803.03(1)(b)1. 1. As a practical matter impair or impede the person's ability to protect that interest; or
803.03(1)(b)2. 2. Leave any of the persons already parties subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple or otherwise inconsistent obligations by reason of his or her claimed interest.
803.03(2) (2)Claims arising by subrogation, derivation and assignment.
803.03(2)(a)(a) Joinder of related claims. A party asserting a claim for affirmative relief shall join as parties to the action all persons who at the commencement of the action have claims based upon subrogation to the rights of the party asserting the principal claim, derivation from the principal claim, or assignment of part of the principal claim. For purposes of this section, a person's right to recover for loss of consortium shall be deemed a derivative right. Any public assistance recipient or any estate of such a recipient asserting a claim against a 3rd party for which the public assistance provider has a right of subrogation or assignment under s. 49.89 (2) or (3) shall join the provider as a party to the claim. Any party asserting a claim based upon subrogation to part of the claim of another, derivation from the rights or claim of another, or assignment of part of the rights or claim of another shall join as a party to the action the person to whose rights the party is subrogated, from whose claim the party derives his or her rights or claim, or by whose assignment the party acquired his or her rights or claim.
803.03(2)(b) (b) Options after joinder.
803.03(2)(b)1.1. Any party joined pursuant to par. (a) may do any of the following:
803.03(2)(b)1.a. a. Participate in the prosecution of the action.
803.03(2)(b)1.b. b. Agree to have his or her interest represented by the party who caused the joinder.
803.03(2)(b)1.c. c. Move for dismissal with or without prejudice.
803.03(2)(b)2. 2. If the party joined chooses to participate in the prosecution of the action, the party joined shall have an equal voice with other claimants in the prosecution.
803.03(2)(b)3. 3. Except as provided in par. (bm), if the party joined chooses to have his or her interest represented by the party who caused the joinder, the party joined shall sign a written waiver of the right to participate that shall express consent to be bound by the judgment in the action. The waiver shall become binding when filed with the court, but a party may withdraw the waiver upon timely motion to the judge to whom the case has been assigned with notice to the other parties. A party who represents the interest of another party and who obtains a judgment favorable to the other party may be awarded reasonable attorney fees by the court.
803.03(2)(b)4. 4. If the party joined moves for dismissal without prejudice as to his or her claim, the party shall demonstrate to the court that it would be unjust to require the party to prosecute the claim with the principal claim. In determining whether to grant the motion to dismiss, the court shall weigh the possible prejudice to the movant against the state's interest in economy of judicial effort.
803.03(2)(bm) (bm) Joinders because of implication of medical assistance. If the department of health services is joined as a party pursuant to par. (a) and s. 49.89 (2) because of the provision of benefits under subch. IV of ch. 49, the department of health services need not sign a waiver of the right to participate in order to have its interests represented by the party that caused the joinder. If the department of health services makes no selection under par. (b), the party causing the joinder shall represent the interests of the department of health services and the department of health services shall be bound by the judgment in the action.
803.03(2)(c) (c) Scheduling and pretrial conferences. At the scheduling conference and pretrial conference, the judge to whom the case has been assigned shall inquire concerning the existence of and joinder of persons with subrogated, derivative or assigned rights and shall make such orders as are necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section. If the case is an action to recover damages based on alleged criminally injurious conduct, the court shall inquire to see if an award has been made under subch. I of ch. 949 and if the department of justice is subrogated to the cause of action under s. 949.15.
803.03(3) (3)Determination by court whenever joinder not feasible. If any such person has not been so joined, the judge to whom the case has been assigned shall order that the person be made a party. If the person should join as a plaintiff but refuses to do so, the person may be made a defendant, or, in a proper case, an involuntary plaintiff. If a person as described in subs. (1) and (2) cannot be made a party, the court shall determine whether in equity and good conscience the action should proceed among the parties before it, or should be dismissed, the absent person being thus regarded as indispensable. The factors to be considered by the court include:
803.03(3)(a) (a) To what extent a judgment rendered in the person's absence might be prejudicial to the person or those already parties;
803.03(3)(b) (b) The extent to which, by protective provisions in the judgment, by the shaping of relief, or other measures, the prejudice can be lessened or avoided;
803.03(3)(c) (c) Whether a judgment rendered in the person's absence will be adequate; and
803.03(3)(d) (d) Whether the plaintiff will have an adequate remedy if the action is dismissed for nonjoinder.
