Skip to main content

Library: Policy

340:2-28-17.2. Pleadings and motion practice

Revised 9-15-22

(a) Document signatures.

(1) Signing pleadings.  Every pleading and motion filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings:  Child Support (OAH) must be signed by an attorney of record, whose Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) identification number must be stated, or when the party is not represented by an attorney, must be signed by the party.  A pleading is any document that contains statements or allegations that constitute a cause of action or defense.  Each pleading and motion must include the signer's address and phone number, if any.  Pleadings need not be supported by affidavit except as provided for by rule or statute.

(2) Signing other documents.  Other documents, such as legally-mandated administrative notices issued by Child Support Services (CSS) to notify obligors of proposed enforcement actions, do not require an attorney's signature.

(3) Signatures submitted through electronic means.  Electronic mediums that attach an electronic signature are acceptable to meet signature requirements.  In addition to electronic transmittals of documents and electronic signatures, signatures on any document transmitted by electronic means including, but not limited to, scan or email have the same force and effect as an original, physical signature, per Section 237.9a of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes.  This provision does not authorize filing documents through text.

(b) Practice.

(1) Form, filing, and service.

(A) All documents, other than exhibits, are filed in the case prior to consideration by an administrative law judge (ALJ).  OAH retains all originals filed in paper form and maintains electronic submissions per state record requirements.  A pleading or motion is filed prior to any administrative proceeding.

(B) Paper form documents filed in OAH must be typewritten or legibly hand-written on white paper, size 8½ by 11 inches.  All documents, other than exhibits, must contain a case style, which is a document heading containing the name of this administrative court, the parties' names, appropriate roles, and assigned case numbers.  The party filing the initial request for action by OAH is generally designated as the petitioner or petitioner/plaintiff.  The opposing party is usually named as the respondent or respondent/defendant.  The custodian(s) must be listed, when not already included in the style as a party, under the case numbers.  The case numbers listed in the style must include the OAH number and the Title IV-D, family group number (FGN), or CSS number.  The associated district court case number is included, when available.  Both conventional and "in re" styles are permitted.  Parties are encouraged to maintain a consistent style, similar to one that may have been used in prior child support-related actions, between the same parties, provided the information is complete and accurate.

(i) When filed by an attorney, the name, OBA number, address, and preferred phone numbers must be shown on the document's signature page.

(ii) When filed by a party not represented by a lawyer, the party is considered a pro se party and must sign his or her name and type or legibly print his or her name, mailing address, Zip code, and preferred phone numbers on the signature page of the document.

(C) All documents in a proceeding, other than exhibits, must be served on all other parties.  Proof of service must be filed with OAH and establish that requirements for service are satisfied.  A notice or order setting hearing provides recipients with the hearing date and time and when persons are instructed to appear:

(i) at a hearing's physical location, the street address will be included; or

(ii) by video or telephone, contact information and options are included.

(D) OAH may limit participation in hearings to video or telephone in any notice or order setting hearing.  OAH may also limit participation in hearings to video or telephone through an order containing instructions in specific cases or through an administration order authorized by the Chief ALJ.

(E) A copy of all documents, other than exhibits, filed in OAH must be provided to all other pro se parties and attorneys of record.  A certificate of mailing, delivery, or service must be filed with OAH.

(F) Upon failure to comply with the requirements in this Section, the ALJ may, among other sanctions, continue the cause of action until satisfactory compliance or deny the requested relief.

(G) Requests that do not comply with the requirements of (A) through (E) of this paragraph are considered only at the ALJ's discretion.

(H) Documents submitted through secure electronic means approved by OAH meet the requirement of original documents.

(2) Motions.

(A) This paragraph does not prohibit oral motions; however, written motions are preferred.

(B) All motions must state the legal basis supporting the relief or action requested, and whether the opposing party objects, when known.

(C) The ALJ determines if a hearing or oral argument is necessary on a motion and, if so, provides pro se parties and all attorneys of record with notice of the specific hearing date, time, and means.

(D) Initial and response briefs or responses that do not comply with this paragraph are considered only at the ALJ's discretion.

(3) Briefs.

(A) Reply and response briefs must be filed three-business days prior to any hearing.  Each brief must be clearly styled to show:

(i) if it is in support of a motion, in opposition of a motion, or a reply brief;

(ii) the particular application or proceeding to which it relates; and

(iii) the party or parties on whose behalf it is presented.

(B) Initial and response briefs, when required, must not exceed 20 pages in length without prior ALJ permission.

(C) Reply briefs must be limited to five pages in length without prior ALJ permission.

(D) No further briefs may be filed without ALJ permission.

(E) Briefs and responses that do not comply with this paragraph are considered only at the ALJ's discretion.

(4) Time extensions.  Except at the ALJ's discretion, all requests for extensions of time must contain:

(A) the original due date for the response;

(B) the amount of additional time requested;

(C) the reason for the request;

(D) the current status of the case, including the next hearing date, when a hearing is scheduled; and

(E) a statement that a good faith effort was made to contact the opposing pro se party or the opposing party's counsel regarding the extension to which:

(i) opposing party consents;

(ii) opposing party objects; or

(iii) opposing party was unavailable.

(5) Counsel withdrawal.  When submitting an application to withdraw and a proposed order allowing withdrawal, counsel must comply with the following:

(A) Every application to withdraw as counsel must contain:

(i) a statement of grounds for withdrawal;

(ii) the current case status, including the next hearing date, when a hearing is scheduled;

(iii) if new or substitute counsel was obtained by the client and entered an appearance; and

(iv) a certificate of mailing, delivery, or service to the client and to all other pro se parties and attorneys of record.

(B) Every proposed order allowing withdrawal must contain a statement of the case's current status, including the next hearing date, when a hearing is scheduled, and a certificate of mailing, delivery, or service to the movant's client, all other pro se parties, and attorneys of record.

(c) Rejection for Non-Compliance.  The docketing clerks may reject documents for filing when this Section's requirements are not met or when there is no administrative case open through Oklahoma Human Services Child Support Services.

Back to Top