Rule (Form of papers).
Rule (Computation and enlargement of time).
Rule (Penalties for delay or noncompliance with rules).
Rule (Applicability of rules of civil procedure).
Rule (Counsel to continue).
Rule (Identification of victims and others in briefing).
In this chapter:
"Appeal" means a review in an appellate court by appeal or writ of error authorized by law of a judgment or order of a circuit court.
"Appellant" means a person who files a notice of appeal.
"Co-appellant" means a person who files a notice of appeal in an action or proceeding in which a notice of appeal has previously been filed by another person and whose interests are not adverse to that person.
"Court" means the court of appeals or, if the appeal or other proceeding is in the supreme court, the supreme court.
"Cross-appellant" means a respondent who files a notice of cross-appeal or a respondent who files a statement of objections under s. 808.075 (8)
"Monospaced font" means a font in which each character uses an equal amount of horizontal space.
"Proportional font" means a font in which the horizontal space used by a character varies.
"Respondent" means a person adverse to the appellant or co-appellant.
"Serif font" means a font that has short ornaments or bars at the upper and lower ends of the main strokes of the characters.
"Sixty characters per full line" means the length of a nonindented line of 13 point proportional serif font characters determined by using a line composed of a repeating string of lowercase characters in alphabetical order.
"Traditional methods" means those methods of filing, serving, and transmitting documents, other than electronic filing or transmittal, provided under statutes and local rules.
"Transmit" means to send or transfer documents and records from one court to another and may be completed by making the documents and records electronically available to the other court.
"Word" means a group consisting of one or more alphabetical characters with a space or punctuation mark preceding and succeeding the group.
Sup. Ct. Order, 83 Wis. 2d xiii (1978); 1977 c. 449
; Sup. Ct. Order No. 93-20
, 179 Wis. 2d xxv; Sup. Ct. Order No. 00-02
, 2001 WI 39, 242 Wis. 2d xxvii; Sup. Ct. Order No. 15-02
, 2015 WI 102, filed 11-25-15, eff. 7-1-16.
Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1978: The definitions reflect some of the changes incorporated into the rules. The term "appeal" applies both to an appeal authorized by statute and the writ of error guaranteed by Section 21 of Article I of the Constitution. The objective of these rules is to provide the same procedure for appeals and writs of error. Historically, the review authorized by a writ of error was limited to questions of law, while both the law and the facts could be reviewed on appeal. The Wisconsin Supreme Court does not distinguish between its power in appeals and in writs of error. Although under the former procedure appeals were normally used in civil cases and writs of error in criminal cases, the only differences between them were in nomenclature and method of initiating the review process. There is no reason to retain the formalistic differences between them.
The definitions of the parties to the appeal are intended to change the former statute, section 817.10, under which the party first appealing was the appellant, and all other parties were respondents. This often resulted in a party with interests identical to the appellant being labeled a respondent, while two parties opposed to each other were both labeled respondents. Under this section the party first appealing is the appellant, parties appealing from the same judgment or order not opposed to the appellant are co-appellants, and parties adverse to the appellant or co-appellant are respondents. The terms "plaintiff in error" and "defendant in error" previously used in connection with writs of error are no longer used. [Re Order effective July 1, 1978]
Understanding the New Rules of Appellate Procedure. Stephens. Wis. Law. July 2001.
CIVIL APPEAL PROCEDURE IN COURT OF APPEALS
Rule (Initiating the appeal). 809.10(1)(a)(a)
A person shall initiate an appeal by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the circuit court in which the judgment or order appealed from was entered.
The notice of appeal shall include all of the following:
An identification of the judgment or order from which the person filing the notice intends to appeal and the date on which it was entered.
A statement of whether the appeal is to be given preference in the circuit court or court of appeals pursuant to statute.
If the appeal is under s. 809.30
, a statement of the date of service of the last transcript or copy of the circuit court case record if no postconviction motion is filed, the date of the order deciding postconviction motions, or the date of any other notice-of-appeal deadline that was established by the court of appeals.
If counsel is appointed under ch. 977
, a copy of the order appointing counsel.
(c) Copies of the notice.
At the same time that the person files the notice of appeal, the person shall send a copy of the notice of appeal to the clerk of the court of appeals.
The person shall send the court of appeals an original and one copy of a completed docketing statement on a form prescribed by the court of appeals. The docketing statement shall accompany the court of appeals' copy of the notice of appeal. The person shall send a copy of the completed docketing statement to the other parties to the appeal. Docketing statements need not be filed in appeals brought under s. 809.105
, or 974.06 (7)
, in cases under ch. 980
, or in cases in which a party represents himself or herself. Docketing statements need not be filed in appeals brought under s. 809.30
, or by the state or defendant in permissive appeals in criminal cases pursuant to s. 809.50
, except that docketing statements shall be filed in cases arising under chs. 48
, or 938
(e) Time for filing.
The notice of appeal must be filed within the time specified by law. The filing of a timely notice of appeal is necessary to give the court jurisdiction over the appeal.
(f) Error in content not jurisdictional defect.
An inconsequential error in the content of the notice of appeal is not a jurisdictional defect.
Joint and co-appeals.
If 2 or more persons are each entitled to appeal from the same judgment or order entered in the same action or proceeding in the trial court and their interests are such as to make joinder practicable, they may file a joint notice of appeal or may, after filing separate notices of appeal, proceed as a single appellant. If the persons do not file a joint appeal or elect to proceed as a single appellant, or if their interests are such as to make joinder impracticable, they shall proceed as appellant and co-appellant, with each co-appellant to have the same procedural rights and obligations as the appellant.
