What follows is a brief but informative summary of rules, procedures, and filings requirements for small claims court in Wisconsin. Keep in mind that rules and laws change. It’s always a good idea to confirm the rules with the court or with further research.
Maximum Jurisdictional Dollar Amount: The maximum dollar amount is $5,000, no limit in eviction cases.
Where Suit May Be Brought: Cases should be brought where the defendant resides or does substantial business or where breach or injury occurred. Consumer credit claims may be brought where the customer resides, where collateral is located or where governing document is signed. A corporation is deemed to reside where it has principal office or where it does business.
Proper Manner of Service of Process upon Defendant: Service may be made by certified or registered mail, or by any disinterested adult resident. For evictions, personal service is required.
How the Hearing Date Is Selected: The hearing date is set by the court.
Attorney Representation Rule: Attorneys are allowed. Attorney representation is mandatory for assignees.
Special Provisions Regarding Transfer or Jurisdiction of Cases: If either side requests a jury trial or if the defendant files a compulsory counterclaim for more than $5,000, case is tried under regular civil procedure.
Availability of Appeals: Either litigant may appeal for a review of law, but not a review of facts to Court of Appeals within 45 days, or 15 days in eviction cases.
Special Rules and Notes: The prevailing party may be awarded attorney fees of up to $100 on judgments of more than $1,000. A jury trial is available. Evening and Saturday sessions are available. A motion for a new trial must be made within 20 days of judgment.
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