STATE OF WISCONSIN - CIRCUIT COURT - PORTAGE COUNTY
It is hereby ordered that the following rules are adopted for all Branches for Portage County subject to further order of the court.Courtroom Decorum
Court shall be formally opened each day upon which court business is
transacted, either by the bailiff or the Clerk of Courts.
As the Judge enters the court room the bailiff or Clerk of Court shall
require all present to arise and stand. When the Judge has reached the bench
the bailiff or the Clerk of Court shall say "Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! The
Circuit Court for the County of Portage is now open. Silence is commanded."
All shall be seated and the business of the court shall proceed. Proper order
and decorum shall be required of all in attendance at the court.
In the recessing the Judge shall announce: "The court is now in recess."
When the trial is to a jury, the jurors shall take their places in the Jury
box before the Judge enters the court room.
The flag of the United States shall, at all times while court is in session be
displayed at, on, or in close proximity to the bench, on a standard to the right
of the Judge.
Lawyers may never lean upon the bench nor appear to engage the court in a manner
which would lessen the dignity of the proceedings in the eyes of the Jury and Public.
Lawyers shall examine witnesses from a position at the counsel table except when
handling exhibits, unless a lectern is provided by the court, in which case the
examination shall be either from said position at the counsel table or the
lectern. Lawyers may either stand while examining a witness from the counsel
table or remain seated there. In no case shall a lawyer crowd the witness stand
in examining a witness.
- Lawyers should not, in addressing the jury, crowd the jury box.
Lawyers, during trial, shall not exhibit familiarity with the court, witnesses,
jurors or opposing counsel and generally the use of first names shall be avoided.
Adult females shall be addressed with the title Ms.
All lawyers and court officers shall wear coats while in attendance upon the court,
provided judicial discretion may be exercised otherwise in extreme situations.
Lawyers shall advise their clients and witnesses of the formalities of the Court,
and seek their full cooperation therewith. (It is not contemplated the lawyers try
to get clients and witnesses to wear coats but some advice to clients and witnesses
as to general formality might be advisable.)
Witnesses shall be examined with courtesy and respect, and their good faith presumed
until the contrary appears.
The swearing of witnesses shall be an impressive ceremony and not a mere formality.
In jury cases which are disposed of upon a motion for nonsuit or directed verdict,
the judge, in dismissing the jury, should briefly explain the procedure and why a
verdict was unnecessary.
In criminal cases, the defendant shall stand with his attorney before the bench at the
time of arraignment, and at the time of passing sentence.
The Judge shall wear a robe while presiding on the bench, provided that judicial
discretion may be exercised otherwise in proper situations.
There shall be no smoking or eating in the court room at any time. Drinking water may
be available to jurors and participants in the trial. There shall be no smoking in
Threats are defined as written or oral declarations of an intention to inflict
injury or pain upon individuals employed by or involved in the court system.
Any threat shall be treated as serious.
Security incidents are episodes of conduct in the courts in which the physical
health or safety of participants or the physical property of the courts are put
Reporting: All threats and security incidents are to be immediately
reported personally or by telephone to the sheriff's office.
Court Security officer: The sheriff is directed to designate
an officer to serve as a court security officer. The court security officer
shall be responsible for:
- Referral and investigation of all threats and security incidents.
- Training of court personnel in handling threats and security incidents.
- Making recommendations to maximize court security in the future.
Training: Upon hiring, every employee (including elected officials)
shall be trained in the policies and procedures of handling threats and security
incidents, including the use and completion of the report form. Refresher training
shall be scheduled for all court employees. All training shall be coordinated by the
circuit judge, clerk of court, and court security officer. To the extent possible,
such initial and refresher training should include the following:
The court's policies and procedures concerning threats and security
The physical layout of the courts and escape routes from courtrooms
and court offices.
- Recognizing when a threat is being made.
- Responding to a bomb threat.
- Responding to a hostage situation.
Techniques in remaining calm and avoiding panic during a stressful
or potentially dangerous incident.
Techniques in responding to threats and security incidents in such a
manner as to defuse the danger of the situation without placing the
individual at physical risk.
Techniques in enhancing a person's personal safety either in the courts
- Telephone protocol when a threat is being made over the phone.
