Opinion:Doyle Springs v. Braum’s, 2022 OK CIV APP 11
Subject Matter:Civil Procedure
Date Decided:March 23, 2022
Trial Court:District Court of Cleveland County
Route to this Court:Appeal of the District Court’s Order granting the Motion to Dismiss of Braum’s Inc and WHB Company, Inc.
Facts:Plaintiff fell at a Braum’s location on February 1, 2019, while a customer on the premises, he fell and was injured. Plaintiff set forth these allegations in a petition that the parties agree was “processed and date-stamped on February 2, 2021,” more than two years after the incident. Plaintiff asserts his petition was timely filed, pursuant to Cleveland County Court Clerk accepting documents submitted electronically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plaintiff emailed petition to the Court Clerk’s office at 10:32 p.m. on February 1, 2021. Defendants pointed out that the petition was not file-stamped and paid until February 2, 2021 and referred to SCAD-2012-36 as Oklahoma Supreme Court’s address of the issue of e-filing timing. Defendants then cited 12 O.S. 2011 § 2006 (A)(1) in asserting that e-filings must be made within operating hours of the Court Clerk’s office. Plaintiff appealed the district court’s order to grant Defendant’s motion to dismiss.
Standard of Review:Because neither exception found in 12 O.S. 2011 § 2010 (C) and 12 O.S. 2011 § 2202 applies, the District Court, by relying on material outside the four corners of the petition, must have converted the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment. The standard of review applicable to summary judgment is “whether the judgment was properly entered is a question of law which we review de novo.” Payne v. Kern, 2020 OK 31, ¶10.
Analysis:The Administrative Order deals with electronic filing in Local Rule No. 3, which remain in full force and effect. However, it is silent regarding the issue of the date of filing electronic submissions, and the Rules for the District Courts of Oklahoma guide any practice or procedure no specifically included in the Court Rules, the Court determined that 12 O.S. Supp. 2013, ch. 2, app., is applicable to the circumstances. In In re Rules for Electronic Filing in Oklahoma Courts Selected as Pilot Courts, 2012 OK 61 (SCAD-2012-36), the Oklahoma Supreme Court set forth that and electronic document submitted after 5 p.m. shall be deemed submitted the next business day and that the document is filed on the date and time that it is accepted by the court clerk. Because the Administrative Order is silent regarding the issue of the date of filing of electronic submissions, the Court concluded that SCAD-2012-36 supplements the rules pertaining to electronic filing in the District Court of Cleveland County. Therefore, Plaintiff’s petition which was emailed at 10:32 p.m. on February 1, 2021, must be deemed to have been filed on the next business day. Summary judgment was properly granted to Defendants.
Outcome:The District Court’s grant of dismissal is converted into a summary judgment. Affirmed as Modified.
Vote:3-0. Fischer, C.J., Hixon, J., and Barned, P.J. (author) concur.