Attorney for plaintiff liable for costs.
Taxation after settlement.
Fees not collectible till taxed.
Duty of officers taxing costs.
Costs on dismissal for lack of jurisdiction or stay of proceedings.
Jury fees; discretion of court.
Criminal actions; fees of the clerk of court.
Civil actions; fees of the clerk of court.
Fees of designee for receiving and disbursing support.
Fees for mediation and studies.
Fees in garnishment, wage earner and small claims actions.
Fees in forfeiture actions.
Fee for court support services.
Justice information system fee and special prosecution clerks fee.
Fees on appeal to court of appeals or supreme court.
Fees of the municipal court.
Fees of register in probate.
Fees of witnesses and interpreters.
Fees of court commissioners.
Fees of court reporters; transcripts.
Governing body may establish higher fees.
Fees of city police, constables and village marshals.
Fees of appraisers.
COSTS IN CIVIL ACTIONS AND
Costs allowed to plaintiff. 814.01(1)
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, costs shall be allowed of course to the plaintiff upon a recovery.
In an action for assault and battery, false imprisonment, libel, slander, malicious prosecution, invasion of privacy or seduction, a plaintiff who recovers less than $50 damages shall recover no more costs than damages.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.01; 1981 c. 317
Costs limited, discretionary. 814.02(1)
When several actions are brought against parties who might have been joined as defendants and the actions are consolidated under s. 805.05 (1)
no costs, other than disbursements, shall be allowed to the plaintiff in excess of what the plaintiff would be entitled to had the plaintiff brought but one action.
In equitable actions and special proceedings costs may be allowed or not to any party, in whole or in part, in the discretion of the court, and in any such case the court may award to the successful party such costs (exclusive of disbursements) not exceeding $100, as the court deems reasonable and just, in view of the nature of the case and the work involved. This subsection refers only to such costs and fees as may be taxed by the authority of the statutes, independent of any contract of the parties upon the subject, which contract shall apply unless the court finds that the provisions thereof are inequitable or unjust.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 761, 780 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.02; 1993 a. 486
Courts can make a determination of the reasonableness of attorneys fees even where a note specifies the amount. Lakeshore C. F. Corp. v. Bradford A. Corp. 45 W (2d) 313, 173 NW (2d) 165.
Neither s. 814.02 or s. 814.036 grants the trial court the power to allow costs which are not explicitly authorized by statute. Kleinke v. Farmers Coop. Supply & Shipping, 202 W (2d) 138, 549 NW (2d) 714 (1996).
Costs upon frivolous claims and counterclaims. 814.025(1)(1)
If an action or special proceeding commenced or continued by a plaintiff or a counterclaim, defense or cross complaint commenced, used or continued by a defendant is found, at any time during the proceedings or upon judgment, to be frivolous by the court, the court shall award to the successful party costs determined under s. 814.04
and reasonable attorney fees.
The costs and fees awarded under sub. (1)
may be assessed fully against either the party bringing the action, special proceeding, cross complaint, defense or counterclaim or the attorney representing the party or may be assessed so that the party and the attorney each pay a portion of the costs and fees.
In order to find an action, special proceeding, counterclaim, defense or cross complaint to be frivolous under sub. (1)
, the court must find one or more of the following:
The action, special proceeding, counterclaim, defense or cross complaint was commenced, used or continued in bad faith, solely for purposes of harassing or maliciously injuring another.
The party or the party's attorney knew, or should have known, that the action, special proceeding, counterclaim, defense or cross complaint was without any reasonable basis in law or equity and could not be supported by a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law.
History: 1977 c. 209
; 1987 a. 256
Trial court's finding that claim was not frivolous was against great weight and clear preponderance of evidence. Sommer v. Carr, 95 W (2d) 651, 291 NW (2d) 301 (Ct. App. 1980).
This section is not applicable in quasi-criminal actions (ordinance violations) where decision to proceed is based on prosecutorial discretion. City of Janesville v. Wiskia, 97 W (2d) 473, 293 NW (2d) 522 (1980).