803.03(4) (4)Pleading reasons for nonjoinder. A pleading asserting a claim for relief shall state the names, if known to the pleader, of any persons as described in subs. (1) and (2) who are not joined, and the reasons why they are not joined.
803.03(5) (5)Exception of class actions. This section is subject to s. 803.08.
803.03 History History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 643 (1975); 1975 c. 218; 1979 c. 189, 221; 1983 a. 192; 1985 a. 29; 1989 a. 31; 1995 a. 27; 1997 a. 35; 1999 a. 9; 2001 a. 103; 2005 a. 253; 2007 a. 20 ss. 3752, 9121 (6) (a).
803.03 Annotation When the constitutionality of a statute is challenged in an action other than a declaratory judgment action, the attorney general must be served, but failure to do so at the trial level was cured by service at the appellate level. In Matter of Estate of Fessler, 100 Wis. 2d 437, 302 N.W.2d 414 (1981).
803.03 Annotation Sub. (2) (b) requires a subrogated party to choose one of the listed options or risk dismissal with prejudice. Radloff v. General Casualty Co. 147 Wis. 2d 14, 432 N.W.2d 597 (Ct. App. 1988).
803.03 Annotation The mere presence of a party does not constitute “participation" under sub. (2) (b). A subrogated insurer who exercises none of the 3 options under sub. (2) (b) must pay its fair share of attorney fees and costs if it has notice of and does nothing to assist in the prosecution of the action. Ninaus v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. 220 Wis. 2d 869, 584 N.W.2d 545 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-0191.
803.03 Annotation Failure to comply with the technical requirement under sub. (2) (b) that a joined party must file a written waiver of the right to participate in the trial does not prevent the joined party's assertion that it had a representation agreement with the joining party. Gustafson v. Physicians Insurance Co. 223 Wis. 2d 164, 588 N.W.2d 363 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-3832.
803.03 Annotation Whether a party is an “indispensable party" requires a 2-part inquiry. First it must be determined if the party is “necessary" for one of the 3 reasons under sub. (1). If not, the party cannot be “indispensable" under sub. (3). If the party is found necessary, then, whether “in equity and good conscience" the action should not proceed in the absence of the party must be determined. Dairyland Greyhound Park, Inc. v. McCallum, 2002 WI App 259, 258 Wis. 2d 210, 655 N.W.2d 474, 02-1204.
803.03 Annotation If a person has no right of intervention under s. 803.09 (1), the courts have no duty to join that person sua sponte as a necessary party under sub. (1) (b) 1. The inquiry of whether a movant is a necessary party under sub. (1) (b) 1. is in all significant respects the same inquiry under s. 803.09 (1) as to whether a movant is entitled to intervene in an action as a matter of right, including the requirement that the interest of the movant is adequately represented by existing parties. A movant who fails to meet that requirement for intervention as of right may not simply turn around and force its way into the action by arguing that the court must join the movant, sua sponte, as a necessary party under s. 803.03 (1) (b) 1. Helgeland v. Wisconsin Municipalities, 2008 WI 9, 307 Wis. 2d 1, 745 N.W.2d 1, 05-2540.
803.03 Annotation If the plaintiff was required to join a party holding a “constituent part” of a cause of action under sub. (2) (a), but failed to do so, then the unjoined subrogation, derivative, or assigned claims were deemed timely when made by the other party by virtue of the s. 802.09 (3) relation-back doctrine — as long as such claims were asserted in the original action. However, if the plaintiff was not required to join the other party's cause of action under sub. (2) (a) — i.e., the other party's claims did not arise by subrogation, derivation, or assignment, and therefore were not part of the plaintiff's claim in chief — the other party's claims do not relate back to the date of the original filing and are time-barred. Town of Burnside v. City of Independence, 2016 WI App 94, 372 Wis. 2d 802, 889 N.W.2d 186, 16-0034.
803.04 803.04 Permissive joinder of parties.