- Handling irate or abusive individuals in person or over the telephone.
Knowing when to contact law enforcement because of immediate concerns with
a "panic button" rather than by telephone.
- Handling threats that are made away from the courthouse.
- Gathering evidence for potential prosecutions.
- Using the threat/security incident report form.
WEAPONS IN COURTROOM: All certified law enforcement officers shall
be entitled to carry a weapon in the courtroom while acting in their official capacity
and with lawful authority. No other person shall go armed with a dangerous weapon in
(Amended May 14, 1996)
- Voir Dire Examination
Settlement negotiations shall be completed and approved by the Court two work days before trial. The parties shall notify the Court of settlement by noon of the second work day before trial (e.g. if a jury trial is scheduled for Monday morning, it must be settled and the Court so notified by noon on the previous Thursday). Failure to follow this rule subjects, the offending party(s), and/or their counsel, to the imposition of the costs. (Amended June 14, 2007)
In the selection of a jury for the trial of an action, the Court shall inform the voir dire panel as to the cause, parties and counsel, and the nature of the action, to the end that they may be sufficiently informed to answer questions touching upon their qualifications to act as jurors. The Court shall next ask questions pertaining to the qualifications of the jurors, and the parties or their counsel shall then ask questions pertaining to the qualifications of the jurors.
Appearance of Attorney at Time Jury Returns Verdict
After the jury has retired to deliberate upon a verdict in a civil action, the Court shall state on the record, in the presence of counsel for all the parties, that it will be in session or will sit between stated hours for the purpose of further instructing the jury or receiving a verdict, and that if any counsel is not present at such time or times, his presence will be deemed waived.
A pretrial conference shall be held in all civil jury actions. A pretrial conference shall be attended by the attorney in charge of the trial or, with prior approval of the Court, by an associate attorney having authority to bind the trial attorney, and the attorneys shall have their clients or an authorized employee of their clients present, or in lieu thereof, shall have express authority to bind such clients as to all matters upon the pretrial agenda, including settlement. Each attorney shall furnish to the court at the pretrial conference, with copy thereof for opposing counsel:
- A typewritten statement succinctly describing the kind of action, the issues involved, and a brief summary of the factual situation as regards the cause of action or defense, and
- In personal injury actions, a typewritten itemized list of the claimed special damages and copies of all medical reports.
- Proposed jury instructions and jury verdict.
- A list of proposed exhibits.
- A statement of the number of witnesses expected to testify and the probable time requirements.
The unexcused failure to appear at a scheduled pretrial conference may, within the discretion of the judge conducting such pretrial conference, subject the defaulting party to dismissal of the action, imposition of costs or other sanctions within the discretion of such judge.
Duty of Attorney with respect to Omission or Erros in Instruction
Immediately after the jury retires, counsel shall call to the courts attention obvious omissions or inadvertent errors contained in the instructions, in order that appropriate and timely correction may be made by the Court.
Consolidation of Cases
All cases arising out of the same transaction or the same act or acts of negligence may, on motion of any party, or on order of the Court on its own motion, be consolidated for the purpose of trial.
The foregoing rule for consolidation shall not apply when it appears to the Court that application thereof would work manifest injustice to any party.
Requests for continuances shall not be made on an ex parte basis. Consent of opposing counsel to a continuance will not be recognized as per se warranting the continuance.
Discussion of Admissibility of Evidence
Counsel will not be permitted to argue or comment upon the admissibility of evidence during the trial of cases except upon leave first granted by the Court.
Service on Opposing Counsel
Unless the Court shall otherwise direct, before submitting to the Court any proposed order, finding, conclusions of law, or judgment a copy shall be submitted to opposing counsel. The foregoing shall not apply to orders to show cause.
Limitation of Arguments
Within reasonable discretion, taking into consideration all the evidence produced at the trial, the Court may limit the arguments of counsel as to the time thereof. Counsel shall be advised of such limitation prior to the commencement of arguments.
Borrowing Court Files Regulated
No court file or paper may be withdrawn from the Clerk of Courts Office, except by a judge or by authorized court personnel for delivery to the judge's office or the court room.
