340:25-5-124. Assignment and transfer of cases to child support offices
In assigning cases to child support offices, Oklahoma 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. • 2
(2) 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 then assigned to the district office serving the county with the existing Family and Domestic court order; or
(C) establish or modify a child support order. The case remains assigned to the district office serving the county of the guardianship. • 3
(3) Cases with intergovernmental child support orders are assigned to a district office serving the county in which the order is registered, per 43 O.S. §§ 601-601 through 601-614.
(A) 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. • 4
(B) When there is an Oklahoma support order and an intergovernmental support order, the case is assigned to the district office serving the county where the Oklahoma support order is entered or filed. • 5
(4) Cases are assigned to a district office serving the county where the custodial person (CP) resides when there is: • 6
(A) no Oklahoma child support order and there is no prior Family and Domestic district court case on file; • 7
(B) a federal or tribal child support order; or
(C) a child support order from another state.
(5) 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. • 8
(6) 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. • 8 & 9
(7) 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. • 10
(8) CSS does not transfer cases docketed or registered, per 43 O.S. §§ 601-601 through 601-614, in district court because the CP or NCP moves to a county outside of the original district office's service area. • 5
(9) CSS does not transfer cases because the CP files a contempt action in a county outside of the original district office’s service area. • 11
(10) CSS reassigns a case to another district office to avoid a conflict of interest, per OAC 340:2-1-8. • 12
(11) When there is an existing Office of Administrative hearings: Child Support (OAH) order that was not docketed in the appropriate district court, per OAC 340:25-5-185.1, the case is assigned to the district office that obtained the OAH order. • 13 & 14
1. When one Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) 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 and the district court case number, when applicable.
2. When determining office assignment of a case, CSS staff review prior orders and the parties’ marital status. An adjudication of parentage in a prior order remains in full force and effect. Child support judgments and child support arrears accruing under the prior order remain due and owing regardless of a subsequent marriage or remarriage between the parties and remain in full force and effect. Between the parties of the marriage, only the current child support obligations are nullified due to a subsequent marriage or remarriage. Since there is no valid order for child support, Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:25-5-124(1) does not apply.
3. 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 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, or property settlement, the case is transferred to the district office responsible for the new case.
4. When there are multiple Oklahoma support orders, a case is initially assigned to the office with the most recent order for the office to take appropriate action to determine the controlling order.
5. When there is an Oklahoma support order and an out of state support order, the case is assigned to the county with the Oklahoma support order for that office to take appropriate action to determine the controlling order.
6. 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 finding address even when the address of record (AOR) is in another county.
(3) When the CP indicates there are family violence issues, staff assigns the case to the district office serving the county of the CP AOR. When the address information provided is unclear and could put CP location information at risk of being disclosed, CSS staff contacts the CP to clarify the confidential address. CSS staff may consult the CSS Family Violence Coordinator in the Center for Planning and Development for guidance on how to proceed.
7. (a) When the CP in an outgoing interstate case moves to a different county within Oklahoma, CSS may transfer the case to the district office serving his or her new county of residence when:
(1) there is no Oklahoma order; and
(2) the new address is verified.
(b) CSS staff documents the reason for case transfer in the CSS computer system.
8. CSS staff assigns the case to the district office serving the county of the NCP's finding address even then the NCP's AOR is in another county. When the NCP indicates the finding address is confidential due to family violence issues, staff assigns the case to the district office serving the county of the NCP's AOR.
9. 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.
10. Significant contact.
(1) A county may have significant contact with a case, per 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, the offices contact the CSS Center for Operations for resolution.
11. 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.
12. 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 his or her 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)(A) and (B) 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 the process described in the Ethics for the Child Support Professional Chapter on the CSS InfoNet; and
(C) refers to OAC 340:2-1-8 for further guidance on OKDHS policy on employee prohibitions regarding conflicts of interest.
(5) When a conflict is determined, and the case is 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;
(A) all court actions;
(B) organizes and secures case files; and
(C) follows the Electronic Case Transfer Quest article.
(10) Conflict of interest cases in which domestic violence is alleged or suspected are worked, per OAC 340:25-5-67.1.
13. When the parties no longer reside in the original county, the originating office is responsible for coordinating remote hearings for the parties who no longer live in that county.
14. When the managing attorneys of the originating office and of the county where the CP or NCP resides agree there are extenuating circumstances that require a case be transferred, the originating office completes the transfer process including filing the Notice of Transfer with OAH.