CHAPTER 755
MUNICIPAL COURT
755.001   Definitions.
755.01   Option of municipality.
755.02   Term.
755.03   Oath and bond.
755.04   Salary.
755.045   Jurisdiction.
755.05   Territorial jurisdiction.
755.06   Sessions of court.
755.09   Office, where kept.
755.10   Employees.
755.11   Records.
755.12   Delivery of books to municipal clerk.
755.13   Books demanded by municipal clerk.
755.14   Duty of clerk on receipt of books.
755.15   Pending actions triable by court which receives books.
755.16   Continuance on vacancy; notice of trial.
755.17   Municipal court decorum and facilities.
755.18   Municipal judge and court clerk training.
755.19   Municipal court commissioners.
755.21   Collection.
755.001 755.001 Definitions. In this chapter:
755.001(1) (1) “Judge" means municipal judge.
755.001(2) (2) “Judicial administrative district" means the judicial administrative district having the largest portion of the population in the jurisdiction served by the judge.
755.001(3) (3) “Records" mean all of the records subject to SCR chapter 72.
755.001 History History: 1977 c. 305; 2009 a. 402.
755.01 755.01 Option of municipality.
755.01(1) (1) There is created and established in and for each city, town and village, a municipal court designated “Municipal Court for the .... (city, town or village) of .... (name of municipality)". A municipal court created under this subsection is a coequal branch of the municipal government, subject to the superintending authority of the supreme court, through the chief judge of the judicial administrative district. A court shall become operative and function after January 1, 2011, when the city council, town board, or village board adopts an ordinance or bylaw providing for the election of a judge and the operation and maintenance of the court, receives a certification from the chief judge of the judicial administrative district that the court meets the requirements under ss. 755.09, 755.10, 755.11, and 755.17, and provides written notification to the director of state courts of the adoption of the ordinance or bylaw. A permanent vacancy in the office of municipal judge shall be filled under s. 8.50 (4) (fm). Any municipal court established under this section is not a court of record. The court shall be maintained at the expense of the municipality. The municipal governing body shall determine the amount budgeted for court maintenance and operations. The budget of the municipal court shall be separate from, or contained on a separate line item from, the budget or line items of all other municipal departments.
755.01(2) (2) The governing body may by ordinance or bylaw abolish the municipal court as part of a consolidation under s. 66.0229 or at the end of any term for which the judge has been elected or appointed. The governing body may not abolish the municipal court while an agreement under sub. (4) is in effect.
755.01(3) (3) A municipality may establish as many branches of municipal court as it deems necessary.
755.01(4) (4) Two or more cities, towns or villages of this state may enter into an agreement under s. 66.0301 for the joint exercise of the power granted under sub. (1), except that for purposes of this subsection, any agreement under s. 66.0301 shall be effected by the enactment of identical ordinances by each affected city, town or village. Electors of each municipality entering into the agreement shall be eligible to vote for the judge of the municipal court so established. If a municipality enters into an agreement with a municipality that already has a municipal court, the municipalities may provide by ordinance or resolution that the judge for the existing municipal court shall serve as the judge for the joint court until the end of the term or until a special election is held under s. 8.50 (4) (fm). Each municipality shall adopt an ordinance or bylaw under sub. (1) prior to entering into the agreement. The contracting municipalities need not be contiguous and need not all be in the same county. Upon entering into or discontinuing such an agreement, the contracting municipalities shall each transmit a certified copy of the ordinance or bylaw effecting or discontinuing the agreement to the appropriate filing officer under s. 11.0102 (1) (c) and to the director of state courts. When a municipal judge is elected under this subsection, candidates shall be nominated by filing nomination papers under s. 8.10 (6) (bm), and shall register with the filing officer specified in s. [s. 11.0102 (1) (c)].
755.01 Note NOTE: The correct cross-reference is shown in brackets. Corrective legislation is pending.
755.02 755.02 Term. The judges shall be elected at large for a term of 4 years unless a different term, not exceeding 4 years nor less than 2 years, is provided by charter ordinance enacted under s. 66.0101. The term shall commence on May 1 of the year of the judge's election.
