Chugwater Municipal Court – Chugwater, WY

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its location. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

Chugwater Municipal Court INformation

Court: Chugwater Municipal Court
Address: “248 2nd Street, PO Box 243, Chugwater, WY 82210”
Phone: 307-422-3493

City: Chugwater
County: Platte
State: Wyoming

What is the purpose of the Chugwater Municipal Court?

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

On the other hand, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Chugwater, Wyoming

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Chugwater?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time period.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Chugwater, WY

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Chugwater Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1000 or one year in local 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 crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Chugwater Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Chugwater Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Chugwater, Wyoming?

In Wyoming, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Chugwater, Wyoming?

Depending on the area 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Chugwater Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Wyoming?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.