Law enforcement training.
Grants to certain counties for law enforcement programs.
County-tribal law enforcement programs.
Grants to tribes for law enforcement programs.
Tribal law enforcement officers; powers and duties.
Sexual assault victim services; grants.
Global positioning system pilot programs; grants.
Alternatives to incarceration; grant program.
Drug court; grant program.
Frequent testing for use of alcohol or a controlled substance; pilot program.
Child advocacy grants.
Court appointed special advocates; grants.
Weed and seed project grants.
Law enforcement technology grants.
Beat patrol officers; grant program.
Youth diversion programs; grant program.
The attorney general shall:
(1) Give opinion to officers.
Give his or her opinion in writing, when required, without fee, upon all questions of law submitted to him or her by the legislature, either house thereof or the senate or assembly committee on organization, or by the head of any department of state government.
(2) Protect trust funds.
Examine all applications for loans from any of the trust funds, and furnish to the commissioners of public lands his or her opinion in writing as to the regularity of each such application, and also of the validity of any bonds or other securities purchased for the benefit of such funds.
(3) Certify bonds.
Examine a certified copy of all proceedings preliminary to any issue of state bonds or notes, and, if found regular and valid, endorse on each bond or note his or her certificate of such examination and validity. The attorney general shall also make similar examinations and certificates respecting municipal bonds in the cases specified in s. 67.025
(4) Keep statement of fees.
Keep a detailed statement of all fees, including his or her fees as commissioner of public lands, received by him or her during the preceding year, and file such statement with the department of administration on or before June 30 in each year.
(5) Report to legislature.
Upon request of the legislature or either house thereof, submit a report upon any matters pertaining to the duties of his or her office to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, for distribution to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
(6) Perform other duties.
Perform all other duties imposed upon the attorney general by law.
The attorney general, absent a specific legislative grant of power, is devoid of the inherent power to initiate and prosecute litigation intended to protect or promote the interests of the state or its citizens and cannot act for the state as parens patriae
. Estate of Sharp, 63 Wis. 2d 254
, 217 N.W.2d 258
The attorney general does not have authority to challenge the constitutionality of statutes. Any authority the attorney general has is found in the statutes. The attorney general's constitutional powers and statutory powers are one and the same. State v. City of Oak Creek, 2000 WI 9
, 232 Wis. 2d 612
, 605 N.W.2d 526
The powers of the attorney general in Wisconsin. Van Alstyne, Roberts, 1974 WLR 721.
Review of certain detentions or petitions for commitment. 165.017(2)(2)
The attorney general or his or her designee shall review and approve or disapprove all proposed petitions for commitment of individuals as specified under s. 51.20 (1) (ad) 1.
(4) Subsection (2)
does not apply if the attorney general makes a finding that a court of competent jurisdiction in this state, in a case in which the constitutionality of s. 51.20 (1) (a) 2. e.
has been challenged, has upheld the constitutionality of s. 51.20 (1) (a) 2. e.
History: 1995 a. 292
; 2001 a. 16
Federal appropriations adjustments. 165.02(1)
In this section, "the schedule" means the schedule under s. 20.005 (3)
as published in the biennial budget act for the first fiscal year of a fiscal biennium and as approved by the joint committee on finance under s. 20.004 (2)
for the 2nd fiscal year of a fiscal biennium.
Subject to par. (b)
, annually by December 1 or within 30 days after the applicable federal appropriation bill for that federal fiscal year has been enacted, whichever is later, the attorney general shall submit to the joint committee on finance a plan identifying how the attorney general proposes to adjust the federal appropriations for the department of justice for that state fiscal year to reflect the most recent estimate of the amount of federal funds that the department of justice will be appropriated in that state fiscal year.
The attorney general is required to submit a plan under par. (a)
only if the most recent estimate of the amount of federal funds that the department of justice will be appropriated under s. 20.455
in the current state fiscal year is less than 95% or more than 105% of the amount of federal revenue shown in the schedule for the appropriations under s. 20.455
in that fiscal year.
