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.