340:25-5-124. Assignment and transfer of cases to child support offices
In assigning cases to child support offices, Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Support Services (CSS) considers whether the case is eligible for assignment to one of the tribal programs, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:25-5-286. CSS treats an order registered in Oklahoma, per Sections 601-601 through 601-614 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes (43 O.S. §§ 601-601 through 601-614) as an Oklahoma order for purposes of OAC 340:25-5-124(1) and (2). If the case is not assigned to one of the tribal programs, CSS assigns cases under this Section. • 1
(1) Oklahoma child support cases are assigned to a district office serving the county where a prior Family and Domestic district court case exists involving the parents and child(ren), regardless of the case style of the order or whether or not a child support order was entered as to either parent. When a guardianship order is in effect, the case is assigned to the district office serving the county in which the guardianship action was filed. The district office proceeds to petition the guardianship court to:
(A) defer jurisdiction of child support to CSS. The case then follows regular case assignment rules;
(B) defer jurisdiction of child support to a pre-existing Family and Domestic court case involving the parents and child(ren) to enforce an existing child support order or establish a child support order. The case is assigned to the district office serving the county with the existing Family and Domestic court order; or
(C) establish a child support order. The case is assigned to the district office serving the county of the guardianship. • 2
(2) Child support orders from another state, or federal or tribal child support orders, are assigned to a district office serving the county in which the order is registered per 43 O.S. §§ 601-601through 601-614. When there are multiple Oklahoma support orders, cases are assigned to a district office serving the county where the presumed controlling order for current child support was entered or docketed in district court.
(3) Cases are assigned to a district office serving the county where the custodial person (CP) resides when there is: • 3
(A) no Oklahoma child support order and there is no prior Family and Domestic district court case on file; • 4
(B) a federal or tribal child support order; or
(C) a child support order from another state.
(4) When the applicant for child support services is the noncustodial parent (NCP), the location of the CP and child is unknown, and there is no prior paternity or child support order established, cases are assigned to the office responsible for the county in which the NCP resides until the CP and child are located.
(5) Except in cases where a child support order is registered in Oklahoma, when the CP does not reside in Oklahoma, cases are assigned to the district office serving the county where the NCP or alleged father resides. • 5
(6) When there is no Oklahoma order and no party resides in Oklahoma, cases are assigned to the district office serving the county with significant contacts with the case. When more than one county has significant contacts with the case, the case is assigned to the district office having the most recent significant contact. • 6
(8) CSS does not transfer cases because the CP files a contempt action in a county outside of the original district office’s service area. • 7
1.When one Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Support Services (CSS) district office transfers a case to another office through an update on the Oklahoma Support Information System (OSIS), the sending office emails the person designated to receive transfers in the receiving office.The email includes the Family Group Number(FGN) and the district court case number, when applicable.
2.Prior Family and Domestic district court case.
(1) When there is a Family and Domestic district court case involving the same parents, noncustodial parent/biological parent (NCP/BP), and a subsequent child is born, the case is assigned to the district office in the county with the existing district court case.
(2) When there is a third party custodian and a prior Family and Domestic district court case involving the same NCP/BP, the case is assigned to the district office responsible for the county where the prior Family and Domestic district court case was filed, regardless of the current custodial person's (CP) county of residence.
(3) When there is a prior Family and Domestic district court case involving other children of the same parents, an action to establish paternity and/or support of an additional child of the same parents born during the marriage but omitted from the prior order, the case is assigned to the district office responsible for the county where the prior Family and Domestic action was filed.
(4) When the district office dockets an administrative child support order in a Family and Domestic district court case but the individual parties subsequently file a new Family and Domestic district court case that addresses child support in addition to custody, visitation, and/or property settlement, the case is transferred to the district office responsible for the new case.
3.Case assigned to district office.When the CP is:
(1) receiving public assistance and there is a question about where the CP resides, CSS staff assigns the case to the district office serving the county where the CP is receiving any type of public assistance, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, SoonerCare (Medicaid), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or Child Care subsidy; or
(2) not receiving public assistance, CSS staff assigns the case to the district office serving the county of the CP's finding address even when the CP's address of record is in another county.When the CP indicates the finding address is confidential due to family violence issues, staff assigns the case to the district office serving the county of the CP's address of record
4.(a) When there is no Oklahoma child support order and the CP in an outgoing interstate case moves to a different county within Oklahoma, CSS may transfer the case to the district office serving the CP's new county of residence.