803.04(1)(1)Permissive joinder. All persons may join in one action as plaintiffs if they assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all these persons will arise in the action. All persons may be joined in one action as defendants if there is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative, any right to relief in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action. A plaintiff or defendant need not be interested in obtaining or defending against all the relief demanded. Judgment may be given for one or more of the plaintiffs according to their respective rights to relief, and against one or more defendants according to their respective liabilities.
803.04(2) (2)Negligence actions: insurers.
803.04(2)(a) (a) In any action for damages caused by negligence, any insurer which has an interest in the outcome of such controversy adverse to the plaintiff or any of the parties to such controversy, or which by its policy of insurance assumes or reserves the right to control the prosecution, defense or settlement of the claim or action, or which by its policy agrees to prosecute or defend the action brought by plaintiff or any of the parties to such action, or agrees to engage counsel to prosecute or defend said action or agrees to pay the costs of such litigation, is by this section made a proper party defendant in any action brought by plaintiff in this state on account of any claim against the insured. If the policy of insurance was issued or delivered outside this state, the insurer is by this paragraph made a proper party defendant only if the accident, injury or negligence occurred in this state.
803.04(2)(b) (b) If an insurer is made a party defendant pursuant to this section and it appears at any time before or during the trial that there is or may be a cross issue between the insurer and the insured or any issue between any other person and the insurer involving the question of the insurer's liability if judgment should be rendered against the insured, the court may, upon motion of any defendant in the action, cause the person who may be liable upon such cross issue to be made a party defendant to the action and all the issues involved in the controversy determined in the trial of the action or any 3rd party may be impleaded as provided in s. 803.05. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as prohibiting the trial court from directing and conducting separate trials on the issue of liability to the plaintiff or other party seeking affirmative relief and on the issue of whether the insurance policy in question affords coverage. Any party may move for such separate trials and if the court orders separate trials it shall specify in its order the sequence in which such trials shall be conducted.
803.04(3) (3)Actions affecting marital property. In an action affecting the interest of a spouse in marital property, as defined under ch. 766, a spouse who is not a real party in interest or a party described under s. 803.03 may join in or be joined in the action.
803.04(4) (4)Separate trials. The court may make such orders as will prevent a party from being embarrassed, delayed, or put to expense by the inclusion of a party against whom the party asserts no claim and who asserts no claim against the party, and may order separate trials or make other orders to prevent delay or prejudice.
803.04 History History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 646 (1975); 1975 c. 218; 1985 a. 37.
803.04 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 632.24 as to insurers being made defendants.
803.04 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 775.10 providing that the state may be made a party in an action to quiet title to land.
803.04 Annotation In an action for injuries allegedly sustained as a result of 3 separate surgical procedures performed by 2 unassociated doctors residing in different counties, separate places of trial were required and joinder of separate causes of action was improper. Voight v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. 80 Wis. 2d 376, 259 N.W.2d 85 (1977).
803.04 Annotation When an insurer made a good-faith request for a bifurcated trial under sub. (2) (b) on the issue of coverage, the trial court erred in finding that the insurer acted in bad faith by refusing to settle. Mowry v. Badger State Mutual Casualty Co. 129 Wis. 2d 496, 385 N.W.2d 171 (1986).
803.04 Annotation That a policy is one of indemnity rather than liability does not prevent direct action against the insurer. Decade's Monthly Fund v. Whyte & Hirschboeck, 173 Wis. 2d 665, 495 N.W.2d 335 (1993).
803.04 Annotation Joinder of one tortfeasor who causes an injury and a successive tortfeasor who aggravates the injury is permitted by this section. Kluth v. General Casualty Co. 178 Wis. 2d 808, 505 N.W.2d 442 (Ct. App. 1993).
803.04 Annotation There is neither a statutory nor a constitutional right to have all parties identified to a jury, but as a procedural rule, the court should in all cases apprise the jurors of the names of all the parties. Stoppleworth v. Refuse Hideaway, Inc. 200 Wis. 2d 512, 546 N.W.2d 870 (Ct. App. 1996), 93-3182.
803.04 Annotation If the issue of insurance coverage involves a party not a party to the underlying lawsuit, coverage may be determined by either a bifurcated trial or a separate declaratory judgment action. The plaintiff and any other party asserting a claim in the underlying suit must be named, and consolidation with the underlying action may be required. Fire Insurance Exchange v. Basten, 202 Wis. 2d 74, 549 N.W.2d 690 (1996), 94-3377.
