Wyoming Small Claims Court Process

Wyoming Small Claims Court Process

Last Updated: April 5, 2023 by Ashley Porter

Quick Facts Answer
Small Claim Maximum $6,000
Deadline to File 8 or 10 Years
Filing Fees $10 + Cost of Service
Appeal Deadline 30 Days

Small Claims Court Basics in Wyoming

Small Claims Court is an informal court designed for minor cases limited to a maximum claim amount. The trial does not involve a jury. Instead, the plaintiff and defendant present their case to the judge, who makes a decision.

Common suits filed by landlords include:

  • Recovery of unpaid rent
  • Damages that exceed the amount of the security deposit
  • Failure to uphold the responsibilities of the rental agreement
  • Early termination of a lease

Common suits filed by tenants include:

  • Failure to return the security deposit correctly
  • Failure to uphold the responsibilities of the rental agreement
  • Overcharging for damages

How Long Does the Small Claims Court Process Take in Wyoming?

A typical small claims case in Wyoming takes one to two months, from the date of filing, but can be longer if there are problems serving the defendant, the trial is continued, or other delays occur.

How Much Can You Sue For in Small Claims Court in Wyoming?

In Wyoming, the maximum amount that can be recovered through Small Claims Court is $6,000.

To attempt to recover an amount of more than $6,000, the suit must be filed as a regular civil case in Circuit Court.

How Long Do You Have to File a Small Claim in Wyoming?

In Wyoming, you have up to 10 years  from the date of the dispute to file a small claims case if the tenancy was governed by a written lease agreement. If the lease was oral, the case must be filed within 8 years.

Are Lawyers Needed or Allowed in Small Claims Court in Wyoming?

Small Claims Court is designed to be simple and not require an attorney. However, either party can be represented by an attorney if they so choose.

Where are Small Claims Cases Filed in Wyoming?

In Wyoming, Small Claims Court is a division of Circuit Court. A small claims case should be filed in the Circuit Court in the county where the defendant lives. If the defendant does not live in Wyoming, the case can be filed where the rental property is located.

How to File a Small Claims Case in Wyoming

Step 1: Before filing a small claims case in Wyoming, you must make a written demand for payment. If the landlord refuses to pay you or ignores the request, you can file a small claims case.

Step 2: File the following documents in person at your local Circuit Court:

  • Civil Cover Sheet (select “Small Claims” as your Nature of Suit)
  • Small Claims Affidavit (attach any documents you may have to support your claim, like your written demand, lease agreement, or apartment photos)

Step 3: Pay the filing fee.

How Much Does it Cost to File a Case in Small Claims Court in Wyoming?

The fee for filing a case in Small Claims Court in Wyoming is $10 plus the cost of service on the defendant.

Small Claims Court Process in Wyoming

After filing a small claims case in Wyoming, the case is scheduled for a trial and the appropriate documents are served on the defendant.

Step 1: Serve the defendant. After you file the small claims case, you will need to serve the defendant before the trial. The court clerk will provide the specific window of dates for serving the defendant.

The following documents must be served on the defendant:

  • Small Claims Affidavit
  • Summons

The procedure for serving the defendant varies by county, so check with your local court clerk to determine the correct process.

Step 2: Attend the trial. On the trial date, you should bring three copies of any evidence you have to support your claim. The judge will give you and the defendant an opportunity to provide your arguments before deciding to dismiss the case or issue a judgment.

If the defendant does not attend the trial, the judge will issue you a default judgment.

Winning a Small Claims Judgment in Wyoming

If you win the judgment in Wyoming, the other party may appeal the case, you may be paid the judgment within a reasonable time, or you may need to pursue additional actions to recover the debt.

If the defendant disagrees with the outcome of the trial, they have 30 days after the issuance of the judgment to appeal to District Court by filing a Notice of Appeal.

When the judge issues the judgment, you are responsible for collecting payment. You can contact the judgment debtor directly to agree on a payment plan. In the best case, the judgment debtor pays their debt within this period.

If the debtor is delinquent on their payment or refuses to pay, there are multiple court actions available to recover the debt. The most common methods of enforcing a judgment are bank or wage garnishment. To initiate these processes, you would need to ask the court to issue a Writ of Garnishment.

A judgment gains interest at a rate of 10% annually. You have 5 years to collect a judgment before it becomes dormant and must be revived.