The Civil Division of the County District Attorney’s Office represents the county and its officers and employees.
Presently, the county employs approximately 1600 employees.
The Civil Division of the District Attorney’s Office is statutorily responsible for the representation and defense of the officers and employees. Some of the representation provided to these officers and employees consist of:
Defense of the County Sheriff from Prisoner Rights lawsuits, False Arrest, False Imprisonment, traffic accident cases in which deputies are involved in. In addition, representation is provided for the County Sheriff and his employees when lawsuits are filed against them for the violation of constitutional rights, i.e., deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, failure to provide constitutional safeguards in the operation, maintenance and provision of the County Jail.
As to all elected county officials, the District Attorney’s Office is obligated to determine, if any such official is sued, whether such elected official was acting within the scope and course of his or her employment, thus entitling such official to representation from the District Attorney’s Office. The Civil Division of the District Attorney’s Office also represents the County and its employees in matters of tort law and negligence under the Governmental Tort Claims Act. 51 O.S. § 151 et seq.
Responsibilities of the District Attorney’s Office also include rendering written Legal Opinions on matters concerning county government. In addition, the Civil Division of the District Attorney’s Office is responsible for advising the elected county officials concerning Open Record and Open Meeting Law actions, rendering legal advice regarding everyday county operations from contract negotiations to bid specification requirements to purchase and sale of property, both real and personal.
The attorneys in the Civil Division of the District Attorney’s Office have responsibility regarding defending and representing the County in Workers’ Compensation Court, EEOC hearings and proceedings, Unemployment hearings, ADA matters involving handicap and special accommodations for such individuals and their use of the County Complex Buildings.
Attorneys in the Civil Division represent the County Assessor in the collection of ad valorem matters [The collection of ad valorem tax is the manner in which the County operates its budget].
Attorneys in the Civil Division represent the Board of County Commissioners, the Retirement Board, the Library Board, the Public Trust Authorities, the Election Board, the Budget Board, and all other boards or commissions involving county funds, employees or elected officials.
In addition, the Civil Division of the District Attorney’s Office represents other Assistant District Attorneys and Mr. Lane when they are involved in litigation, either in federal or state court.
Other responsibilities of the Civil Division include representation on the Mental Health Docket, the Return of Stolen Property Docket, Bond Forfeitures and Expungments and Drug Forfeitures.
Attorneys in the Civil Division of the District Attorney’s Office practice in state and federal courts, as well as appellate courts, both state and federal, as well as in the United States Supreme Court.
A large responsibility of the Civil Division is to ensure that the elected officials and county employees do not get sued and are not subject to liability. In almost all matters concerning the operation of the county, the civil division of the District Attorney advises and determines whether the action is within the statutory powers of county governments.