803.04 Annotation The federal compulsory counterclaim rule precluded an action against an insurer under the state direct action statute when the action directly against the insured was barred by rule. Fagnan v. Great Central Insurance Co. 577 F.2d 418 (1978).
803.04 Annotation In order to join an insurer under sub. (2) (a), the accident must have occurred in this state or the policy must have been issued or delivered in the state. Utz v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. 619 F.2d 7 (1980).
803.04 Annotation Sub. (2) (a) is limited to negligence claims, which do not include implied warranty claims. Rich Products Corporation v. Zurich American Insurance Co. 293 F.3d 981 (2002).
803.04 Annotation A breach of fiduciary duty was negligence for purposes of Wisconsin's direct action and direct liability statutes. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. MGIC Indemnity Corp. 462 F. Supp. 759 (1978).
803.045 803.045 Actions to satisfy spousal obligations.
803.045(1)(1)Except as provided in sub. (2), when a creditor commences an action on an obligation described in s. 766.55 (2), the creditor may proceed against the obligated spouse, the incurring spouse or both spouses.
803.045(2) (2)In an action on an obligation described in s. 766.55 (2) (a) or (b), a creditor may proceed against the spouse who is not the obligated spouse or the incurring spouse if the creditor cannot obtain jurisdiction in the action over the obligated spouse or the incurring spouse.
803.045(3) (3)After obtaining a judgment, a creditor may proceed against either or both spouses to reach marital property available for satisfaction of the judgment.
803.045(4) (4)This section does not affect the property available under s. 766.55 (2) to satisfy the obligation.
803.045 History History: 1985 a. 37.
803.05 803.05 Third-party practice.
803.05(1)(1)At any time after commencement of the action, a defending party, as a 3rd-party plaintiff, may cause a summons and complaint to be served upon a person not a party to the action who is or may be liable to the defending party for all or part of the plaintiff's claim against the defending party, or who is a necessary party under s. 803.03. The 3rd-party plaintiff need not obtain leave to implead if he or she serves the 3rd-party summons and 3rd-party complaint not later than 6 months after the summons and complaint are filed or the time set in a scheduling order under s. 802.10; thereafter, the 3rd-party plaintiff must obtain leave on motion upon notice to all parties to the action. The person served with the summons and 3rd-party complaint, hereinafter called the 3rd-party defendant, shall make defenses to the 3rd-party plaintiff's claim as provided in s. 802.06 and counterclaims against the 3rd-party plaintiff and cross claims against any other defendant as provided in s. 802.07. The 3rd-party defendant may assert against the plaintiff any defenses which the 3rd-party plaintiff has to the plaintiff's claim. The 3rd-party defendant may also assert any claim against the plaintiff if the claim is based upon the same transaction, occurrence or series of transactions or occurrences as is the plaintiff's claim against the 3rd-party plaintiff. The plaintiff may assert any claim against the 3rd-party defendant if the claim is based upon the same transaction, occurrence or series of transactions or occurrences as is the plaintiff's claim against the 3rd-party plaintiff, and the 3rd-party defendant thereupon shall assert defenses as provided in s. 802.06 and counterclaims and cross claims as provided in s. 802.07.
803.05(2) (2)When a counterclaim is asserted against a plaintiff, the plaintiff may cause a 3rd party to be brought in under circumstances which under this section would entitle a defendant to do so.
803.05(3) (3)Oral argument permitted on motions under this section may be heard by telephone under s. 807.13 (1).
803.05 History History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 648 (1975); 1975 c. 218; Sup. Ct. Order, 82 Wis. 2d ix (1978); Sup. Ct. Order, 141 Wis. 2d xiii (1987); 2005 a. 253; 2007 a. 97.
