Tort Claim Information

Commonly Asked Questions and Answers

Where Do I Pick Up and File Tort Claim Forms?
Spencer City Hall
8200 NE 36th Street
Spencer OK 73084

Tort Claim Form Download >> Tort Claim Form (pdf)

Do I Have A Valid Claim?
If your property has been damaged or you were injured due to the negligence, inaction or misconduct, you may have a valid claim. However, state laws exempt or limit the City from liability under certain situations. For example:

  1. No prior notice of defect — The City is not responsible for damages caused by street defects, such as a pothole, or a sewer backup unless it has prior notice of the defect or problems with the street, sewer main or water main. Notice may be a previous service call by a city crew or employee for the same defect or a similar defect or problem in the same system or location or contact by a citizen reporting the defects or problems.
  2. Easements or rights-of-way — Generally, any damages to structures, sprinkler systems, lawns, trees, shrubs, flower beds, etc. located in easements or rights-of-ways will not be recommended for payment.
  3. Subrogation claims — Pursuant to the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act, the City is not liable for damages if an insurance company pays your claim and then seeks reimbursement from the City.

Do I need to hire an attorney?
The majority of property and personal injury claims are settled without hiring a private attorney. However, at any time during the claims process you have the right to be represented by an attorney.

What are the steps to file a claim?
           Step 1 – Obtain a claim form from the City Clerk or Download and print a form from the bottom of this page.

           Step 2 – Obtain estimates or receipts for repairs, replacement of damaged property, medical bills, photos and other evidence to support claims.

           Step 3 – Complete the claim form and submit it to the City Clerk at 8200 NE 36th Street, Spencer Oklahoma. The City Clerk will review and submit the form to
           the Claims Administrator.

           Step 4 – An investigation will be made and a report will be filed by City Claims Investigator.

           Step 5 – A written review and decision will be sent to the City and to the Claimant.

           Step 6 – Review and formal approval or denial by the City Council.

How Quickly Will My Claim Be Processed?
By state law the City has 90 days to approve or deny your claim. Claims are processed as timely as possible, but it may take as much as 6 to 8 weeks to complete the processing of your claim. Claims not acted upon within 90 days after being filed are, by law, automatically considered to be denied.

What are my responsibilities?
Provide Proof of Loss – If possible, retain damaged items, take photographs of damages, obtain repair estimates, etc.

Mitigate Damages – You have a responsibility to take action to minimize damages. Take immediate action when required to correct an unsafe or unhealthy condition (such as presented by a sewer backup).

File Claim – Claims not filed within one (1) year after the damage occurs are barred by law and will be recommended for denial.

Do I Have To Appear Before or Address The City Council Concerning My Claim?
You will receive a letter giving you advance notice of the date your claim will be considered by the City Council and a copy of the  recommendation. If you desire, you may address the Council regarding your claim.

Tort Claim Form Download >> Tort Claim Form (pdf)