Wyoming Circuit Courts
The Wyoming Circuit Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction in Wyoming. There is a Circuit Court in each of the state's 23 counties.
The Wyoming Circuit Courts have limited jurisdiction. The courts hear all misdemeanor criminal cases and smaller civil cases. "The civil jurisdiction of the circuit courts covers cases in which the damages or recovery sought does not exceed $7,000. Circuit courts also hear family violence cases. The criminal jurisdiction includes all misdemeanors. The circuit court may also have the jurisdiction of a municipal court over ordinance violations if a municipality requests and if the Supreme Court consents to such a consolidation of courts. Finally, the circuit court may set bail for a person accused of a crime, and it conducts preliminary hearings in felony cases."
On July 1, 2011 new jurisdictional rules go into effect for the circuit courts. The limit for cases filed will be increased from $7,000 to $50,000, and there will be a management order that requires a civil trial be held within seven months of filing, previously there is no limit. The legislation aims to streamline the courts and provide more efficiency. There has also been a $10 increase of the filing fee for civil and criminal cases to help pay for the new Indigent Civil Legal Services program.
The Wyoming District Courts hear appeals of Circuit Court decisions.
Wyoming's 23 circuit courts (one for each county) are spread amongst the nine judicial districts.
Judicial selection in Wyoming uses the commission process. Circuit Court judges serve four-year terms. To qualify, an applicant must be admitted to the Wyoming State Bar and a qualified elector of the state.