Specialized business court coming to Wyoming!
On March 15, 2019, Governor Gordon signed into law an act of the 2019 Wyoming legislature creating a Chancery Court, whose purpose is to provide a forum for streamlined resolution of commercial, business, and trust cases. The act establishes a court with jurisdiction to decide actions seeking declaratory or injunctive relief and actions seeking money recovery over $50,000 that arise from claims including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, derivative actions, the Uniform Commercial Code, and the Uniform Trust Code. The Wyoming Supreme Court adopted final rules for the Chancery Court on September 21, 2021.
To familiarize practitioners and the public with Wyoming’s newest court, a high-level overview follows below in question-and-answer format.
What is the Wyoming Chancery Court?
A new court that will resolve business and trust cases on an expedited schedule with bench trials and limited motions practice. Section 5-13-115(b) lists the types of matters under the Chancery Court’s jurisdiction.
When will the Chancery Court be ready for business?
The Chancery Court goes live December 1, 2021.
Who will hear Chancery Court cases?
Two Wyoming district court judges experienced in business litigation—Judges Richard L. Lavery, and Steven K. Sharpe—will handle Chancery Court cases until a full-time Chancery Court judge is installed.
How will filings occur?
The Chancery Court will use an electronic filing system. Training information, general information, and resources regarding the electronic filing system are available here: https://www.fileandservexpress.com/wyoming-resources/.
What are the rules?
Modified versions of the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure and Uniform Rules for District Courts will govern Chancery Court proceedings. Additionally, an Electronic Filing Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual will control the electronic filing process.
Where will the Chancery Court be located?
The Chancery Court has concurrent statewide jurisdiction. Much of its work will be conducted remotely, but not all. A courtroom and chamber are under construction in the Casper state office building. That space will not be fully utilized until a full-time judge is installed. For now, the Chancery Court will house its clerk in the Wyoming Supreme Court building and conduct most proceedings remotely.