755.02 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 273, 305, 447; Stats. 1977 s. 755.02; 2009 a. 402.
755.03 755.03 Oath and bond.
755.03(1)(1) The judge shall, after election or appointment, take and file the official oath as prescribed in s. 757.02 (1) and at the same time execute and file an official bond in an amount to be fixed by the governing body. The governing body shall pay the costs of the bond. No judge may act as such until he or she has complied with the requirements of sub. (2).
755.03(2) (2) Within 10 days after a municipal judge takes the oath, the judge shall file the oath and bond with the clerk of the city, town or village where the judge was elected or appointed. If the municipal judge is elected under s. 755.01 (4), the judge shall file copies of the oath and bond with each applicable municipal clerk. The judge shall file a certified copy of the oath with the office of director of state courts within the 10-day time period after the judge takes the oath.
755.03 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305; Stats. 1977 s. 755.03; Sup. Ct. Order, 88 Wis. 2d xiii (1979); 1983 a. 192; 1985 a. 89, 304; 2009 a. 402.
755.04 755.04 Salary. The governing body shall fix a salary for the judge. The salary may be increased by the governing body before the start of the 2nd or a subsequent year of service of the term of the judge, but shall not be decreased during a term. The salary of a municipal judge who is designated or appointed under s. 8.50 (4) (fm) or 800.06 shall be determined by contract between the municipality and the judge. The judge may not serve until the contract is entered into. Salaries may be paid annually or in equal installments as determined by the governing body, but no judge may be paid a salary for any time during the term during which the judge has not executed and filed his or her official bond or official oath, as required by s. 755.03.
755.04 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305 s. 64; Stats. 1977 s. 755.04; 1985 a. 304; 2009 a. 402.
755.045 755.045 Jurisdiction.
755.045(1)(1) A municipal court has exclusive jurisdiction over an action in which a municipality seeks to impose forfeitures for violations of municipal ordinances of the municipality that operates the court, except as follows:
755.045(1)(a) (a) If the action is transferred under s. 800.035 (5) (c) or 800.05 (3) to a court of record.
755.045(1)(b) (b) If equitable relief is demanded the plaintiff shall bring the action in a court of record.
755.045(1)(c) (c) Whenever the municipal court of a 1st class city in any county having a population of 500,000 or more is not in session, the circuit court has concurrent jurisdiction to hear municipal court cases.
755.045(2) (2) A municipal judge may issue civil warrants to enforce matters which are under the jurisdiction of the municipal court, as provided in ch. 800. Municipal judges are also authorized to issue inspection warrants under s. 66.0119.
755.045(3) (3) A municipal judge may order the payment of restitution for violations of ordinances that prohibit conduct that is the same as or similar to conduct prohibited by state statute punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. The judge shall use the restitution procedure under s. 800.093.
755.045 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305; Stats. 1977 s. 755.045; 1979 c. 32 s. 92 (17); 1985 a. 179; 1989 a. 261; 1991 a. 40; 1999 a. 150; 2009 a. 402.
755.05 755.05 Territorial jurisdiction. Every judge has statewide jurisdiction as authorized by this chapter and ch. 800.
755.05 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305 s. 64; Stats. 1977 s. 755.05; 1985 a. 89; 2009 a. 402.
755.06 755.06 Sessions of court. The municipal court shall be open daily or as determined by the judge and approved by the governing body.
755.06 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; Stats. 1977 s. 755.06; 1983 a. 192 s. 303 (4); 2009 a. 402.
755.09 755.09 Office, where kept.
755.09(1) (1) The governing body of the city, village, or town shall provide the judge with an office or appropriate work space other than at a place prohibited under sub. (2).
755.09(2) (2) No judge may keep his or her office or hold court in any tavern, or in any room in which intoxicating liquors are sold, or in any room connecting with a tavern or room in which intoxicating liquors are sold.
755.09 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305 s. 64; Stats. 1977 s. 755.09; 1997 a. 27; 2009 a. 402.
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before January 14, 2017. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after January 14, 2017 are designated by NOTES. (Published 1-14-17)