Wyoming: Circuit and District Courts Rule Amendments

Concerned about issues of cost, delay and access to the civil justice system in Wyoming, the Wyoming Supreme Court is moving forward on a number of fronts to address these issues.

The Wyoming legislature has increased the Circuit Court’s jurisdiction to $50,000, in hope that the Circuit Courts will be able to handle most modest litigation, leaving more time to the District Courts to handle more complex cases. In conjunction with this increase, the Wyoming Supreme Court and the Board of Judicial Policy and Administration have approved simplified rules for the Circuit Court, which incorporate the concept of proportionality, contain a requirement that parties bearing the burden of proof plead all materials facts known, introduce mandatory initial disclosures, limit discovery (including expert discovery) and provide for an expedited trial setting of seven months from the date the action is commenced. The new Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure for Circuit Courts went into effect on July 1, 2011.

In addition to the rule changes at the circuit court level, Wyoming formed a Rule 1 Study Committee in 2013 to develop rules and case management recommendations for civil cases in district court and to consider changes to the Wyoming domestic relations procedures. In April, 2014, the Wyoming Supreme Court adopted amendments to a few of the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure, including the rules regarding disclosure of expert testimony. The Court also adopted temporary rules for expedited marriage dissolution cases.

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