To provide equal justice for all, to protect the rights of the victim and defendant, and if the defendant is convicted, assess a penalty which will deter the defendant and others from similar conduct which acts to the ultimate welfare of the entire community and reflecting judicial administration at its best.
The Municipal Criminal Court of Norman is the Judicial Branch of city government and is created by state law and city ordinance as a court not of record to impartially hear violations of city ordinances. The Court processes misdemeanor traffic and non-traffic offenses as well as parking violations. Charges can be filed by police officers, other city officials such as code enforcement, animal welfare, fire personnel, and citizens of the community. The maximum penalty in Municipal Court is $750 and/or 60 days in jail.
The Mayor and City Council appoint the Presiding, Associate, and Acting judges for two-year terms. The Court Administrator serves as the Department Head and Chief Administrative Officer of the Court and supervises all non-judicial divisions.
The Service and Operation's Division of the Court is the heart of the operation of the Court, and is staffed by the Chief Deputy Court Clerk and seven Deputy Clerks who serve on a full time basis. This division provides administrative support to the Judicial Division of the Court and is responsible for all docketing of cases, record keeping of cases filed, and related reports. This division assists the Judicial Division in recording the proceedings of the Court and in preparing writs, processes and other papers as required. This division gives receipts for all fines, forfeitures, and fees payable to the Court, deposits the fines with the Finance Department, and prepares necessary fiscal reports.
The Support Services Division is staffed by students who are part time employees. The marshal positions are filled by law students. They prepare the Court for Court sessions, assist the Judges of the Court and the Court Administrator during Court sessions, supervise prisoners during arraignment, and generally assist in maintaining decorum in the courtroom. They also serve subpoenas issued by the Court.
One of the Marshals serves as the Hearing officer. The Hearing Officer interviews those persons who are unable to pay their fines and costs, determines their ability to pay, and makes a recommendation to the Judge as to the resolution of the payment requirement.
More citizens come in contact with the judicial system through municipal courts than any other court, and the personnel of the Municipal Court of Norman endeavor to present an image to the citizens of Norman, in substance as well as form, which is reflective of judicial administration at its best. The Court is committed to the proposition that its function is to see equal justice provided to all. In light of that, the Court is dedicated to protecting the rights of the individual citizen accused of a violation, yet, upon conviction assessing a penalty which will deter the offender from similar conduct, therefore acting for the ultimate welfare of the entire community.