The Oklahoma City Police Department has asked the state's high court to consider changing a decades-long practice concerning bail.
In April, Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman and Canadian County Special District Judge Jack McCurdy ordered the OKCPD to stop jailing people at Oklahoma County for offenses triable in their respective jurisdictions.
Local attorneys say the practice impedes due process rights by increasing the time between arrest and the moment the accused appears before a judge to set bail.
While OKCPD did not follow Balkman’s and McCurdy’s orders, it filed a motion to move the case to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. The court has transferred the case to the state Supreme Court, which has not formally accepted it.
A show cause hearing scheduled for Friday morning in district court regarding their refusal was stricken after the Supreme Court granted attorneys for Oklahoma City a motion to stay all court proceedings.
Balkman and McCurdy’s orders argue that state law requires an arrestee to be detained in the county jail where the offense is committed.
Oklahoma Title 22, section 190.1 states “the person when arrested without warrant for an offense not bailable, shall be held in custody in the county in which the arrest was made.”
Attorney for OKCPD state there is “no statute or rule that allows the chief administrative judge to order or dictate where the chief of Oklahoma City Police Department must take prisoners,” with exception of those accused of murder in the first degree as the state’s only “non-bailable offense,” court records state.
As previously reported in The Transcript, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter attempted to mediate the dispute in June.
If the state Supreme Court agrees to accept the case, oral arguments before a court referee will be held by telephone conference at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 1.