Request for Instruction
Requests for instructions shall be served on opposing counsel and submitted to the Court 48 hours in advance of at the pretrial conference unless the trial judge otherwise permits. Any non-standard instruction shall be on a separate sheet and each shall have noted thereon the citation of authorities relied upon to sustain such instruction. When an instruction is requested from Wisconsin Civil, Criminal or Juvenile Instructions it may be cited solely by number unless modifications are requested. Any modification shall be submitted as above.
Submission of Trail Briefs
Trial briefs furnished to the Court shall first be served on opposing counsel, unless counsel shall have in writing (or orally upon the record at the pretrial conference) stipulated:
- As to what matters or material or content shall be included in the trial briefs to be submitted, and
- That each counsel on behalf of his client, waives the necessity of exchanging copies of his trial briefs.
Stipulations to Hold Open Case Files
All stipulations to hold cases open shall provide for final disposition of the cases within State recommended Case Processing Benchmarks or shall include the court's express approval of the delay.
Receipt of Exhibits in the Courtroom
Receipt of exhibits in the courtroom should be carried out using the following procedures:
- Number the exhibits consecutively regardless of which party offers the exhibit. EXAMPLE: Plaintiffs Exhibit 1 Defendants Exhibit 2 Defendants Exhibit 3 Plaintiffs Exhibit 4
Place a label (or a tag for large, bulky exhibits) on each exhibit
with the following information:
- Exhibit number
- Case number(s)
- Clerk's initials
- When using stamps or stickers, be careful not to obliterate important portions of the exhibit or make it difficult to identify the exhibit as to case number, exhibit number, etc.
- Do not use tags unless absolutely necessary, but when necessary, use a heavy tag rather than a slip of paper, which can easily become detached.
- Place small exhibits in small fastener-type envelopes, marked properly and fastened (one exhibit to an envelope, if possible).
- Mark filed papers as exhibits only when authorized by the presiding judge. Certified copies may be used as exhibits.
- Only a deposition offered in whole or in part during a court proceedings should be marked as an exhibit. However, exhibits to a deposition may be marked as such.
- Exhibits previously marked in another proceeding should be remarked.
- If any exhibit is presented in a container, inquire if the container is to be included as part of the exhibit.
- After an exhibit has been received (admitted into evidence), do not allow it to leave the possession of the clerk without a court order or until it has been determined that the case will not go to appeal, unless counsel moves to withdraw an exhibit and the court so orders. Denied exhibits may be returned to parties although the identification remains on the exhibit list. It is not necessary to store juvenile exhibits separately.
Maintain an exhibit list form containing the following information:
- Date of Hearing/Trial
- Date Judgment Filed
- Case Title
- Attorneys' Names
- Exhibit Description
Storage of exhibits During Trial
Storage of exhibits should be carried out using the following procedures; except as otherwise ordered by the Court:
- Keep all exhibits in a locked security file in the courtroom during the trial. Narcotics, weapons, money, valuable or sensitive materials should be secured in a file cabinet during court recesses, lunch hours, and at other times when exhibits are unattended by the courtroom clerk.
- If a security storage cabinet or vault is not available in the courtroom, place narcotics, weapons, money, valuable or sensitive materials in the clerk of courts vault each night.
- Oversized exhibits except for sensitive or dangerous items may be stored in the courtroom, if the courtroom is kept locked.
- Keep denied exhibits and others to be withheld from the jury separate from the admitted exhibits during the trial.
- Keep admitted exhibits in numerical order during the trial.
- If counsel or the court take an exhibit from the clerk during trial, the clerk shall make a note of the number of the exhibit and who has taken it.
- If at the conclusion of the trial counsel stipulates and court approves, large and unwieldy exhibits can be represented by a photograph. The photograph shall be marked with the same information as the exhibit.
Assign a staff person (and alternate for larger courts) to act as an "Exhibits Coordinator" to oversee all exhibit policies and procedures; ensure proper labeling, storage and tracking; monitor retention periods and appeals progress; send notices to parties; transfer, return and destroy exhibits.
A key function of any exhibits coordinator should be to remind clerks of court and judges to have stipulations signed in court when the parties are present and to return exhibits immediately after trial, when possible.
