Rawlins Municipal Court – Rawlins, WY

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Rawlins Municipal Court INformation

Court: Rawlins Municipal Court
Address: “521 West Cedar Street, PO Box 953, Rawlins, WY 82301”
Phone: 307-328-4535

City: Rawlins
County: Carbon
State: Wyoming

What is the role of the Rawlins Municipal Court?

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

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

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Rawlins, Wyoming

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their people or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes 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

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

Municipal courts are the first tier 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific period of time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, 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 $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Rawlins, WY

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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.

Rawlins Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Rawlins Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Rawlins, Wyoming?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Rawlins, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Rawlins 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 duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.