Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fergus County Montana Courthouse, Lewistown Montana

This is the very impressive Fergus County Courthouse in Lewistown Montana.  Lewistown is full of surprises, as its a small town with some very substantial architecture, including this wonderful courthouse, which was built in 1908.

As can be seen from these photographs, the courthouse grounds has several monuments on it, at least one of which I missed.

A second set of photos from our Flickr site:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hot Springs County Courthouse, Thermopolis Wyoming

This is the Hot Springs County Courthouse in Thermopolis, Wyoming.  I'm unsure of the vintage of this courthouse, but the monumental style suggests it was built during the 1930s.  The building includes both bas reliefs and reliefs in the windows featuring ancient references to the origins of the law. The courthouse serves the Circuit Court of Wyoming's 5th Judicial District and the the District Court for the same district.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


From the Wyoming State Bar:


The Wyoming State Bar would like to encourage Wyoming citizens to vote in favor of Constitutional Amendment C. 

The purpose of Constitutional Amendment C is to enhance the efficiency of the district court by removing two obstacles to the court’s use of court commissioners.  The state constitution currently allows court commissioners appointed by the district judge to conduct “chambers business”, and it grants the court commissioner authority to act in the absence of the district judge from the county.

However, much has changed in the operation of district courts since the 1890 when our constitution was adopted.  The statutes impose more duties and deadlines that can be difficult to fulfill promptly when the district court is conducting trials or other business. The amendment would give the court commissioner authority to act in matters beyond “chambers business,” such as emergency hearings in mental health and juvenile cases, where the district judge is within the county, but is otherwise occupied, such as in  a jury trial.  This would allow the district court to more promptly act on matters of great importance to members of the public.

“This is a simple, necessary and practical change that will increase public access to the court system,” said John Cotton, President of the Wyoming State Bar. “It will improve the legal system and enhance the administration of justice.  I strongly encourage support of the amendment.”

I concur with the opinion of the State Bar.  This would be a worthwhile amendment to the Wyoming State Constitution.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scottsbluff County Courthouse, Gering Nebraska

This is the Scottsbluff County Courthouse in Gering Nebraska.  Oddly, this courthouse, built in 1921, is not in Scottsbluff but in neighboring Gering.  This courthouse was built in the classical revival style and is an example of County Citadel architecture.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Morrill County Nebraska Courthouse, Bridgeport Nebraska

This is the Morrill County Courthouse in Bridgeport Nebraska.  Nebraska has a fair number of these classically styled county courthouses which remain in current use.  This one was built in 1909.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kimball County Nebraska Courthouse, Kimball Nebraska

This is the Kimball County Courthouse in Kimball Nebraska.  This fine looking courthouse was opened in 1928 and was constructed of Carthage stone, with floors of Ozark gray marble and fixtures made of solid walnut.  MKTH Photo.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Musselshell County Courthouse, Roundup Montana

This is a not terribly good photograph of the Musselshell County Courthouse in Roundup Montana.  This courthouse was built in 1939 and features some art deco styling to it. 

I have to admit that I would have liked to have acquired a better photograph of this very nice looking 1930s vintage courthouse, but my mere presence on Main Street taking the photograph was getting attention, and I was frankly pressed for time. A shame really, as my chances of rephotographing it are slim.

Friday, April 27, 2012

US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Oklahoma, Tulsa Oklahoma

Tulsa Municipal Bulding, Tulsa Oklahoma

This is the Tulsa, Oklahoma Municipal Building which housed Tulsa's government between 1917 and 1960.  While I'm not certain that it housed a courthouse, it has that appearance, and I strongly suspect that the city's municipal courthouse was located here.  This building no longer houses Tulsa's city offices.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jackson federal court among 60 on chopping block

While news isn't our regular feature here, here's something that's topical for this site:

Jackson federal court among 60 on chopping block

I generally avoid commentary here, but I will note that closing this Federal Courthouse, as the interviewed Magistrate indicates, is a poor idea.  The nearest Federal courthouse would be in Mammoth, in Yellowstone National Park, hardly an easy location to commute to.

Additionally, I frankly think it's a shame that many fine Federal courthouse built in Wyoming over the years are no longer used, and in at least one case, have been sold.  Courthouses existed or exist in Lander, Green River and Sheridan which are not in use (and the Sheridan one was sold).  These small, but substantial, courthouses were built in another era, when transportation was more primitive, but still, the Federal Court's presence would basically cease to extend north and west of Casper if this was done, which is to omit most of the state.  I know, of course, that the court would still draw juries statewide, at least theoretically, but the greater the distance becomes, the more theoretical that is, and the less the connection with the court becomes.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Teton County Courthouse, Jackson Wyoming

This is the Teton County Courthouse in Teton County, Wyoming. The photograph is a poor one because, on this high sunlight day, I was presented with heavy shadows in the front of the building.

The courthouse is a modern style one had houses the Teton County Circuit Court and the state 9th Judicial District Court in Teton County.

Town of Jackson, Wyoming Municipal Bulding

This is Jackson's city hall, which is where its city court is located. This photograph was taken in the early 1990s, but the building looks the same today.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Albany County Courthouse, Laramie Wyoming.

This is the Albany County Courthouse in Laramie, Wyoming. The courthouse was built in 1931, and is typical for government buildings of that era, which were generally affecting a more "modern" appearance.

This courthouse is one of two courthouses serving the Wyoming's 2nd Judicial District, the other being in Rawlins Wyoming. This courthouse also serves as the seat of the county government and the seat of the Circuit Court for Albany County. The courthouse is perhaps unique in Wyoming in that the presence of the University of Wyoming's College of Law means that it has a bit more student interaction than some other courts.

 Second Judicial District's courtroom.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Joseph C. O'Mahoney Federal Courthouse, Cheyenne Wyoming

This poor photograph depicts the Joseph C. O'Mahoney Federal Courthouse in Cheyenne. This is the central Federal Courthouse for the District of Wyoming. This modern office style building contains several courtrooms within it.

This photograph depicts the building from its front, which is not how it is normally photographed. The photograph is a poor one. The building was built in 1965 and is located across an intersection from the Wyoming Supreme Court. Observant viewers will note that it is also across the street from Cathedral Square, which is the block upon which the Catholic Cathedral, St. Mary's Cathedral, is located. On the right hand of the photo you can see the First Presbyterian Church which is across the street from the courthouse. The Wyoming State Capitol is a block away.

Wyoming Supreme Court

This is the courthouse of the Wyoming Supreme Court in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Courthouse is located directly across from the State Capitol building, although it faces the Hathaway building.

This classically styled courthouse has been in use for quite some time, but I neglected to get the date of its construction at the time these photos were taken. The building is generally from the 1930s, and it bears a bit of a resemblance to the former Natrona County Courthouse in Casper Wyoming, which was built of similar materials, and a similar style, during the 1930s. Like that courthouse, this one also features reliefs in the building, although they are less prominent than those in the Natrona County Courthouse. The Wyoming Supreme Court building recently underwent renovations.

This courthouse not only contains the courtroom where oral arguments are heard, but it also contains the court offices and the State Law Library. It sits on a city block in downtown Cheyenne, and is the only structure on the block. Next to the Capitol building, it is the single most impressive state building in Cheyenne.

The Wyoming Supreme Court is the chief court of the Wyoming court system. There is no intermediate court of appeal from District Courts. District Courts, however, do serve as appellate courts for the Circuit Court. Appeals in Wyoming are by right for all matters in the District and Circuit Courts.