It may be more appropriate to consider assigning a "criminal/traffic" exhibits coordinator and a "civil/small claims/family" coordinator, or some other variation, depending on the size, logistics and organization of the court.
Managing Exhibits After Trial
Exhibits should either be returned, retained or disposed of after trial using the following procedures, except as otherwise ordered by the Court:
Retention Period for Exhibits (SCR 72.01(45),(46)
Both criminal and noncriminal case exhibits have a one year retention after the time for appeal has expired, provided the exhibits have first been offered back to the parties that submitted them as evidence (or a signed stipulation releasing the exhibits had previously been acquired.) The time period to allow for appeals to be initiated is 120 days starting with the date of the final judgment or order.
To monitor retention for final disposition, use a computerized inventory and monitoring system to locate, track and dispose of exhibits, or use the copy of the law enforcement receipt as an indicator in a manual calendar or "tickler" system for timely disposal.
Handling of Exhibits After Trial
Standard policies and procedures for managing exhibits after trial should be established and applied in a routine, systematic manner in the normal course of the court's business.
At the conclusion of civil and family trials, ask the attorneys "on
the record" whether they will stipulate to the release of all or a
portion of the exhibits. If so, have each party sign a stipulation
and order releasing exhibits (Form CF-102). If possible, have the
stipulation signed in advance.
If the parties sign a stipulation regarding the exhibits, dispose of all exhibits in accordance with the stipulation after the mandated one year retention (allow 120 days for appeal period to expire). An exhibit that is returned to the parties immediately (within 30 days) after trail via the signed stipulation releases the clerk from the custodian obligation to store and retain the exhibit for the required period under SCR 72.
- Notification of the State Historical Society is not required for exhibits to be destroyed.
- At the conclusion of criminal, traffic, and juvenile trials, if there is an acquittal, inform the parties submitting the exhibits to remove them within 30 days or less. If there is a conviction, exhibits should be retained and stored in an orderly fashion in a locked vault or room at one location.
- Exhibits that are withdrawn remain listed on the exhibit list (and the withdrawal noted), but are not retained by the clerk. This releases the clerk from the custodial obligation to store and retain the exhibit for the required retention period under SCR 72.
- Exhibits that are denied admittance into evidence remain listed on the exhibit list (with the denial noted), and are retained by the clerk unless return to the attorney/party is specifically stipulated by the court.
- At the conclusion of civil and family trials, ask the attorneys "on the record" whether they will stipulate to the release of all or a portion of the exhibits. If so, have each party sign a stipulation and order releasing exhibits (Form CF-102). If possible, have the stipulation signed in advance.
Retention of Exhibits as a Result of an Appeal
If a case is appealed, maintain exhibits until a decision is rendered, then retain the exhibits for 120 days and one year from the date the appellate decision was rendered. Follow the same procedures for noticing parties as for exhibits from a trial court.
Retention and Disposal of Contraband Exhibits
Drugs, weapons and ammunition should be stored by law enforcement agencies after trial. Storage at law enforcement agencies is generally more secure and access better controlled. These exhibits, particularly drugs, are attractive to theft. Court employees are not trained to safely store and handle weapons and ammunition. Old ammunition may also be unstable.
- When transferring exhibits to the custody of law enforcement agencies, get a receipt acknowledging transfer to their custody and file the receipt in the case file or manual "tickler" system, noting on the exhibits list where and when transferred.
- After conviction, and after the appeal and retention periods have passed, weapons should be sent to the state crime laboratory or the sheriff's department for disposal. Drugs should be sent tot he confiscating agency or sheriff's department for destruction. These steps are in compliance with s.968.20(3)(a)(b) and s. 161.55 of the statutes.
Deposition, Interrogatories and Other Discovery Material
Prior to July 1, 1986, depositions and other discovery material were required to be kept with the case file and comprised the greater volume of some court records. Depositions, interrogatories and other discovery material received prior to 7/1/86 should be purged and handled as exhibits. After the related case has been disposed and the appeal period has passed, they can be offered back to the offering parties by personal or public notice and either returned or destroyed.
Relevant information contained in depositions, etc. is documented in transcripts and/or incorporated into the findings of fact and conclusions of law that result in a final judgment or order. This information is contained in the case file. Copies of depositions and interrogatories are also kept by the parties/attorneys involved.