After receiving a plan under sub. (2) (a)
, the cochairpersons of the joint committee on finance jointly shall determine whether the plan is complete. If the joint committee on finance meets and either approves or modifies and approves a plan submitted under sub. (2) (a)
within 14 days after the cochairpersons determine that the plan is complete, the attorney general shall implement the plan as approved by the committee. If the joint committee on finance does not meet and either approve or modify and approve a plan submitted under sub. (2) (a)
within 14 days after the cochairpersons determine that the plan is complete, the attorney general shall implement the proposed plan.
History: 1997 a. 86
The attorney general may appoint a deputy attorney general and assistants each of whom shall be an attorney at law admitted to practice in this state. Such appointments shall be made in writing and filed in the office of the secretary of state, and such appointees shall take and subscribe the constitutional oath of office which shall also be filed. Appointees shall perform such duties as the attorney general prescribes.
The deputy attorney general shall give a bond to the state in the sum of $5,000, with good and sufficient sureties, to be approved by the governor, conditioned for the faithful performance of the deputy attorney general's duties and the attorney general shall be responsible for all acts of the deputy attorney general.
The attorney general may appoint, in the unclassified service, a solicitor general and no more than 3 deputy solicitors general, each of whom shall be an attorney at law licensed to practice in this state. The attorney general may assign assistant attorneys general to assist the solicitor general.
The attorney general shall appoint, in the unclassified service, the administrator of the legal services division subject to s. 230.08 (4) (a)
Assistant attorney generals; antitrust. 165.065(1)
At least one assistant attorney general shall be assigned to the investigation and prosecution of violations arising under ch. 133
and shall carry out the duties imposed on the attorney general by ch. 133
. All apparent violations of ch. 133
which come to the attention of any officer or agency of state government shall be reported to one of such assistant attorneys general. All officers and agencies shall cooperate with and assist the department of justice in the investigation and prosecution of such apparent violations.
The assistant attorney general in charge of antitrust investigations and prosecutions is to cooperate actively with the antitrust division of the U.S. department of justice in everything that concerns monopolistic practices in Wisconsin, and also to cooperate actively with the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection in the work which this agency is carrying on under s. 100.20
of the marketing law with regard to monopolistic practices in the field of agriculture and with the federal trade commission on matters arising in or affecting Wisconsin which pertain to its jurisdiction.
History: 1977 c. 29
s. 1650m (4)
; 1977 c. 260
Assistant attorney general; unemployment insurance law enforcement.
The attorney general shall assign at least 0.5 assistant attorney general position to assist in the investigation and prosecution of noncompliance with ch. 108
History: 2005 a. 86
Power to compromise.
Any civil action prosecuted by the department by direction of any officer, department, board or commission, shall be compromised or discontinued when so directed by such officer, department, board or commission. Any civil action prosecuted by the department on the initiative of the attorney general, or at the request of any individual may be compromised or discontinued with the approval of the governor. In any criminal action prosecuted by the attorney general, the department shall have the same powers with reference to such action as are vested in district attorneys.
History: 2007 a. 20
; 2015 a. 55
Removal of barriers to trade or movement of dairy products.
The attorney general may take such action as he or she deems necessary in order to contest or oppose existing statutes, ordinances, regulations, orders or other trade barriers which may restrict the sale in other states of milk or other dairy products produced in Wisconsin; study and investigate problems concerning the free movement of milk and other dairy products in interstate commerce and present the results thereof to such legislative and executive agencies of the federal government and the several states, such studies, investigations and presentations to executive and legislative agencies to be made either individually or jointly with others.
History: 1993 a. 482
Duties of department of justice.
The department of justice shall:
(1) Represent state in appeals and on remand.
Except as provided in ss. 5.05 (2m) (a)
, 19.49 (2) (a)
, and 978.05 (5)
, appear for the state and prosecute or defend all actions and proceedings, civil or criminal, in the court of appeals and the supreme court, in which the state is interested or a party, and attend to and prosecute or defend all civil cases sent or remanded to any circuit court in which the state is a party. Nothing in this subsection deprives or relieves the attorney general or the department of justice of any authority or duty under this chapter.
