Big Piney Municipal Court – Big Piney, WY

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Big Piney Municipal Court INformation

Court: Big Piney Municipal Court
Address: “401 Budd Avenue, PO Box 70, Big Piney, WY 83113”
Phone: 307-276-3554

City: Big Piney
County: Sublette
State: Wyoming

What is the purpose of the Big Piney Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Big Piney Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Big Piney, Wyoming

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Big Piney?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Big Piney, WY

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Big Piney Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1k or one year in jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Big Piney Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Big Piney Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Big Piney, Wyoming?

In Wyoming, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Big Piney, Wyoming?

Depending on the scope of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Big Piney Municipal Court have?

The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Wyoming?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.