Douglas Municipal Court – Douglas, WY

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters within its location. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Douglas Municipal Court INformation

Court: Douglas Municipal Court
Address: “101 North 4th Street, PO Box 1030, Douglas, WY 82633”
Phone: 307-358-3311

City: Douglas
County: Converse
State: Wyoming

What is the purpose of the Douglas Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Douglas Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, 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 contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Douglas, Wyoming

Municipal courts are the entry level 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 help their people or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Douglas?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 members to serve for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued 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 appear at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Douglas, WY

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Douglas Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Douglas Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Douglas Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Douglas, Wyoming?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Douglas, 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Douglas Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Wyoming?

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