The Wisconsin Court System is part of the Wisconsin Judicial branch of government. This branch of government has the responsibility of interpreting the laws that the legislative branch makes and the executive branch enforces. The CCAP Wisconsin Court System is made up of municipal courts, circuit courts, Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the highest level of courts in the state of Wisconsin.
Structure of the Court System
The structure of the CCAP Wisconsin Court System starts with a case being filed in circuit courts. Circuit courts are referred to as the trial courts and the court is responsible for civil and criminal matters that are filed in the courts. This can include juvenile cases, probate cases, traffic violations, and jury trials.
The circuit court is considered the origination court when a case is filed in the CCAP Wisconsin Court System. The Court of Appeals is the next level above circuit courts and handles cases that are appealed from the circuit court. When a case reaches the Court of Appeals, there are two actions that the court can perform. The court can review the information that has been produced and rule in favor of one of the parties, or they can certify the case to the Supreme Court. This means that the Court of Appeals feels the case questions a law that should be brought in front of the Supreme Court.
Members of the Court System
The CCAP Wisconsin Court System has a large number of court staff that assist with the day-to-day operations of the court and with assisting individuals with their court matters. The key players in the CCAP Wisconsin Court System include the following:
Judges- Judges are elected officials that preside over various types of court cases. They are responsible for listening to cases and making decisions.
Clerk of Court- The Clerk of the Court is responsible for maintaining court proceedings, issuing subpoenas and warrants, and managing judgments and fines.
Clerk- The clerk is a courtroom assistant for the judge. They are responsible for maintaining court documents and recording court proceedings.
Bailiff- This individual is responsible for maintaining order in the court.
Judicial Assistant- This person supports and assists the judge with matters of a clerical nature.
Attorney- Handles legal matters for individuals
Prosecutor- This type of attorney represents the government in criminal court cases.
Defense Attorney- This type of attorney represents the defendant in a criminal case. The Defense attorney can be a public defender provided by the government or a private attorney retained by the defendant.
Chief Judge- A chief judge will oversee the administrative portion of the judicial district while providing leadership to the district.
District Court Administrator- This individual is responsible for the non-judicial aspects of the court.
Policies Court Staff Must Follow
The court staff is responsible for abiding by certain policies, procedures, and guidelines set forth and established through the direction of the Supreme Court. The main duties that court staff must do include:
Assisting individuals with completing court forms
Provide the proper forms that are needed for specific court matters
Provide the public with information about court records and documents including providing copies.
This is just a portion of the responsibilities of the court. If you need further direction contact your local clerk of the court’s office.