As of July 1, 1986, the law requires original depositions, interrogatories, demands to admit, and other discovery materials be retained by the party(s) or attorney(s) who initiated the discovery. Judges should be encouraged, when possible, to accept on the record only the relevant information or material of such bulky records to reduce case volume and long term retention problems. An option is to remove these documents from the case file, cross-reference and store in inactive or "dead" storage and, if not marked as an exhibit, return to the offering party immediately (within 30 days) after trial.
Money as Exhibits
Money which is the proceeds of crime or drug sales must be forfeited to the state and/or county in compliance with s.161.55(5)(b) and s.945.10 of the statutes; and with regard to Article X, Section 2 of the State Constitution.
Gambling proceeds must be forfeited to the state school fund under
s.945.10 of the statutes and Article X, Section 2 of the State Constitution.
This can be accomplished by order of the judge with a copy of the order sent
with the check to the State Treasurer as a separate submission from the
regular monthly report.
(Amended September 13, 1996)
- Gambling proceeds must be forfeited to the state school fund under s.945.10 of the statutes and Article X, Section 2 of the State Constitution. This can be accomplished by order of the judge with a copy of the order sent with the check to the State Treasurer as a separate submission from the regular monthly report.
- Retention Period for Exhibits (SCR 72.01(45),(46)
- Receipt of Exhibits in the Courtroom
Guardian Ad Litem Procedures
Deposit and Billing: Petitions for the appointment of
Guardian ad Litems in custody disputes shall be accompanied by a fee
deposit of $1,000.00 or a court order waiving the fee on grounds of indigency.
The $1,000.00 deposit may be split $500/$500 per party, at the discretion of
the court. Attorneys appointed to act as Guardian ad Litem in family matters
shall send each party an interim billing on a monthly basis itemizing time and
expenses and depicting each party’s share of the balance due. The Clerk
of Court shall disburse the GAL deposit on receipt of an itemized statement
showing time and expenses in excess of the deposit.
(Amended November 7, 2001)
Appointment: In family law cases, upon request by a party
for the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem, the Court, or Family Court Commissioner
shall appoint an attorney on the Guardian at Litem list. If all parties are in
agreement, and the proposed Guardian ad Litem is willing to act, the Court or
Family Court Commissioner may approve the appointment of the agreed upon attorney.
(Amended September 14, 2007)
- Deposit and Billing: Petitions for the appointment of Guardian ad Litems in custody disputes shall be accompanied by a fee deposit of $1,000.00 or a court order waiving the fee on grounds of indigency. The $1,000.00 deposit may be split $500/$500 per party, at the discretion of the court. Attorneys appointed to act as Guardian ad Litem in family matters shall send each party an interim billing on a monthly basis itemizing time and expenses and depicting each party’s share of the balance due. The Clerk of Court shall disburse the GAL deposit on receipt of an itemized statement showing time and expenses in excess of the deposit.
Domestic Abuse and Harassment Restraining Orders: All domestic
abuse and harassment restraining orders shall be signed by the Family Court Commissioner
unless unavailable. The Family Court Commissioner shall also conduct all hearings on such
petitions, unless unavailable or a conflict exists.
(Amended September 14, 2007)
- Testimonial Privilege: Any counselor who mediates custody or visitation issues in family actions on order of the Family Court Commissioner shall be accorded a testimonial privilege under Sec. 767.081 (l) Stats.
- Family Court Commissioner shall order Mediation in all disputed custody or placement cases. A participant may request waiver of mediation for danger or hardship at any time in the proceeding. The Family Court Commissioner shall determine waiver.
Family Court Commissioner shall approve qualifications of all mediators prior
to service. Minimum requirements:
- State certification
- Training on dynamics and effect of domestic violence.
- Parties may hire a qualified private mediator subject to Family Court Commissioner approval. Without an agreement or approval, Family Court Commissioner shall assign mediator from Portage County list. County mediators must agree to work at the County’s current contract, and complete one pro-bono mediation out of ten assigned cases.
- Before the assignment, each party must pay the mediator a deposit for one hour of service, and file a parenting plan and a Financial Disclosure Statement with Family Court Commissioner.