Trial court must apply objective test to support finding that claim was frivolous. Sommer v. Carr, 99 W (2d) 789, 299 NW (2d) 856 (1981).
This section does not permit award of attorney's fees for a frivolous appeal. Determination of frivolity discussed. In Matter of Estate of Bilsie, 100 W (2d) 342, 302 NW (2d) 508 (Ct. App. 1981).
Court may not impose joint and several liability under this section. Frivolity discussed. State v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. 100 W (2d) 582, 302 NW (2d) 827 (1981).
See note to 799.25, citing Hessenius v. Schmidt, 102 W (2d) 697, 307 NW (2d) 232 (1981).
Motion for relief under 806.07 was frivolous. Court erred by allowing travel expenses as costs. Wengerd v. Rinehart, 114 W (2d) 575, 338 NW (2d) 861 (Ct. App. 1983).
Arguments that "reduction clauses" in uninsured motorist provisions are invalid and that release does not bar subsequent claim against insurer for tort of bad faith were frivolous. Radlein v. Industrial Fire & Cas. Ins. Co. 117 W (2d) 605, 345 NW (2d) 874 (1984).
Denial of defendant's motion for directed verdict did not bar court from finding plaintiff's action to be frivolous. Court may find some claims constituting an action frivolous and others not frivolous. Stoll v. Adriansen, 122 W (2d) 503, 362 NW (2d) 182 (Ct. App. 1984).
Court may award attorney fees if petitioner's claim was frivolously brought before it on review under ch. 227, but may not award attorney fees incurred at various agency levels. Tatum v. LIRC, 132 W (2d) 411, 392 NW (2d) 840 (Ct. App. 1986).
Section penalizes parties who bring frivolous lawsuits and does not penalize parties for unacceptable tactics in course of proceedings. Gagnow v. Haase, 149 W (2d) 542, 439 NW (2d) 593 (Ct. App. 1989).
Trial court erred in finding frivolousness on attorney's part based upon court's assessment of credibility of client. Blankenship v. Computers & Training, 158 W (2d) 702, 462 NW (2d) 918 (Ct. App. 1990).
See note to 809.25 citing Minniecheske v. Griesbach, 161 W (2d) 743, 468 NW (2d) 760 (Ct. App. 1991).
In cases which do not fit squarely within this statute, a trial court has certain inherent powers to sanction parties including the awarding of attorney fees. Schaefer v. Northern Assurance Co. 182 W (2d) 148, 513 NW (2d) 16 (Ct. App. 1994).
Frivolousness under sub. (3) (a) is a high standard typically requiring a finding of bad faith based on some statement or action, such as a threat. The threshold issue under sub. (3) (b) is whether the action may even be brought. If an attorney knows or should have known that the required elements necessary to prove a claim cannot be produced, the claim is frivolous under sub. (3) (b). Stern v. Thompson & Coates, LTD. 185 W (2d) 221, 517 NW (2d) 658 (1994).
The application of this section is not limited to frivolous pleading recognized in ch. 802, but includes any argument by counsel made during the course of a proceeding. Gardner v. Gardner, 190 W (2d) 216, 527 NW (2d) 701 (Ct. App. 1994).
Motions under this section must be filed prior to the entry of judgment. Northwest Wholesale Lumber v. Anderson, 191 W (2d) 278, 528 NW (2d) 502 (Ct. App. 1995).
There is a presumption of non-frivolousness, requiring all doubts to be resolved in favor of non-frivolousness. When there are disputes as to frivolousness, the moving party has the burden to show at an evidentiary hearing that the action is not well grounded in the facts or the law or equity. Kelly v. Clark, 192 W (2d) 633, 531 NW (2d) 455 (Ct. App. 1995).
Claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress was frivolous. Braski v. AH-NE-PEE Dimensional Hardwood, Inc. 630 F Supp. 862 (1986).
