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The Guide to Wisconsin Court Records

Overview of Wisconsin Courts

The Wisconsin trial court system consists of Circuit Courts and Municipal Courts.
 
Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but typically will not handle cases that are within the jurisdiction of Municipal Courts. Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over most municipal ordinance violations.

Please select a Wisconsin county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court.
Find Wisconsin court pages by Town or Zip Code.
Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level.
Go to the court records pages for another state.
Wisconsin Circuit Courts
Circuit Courts have original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases, but typically handle cases beyond Municipal Court jurisdiction. All jury trials are heard in Circuit Courts.

Circuit Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over all criminal cases. Circuit Courts typically do not handle ordinance violations within the jurisdiction of a Municipal Court.

Civil cases heard by Circuit Courts include general civil claims, civil equity cases, domestic relations, probate matters and most juvenile cases.
Wisconsin Municipal Courts
Municipal Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over most ordinance violations. Cases typically handled by Municipal Courts include traffic violations, ordinance violations and non-jury trials for first offense drunk driving.

Municipal Courts also handle some juvenile cases, including truancy, alcohol violations, drug offenses and curfew violations. Municipal Courts do not offer jury trials and cases with proper requests are transferred to Circuit Courts. Municipal Courts do not have jurisdiction over cases requesting equitable relief.

Ordinance violations are heard by Circuit Courts in areas without Municipal Courts.
Wisconsin Problem Solving Courts
Wisconsin is in the process of developing several \"problem solving\" court divisions to handle certain types of cases, including drug treatment courts, mental health treatment courts, specialized juvenile courts, domestic violence courts, and offender reentry courts.

These programs operate as specialized divisions of Circuit Courts.

Where to find court cases in Wisconsin
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in Wisconsin.
 
Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
Civil Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
General Civil - Unlimited
Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
General Civil - Limited
Most or all General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Small Claims
Most or all Small Claims cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Civil Equity
Most or all Civil Equity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Complex Commercial
Most or all Complex Commercial cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Foreclosures and Liens
Most or all Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Real Estate Title and Boundary
Most or all Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Landlord / Tenant
Most or all Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Ordinance Violations
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders
Most or all Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Administrative Agency Appeals
Most or all Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Criminal Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Felony
Most or all Felony cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Felony Preliminary Hearings
Most or all Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Misdemeanors
Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Ordinance Violations
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Juvenile
Most or all Juvenile cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Juvenile cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Traffic and Infractions
Some Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Domestic Relations Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Divorce
Most or all Divorce cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Child Custody and Visitation
Most or all Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Child Support
Most or all Child Support cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Paternity
Most or all Paternity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Domestic Violence Protection Order
Most or all Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Juvenile Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Adoptions
Most or all Adoptions cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Juvenile Delinquency
Most or all Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Child Abuse and Neglect
Most or all Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Termination of Parental Rights
Most or all Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Children in Need of Supervision
Most or all Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Mental Health Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Involuntary Commitments
Most or all Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Other Mental Health Cases
Most or all Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Probate Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Wills & Estates
Most or all Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Name Changes
Most or all Name Changes cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Trusts
Most or all Trusts cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Guardianships and Conservatorships
Most or all Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 

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