- Family Court Commissioner may waive or reduce the deposit requirement, and may require a payment plan on a wage assignment to recover any fees paid by County.
- County shall pay the mediator for the first hour of mediation. Thereafter the parties may the mediator directly. Any unused balance of deposits shall be divided equally between parties and returned to poster.
- Mediators may request County reimbursement for fees incurred beyond the initial three hours, but the expectation is the matter will be resolved in the initial time period. If the County pays for any services beyond three hours, the parties shall reimburse the County for any expense incurred. Family Court Commissioner determines need for more mediation.
Family Court Commissioner shall conduct a pretrial conference to discuss issues,
and pragmatics of the court case. Family Court Commissioner shall determine
impasse in mediation based on mediator’s report and refer the matter for court
proceedings. Family Court Commissioner shall appoint guardian ad litem from
(Amended September 14, 2007)
Receiving and Disbursing Fees: Each party ordered to make payments for
maintenance, child support, or family support under interim or final orders in an action
affecting the family shall pay to the Child Support Enforcement Trust an annual receiving
the disbursing fee of $35.00. Only one fee shall be imposed on any individual payor for
each case file.
Each annual fee payment shall be made at the time of, and in addition to, the first payment to the Child Support Enforcement Trust in each year for which payments are ordered.
Every party ordered to make payments of an annual receiving and disbursing fee shall be notified of the requirement to pay the fee and the amount of the fee by including the provisions concerning the fee in any subsequent written order.
Any stipulation under which a party is to make maintenance payments, child support or family support payments shall include the requirement to pay the annual receiving and disbursing fee.
In all actions affecting the family in which the court has, before the effective date of this rule, ordered an annual receiving and disbursing fee to be paid, the amount of the fee shall be the amount established by this rule, payable on the anniversary date of the first payment.
Future amendments to 814.61(12)(b), Wisconsin Statutes, are incorporated into these rules as they become effective.
(Amended September 14, 2007)
Parents Forever Seminar: All parties with minor children are required
to attend an educational program on the effects of divorce on children unless excepted
by the Court is entitled "Parents Forever Seminar". The petitioning party must serve
the other party with a copy of a Court Order requiring attendance at the educational
program along with the Summons and Divorce Petition. Signed orders can be obtained
from the Portage County Clerk of Court's office.
(Amended September 14, 2007)
Interim Disbursement Orders: Any person who is to receive a court
ordered support, maintenance, costs or appearance payment, temporary or permanent,
shall submit to the Court for signature a completed Interim Disbursement Order (FA-607)
at the time of entry of the order. Forms may be obtained from the Clerk of Court's
office for this purpose.
(Amended December 11, 1998)
Confidential Information: To protect individuals from identity fraud,
the social security numbers of the parties and their children may be placed in a sealed
envelope in the court file. The divorce or paternity petition, and the findings of
fact, conclusions of law and judgment of divorce or paternity should then refer to the
separate filing containing the social security numbers. All financial records and
information, and health records shall be sealed and marked confidential to be opened
only upon order of the Court.
(Amended February 4, 2004)
Certificate of Readiness: All non-represented parties to a divorce
action shall obtain from the Family Court Commissioner a Certificate of Readiness for
trial prior to a final hearing or contested post judgment hearing or contested post
judgment hearing. The certificate shall be issued only after:
- Determining that petitioning party(ies) have completed a review of guidelines concerning the advisability of proceeding pro se:
- Determining that all paperwork meets requirements and is appropriately completed. This includes but is not limited to: financial disclosure statement, marital settlement agreements, and proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgments, and
- Determining that the petitioning party understands appropriate instructions concerning presentation of evidence to support the divorce petition at trial.
- Family Law Information Center: Non-represented parties to a divorce action may obtain the above referenced Certificate of Readiness from the Family Court Commissioner through the Family Law Information Center. The fee for providing such service through the Family Law Information Center is $75.00 for a non-represented petitioner, $100.00 for non-represented joint petitioners, and $25.00 for a non-represented respondent. Such fees are to be paid directly to the Portage County Treasurer. The Court may balance fees between parties based on ability to pay in the final judgment. The Court may waive fees in the case of indigency. All such fees shall support the cost of operation of the Family Law Information Center.
