Wisconsin Small Claims Court

The Wisconsin Small Claims Court is responsible for handling court cases that involve claims of money, property, personal injury, or eviction. The process for court proceedings in small claims court differs from normal court proceedings because they are quick to resolve, less formal, and easier to comprehend.

How Small Claims Court Works

In Wisconsin Small Claims Court you must determine the name of the party that you wish to sue before you file the case. An incorrect name on a case can be cause for dismissal of the case. After the plaintiff has filed the case, they are responsible to arrange for the service of court documents. Before the case goes to trial or a trial hearing is scheduled, the case can be resolved in a number of different ways.

The parties involved in a Wisconsin Small Claims Court case can resolve the issue through a mutual agreement, also known as a settlement. The Defendant can resolve the case which results in a dismissal of the case. The defendant can fail to respond or appear which results in a default judgment for the plaintiff.

If the parties of the case are unable to come to an agreement or a counterclaim is filed then the next step would be a trial hearing scheduled by the courts. If the case goes to trial, the courts are responsible for deciding the outcome of the case.

Wisconsin Small Claims Court
Wisconsin Small Claims Court

How Cases are Filed

The type of case that is being filed in the Wisconsin Small Claims Court determines where the case is filed. In most cases, they are filed where the defendant lives or the initial transaction leading to the claim took place. There are two ways that the cases can be filed. You can complete the Summons and Complaint forms, make the copies, and take them to the clerk of court’s office and pay the appropriate filing fee, or you can file the case online.

If you choose to file the case online, you would need to access the e-file portal using the following link https://www.wicourts.gov/ecourts/efilecircuit/index.jsp. You will still need to fill out a Summons and Complaint form and pay the filing fee online.

What to Expect

The Summons and Complaint form is what the plaintiff uses to explain why they are suing the defendant. This form will also explain what is expected from the defendant. If the defendant does not agree with the complaint they must provide an answer to the complaint. The county that the case was filed in, is the county that regulates the procedures that must be followed regarding the complaint.

In some cases, you may need to file an answer to a complaint in writing or in-person. The information that you need regarding how and where to file an answer to a complaint will be included in the Summons and Complaint form.

All the information that you will need should be provided in the Summons and Complaint that was served to you. If you need assistance with the process of a small claims court case, you can refer to the Small Claims guide found on the Wisconsin Courts website.