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Wyoming Forcible Entry and Detainer Law

Landlord Tenant – Forcible Entry and Detainer Law – Wyoming


Jurisdiction of justices: 1-21-1001

Any justice within his county may inquire against those who make unlawful and forcible entry into lands and tenements and detain the same, or against those who, having a lawful and peaceable entry into lands or tenements, unlawfully or by force hold the same. If it is found that an unlawful and forcible entry was made and the lands or tenements are held by force, or that after a lawful entry the lands are held unlawfully, the justice shall require restitution to the complaining party.

When proceedings allowed: 1-21-1002

(a)  Proceedings for forcible entry and detainer may be had in any of the following cases:

(i)  Against tenants holding over their terms or after a failure to pay rent for three (3) days after it is due;
(ii)  In sales of real estate on execution, orders orother judicial process, including proceedings for the foreclosure of a mortgage by court action, when the judgment debtor was in possession at the time of rendition of the judgment or decree by virtue of which the sale was made;
(iii)  When real estate has been sold under a power of sale contained in any mortgage or trust deed and the purchaser or his assignee has demanded possession;
(iv)  Any sale by executors, administrators, guardians or on partition where any of the parties to the petition were in possession at the commencement of the suit, after the sale has been examined by the proper court and adjudged legal;
(v)  In cases where the defendant is a settler or occupier of lands or tenements, without color of title, to which the complainant has the right of possession;
(vi)  Against renters in violation of any terms imposed under W.S. 1-21-1204 or 1-21-1205.
(b)  This section shall not be construed as limiting the provisions of W.S. 1-21-1101 or 1-21-1201 through 1-21-1210.

Notice to quit premises required: 1-21-1003

The party desiring to commence an action for forcible entry or detainer must notify the adverse party to leave the premises involved. The notice shall be served at least three (3) days before commencing the action, by leaving a written copy with the defendant or at his usual place of abode or business if he cannot be found.

Summons; service and return: 1-21-1004

The summons shall state the cause of the complaint against the defendant, the time and place of trial and shall be served and returned as in other cases. Such service shall be not less than three (3) nor more than twelve (12) days before the day of trial set by the justice.

Proceedings when defendant fails to appear: 1-21-1005

If the defendant does not appear in accordance with a properly served summons the justice shall try the action as though he were present. Before proceeding, the plaintiff shall file a complaint in which he relies in order to recover the premises. The complaint must be sustained by proof or the action dismissed.

Proceedings when defendant appears: 1-21-1006

If the defendant appears, a like complaint shall be admitted or denied in the answer of the defendant. Both parties may be allowed to amend. If no answer is made by the defendant, he may not offer evidence upon his part, but shall only be allowed to cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses.

Bond on granting continuance: 1-21-1007

No continuance shall be granted the defendant for longer than two (2) days unless he gives a bond to the adverse party, with good and sufficient surety approved by the justice, conditioned for the payment of the rent that may accrue and costs if judgment is rendered against him.

Trial by justice or jury; judgment and costs: 1-21-1008

(a)  If the action is not continued, the place of trial changed or if neither party demands a jury, upon the return day of the summons the justice shall try the action. If the justice concludes that the complaint is not true, he shall enter judgment against the plaintiff for costs. If he finds the complaint true, he shall render a general judgment in favor of the plaintiff for restitution of the premises and costs. If he finds the complaint true in part, he shall render judgment for restitution of that part only and the costs shall be taxed as deemed equitable.
(b)  If the case is one based on failure to pay rent, the justice shall further find the amount of rent due and payable at the time of commencement of the action, together with the terms and conditions of the agreement between the parties in relation to the amount and time of payment of rent. If the trial is by jury the verdict shall contain a finding of these facts and the justice shall recite such findings in his docket entry of proceedings. The justice, upon these findings, in addition to entering judgment for the plaintiff to have restitution, shall render judgment in accordance with the findings for the amount of rent found due, together with costs, and shall issue execution separate from the writ of restitution for the rent found due and costs as in other actions.

Trial by jury; verdict: 1-21-1009

If a jury is demanded by either party, the proceedings shall be the same as in other cases until the empaneling thereof. If the jury finds the complaint true they shall render a general verdict against the defendant, and if untrue, a general verdict in favor of the defendant. If true in part, the verdict shall set forth the facts they find true.

Judgment upon verdict: 1-21-1010

The justice shall enter the verdict upon his docket and render judgment thereon.

Exceptions: 1-21-1011

Exceptions to the opinion of the justice on questions of law or evidence may be taken by either party, whether tried by a jury or the court.

Writ of restitution; issuance: 1-21-1012

When a judgment of restitution is entered by a justice, he shall, at the request of the plaintiff, his agent or attorney, issue a writ of restitution thereon.

Writ of restitution; execution and return: 1-21-1013

Unless the defendant takes an appeal, the officer shall execute the writ of restitution within two (2) days after receiving it, Sundays excepted, by restoring the plaintiff to possession of the premises. He shall levy and collect the execution for rent and costs and make return as upon other executions.

Proceedings upon stay on appeal; bond required: 1-21-1014

(a)  If the officer receives notice from the justice that the proceedings have been stayed on appeal, he shall immediately delay all further proceedings upon execution and writ of restitution. If the premises have been restored to the plaintiff he shall immediately place the defendant in possession thereof and return the writ and execution with his proceedings and costs taxed thereon.
(b)  An appeal by a defendant shall not stay the proceedings on judgment unless within forty-eight (48)hours after judgment, Sundays excepted, the appellant executes and files with the justice his bond to plaintiff, with two (2) or more sufficient sureties approved by the justice, conditioned that the appellant will pay all costs which have accrued or may thereafter accrue and all damages which plaintiff may have sustained or may thereafter sustain in consequence of the wrongful detention of the premises during the pendency of the appeal. Upon taking the appeal and filing the bond, all further proceedings in the case shall be stayed and the appellate court shall thereafter issue all writs and processes to carry out the judgment of the appellate court. The court in which the appeal is pending may require a new bond in a larger amount, with sureties approved by the appellate court, if deemed necessary to secure the rights of the parties.

Rents to be deposited on appeal: 1-21-1015.

(a)  In appeals from the judgment of a justice for rents due and payable, in addition to the bond required by W.S. 1-21-1014, the appellant shall deposit with the justice the amount of rent specified in the judgment. Unless the deposit is made, the appeal is not perfected and proceedings upon the judgment shall be had accordingly. If the appeal is perfected, the justice shall transmit the deposit to the clerk of the appellate court with the papers in the case.
(b)  Thereafter, when the rents become due, the appellant shall deposit them with the clerk of the appellate court. If at any time during the pendency of the appeal and before final judgment the appellant fails to make any deposit of rent at the time specified in the judgment appealed, the court in which such appeal is pending shall, upon such fact being made to appear, and upon motion and proof of such fact by the appellee, the appellate court shall affirm the judgment appealed from with costs. Proceedings shall thereupon be had as in like cases determined upon the merits and the rent money deposited paid to the plaintiff or his assignee upon order of the court.

Ejectment not barred: 1-21-1016.

The pendency of an action for forcible entry or detainer does not bar an action of ejectment.

Inside Wyoming Forcible Entry and Detainer Law