Availability: The Family Law Information Center shall be
available to all Portage County residents and participants in a Portage
County divorce proceeding for assistance with regard to forms and procedures
of the Portage County Family Courts. The center does not provide legal advice
or representation. The Family Court Commissioner will supervise the operation
of the Family Law Information Center and provide appropriate notice of the
availability of its services to the public.
(Amended January 11, 2012)
- The service of a summons upon any resident of Portage County in all actions under Chapter 799 Wis. Stats., except eviction actions, may be by mail under 799.12(3) Wis. Stats. in lieu of personal or substituted service under Section 801.11 Wis. Stats.
- Plaintiffs and defendants shall appear in person or by counsel at all joinder/pretrial hearings. If, however, a defendant is a non-resident of the State of Wisconsin, then such defendant shall be permitted to join issue in any of the actions specified in Section 799.01 without appearing on the return date by answering by mail, provided such answer is received by the Clerk prior to the return date.
- All actions commenced by service of process outside of Portage County shall contain information justifying venue in Portage County.
- Each party shall prepared to try all issues at the initial joinder hearing. In the event a party believes they can not try all issues on the joinder date they shall request an adjournment stating the reasons for the request. They shall advise the Court of the number of witnesses they expect to call and the estimated time required to complete any trial.
- An order to show cause directed to a judgment debtor seeking contempt for failure to comply with an order under 799.26(a) Wis. Stats. shall, unless otherwise directed by the Court, be served personally upon such judgment debtor.
Actions for a money judgment based upon accounts for materials or services, or actions
for money judgment or replevin based upon a note may be scheduled for a fast track
procedure when the plaintiff expects the matter to default. The plaintiff shall identify
the case as such by placing the letters FT on the summons to the right of the location
provided for the case file number. All cases so identified shall be scheduled at a
separate time on the next available joinder date. Cases will be grouped and called
in order by plaintiff's attorney or plaintiff.
Cases which the plaintiff does not expect to default should not be identified for fast track appearance. A continuing abuse of the procedure's availability may result in termination of the procedure, or an order barring its use by an individual plaintiff or attorney.
(Amended July 10, 1997)
- The Portage County Victim/Witness Coordinator shall provide notice to victims as required Sec. 48.346.
- All jurors may be required to provide up to five days of service pursuant to Statute 756.28(2).
STATE BAR ID NUMBER
In each case file, the initial pleading or document filed by an attorney on behalf of a client shall include the State Bar identification number of the attorney on the first page of the document.
Judges assigned to cases within Portage County shall coordinate their scheduling
through the secretary or staff of the court branch to which they are assigned to
obtain a courtroom assignment. In the event no such assignment is obtained, any
case scheduled shall be considered subsequent in priority to those cases scheduled
by the sitting judge.
(Amended February 7, 1995)
Portage County in cooperation with the Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network offers a voluntary foreclosure mediation program to owners of residences (1 to 4 family) and mortgage lenders for the purposes of communication and discussion of settlement alternatives early in the foreclosure process with the goal of reducing the number of foreclosures through any alternatives to foreclosure that may be available.
Therefore, until further order of the Court, in all residential (1-4 family) foreclosure actions filed on and after the effective date of June 1, 2013, the plaintiff shall attach to the front of the summons served upon the defendant/mortgagor the following two forms reproduced on yellow paper:
(1) Notice of Availability of Mediation
(as found on the Portage County Clerk of Court website – http://co.portage.wi.us/courts/clerkCourts.shtm)
(2) Mediation Request Form
(as found on the Portage County Clerk of Court website – http://co.portage.wi.us/courts/clerkCourts.shtm)
The Notice of Availability of Mediation and a Program Description shall be made available on the website of the Portage County Clerk of Circuit Court.
Dated and signed at Stevens Point, Wisconsin, this 14th day of September, 2007.
|BY THE COURT:||APPROVED THIS: 20th of September, 2007|
|Frederic W. Fleishauer||John Storck, Chief Judge|
|Circuit Judge - Branch 1||Sixth Admin. Jud. District|
|John V. Finn|
|Circuit Judge - Branch 2|
|Thomas T. Flugaur|
|Circuit Judge - Branch 3|