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.