Wyoming Court Records
What are Wyoming Criminal Court Records?
Wyoming Criminal Court Records consists of documents, case files, and records generated during in-court criminal court proceedings in the State of Wyoming. Court records include all the written records of cases, such as motions, orders, complaints, answers, written opinions and judgments.
Understanding the Wyoming Criminal Court System
The Wyoming judicial system includes these four (4) types of courts:
- Wyoming Supreme Courts
- Wyoming District Courts
- Wyoming Circuit Courts
- Wyoming Municipal Courts
Wyoming Supreme Court
The highest court in the state, the Wyoming Supreme Court is the final arbiter for cases that arise under state laws. Its decisions are final except for cases that involve a question of federal law and federal crimes, which can be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. It has jurisdiction over appeal cases from Wyoming District Courts. It also hears petitions for extraordinary relief from lower court decisions.
Wyoming District Courts
These are the trial courts of the State of Wyoming. They have general jurisdiction over all felonies, misdemeanors and infractions as well as civil cases in general. The District Courts also have exclusive original jurisdiction over all probate and juvenile matters. The District Courts hear appeals from the lower courts. There are district courts in nine (9) judicial districts of the State of Wyoming. Each district has a District Court and Circuit Court.
Wyoming Circuits Courts
The jurisdiction of the Wyoming Circuit courts is limited to civil and criminal cases. They preside over small claim cases and civil cases in which damages do not exceed $50,000. They also hear matters on family violence, forcible entry, stalking, detainer cases, traffic, and sexual assault protection order cases. In addition to this, a circuit court has concurrent jurisdiction with a municipal court over ordinance violations. Wyoming Circuit Courts operate in counties. There are circuit courts in all the major counties, including:
- Big Horn
- Hot Springs
Wyoming Municipal Courts
Municipal courts have jurisdiction over infractions and cases of ordinance violations. They operate in all cities and towns of the State of Wyoming.
What’s included in a Wyoming Criminal Court Record?
Criminal court records comprise general case information and account of the trial or appeal stage; whether felonies, misdemeanor and infractions. The information contained in a criminal court record depends on the case and the court where the case was/is being handled, and also on whether the case ended with a plea bargain or trial conviction. It usually contains personal information of the parties to the case (plaintiff and defendant) and the crime being prosecuted. However, most criminal court records share similar content, which may include:
- Biodata of the defendant and/or the plaintiff, such as:
- Subject’s name (and at times any known aliases)
- Contact information
- Residential address
- Physical descriptors of the subject
- Case Summary
- Record of Judgments and Orders
- Index of Parties
- Case Filings List
- Dockets/Calendars with case numbers, captions, date, time and hearing location
- Court summons and information on indictment
- Information regarding the defendant’s plea
- Additional documents demonstrating the culpability of the accused—e.g. incarceration information or inmate records.
- Available official receipts, transaction sheets and miscellaneous documents relating to the case
- The final judgment, penalties, probationary conditions, and fines
Obtaining Wyoming Criminal Court Records
Wyoming Criminal Court Records may obtain criminal court records using any of the following means:
- Obtaining records in person
- Obtaining records online
- Obtaining records by mail
How Do I Access Wyoming Criminal Court Records in Person?
Parties that are interested parties in obtaining criminal court records in person can visit the court where the case was heard. Criminal court records of the State of Wyoming can be obtained by making in-person queries to the office of the clerk of courts (Supreme, District or Circuit) in the courthouse where the case was filed/heard. These in-person record requests may proceed thus:
- Locate the Record Custodian
Under Wyoming’s judicial system, criminal court records are generated and maintained by the court clerk of each judicial division. As such, in-person court record requests require that the requestor locate the record by confirming the location of the courthouse/division in which the case was filed or heard.
- Gather Necessary Information
Once the location of the record and its custodian have been verified, the office of the court clerk should be contacted for information concerning the in-person record request process. In most cases, the requesting party will be required to provide any information needed to facilitate the record search. This may include the full name and personal information of the defendant (or parties generally), as well as the case file number and/or docket number of the record, the appellate file number (if applicable). Where the record of interest has been deemed confidential or is sealed by court order, the requestor may also be required to provide a court order/subpoena before access is granted.
- Request the Record
While in-person requests may be made at courthouses during general working hours, most custodians require that the requestor schedule their visit to the courthouse beforehand. The requesting party may also be required to confirm the appointment prior to the visit. In some cases, the requestor may be provided with an online request form on which they must indicate their personal information, the required record and the reason for the request.
- Payment for the Record
Generally, most criminal records are public records. Although they are generally free, there is a set fee for making copies of the provided documents. Additional charges may apply if certified copies are requested. Interested parties are expected to complete payment before copies of the record are released. The total fee for each physical record request varies, depending on the number of copies required.
- Provide Identification & Fee Requirements
In addition to general case information regarding the record of interest, the requesting party will be required to provide a government-issued photo ID. This is especially relevant for confirming the eligibility of the requestor to access the record. Where a government-issued ID may not be available, requestors may be informed of any alternative forms of identification to bring along while scheduling their appointment. Also, requestors are generally charged a nominal fee which will cover the cost of the record search and any copies requested.
Note: Members of the public can obtain records by contacting the Clerks of District Courts, Clerks of Circuit Courts and Municipal Directory. Records of cases filed in higher courts may be available by contacting the Clerks of the Supreme Court of the State of Wyoming.
How Do I Access Wyoming Criminal Court Records Online?
Some courts provide online access to criminal court records. Publicly available records may also be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:
- The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
- The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name
Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.
How Do I Access Wyoming Criminal Court Records via Mail?
To obtain criminal court records by mail, residents must first establish that the court offers this service. Interested parties can confirm this by contacting the clerk of court or visiting the court’s official webpage. Mailing details, as well as the cost for coping official court records, can be found on most court websites. Sometimes, a physical address for mailing records is required. Payment for records may be made by credit card or check. Obtaining records by mail may take 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the court and the difficulty in finding the record.
Are all Wyoming Criminal Court Records Public?
Most criminal court records fall under the umbrella of public record, in accordance with the Wyoming Sunshine Law. This law specifies that all government information and records are presumed available to the public, except where prevented by law or court order.
What Records are Automatically Sealed by Wyoming State Statutes?
There are no records that are automatically sealed by Wyoming court. Rather, a person must file a petition for expungement with the appropriate court to have the record expunged.
Can I Access Wyoming Sealed Criminal Court Records?
A court must issue an order to seal documents. Where a person is denied access to court records, the court’s clerk should be contacted for the order sealing the documents. If such an order exists, a motion to intervene in the case to challenge the court’s decision may be taken. Asides this, sealed criminal court records of the State of Wyoming cannot be accessed.
Are Wyoming Juvenile Criminal Court Records Open to the Public?
Generally, pursuant to Wyoming Statute § 14–6–203, juvenile criminal court records are not available to the public. Juvenile criminal court records are information which specify or provide information on the criminal activities and behaviour of young persons that are youths under Wyoming laws and the punishment meted out for them. Generally, under Wyoming laws, persons under the age of 18 are not criminals, instead, they are either adjudicated delinquents or not adjudicated delinquents. Thus, they do not have criminal conviction records.
Are Wyoming Criminal Trial Transcripts Open to the Public?
Wyoming Criminal trial transcripts are open to the public. To get a transcript of a hearing held, a call has to be made to the Court Clerk or an email should be sent. Fees may be charged for it. To obtain this, information needed includes:
- Case name
- Case number
- Hearing date(s)
- Presiding Judge