Effective date note
Sub. (1) is shown as amended eff. 6-30-16 by 2015 Wis. Act 118
. Prior to 6-30-16 it reads:
Effective date text
(1) Represent state in appeals and on remand. Except as provided in ss. 5.05 (2m) (a) and 978.05 (5), appear for the state and prosecute or defend all actions and proceedings, civil or criminal, in the court of appeals and the supreme court, in which the state is interested or a party, and attend to and prosecute or defend all civil cases sent or remanded to any circuit court in which the state is a party. Nothing in this subsection deprives or relieves the attorney general or the department of justice of any authority or duty under this chapter.
(1m) Represent state in other matters.
If requested by the governor or either house of the legislature, appear for and represent the state, any state department, agency, official, employee or agent, whether required to appear as a party or witness in any civil or criminal matter, and prosecute or defend in any court or before any officer, any cause or matter, civil or criminal, in which the state or the people of this state may be interested. The public service commission may request under s. 196.497 (7)
that the attorney general intervene in federal proceedings. All expenses of the proceedings shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.455 (1) (d)
(2) Prosecute breaches of bonds and contracts.
Prosecute, at the request of the governor, or of the head of any department of the state government any official bond or any contract in which the state is interested, deposited with any of them, upon a breach thereof, and prosecute or defend for the state all actions, civil or criminal, relating to any matter connected with any of their departments except in those cases where other provision is made.
(3) Advise district attorneys.
Consult and advise with the district attorneys when requested by them in all matters pertaining to the duties of their office.
(3m) Review obscenity cases.
Review obscenity cases submitted to the department by district attorneys under s. 944.21 (7)
. The attorney general shall determine whether a prosecution may be commenced.
(3r) Avoid conflict of interest.
Require that attorneys in different organizational subunits in the department prosecute violations of chs. 562
or Indian gaming compacts entered into under s. 14.035
and defend any department, agency, official, employee or agent under subs. (1)
, (4) (a)
(4) Furnish legal services; appropriation. 165.25(4)(a)(a)
The department of justice shall furnish all legal services required by the investment board, the lottery division in the department of revenue, the public service commission, the department of transportation, the department of natural resources, the department of tourism and the department of employee trust funds, together with any other services, including stenographic and investigational, as are necessarily connected with the legal work.
The department of justice shall furnish legal services upon request of the department of safety and professional services under s. 167.35 (7)
The department of justice shall furnish legal services to the department of safety and professional services in all proceedings under s. 440.21 (3)
, together with any other services, including stenographic and investigational, as are necessarily connected with the legal services.
The department of justice shall furnish all legal services required by the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection relating to the enforcement of ss. 91.68
, and 846.45
and chs. 126
, and 779
, together with any other services as are necessarily connected to the legal services.
The department of justice shall furnish legal services to the livestock facility siting review board in defending appeals under s. 93.90 (5) (e)
of decisions of the board.
The department of justice shall furnish bond counsel services to the building commission when the building commission contracts public debt under subch. I of ch. 18
The department of justice shall provide legal services, other than those relating to civil actions or opinions, under ch. 150
to the department of health services.
The department shall at the end of each fiscal year, except for programs financed out of the general fund and except for services required to be provided by statute other than this subsection, render to the respective agencies enumerated in this subsection an itemized statement of the total cost of the legal and other services including travel expenses and legal expenses enumerated in s. 20.455 (1) (d)
Upon receipt of the statement, the respective agency head shall audit the statement and upon finding it to be correct shall certify the amount of the statement to the department of administration to be paid into the general fund out of the agency's proper appropriation.
(5) Prepare forms.
Whenever requested by the head of any department of the state government, the department of justice shall prepare proper drafts of forms for contracts and other writings which may be wanted for the use of the state.
At the request of the head of any department of state government, the attorney general may appear for and defend any state department, or any state officer, employee, or agent of the department in any civil action or other matter brought before a court or an administrative agency which is brought against the state department, or officer, employee, or agent for or on account of any act growing out of or committed in the lawful course of an officer's, employee's, or agent's duties. Witness fees or other expenses determined by the attorney general to be reasonable and necessary to the defense in the action or proceeding shall be paid as provided for in s. 885.07
. The attorney general may compromise and settle the action as the attorney general determines to be in the best interest of the state. Members, officers, and employees of the Wisconsin state agencies building corporation and the Wisconsin state public building corporation are covered by this section. Members of the board of governors created under s. 619.04 (3)
, members of a committee or subcommittee of that board of governors, members of the injured patients and families compensation fund peer review council created under s. 655.275 (2)
, and persons consulting with that council under s. 655.275 (5) (b)
are covered by this section with respect to actions, claims, or other matters arising before, on, or after April 25, 1990. The attorney general may compromise and settle claims asserted before such actions or matters formally are brought or may delegate such authority to the department of administration. This paragraph may not be construed as a consent to sue the state or any department thereof or as a waiver of state sovereign immunity.
Volunteer health care providers who provide services under s. 146.89
, except those described in s. 146.89 (5) (a)
, practitioners who provide services under s. 257.03
, and health care facilities on whose behalf services are provided under s. 257.03
are, for the provision of those services, covered by this section and shall be considered agents of the department of health services for purposes of determining which agency head may request the attorney general to appear and defend them.
Physicians under s. 251.07
or 252.04 (9) (b)
are covered by this section and shall be considered agents of the department of health services for purposes of determining which agency head may request the attorney general to appear and defend them.
The department of justice may appear for and defend the state or any state department, agency, official or employee in any civil action arising out of or relating to the assessment or collection of costs concerning environmental cleanup or natural resources damages including actions brought under 42 USC 9607
. The action may be compromised and settled in the same manner as provided in par. (a)
. At the request of the department of natural resources, the department of justice may provide legal representation to the state or to the department of natural resources in the same matter in which the department of justice provides defense counsel, if the attorneys representing those interests are assigned from different organizational units within the department of justice. This paragraph may not be construed as a consent to sue the state or any department, agency, official or employee of the state or as a waiver of sovereign immunity.
(6m) Attorney for state witnesses.
At the request of the head of any department or agency of state government, the attorney general may appear for and represent any state official, employee or agent who is required to appear as a witness in any administrative or civil matter.
(7) Keep record of actions.
The department shall keep a record of all actions and demands prosecuted or defended by the department on behalf of the state and all related proceedings. The department may dispose of public records in accordance with s. 16.61
(8) Historical society contracts.
In subs. (1)
, treat any nonprofit corporation operating a museum under a lease agreement with the state historical society as a department of state government and any official, employee or agent of such a corporation as a state official, employee or agent.
(8m) Local emergency planning committees.
In subs. (1)
, treat any local emergency planning committee appointed by a county board under s. 59.54 (8) (a)
as a department of state government and any member of such a committee as a state official, employee or agent.
(9) Perform other duties.
The department of justice shall perform all other duties imposed upon the department by law.
(10) Report on restitution.
Semiannually submit a report to the department of administration and the joint committee on finance regarding money received by the department of justice under a court order or a settlement agreement for providing restitution to victims. The report shall specify the amount of restitution received by the department of justice during the reporting period; the persons to whom the department of justice paid restitution and the amount that the department of justice paid to each recipient during the reporting period; and the department of justice's methodology for selecting recipients and determining the amount paid to each recipient.
(10m) Report on grants.
Beginning on January 15, 2015, and annually thereafter, the department of justice shall submit a report to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
, regarding its administration of grant programs under ss. 165.95
, and 165.987
. The report shall include, for each grant program, all of the following information:
The amount of each grant awarded by the department of justice for the previous fiscal year.
The grant recipient to whom each grant was awarded.