Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records
Wyoming Court Records
The Wyoming Court system consists of multiple district courts, circuit courts, and municipal courts. The court of last resort is the Wyoming Supreme Court. Depending on the court, records may provide vital background and contain sensitive information restricted from public view. Court records may also be helpful in legal and academic research. Wyoming court records are slightly difficult to obtain, but understanding the Wyoming court system may make it easier to find specific records.
Wyoming District Courts
Wyoming has a district court in all 23 counties. Judges at Wyoming district courts preside over cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of the circuit and the municipal Courts. They also hear appeals from those lower courts.
Types of Case at the Wyoming District Court
In addition to civil and criminal cases, district courts have general jurisdiction over certain matters like divorce cases, adoption, child abuse and neglect, guardianship, conservatorship, and involuntary commitment. The courts may also hear mental health cases, felonies (serious criminal offences) and civil matters above the financial threshold of the lower courts. The district court has exclusive authority to adjudicate on certain probate matters, cases requesting injunctive relief and juvenile delinquency.
Wyoming Circuit Courts
Wyoming circuit courts hear cases within their limited jurisdiction. These include lesser criminal offences called misdemeanors, small claim cases and civil cases in which the financial reliefs sought are not more than $50,000. Other cases may include civil family violence protection cases, disposal of abandoned vehicles, foreclosures, landlord-tenant cases and enforcement of certain liens. Circuit courts also exercise jurisdiction over matters that were previously under the purview of the Justice of the Peace Court.
Generally, all criminal cases are initiated at the Circuit court. However, pleas for felonies are not entered at the Wyoming Circuit Court. Rather, a preliminary hearing, like a mini trial is held before the Judge at the Wyoming Circuit Court to determine whether or not there is enough evidence against the defendant to proceed to the District Court. For the period before or during the preliminary hearing, court records on such felony cases will not be accessible at the District Court.
Wyoming Municipal Courts
Wyoming Municipal Courts have jurisdiction over traffic infractions and violations of municipal ordinances within their municipalities but have no civil jurisdiction. A Municipal judge may determine and impose penalties of up to $750 and/or six months jail sentence.
Wyoming Supreme Court
The Wyoming Supreme Court is the apex court in Wyoming. It has the final jurisdiction on appeals from the trial courts. Matters on which appeals had been heard at the District Court may proceed to the Wyoming Supreme Court. The decision of the Wyoming Supreme Court is final with regards to cases arising under the state law. Matters under the scope of federal law may be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
The Wyoming Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in cases involving:
- Mandamus; a command of court to enforce specific action
- Habeas corpus; matters concerning the determination of whether or not a prisoner is being lawfully held or should be released from custody
- Quo warranto; a legal action used to resolve a dispute over whether a person has the legal right to hold the specific public office they occupy
It also grants certiorari writs, a very special and rare writ ordering a lower court to deliver all its record on a specific case for review by the appellate Court. In addition, the Wyoming Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction over other writs necessary to exercise its appellate duties
Accessing Wyoming Court Records
The district court clerk serves as the custodian of court records. The court clerk maintains case files detailing information of each case. Case files may contain initial information, complaint or indictments, pleadings, answers, affidavits and other evidence presented before the court, legal arguments, legal or expert opinions, expert testimony, transcripts of the Court recorder, final decision, orders, and judgment on the case. The Wyoming Court Clerk also keeps a Docket which is the official summary of all cases filed, heard and adjudicated at the Court.
How to Find Court Records
Interested parties looking for court records may obtain information by searching the court case docket in the court house. However, the quality and volume of court records obtainable may differ from county to county.
Who Has Access to Court Records?
Wyoming Court records are generally accessible to the public during regular business hours of the Court except for court records to which public access is limited or prohibited by law, a court order, court rules or administrative rules. Two examples of restricted records are information relating to the identity of petitioners and children of domestic violence and Grand jury records.
Electronic or physical copies of Court records may be obtainable from some Wyoming Courts. Certain court rules apply when requesting and obtaining electronic Court records. For instance, the Court will only provide electronic court records in the existing, standard format and not in any other format that may be requested by an applicant. The Court shall also not allow access to inspection or copying of electronic format if doing so would compromise security or integrity of the original record or any proprietary software
Physical copies of the court records may be made and collected at the Wyoming Court, under the supervision of the court clerk. An online search of third party websites such as Staterecords.org may provide some information on the Wyoming Court records and case reports.
How to Request for Wyoming Court Records
A written or oral application for court records may be directed at the clerk of the Wyoming Courts except for matters relating to court administrative records, which can only be made in writing.
Applicants interested in obtaining Court Records must have some information which would be significant in determining where and how to obtain those court records. This may include:
- Information about the names of persons and/or case number
- Type of case it is; whether civil or criminal case
- The court in Wyoming that has jurisdiction over such matters
The applicant may be required to declare that the court records shall not be used for commercial purposes. An online search at the official website of any Wyoming County District Court may provide some guidance on how to go about applying for court records in the specific area and in what format the records may be obtained.
Interested persons may also conduct a case, issue or participant search at Wyoming Supreme Court website.
There is usually no charge for the public to visit Courts in Wyoming and search for public records. A fee may apply if an applicant has requested the court to report on any named matters or cases and such fees are to be paid in advance.
Application for court records or information is usually processed within 1 to 2 business days after payment.
The applicant may be required to include contact information in their application for court records. Information that will assist the Court clerk in the providing the accurate court records requested may also be necessary. Such information like the name to be searched (names of parties to the case), type of case to be searched, whether a criminal, civil or probate matter, time range (the look back period they would like the records to cover) and how the records are to be sent to the applicant whether by courier, fax or mail. Other terms and conditions may apply depending on mode of transmission of records.