Small Claims

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Who do I contact if I have questions about Small Claims?

 

What types of issues are covered in Small Claims Court?

  • Money Claims 
    •  Limit of $10,000
  • Evictions 
    • Regardless of the amount of rent claimed
  • Replevin 
    • Return of property
  • Tort/Personal Injury 
    •  Limit of $5,000
    • See the Small Claims Guide for other less common types of case

Where do I file a Small Claims Case?

  • In the county where defendant resides or does substantial business
  • Where the claim arose
  • Where the subject property is located

How do I file a Small Claims?

Small claims forms assistant

The small claims forms assistant site guides you through the process of filing a small claims legal claim in Wisconsin. By answering a series of questions this interactive site will help you to fill out necessary forms, print blank forms, or download a basic guide to small claims actions for each county.
  • OR

    Get the forms at the Clerk of Courts Office:

AND

  • File the forms 
  • Receive a return date 
    • The return date is the initial appearance in the Small Claims case. All parties must attend the hearing.
  • Pay the Filing Fee 
    •  $94.50 + possible service fee 
  • Service of Summons and Complaint 
    • If personal service is required – you (the Plaintiff) are required to have the document(s) served by the Sheriff’s Department or a private process server. If mail service is allowed, the Clerk of Courts Office will mail the document(s).

I was granted a judgment by the Court – Now what?

The Court will grant allowable court costs
  • Docket the judgment 
    •  Pay a $5.00 fee at the Clerk of Courts to perfect a lien on the debtor’s real estate
  • Financial Disclosure 
    • Debtor required to complete and return to you within 15-days of entry of judgment – If debtor does not complete Financial Disclosure, you may file a contempt motion.

The judgment was paid
  • Satisfaction of Judgment 
    • Plaintiff completes the form and provides to the debtor for filing at the Clerk of Courts with $5.00 fee. This will clear the judgment.

What if the judgment isn’t paid?
  •  Earnings Garnishment Notice
    • $92.50 Filing Fee
    • Creditor may start wage garnishment to recover the money owed.
    • Garnishment packet provided at Clerk of Court.

  • Non Earnings Garnishment 
    •  Garnishment of accounts
  • Execution 
    • Creditor may obtain a Court order to the sheriff to seize and sell the (non-exempt) property and deliver the money to the creditor.

Other Questions

  • What if we come to an agreement before the return date?
    • A Stipulation form can be used to put the agreement in writing. This can be filed before the return date for the Court’s signature, except in eviction actions.
  • What if I want to counterclaim ?
    • You may file a counterclaim up to $10,000
    • Counterclaims over $10,000 may be filed but require a fee. The case will then be transferred out of Small Claims to the upper branch. 
  • How do I reopen a judgment?
    • File a motion/petition to reopen. Must be filed within 12 months of default judgment. No filing fee.
  • What if I don’t like the Court’s decision?
    • If it’s the Commissioner decision, you can request a Trial De Novo.
    • If it’s a Judge’s decision, you can appeal the case to the Court of Appeals.
  • Do I need a lawyer?
    • An attorney is not required. It’s your decision whether or not to retain one. Court staff can not give legal advice.
    • A Free Legal Clinic is held at the Chippewa Falls Public Library every 4th Wednesday of the month from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    • Wisconsin Lawyer Referral and Information Service http://www.wisbar.org/forPublic/Pages/for-public.aspx

Need more information?

Refer to the Wisconsin Guide to Small Claims Court for a complete overview, forms and instructions.

Small Claims Procedures