(b) CSS staff documents the reason for case transfer in the CSS computer system.
5.When the NCP is incarcerated, CSS staff does not transfer or reassign a case to the district office that services the county where the correctional institution is located.
(1) A county may have significant contact with a case, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:25-5-124 when the county is the location where:
(A) the NCP's employer conducts business;
(B) a child, parent, or CP formerly resided;
(C) the child was conceived; or
(D) the NCP owns property.
(2) When more than one district office has significant contact with the case and the district offices management involved in the case transfer cannot reach an agreement, they must contact the CSS Center for Operations for resolution.
7.CSS staff works together when a contempt action is filed in a county other than the original district office's service area.CSS state's attorneys in the district office where the contempt is filed make appearances on behalf of the assigned district office without transferring the case.
8.Conflict of interest.
(1) A conflict of interest exists, when:
(A) CSS staff assigned to a case and a case participant or party have a conflict and there is no agreement that CSS staff can be fair and impartial in performing their official duties; or
(B) the relationship between a CSS staff member and a case participant or other party adversely affects the delivery of services.
(2) A conflict of interest may exist when the CP, NCP, or other case participant or party to a case, per OAC 340:2-1-8 is:
(A) a staff member of the assigned district office;
(B) related to a staff member; or
(C) residing in the staff member's home.
(3) Duty to report, when:
(A) a conflict of interest may exist, per 6 (1) and (2) of this Instruction, the employee promptly reports the relationship to his or her managing attorney or center head; and
(B) management determines a conflict exists and it is appropriate for the case to remain in the assigned district office or be reassigned.
(4) When there is a conflict of interest or to avoid conflict of interest, CSS staff:
(A) does not access or work his or her own case files or those of a relative, per OAC 340:2-1-8;
(B) follows process described in the Ethics for the Child Support Professional Chapter process on the CSS InfoNet; and
(C) refers to OAC 340:2-1-8 for further guidance on DHS policy on employee prohibitions regarding conflicts of interest.
(5) When a conflict was determined, and the case was reassigned, the staff member with the conflict is prohibited from:
(A) accessing the CSS conflict case or electronic file;
(B) exerting influence involving the CSS conflict case on the CP or NCP;
(C) interfering with the CP or NCP’s attorney-client relationship;
(D) preparing paperwork related to the child support conflict case without the agreement of the CP, NCP, and the involved CSS district offices; or
(E) notarizing child support documents from CSS for the CP or NCP.
(6) When there is a conflict of interest, district office management transfers the case to another district office in the same geographical area.For example, the Lawton and Chickasha/Duncan offices are neighbors and therefore transfer conflict of interest cases among themselves.McAlester and Okmulgee are 53 miles apart and could partner on conflict of interest cases.
(A) When the management at two district offices involved in the case transfer cannot reach an agreement that a case qualifies as a conflict of interest case, the CSS Center for Operations is contacted for resolution.
(B) When an office has too many conflict cases to transfer to only one office, cases may be distributed to several offices.
(7) A conflict of interest does not ordinarily exist when the:
(A) employee conducts business with a case participant or other party on a casual basis.For example, a CSS staff member frequents a business where the case participant or other party works;
(B) CSS staff member and the case participant or other party are involved in the same non-business activities, but only occasionally interact.For example, both attend the same church; or
(C) case participant is not satisfied with CSS procedures.OAC 340:25-1-5.1 provides CSS customers an opportunity to raise concerns about services or treatment received.
(8) Per OAC 340:2-28-26, cases with an Office of Administrative Hearings:Child Support (OAH) number transferred to another district office require an OAH Notice of Transfer or Motion and Order for Transfer before the cases are sent to another district office.
(A) CSS staff documents the circumstances of the conflict of interest on the OSIS Case Log Add (CSLOGA) screen.The receiving district office informs the applicant of the transfer by letter.
(B) When the conflict ceases to exist, the receiving office verifies the conflict no longer exists before returning the case to the sending district office, and documents the case transfer on CSLOGA.
(9) Prior to transfer, CSS staff completes all court actions, organizes, and secures case files.CSS staff uses Form 03AD002E, File Transfer, to accurately determine which office is assigned the file.
(10) Conflict of interest cases in which domestic violence is alleged or suspected are worked, per OAC340:25-5-67.1.