Monday, December 12, 2011

Johnson County Courthouse, Buffalo Wyoming

This is the Johnson County Courthouse, in Buffalo Wyoming. It's the second oldest courthouse still operating in its original function in Wyoming, having been built in 1884, when Wyoming was still a Territory. This is one of the two State courthouses in the 4th Judicial District. The other one is located in Sheridan.

This is the courthouse that the Invaders would have been tried in, after the Johnson County War, had the county chosen to retain jurisdiction.

Like the courthouse in Gillette photographs of past judges are present in the courtroom.

The Johnson County War Memorial is located on the corner of the courthouse lot.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Federal Courthouse, Sheridan Wyoming

This building was the Federal Courthouse in Sheridan Wyoming. Like the very similar Federal Courthouse in Lander Wyoming, this courthouse is no longer in use as a Federal Courthouse. This courthouse differs, however, in that the Federal government sold the building, and it is now used for a variety of private businesses. At one time, this building also served as the post office for Sheridan, which was a very common secondary use for Federal Court houses.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lex Anteinternet: Justice James Barrett

Lex Anteinternet: Justice James Barrett: Justice Barret of the Tenth Circuit passes on . This is outside the scope of our usual musings here, but his obituary is an interesting one...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sheridan County Wyoming Courthouse, Sheridan Wyoming

This is the Sheridan County Courthouse which is located in the county seat, Sheridan Wyoming. While not obvious from these photographs, the courthouse has a new, and old, section, with the old section being this impressive structure built in 1905. Both sections are visible in these photographs, with the new modern styled office building on the right hand side of the photograph. The old section is one of the oldest standing courthouses in use in Wyoming, and perhaps might be the oldest existing courthouse.

This courthouse (old and new sections combined) houses the Sheridan County Circuit Court and the 4th Judicial District, as well as the county's offices.

Sheridan County Drug Court, Sheridan Wyoming

This is the classically styled building that presently houses the Sheridan County, Wyoming, Drug Court. It was originally the Sheridan County Jail, and is on the same block as the Sheridan County Courthouse,and would appear to have been built fairly close in time to the old section of the courthouse. The Sheridan County Courthouse's dome appears in the background of the first photograph.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Converse County Courthouse, Douglas Wyoming

This is the Converse County Courthouse in Douglas Wyoming. This modern office style building houses all of the principal offices of Converse County, as well as one of the four 8th Judicial District courtrooms.

The Converse County War Memorial is located in the lobby of this courthouse.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wind River Indian Reservation Tribal Court

This is the Wind River Indian Reservation Tribal Court, which also houses various other law related facilities. The court is located in Ft. Washakie, the seat of government for the Wind River Indian Reservation, and serves the Shoshone and Arapahoe tribes on the reservation.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weston County Courthouse, Newcastle Wyoming

This is the Weston County Courthouse in Newcastle, Weston County, Wyoming. If this well preserved courthouse is not the oldest operating courthouse in the state, it must be very close to the oldest one still in use. The courthouse houses a courtroom of the 6th Judicial District, which also has a courthouse in Gillette, Wyoming.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Campbell County Courthouse, Gillette Wyoming

This is the Campbell County Courthouse in Gillette Wyoming. The courthouse has been recently added on to, but the additions match so well that it is not really possible to tell. The court houses the district and circuit courts for Wyoming's Eighth Judicial District.

Campbell County's war memorial is located on the same block as the courthouse.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fremont County Courthouse, Lander Wyoming

This is the Fremont County Courthouse in Lander Wyoming. The courthouse includes all of the administrative offices of Fremont County as well as housing two courtrooms for the Ninth Judicial District, which also has courtrooms in Pinedale Wyoming and Jackson Hole Wyoming.

The courthouse lawn has a nice memorial to all war veterans from Fremont County since statehood, naming them in the memorial.

Federal Courthouse, Lander Wyoming

This is the Federal Courthouse in Lander Wyoming, however it hasn't been used in that capacity in many years. The building is leased out by the Federal government, and chances are that most people, even in Lander, are not aware that this is a courthouse or that it has a courtroom.

I once had a case, about fifteen years ago, in which it was briefly suggested that the trial could be held in the courtroom, when this building was then under lease to the National Outdoor Leadership School, but the suggestion was quickly rejected on the basis that the courtroom had not been used as one in many years, and that it was too small.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A note on the photography

All the photographs here are in the nature of subjects of opportunity. I wanted to note that, as a lot of them are taken in poor light conditions, and are less than ideal in terms of their quality.

As in many instances the courthouses photographed here are ones that I rarely will encounter again, if ever, I take the photos when they present themselves. In terms of artwork, therefore, they aren't always so great.

Also, as those who have examined any photograph taken prior to the current date will note, many of these photographs were taken in the long regional winter of 2010-2011, so the weather they were taken in was dreary.

Denver City and County Building, Denver Colorado

These photographs depict the Denver City and County Building. This building was built to contain courtrooms, and at one time included city and county courtrooms. I do not know which, if any, courtrooms remain in the building.

Federal District Courthouse, Denver Colorado

This is a Federal District Courthouse in Denver Colorado. I generally do not know much about this courthouse, other than that it is across the street from the Byron White Courthouse and the Bankruptcy Courthouse.