Is Wisconsin's frivolous claim statute frivolous? Endress. 68 MLR 279 (1985).
Awarding reasonable attorney fees upon frivolous claims and counterclaims under s. 814.025. Sundby, WBB May 1980.
Costs to defendant. 814.03(1)(1)
If the plaintiff is not entitled to costs under s. 814.01 (1)
, the defendant shall be allowed costs to be computed on the basis of the demands of the complaint.
Where there are several defendants who are not united in interest and who make separate defenses by separate answers, if the plaintiff recovers against some but not all of such defendants, the court may award costs to any defendant who has judgment in the defendant's favor.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 761, 780 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.03; 1987 a. 345
; 1993 a. 486
Section contemplates awarding of costs only to successful parties. DeGroff v. Schmude, 71 W (2d) 554, 238 NW (2d) 730.
A prevailing defendant is entitled to costs from all plaintiffs including subrogated plaintiffs who elected not participate in the trial. Sampson v. Logue, 184 W (2d) 20, 515 NW (2d) 917 (Ct. App. 1994).
Costs upon counterclaims and cross complaints. 814.035(1)(1)
Except as otherwise provided in this section, costs shall be allowed on counterclaims and cross complaints as if separate actions had been brought thereon.
When the causes of action stated in the complaint and counterclaim and cross complaint arose out of the same transaction or occurrence, costs in favor of the successful party upon the complaint and counterclaim and cross complaint so arising shall be in the discretion of the court.
Costs recovered by opposing parties shall be offset.
History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.035.
Awarding statutory costs to the lessee and denial of costs to the lessor (whose recovery for unpaid instalments of rent under the agreement was reduced by the damages the lessee sustained) was, under 271.035 (2) and (3), Stats. 1969, a matter within the trial court's discretion, the language of the statute indicating that costs are purely discretionary when both parties recover on their respective claims in one action, and there being no showing that the trial court herein abused its discretion. (So much of the opinion in Zimmerman v. Dornbrook, 6 W (2d) 567, implying that if both parties recover on their claims, as a matter of right costs should be allowed for each side, is modified accordingly.) Mid-Continent Refrigerator Co. v. Straka, 47 W (2d) 739, 178 NW (2d) 28.
Where judgment was ordered for defendant in plaintiff's action and also for defendant on one of several counterclaims, costs were properly awarded to defendant as to each. Arrowhead Growers S. Co. v. Central Sands Prod. 48 W (2d) 383, 180 NW (2d) 567.
Omnibus costs provision.
If a situation arises in which the allowance of costs is not covered by ss. 814.01
, the allowance shall be in the discretion of the court.
History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 761, 780 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.036.
Prevailing plaintiff in habeas corpus proceeding may not be awarded costs. State ex rel. Korne v. Wolke, 79 W (2d) 22, 255 NW (2d) 446.
Circuit courts have authority to impose costs on an attorney whose actions have resulted in a mistrial. Schulz v. Darlington Mut. Ins. 181 W (2d) 646, 511 NW (2d) 879 (1994).
Photocopy and facsimile expenses may be taxed under 814.036. Wausau Medical Center v. Asplund, 182 W (2d) 274, 514 NW (2d) 34 (Ct. App. 1994).
This section only gives a court discretion as to when it may allow costs and not as to what costs may be allowed. Neither s. 814.02 or s. 814.036 grants the trial court the power to allow costs which are not explicitly authorized by statute. Kleinke v. Farmers Coop. Supply & Shipping, 202 W (2d) 138, 549 NW (2d) 714 (1996).
Items of costs.
Except as provided in ss. 93.20
, 106.04 (6) (i)
and (6m) (a)
, 895.035 (4)
, 895.75 (3)
, 895.77 (2)
, 895.79 (3)
, 895.80 (3)
, 943.212 (2) (b)
, 943.245 (2) (d)
and 943.51 (2) (b)
, when allowed costs shall be as follows: