321.60 History History: 2001 a. 22; 2003 a. 69; 2005 a. 25; 2007 a. 130, 196; 2007 a. 200 s. 142; Stats. 2007 s. 321.60; 2009 a. 2, 3, 344, 405; 2011 a. 210; 2013 a. 20; 2015 a. 55; 2017 a. 331.
321.61 321.61 Service members civil relief for property taxes and mobile telephone contracts; federal active duty.
321.61(1)(1)
321.61(1)(a) (a) In this subsection, unless the context indicates otherwise:
321.61(1)(a)1. 1. “Interest and penalties" means interest and penalties accruing on taxes during the period of federal active duty and 6 months thereafter. In case several owners jointly own property, other than property held jointly or as marital property with the spouse of the person in federal active duty, interest and penalties means the proportionate share of the total interest and penalties commensurate with the equity in the property of the person in federal active duty.
321.61(1)(a)2. 2. “Person in federal active duty" means any man or woman who is serving in federal active duty for a period of 90 days or more.
321.61(1)(a)3. 3. “Property" means any real estate or personal property belonging to a person in federal active duty that was acquired prior to the commencement of the federal active duty or that was acquired by descent.
321.61(1)(a)4. 4. “Taxes" means any property taxes or special assessments or tax certificates evidencing those taxes and assessments not belonging to private buyers.
321.61(1)(b) (b) To supplement and complement the provisions of 50 App. USC 501, and to afford and obtain greater peace and security for persons in federal active duty, the enforcement of certain tax obligations or liabilities that may prejudice the property rights of persons in federal active duty may be temporarily suspended as provided in this subsection.
321.61(1)(c) (c) Any person in federal active duty or within 6 months after terminating that duty, or the person's agent or attorney during that period, may petition the circuit court of any county in which the person owns property for relief under this subsection. Upon filing of the petition the court shall make an order fixing the time of hearing and requiring the giving of notice of the hearing. If after the hearing the court finds that the person is, or within 6 months next preceding the filing of the petition was, in federal active duty and owns property within the county on which taxes have fallen or will fall due, and that the person's ability to pay the taxes has been materially adversely affected by reason of being in federal active duty, the court shall enter an order determining that the person is entitled to relief under this subsection. The court may suspend proceedings for the collection of taxes on the property for a period not exceeding 6 months after termination of the federal active duty of the person, or for the time reasonably necessary to complete the agreement provided in par. (g). Thereafter, the property shall not be included in tax certificates issued to enforce collection of taxes on property, and all proceedings for that purpose shall be suspended, except under terms that the court may order.
321.61(1)(d) (d) Whenever any tax or assessment on real property, including all special assessments, is not paid when due, any interest or penalty under s. 74.47 and the maximum limitation of 6 percent per year under 50 App. USC 501 shall be waived for the purpose and under the conditions specified in this subsection.
321.61(1)(e) (e) The penalties and interest waived under this subsection are those for nonpayment of all taxes or assessments, general or special, falling due during the period of federal active duty of any person against either real or personal property of which the person is the bona fide owner or in which the person has an interest.
321.61(1)(f) (f) The person owning or having an interest in any property in respect to which the order under par. (c) is made, or the person's agent or attorney, may file a certified copy of the order of suspension with the county treasurer or with the city treasurer of cities authorized by law to sell lands for the nonpayment of taxes as to the taxes and assessments. The person shall file with the order an affidavit in triplicate, sworn to by the person or agent or attorney, setting forth the name of the owner, the legal description of the property, the type of property, when acquired, the document number of the deed and, if given on the deed, the volume and page where the deed is recorded if acquired by deed, and the name of the estate if acquired by descent, amount of delinquent taxes, if any, and the names of the holders of any outstanding mortgage, lien, or other encumbrance. Upon receipt of the filing, the county treasurer or city treasurer shall record the order in the office of the register of deeds of the county and file a copy in the office of the treasurer, who shall make proper notation that a person in federal active duty is the holder of the legal title and has made application for special relief. The county treasurer or city treasurer shall immediately forward an additional copy of the order and affidavit to the office of the clerk of the town, city, or village where the property is located or, if it is located in a city authorized to sell lands for nonpayment of its taxes, to the commissioner of assessments, who shall make an appropriate notation in the records.
321.61(1)(g) (g) Any person seeking relief under this subsection, within 6 months after termination of federal active duty, or the person's agent or attorney, or in case of death of the person, the personal representative, surviving spouse, or heir, may apply to the county treasurer of the county, or the city treasurer of a city authorized by law to sell lands for the nonpayment of taxes, where the property is located, for an agreement for scheduled installment payments, covering the taxes accrued during the person's period of federal active duty, provided that the taxes will be paid over a period of time equal to a period no longer than twice the length of federal active duty of the person, in equal periodic installments of not less than $10, and subject to any other terms as may be just and reasonable.
321.61(1)(h) (h) In the event the applicant defaults in the performance of any of the provisions of the agreement, the treasurer shall notify the applicant of the default and the amount and date due, by written notice either served personally or by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the address set forth in the application. If the defaulted payment is not fully made within 10 days after service of the notice, then the treasurer, without further notice, may declare that the entire amount of the tax subject to the scheduled installments is immediately due and payable and that the agreement is terminated. The county treasurer shall notify the register of deeds and the town, city, or village treasurer of the termination, or if the city treasurer of cities authorized by law to sell lands for the nonpayment of taxes, the latter shall notify the register of deeds, the county treasurer, and the local officers and shall make appropriate notations of the termination on their records. The county treasurer, or city treasurer as to taxes of cities authorized by law to sell land for the nonpayment of taxes, may without further order of the court enforce the collection of such tax or assessment and sell such tax certificates together with the penalties and interest as may have accrued on the property from the date of default of the scheduled installment payment.
321.61(2) (2)
321.61(2)(a)(a) In this subsection:
321.61(2)(a)1. 1. “Commercial mobile service" has the meaning given in 47 USC 332 (d).
321.61(2)(a)2. 2. “Contract" means an agreement between a person in federal active duty and a mobile telephone service provider that requires the person in federal active duty to pay the mobile telephone service provider a monthly fee in exchange for the use of a mobile telephone.
321.61(2)(a)3. 3. “Mobile telephone service provider" means a person that is authorized by the federal communications commission to provide commercial mobile service.
321.61(2)(b) (b) This subsection applies to a contract to which all of the following apply:
321.61(2)(b)1. 1. The contract was executed by or on behalf of a person in federal active duty who entered federal active duty after the contract was executed.
321.61(2)(b)2. 2. The contract covers a period in excess of one month.
321.61(2)(c) (c) A person in federal active duty may suspend or terminate a contract to which this subsection applies without any penalties or additional fees at any time after the person in federal active duty has been issued orders into federal active duty by giving written notice to the mobile telephone service provider. The person in federal active duty shall include a copy of the orders into federal active duty as part of the notice. The notice may be given by 1st class mail to the address provided in the agreement with the mobile telephone service provider or provided in the mobile telephone service provider's billing statement or by delivering the notice to the mobile telephone service provider's branch office.
321.61(2)(d) (d) Suspension or termination shall be effective 30 days after the first date on which the next payment is due and payable after the date on which the notice is mailed.
321.61(2)(e) (e) Any amount paid in advance under the contract for a period after the effective date of the suspension or termination of the contract shall be refunded to the lessee by the lessor within 30 days after the effective date of the suspension or termination of the contract.
321.61(2)(f) (f) Upon application of a mobile telephone service provider after receiving notice under this subsection and before the contract suspension or termination date provided for under par. (d), a court may make such modifications to or restrictions on the relief granted in this subsection as the court determines are appropriate under the circumstances.
321.61(2)(g) (g) If a mobile telephone service provider assesses a person in federal active duty any penalty or fee after the person has suspended or terminated the contract under par. (c) or fails to make any refund required under par. (e), the person in federal active duty may bring an action for damages. If the person in federal active duty prevails in an action brought under this paragraph, the court shall order the mobile telephone service provider to pay the service member exemplary damages of $2,000.
321.61 History History: 2005 a. 22, 473; 2007 a. 200 ss. 143 to 147; Stats. 2007 s. 321.61; 2017 a. 102.
321.62 321.62 Service members civil relief; state active duty.
321.62(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
321.62(1)(a) (a) “Court" means a Wisconsin circuit court, a Wisconsin court of appeals, or the Wisconsin supreme court.
321.62(1)(b) (b) “Period of state active duty" means the period beginning on the date on which the service member receives an order to enter state active duty and ending on the date of the service member's release from state active duty or death while on state active duty.
321.62(1)(bm) (bm) “Public agency" means a county, city, village, town, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district, lake sanitary district, or school district or an agency of this state or of a county, city, village, town, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district, lake sanitary district, or school district.
321.62(1)(c) (c) “Service member" means a member of the national guard or state defense force who is ordered into state active duty for 30 days or more.
321.62(2) (2)Protection of persons secondarily liable.
321.62(2)(a)(a) If this section results in the stay or suspension of any obligation, liability, court action, order, writ, or judgment, the court that issued the stay or suspension may grant the same remedy to sureties, guarantors, endorsers, and others subject to the obligation, liability, court action, order, writ, or judgment.
321.62(2)(b) (b) If a service member is the principal on a criminal bail bond and his or her state active duty causes the surety upon the bond to be prevented from enforcing the attendance of the service member at court, the court shall not enforce the provisions of the bond during the service member's period of state active duty and may either during or after the period of state active duty discharge the surety and exonerate the bail.
321.62(2)(c) (c) A surety, guarantor, endorser, or other person subject to the obligation, liability, court action, order, writ, or judgment under par. (a) or (b) may waive in writing the rights afforded by this subsection, except that the waiver is not valid unless the waiver is executed as an instrument separate from the obligation, liability, court action, order, writ, or judgment. The waiver under this paragraph is not valid after the beginning of the period of state active duty if executed by a service member who subsequently is ordered into state active duty. The waiver under this paragraph is not valid if executed by a dependent of a service member unless the waiver is executed during the period of state active duty.
321.62(3) (3)Effect on rights under a written agreement. This section does not prevent the modification, termination, or cancellation of any contract, lease, bailment, or secured obligation, or the repossession, retention, foreclosure, sale, or forfeiture of property that is security for any obligation or which has been purchased or received under a contract, lease, or bailment under a written agreement of the parties if that agreement is executed during or after the period of state active duty.
321.62(4) (4)Exercise of rights. No person may use the fact that a service member has applied for, or received, a stay, postponement, or suspension in the payment of a tax, fine, penalty, insurance premium, or other civil obligation or liability as the basis for doing any of the following:
321.62(4)(a) (a) If the person is a lender, determining that the service member is unable to pay any such civil obligation or liability in accordance with the terms of the obligation or liability.
321.62(4)(b) (b) If the person is a creditor, denying or revoking any credit extended to the service member, changing the terms of a credit agreement to which the service member is a party, or refusing to grant credit to the service member in substantially the amount or on substantially the terms requested by the service member.
321.62(4)(c) (c) If the person is in the business of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information, making an adverse report on the creditworthiness of the service member.
321.62(4)(d) (d) If the person is an insurer, refusing to insure the service member.
321.62(5) (5)Default judgments, affidavits, and attorney representation.
321.62(5)(a)(a) If, in any court action, there is a default of any appearance of the defendant, the plaintiff, when requesting a default judgment, shall file with the court an affidavit setting forth facts showing that the defendant is not in state active duty. If the plaintiff is unable to file such an affidavit, the plaintiff shall, when requesting a default judgment, file an affidavit setting forth that the defendant is in state active duty or that the plaintiff is unable to determine if the defendant is in state active duty. If an affidavit is not filed showing that the defendant is not in state active duty, a default judgment may not be entered without a court order. A court may not order the entry of a default judgment if the defendant is in state active duty until the court has appointed an attorney to represent the defendant and protect the defendant's interests. Unless the court determines that the defendant is not in state active duty, the court may require, as a condition of entering judgment, the plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify the defendant, if he or she is in state active duty, against any loss or damage resulting from the judgment if any part of the judgment is later set aside. The court may make any other order as may be necessary to protect the interests of the defendant under this section.
321.62(5)(b) (b) If a judgment is rendered in a court action against a service member during the period of state active duty or within 30 days after the end of that period of state active duty, and it appears that the service member was prejudiced in making a defense by reason of his or her state active duty, the court may reopen that judgment if all of the following conditions exist:
321.62(5)(b)1. 1. The service member moves the court to reopen the judgment within 90 days after his or her period of state active duty ends.
321.62(5)(b)2. 2. The service member has a meritorious or legal defense to the action.
321.62(5)(c) (c) Vacating, setting aside, or reversing a judgment under this subsection does not impair any right or title acquired by a bona fide purchaser for value under the judgment.
321.62(5)(d) (d) Any person who shall make or use an affidavit required under this subsection that he or she knows to be false shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both.
321.62(6) (6)Stay of action. During any stage of a court action in which a service member in state active duty is involved as a party, or within 60 days after the end of the period of state active duty, the court in which the action is pending may on its own motion, and shall, on application of the service member or some person acting on behalf of the service member, stay the action unless the court determines that the service member's ability to represent his or her interest in the action is not materially affected by reason of his or her state active duty.
321.62(7) (7)Stay or vacation of executions or attachments. In any court action that is commenced against a service member before or after entering state active duty, or within 60 days after the period of state active duty ends, the court may on its own motion, and shall, on application of the service member or some person acting on behalf of the service member, stay the execution of any judgment or order entered against the service member, or stay or vacate any attachment or garnishment regarding the service member's property, unless the court determines that the service member's ability to comply with the judgment or order is not materially affected by reason of his or her state active duty.
321.62(8) (8)Duration and terms of stays.
321.62(8)(a) (a) Any stay of any action, attachment, execution, or garnishment under this section may be ordered for the period of the state active duty and 90 days after that period has ended, or for any part of that time.
321.62(8)(b) (b) Any stay under par. (a) may be subject to such terms as may be just, including the payment of installments in an amount and at the times that the court determines.
321.62(8)(c) (c) If the service member is a codefendant in an action, the plaintiff may, by leave of the court, proceed against the other codefendants.
321.62(9) (9)Statutes of limitations. The period of state active duty may not be included in computing any period for the bringing of any action or proceeding in any court or before any public agency by or against a person in state active duty or by or against his or her heirs, personal representatives, or assigns, whether the cause of action or proceeding or the right to bring the action or proceeding accrued before or during the period of state active duty.
321.62(10) (10)Maximum interest rate. No obligation or liability bearing interest at a rate in excess of 6 percent per year incurred by a service member in state active duty before his or her entry into that duty may, during any part of the period of state active duty, bear interest in excess of 6 percent per year except by court order. If, upon application by an obligee, a court determines that the ability of the service member to pay interest upon the obligation or liability at a rate in excess of 6 percent per year is not materially affected by reason of his or her state active duty, the court may make any order that is just. In this subsection, “interest" includes service charges, renewal charges, fees, or other charges, other than insurance, in respect to the obligation or liability.
321.62(11) (11)Eviction stay.
321.62(11)(a) (a) No eviction may be made during the period of state active duty in respect to any premises for which the agreed rent does not exceed the amount specified in 50 USC App. 531, occupied chiefly for dwelling purposes by the spouse, children, domestic partner under ch. 770, or other dependents of a service member who is in state active duty, except upon order of a court in an action affecting the right of possession.
321.62(11)(b) (b) In an action for eviction under par. (a), the court may on its own motion, and shall, on application of the service member or some person acting on behalf of the service member, stay the proceedings for not longer than 90 days unless the court determines that the ability of the tenant to pay the agreed rent is not materially affected by the state active duty. The court may make any other order in the eviction action as it considers necessary and just. If a stay or order is issued under this paragraph, the court may, upon the request of the owner of the premises, make any other order as may be applicable to conserve the interests of all of the parties.
321.62(11)(c) (c) Any person who knowingly takes part in any eviction prohibited under par. (a) except as provided in this subsection, or attempts to do so, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than 9 months or both.
321.62(12) (12)Action to enforce obligation secured by mortgage.
321.62(12)(a)(a) In this subsection, “obligation" means an obligation of a service member in state active duty that was incurred before the service member's period of state active duty began and that is secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, or other security in the nature of a mortgage on real or personal property that is owned by the service member.
321.62(12)(b) (b) If a court action against a service member is commenced during the service member's period of state active duty to enforce an obligation for nonpayment of any sum due or for any other breach of terms occurring before or during the service member's period of state active duty, the court shall hold a hearing on the matter. Unless the court determines that the service member's ability to comply with the terms of the obligation is not materially affected by reason of his or her state active duty, the court on its own motion may, or upon application of the service member or another person on his or her behalf shall, do any of the following:
321.62(12)(b)1. 1. Stay the action as provided in this section.
321.62(12)(b)2. 2. Make such other disposition of the case as the court determines is equitable to the interests of all parties.
321.62(12)(c)1.1. Notwithstanding the times provided in ss. 846.10, 846.101, 846.102, and 846.103 for sales of real property, no foreclosure, sale, or seizure of property for nonpayment of any sum due or for any other breach of terms is valid if it occurs during or within 90 days after the service member's period of state active duty, unless the court ordered the foreclosure, sale, or seizure of property before the beginning of the service member's period of state active duty and approves the foreclosure, sale, or seizure after it occurs.
321.62(12)(c)2. 2. Any person who knowingly causes a foreclosure, sale, or seizure of property that is invalid under subd. 1. shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both.
321.62(13) (13)Personal property contracts. When an action to resume possession of personal property, or to rescind or terminate a contract for the purchase of personal property, has been stayed under this section, the court may appoint 3 disinterested persons to appraise the property. Based upon the report of the appraisers, and unless undue hardship would result to the dependents of the service member in state active duty, the court may order that a sum be paid to the service member as a condition of resuming possession of the property or rescinding or terminating the contract.
321.62(14) (14)Termination of leases by lessees.
321.62(14)(a)(a) This subsection applies to a lease to which all of the following apply:
321.62(14)(a)1. 1. The lease was executed by or on behalf of a service member who entered state active duty after the lease was executed.
321.62(14)(a)2. 2. The lease covers premises that are occupied for dwelling, professional, business, agricultural, or similar purposes by the service member, or the service member and his or her dependents.
321.62(14)(b) (b) A lease to which this subsection applies may be terminated by the service member at any time after the beginning of the service member's period of state active duty by giving notice in writing by personal delivery or first class mail to the landlord or the person who has been receiving rent or managing the property as the landlord's agent.
321.62(14)(c) (c) If the lease provides for monthly payment of rent, termination shall be effective 30 days after the first date on which the next rental payment is due and payable after the date on which the notice is delivered or mailed. In any other case, all of the following apply:
321.62(14)(c)1. 1. Termination shall be effective on the last day of the month after the month in which the notice was delivered or mailed.
321.62(14)(c)2. 2. Any unpaid rent for the period preceding termination shall be computed on a prorated basis.
321.62(14)(c)3. 3. The landlord or the landlord's agent shall refund to the service member any rent paid in advance that applies to the period after termination.
321.62(14)(d) (d) Upon application of a landlord after receiving notice under this subsection and before the lease termination date provided for in this subsection, a court may make such modifications to or restrictions on the relief granted in this subsection as the court determines are appropriate under the circumstances.
321.62(14)(e) (e) No person may knowingly seize or retain personal property belonging to a service member who lawfully terminates a lease under this subsection, or in any manner interfere with the removal of the service member's personal property from the premises covered by the lease, for the purpose of subjecting the personal property to a claim for rent accruing after the termination of the lease. Any person who violates this paragraph shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both.
321.62(14)(f) (f) Section 704.29 does not apply to the termination of a lease as provided in this subsection.
321.62(15) (15)Storage liens.
321.62(15)(a) (a) Notwithstanding s. 704.90, no person may enforce a lien for storage of any household goods, furniture, or personal effects of a service member during the period in which the service member is in state active duty and for 90 days after the member's completion of state active duty, except as permitted by a court order under par. (b).
321.62(15)(b) (b) No person may exercise any right to foreclose or enforce a lien for the storage of household goods, furniture, or personal effects of a service member during the service member's period of state active duty and for 90 days after that period ends except upon an order of the court. In an action under this paragraph, the court, after a hearing, may on its own motion, and shall, on application of the service member or some person acting on behalf of the service member, stay the proceeding or make such other order as may be equitable to conserve the interests of all parties, unless the court determines that the ability of the service member to pay storage charges due is not materially affected by his or her state active duty.
321.62(15)(c) (c) Any person who violates par. (a) may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 184 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on March 28, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after March 28, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 3-28-20)