United States Bankruptcy Court, Denver Colorado

This is the Federal Bankruptcy Courthouse in Denver, which also indicates that it is the Custom's House. I otherwise know nothing about this particular building, other than that it is next to the Federal District Courthouse in Denver, and across the corner from the Byron White Courthouse.

Byron White Courthouse, Denver Colorado

This is the Byron White Courthouse in Denver Colorado, the courthouse of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

This is a really impressive structure, taking up an entire city block. Built in the Greek Revival style heavily associated with Federal Courthouses, it bears the somewhat disturbing message depicted above. The courthouse was built during the years 1910 to 1916, and of course was renamed for Byron White, who had played football prior at CU, prior to his legal career.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Weld County Courthouse, Greeley Colorado

This is the Weld County Courthouse, in Greeley Colorado. It is part of the 19th Judicial District in Colorado.

I don't really know much about this courthouse, although I once took a deposition in it in a Wyoming case. It is an impressive classic courthouse. I recall it as having a huge central staircase.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Natrona County Hall of Justice

Fairly typical example of modern multi purpose courthouse. This building housed the Natrona County Court, later the 7th Judicial District Circuit Court, and the City of Casper Court, from some point in the 1970s until recently. Now only the City of Casper Court is located here. Administrative offices for various county law enforcement agencies are also located here.

The back of the old Natrona County Courthouse can be seen to the right of the photograph.

Only city court is now held here, so if you are reporting for jury duty here, it has to be only for a city court trial. District court and circuit court is elsewhere.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ewing T. Kerr Federal Courthouse, Casper Wyoming

This is another Depression Era Wyoming courthouse, although it's roots are to be found in the era of oil fueled economic expansion that started during World War One. Funding for the courthouse came from a 1926 appropriations act that funded a variety of courthouses around the nation. The cornerstone, however, was set in 1931 and the courthouse completed in 1932.

This courthouse actually has seen as much use as a post office as it has as a courthouse. The original building housed all of the principal Federal offices in Casper, Wyoming, including the post office (my father worked there in the mid 1940s). A courtroom was a feature of the building, but the concept of a Federal courthouse was somewhat different at the time. There was no sitting Federal judge and the courtroom was instead simply available for a Federal judge, the concept being that the single Federal judge in Cheyenne would need to travel to outlying towns and cities to hear cases. There were also Federal courthouses, in this era, in Green River, Lander, and Yellowstone National Park. This courthouse also housed such Federal employees as the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps recruiters.

In the 1970s the post office moved to a new large Federal building that was built some blocks away. At that time, the enormous Depression era murals that were in the building were removed and reinstalled in the new post office. The mail boxes, which dominated the first floor, were also moved. A few Federal offices remained in the building, however, such as the United States Geological Survey which I briefly worked for in the 1980s.

By the late 1980s Wyoming's Federal Courts had expanded to the point where there were then three sitting Federal judges, all in Cheyenne. This then lead to the view that it was time to relocate one of the judges to Casper. The courthouse was remodeled in the late 80s with this in mind, and it is now a purpose designated courthouse, with offices limited to the judiciary or the U.S. Attorneys. The Federal District Court courtroom is widely regarded as one of the most attractive in Wyoming, and a second smaller courtroom, used principally by the Bankruptcy Court, is also well appointed, if quite small.

The building obtained its current name after the remodeling, and it is now named for longtime late Federal Judge, Ewing T. Kerr.

If you are summoned to a Federal (not state) jury in Casper, Wyoming, this is where you go.

Federal Courthouse, as viewed from my office in the Consolidated Royalty Building.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Natrona County Courthouse

This is a courthouse with no courtrooms, at least it no longer has any receiving that use.

This Great Depression era courthouse originally housed the 7th Judicial District and Natrona County courts. In later years, however, the district court's growth meant that the county court moved into an adjoining building, and the district court used a large and small courtroom. In the last decade, however, the addition of a third district court judge meant there was no longer sufficient room for the district court, and the Townsend Hotel was remodeled into a courthouse, as depicted below. Today this courthouse is used for county offices.

This courthouse does feature one very large, and beautiful, 1930s vintage courtroom. The jury box was uniquely cast at an angle, so the jury sat facing the witnesses and the judge. Unlike almost every other courtroom, the opposing parties sat essentially side by side, on the same side of the courtroom. Off hand, it's the only courtroom configured in this style I can recall.

The small courtroom was a dismal affair, being very tiny. It was nice looking, having been obviously built at the same time the county court had been moved to new quarters, but it was entirely too small, even though it could accommodate a very cramped jury.

This building was built by the WPA and features a number of bas reliefs depicting the history of the region.

Do not go here for jury duty, if you live in Natrona County and are summoned to jury duty. This building no longer functions as a courthouse. Go instead to the Townsend Justice Center if you are reporting for district court or circuit court jury duty.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Niobrara County Courthouse, Lusk Wyoming

For the first post on this blog, here is the Niobrara County Courthouse in Lusk, Wyoming. It's one of the oldest still used courthouses in Wyoming, in the classic style of it's period, having been built in 1919. It has been remodeled since then.

I've tried a case in this courthouse many years ago, in December. Unfortunately, the courtroom lacked heat at the time, so it was memorable for more than one reason. Likewise, many years ago I argued a motion hearing in the courthouse mid summer, when the only cooling in chambers, where the argument was held, was provided by a desk fan.

The courthouses is the home of Niobrara County's business offices, the Niobrara County Circuit Court, and the 8th Judicial District court in Niobrara County.