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Navigating the Courts: Federal Courts

Naturalization and Citizenship Ceremonies

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma has retained jurisdiction to conduct naturalization ceremonies for applicants seeking citizenship. The ceremonies are presided over by a United States District Judge, Magistrate Judge, or Bankruptcy Judge.

Page Belcher Federal Building. Credit: the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.

Federal Courts Basics

The Federal Courts Systems consists of 3 levels of courts.

  1. Trial Courts: The United States District Courts are the trial courts of the federal courts system. Within limits set by the U.S. Congress and Constitution, the Distrcit Courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all federal cases, civil or criminal. There are 94 district courts in the U.S. with each state having at least 1, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 
    Oklahoma has three (3) federal district courts: Northern, Western and Eastern District Courts.
  2. Appellate Courts: The 94 judicial districts are arranged into 12 regional circuits, each of which has an appellate court. The appellate court hears appeals from the district courts within its circuit.
    Oklahoma is part of the 10th Circuit.
  3. Supreme Court: At its discretion, and within certain guidelines established by Congress, the Supreme Court each year hears a limited number of the cases it is asked to decide. Those cases may begin in the federal or state courts, and they usually involve important questions about the Constitution or federal law.

Northern District of Oklahoma

The Northern District of Oklahoma serves Tulsa, Creek, Osage, Pawnee, Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Craig, Mayes, Ottawa, and Delaware Counties.

Federal Jury and Grand Jury

The United States District Court calls citizens to serve as Grand Jurors and jurors in federal cases.  Up to date information about serving as a federal juror can be found here.  Questions should be directed to Melissa Tarwater, Jury Administrator, 918-699-4711.  Cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices are not allowed.