken directly from the Pacific Reporter contained in that particular Oklahoma Decisions volume.  In this way, a researcher can easily find a case in the Oklahoma Decisions by using the Pacific Reporter citation for the case.

Unpublished Opinions

Not all state court cases are published.  Cases from district courts in each county are not published.  Cases from the appellate courts in Oklahoma and other states may be published.  However, appellate judges may decide to not make a decision available for publication.   State court decisions are published in print hardbound regional reporters in rough chronological order, according to the date of the decision.  The 7 regional reporters comprise the National Reporter System, published by West Publishing Company.