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Wisconsin State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Wisconsin

Highest Court

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court consists of 7 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Final appellate jurisdiction over all courts in state. (2) Limited original jurisdiction in cases of statewide concern. (3) Administrative authority over all state courts.

Intermediate Courts

Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals consists of 16 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appeals of right from circuit courts. (2) Limited original jurisdiction.

General Courts

Circuit Court
The Circuit Court consists of 241 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Exclusive civil jurisdiction (including civil appeals). (2) Small claims up to $5,000.  (3) DWI/DUI, exclusive felony, and misdemeanor jurisdiction. (4) Contested moving traffic, parking, and miscellaneous traffic. (5) Exclusive juvenile jurisdiction.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Limited Courts

Municipal Court
The Municipal Court consists of 226 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Municipal ordinance violations.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Vacancy in judgeship not to affect suits.
A process, proceeding, or action, whether civil or criminal, shall not be discontinued due to a loss of a judge or judges or election.  The process, proceeding, or action shall proceed as though the change in judge(s) had never happened. (Wisconsin Statute  757.08)

Liability of judicial officers.
Circuit judges and circuit and supplemental court commissioners shall be held personally liable to any party injured for any willful violation of the law in granting injunctions and appointing receivers, or for refusing to hear motions to dissolve injunctions and to discharge receivers if the motions are made in accordance with law or such rules as are promulgated by the supreme court.  (Wisconsin Statute  757.24)

Court officers, liability of to arrest.
Officers of the courts of record are liable to be arrested and held to bail, except when they are acting as officers in court and when sued with any other person such officers shall be liable to arrest and may be held to bail as other persons during the sitting of the court of which they are officers.  No attorney or counselor may be exempt from arrest during the sitting of a court of which he or she is an officer unless he or she is employed in some case pending and then to be heard in the court.  (Wisconsin Statute  757.26)

Juror qualifications
A resident of an area served by a circuit court who is at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, able to  understand the English language, and has not been convicted of a felony qualifies to serve as a juror in that circuit. (Wisconsin Statute  756.02)

Terms of justices
The term of office of an elected justice of the supreme court begins on  August 1 next succeeding the justice’s election.  (Wisconsin Statute  751.01)

Territorial jurisdiction
Every judge has countywide jurisdiction.  In the situation that the city or village extends into one or more county, the judge shall have jurisdiction in each county and may hold court in one county and exercising jurisdiction in another.  If elected under s. 755.01 (4) and the contracting municipalities lie in more than one county, the judge shall qualify and have jurisdiction in each county and may hold court in one county while exercising jurisdiction in another county. (Wisconsin Statute  755.05)

Insufficient jurors
When a sufficient number of jurors cannot be obtained for a trial from the list supplied by the clerk of circuit court, the court may order the sheriff to bring before the court persons in the vicinity for determination by the court of their qualification and ability to serve as jurors for the particular trial.
(Wisconsin Statute  756.07)

Inside Wisconsin State Courts