Opal Municipal Court – Opal, WY

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Opal Municipal Court INformation

Court: Opal Municipal Court
Address: “135 Chrisman Street, PO Box 130, Opal, WY 83124”
Phone: 307-877-3919

City: Opal
County: Lincoln
State: Wyoming

What is the role of the Opal Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Opal 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Opal, 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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

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

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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 handled in the municipal court in Opal?

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. Cases are handled 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.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Opal, 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 Opal 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 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 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.

Opal Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Opal Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Opal, Wyoming?

In Wyoming, the municipal court is a lower level 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 Opal, Wyoming?

Depending on the size 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Opal Municipal Court have?

The number 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 retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.