803.05 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1977: Sub. (1) has been amended to allow a third-party plaintiff to serve the third-party summons and third-party complaint without leave of the court to implead if the third-party summons and third-party complaint are filed not later than 6 months after the summons and complaint in the original action are filed. The new six-month time period has been created since the old time period allowing a third-party plaintiff to file a third-party summons and third-party complaint without the need to obtain leave to implead during the time set in a scheduling order under s. 802.10 can no longer apply in most cases. The use of such a scheduling order is now completely discretionary with the trial judge. [Re Order effective July 1, 1978]
803.05 Note Judicial Council Note, 1988: Sub. (3) [created] allows oral argument permitted on motions under this section to be heard by telephone conference. [Re Order effective Jan. 1, 1988]
803.05 Annotation The statute of limitations is applicable to a claim made under sub. (1). Strassman v. Muranyi, 225 Wis. 2d 784, 594 N.W.2d 398 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-3039.
803.06 803.06 Misjoinder and nonjoinder of parties.
803.06(1)(1)Misjoinder of parties is not ground for dismissal of an action. Parties may be dropped or added by order of the court on motion of any party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms as are just. Any claim against a party may be severed and proceeded with separately. Oral argument permitted on motions under this subsection may be heard by telephone under s. 807.13 (1).
803.06(2) (2)When it comes to the attention of the court that the summons has not been served upon a named defendant, the court may enter an order on its own initiative, after notice to parties of record, dismissing the action as to that defendant without prejudice.
803.06 History History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 649 (1975); Sup. Ct. Order, 73 Wis. 2d xxxi (1976); Sup. Ct. Order, 141 Wis. 2d xiii (1987).
803.06 Note Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1976: Sub. (2) establishes an efficient procedure for dismissing an action against a defendant who has not been served. It will help alleviate situations such as clouds on title that could result from a summons that was not served being on file with the clerk of court. [Re Order effective Jan. 1, 1977]
803.06 Note Judicial Council Note, 1988: Sub. (1) is amended to permit oral argument on motions to drop or add parties to be heard by telephone conference. [Re Order effective Jan. 1, 1988]
803.07 803.07 Interpleader. Persons having claims against the plaintiff may be joined as defendants and required to interplead when their claims are such that the plaintiff is or may be exposed to double or multiple liability. It is not ground for objection to the joinder that the claims of the several claimants or the titles on which their claims depend do not have a common origin or are not identical but are adverse to and independent of one another, or that the plaintiff avers that the plaintiff is not liable in whole or in part to any or all of the claimants. A defendant exposed to similar liability may obtain such interpleader by way of cross claim or counterclaim. The provisions of this section supplement and do not in any way limit the joinder of parties permitted in s. 803.04.
803.07 History History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 649 (1975); 1975 c. 218; 2007 a. 97.
803.08 803.08 Class actions.
803.08(1)(1)Prerequisites. One or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all members only if the court finds all of the following:
803.08(1)(a) (a) The class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable.
803.08(1)(b) (b) There are questions of law or fact common to the class.
803.08(1)(c) (c) The claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class.
803.08(1)(d) (d) The representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.
803.08(2) (2)Types of class actions. A class action may be maintained if sub. (1) is satisfied and if the court finds that any of the following are satisfied:
803.08(2)(a) (a) Prosecuting separate actions by or against individual class members would create a risk of either of the following:
803.08(2)(a)1. 1. Inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual class members that would establish incompatible standards of conduct for the party opposing the class.
803.08(2)(a)2. 2. Adjudications with respect to individual class members that, as a practical matter, would be dispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to the individual adjudications or would substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interests.
803.08(2)(b) (b) The party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds that apply generally to the class, so that final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief is appropriate respecting the class as a whole.
803.08(2)(c) (c) The court finds that the questions of law or fact common to class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy. The matters pertinent to these findings include all of the following:
803.08(2)(c)1. 1. The class members' interests in individually controlling the prosecution or defense of separate actions.
803.08(2)(c)2. 2. The extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already begun by or against class members.
803.08(2)(c)3. 3. The desirability or undesirability of concentrating the litigation of the claims in the particular forum.
803.08(2)(c)4. 4. The likely difficulties in managing a class action.
803.08(3) (3)Certification order.
803.08(3)(a) (a) Time to issue. At an early practicable time after a person sues or is sued as a class representative, the court must determine by order whether to certify the action as a class action.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated by 2017 Wis. Acts 368 to 370 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on March 11, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after March 11, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 3-11-19)