A respondent who seeks a modification of the judgment or order appealed from or of another judgment or order entered in the same action or proceeding shall file a notice of cross-appeal within the period established by law for the filing of a notice of appeal, or 30 days after the filing of a notice of appeal, whichever is later. A cross-appellant has the same rights and obligations as an appellant under this chapter.
(3) Consolidated appeals in separate cases.
The court may consolidate separate appeals in separate actions or proceedings in the trial court upon its own motion, motion of a party, or stipulation of the parties.
(4) Matters reviewable.
An appeal from a final judgment or final order brings before the court all prior nonfinal judgments, orders and rulings adverse to the appellant and favorable to the respondent made in the action or proceeding not previously appealed and ruled upon.
Sup. Ct. Order, 83 Wis. 2d xiii (1978); Sup. Ct. Order, 104 Wis. 2d xi (1981); 1981 c. 390
; Sup. Ct. Order, 123 Wis. 2d xix (1985); Sup. Ct. Order, 131 Wis. 2d xv (1986); 1987 a. 403
; Sup. Ct. Order, 161 Wis. 2d xiii (1991); Sup. Ct. Order No. 93-19
, 179 Wis. 2d xxiii; Sup. Ct. Order No. 00-02
, 2001 WI 39, 242 Wis. 2d xxvii; Sup. Ct. Order No. 02-01
, 2002 WI 120, 255 Wis. 2d xiii; 2005 a. 434
See also s. 767.217 (2)
for appeals involving child support and maintenance.
Court of Appeals Note, 1986: Sub. (1) (a) is amended to require appellants to file a docketing statement in the court of appeals on a form prescribed by the court at the time the notice of appeal is filed in the trial court. The docketing statement will provide the court with information for its expedited appeals program pursuant to s. 809.17 and the rules and procedures set forth in Section VII, Expedited Appeals, of the Court of Appeals Internal Operating Procedures (amended March 1, 1986). Docketing statement forms are available in the offices of clerks of the circuit courts. [Re Order effective January 1, 1987]
Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1978: Sub. (1) (a) establishes the same procedure for initiating a review by the Court of Appeals whether it be the statutory appeal or constitutional writ of error. Both are begun by filing a notice of appeal in the trial court. The prior procedure under which a person could obtain a writ of error from the Supreme Court and then file it in the trial court at his leisure is eliminated. It is important to recognize that the right to seek review by writ of error as established by the Constitution is not abolished, but the procedure for seeking that review is made uniform with that for filing an appeal.
The second sentence of sub. (1) (b) is designed to change the law as declared in former s. 817.11 (4), and the decisions of the Supreme Court interpreting former s. 269.59 (1), under which the Supreme Court was vested with subject matter jurisdiction when an appealable order was entered. Under former s. 817.11 (4), the notice of appeal was necessary only to confer personal jurisdiction which could have been waived. The court often had to decide whether the respondent by some conduct, such as signing a stipulation or receiving a brief, had waived any objection to personal jurisdiction. The result was that a judgment of a trial court in Wisconsin was never completely final because even after the expiration of the time for an appeal a party could still appeal, and if the respondent failed to object or take some step that could be considered as participating in the appeal prior to objecting, the Supreme Court was able to review the judgment. This section conforms Wisconsin practice to that in the federal system and most other states.
Sub. (2) (a) provides that appellants whose interests are substantially identical may proceed jointly or separately. See Rule 3 (b), Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (FRAP). If they do not wish to proceed jointly, or their interests are not the same, or if they are challenging from the same judgment or order, the subsequent appeal should be docketed with the first appeal, but the second person appealing has the same procedural rights, such as filing of briefs, as the first appellant. The respondent has separate briefing rights as to each appellant and co-appellant filing a separate brief. It is anticipated under this section that all appeals arising out of the same case filed within the same appeal period will be considered in a single appeal and not be treated as separate cases in the Court of Appeals.
Sub. (2) (b). The respondent who desires to challenge a judgment or order must file a notice of cross-appeal. Notices of review are abolished. Under former s. 817.12, it was very difficult to ascertain when a notice of review or cross-appeal was appropriate. Requiring a notice of cross-appeal in each instance eliminates this confusion. The respondent is given a minimum of 30 days after the filing of the notice of appeal to determine whether to file a cross-appeal. As was the case under former s. 817.12, a respondent loses the right to cross-appeal if the cross-appeal is not filed within the specified time.
Sub. (3). Appeals from judgments or orders in separate cases in the trial court are docketed as separate appeals in the Court of Appeals. If appropriate, these cases can be consolidated after docketing by order of the Court of Appeals. Rule 3 (b), FRAP.
Sub. (4). The provision of former s. 817.34 that an appeal from a final judgment brings before the court for review all of the prior orders entered in the case is continued. This does not apply, however, to any prior final order or judgment which could have been appealed as of right under s. 808.03 (1). Thus a judgment dismissing a codefendant from a case must be appealed immediately and cannot be reviewed when judgment is rendered on the plaintiff's claim against the other defendants. Nonfinal orders and judgments that are appealed and ruled upon by the Court of Appeals are, of course, not subject to further review upon appeal of the final judgment. This section is also limited to those orders made in favor of the named respondents to prevent the possibility of the court reviewing an order in favor of a person not a party to the appeal.
A change is made in prior law in that an interlocutory judgment, Rule 806.01 (2), which previously must have been appealed within the statutory period from the entry of the interlocutory judgment, Richter v. Standard Manufacturing Co., 224 Wis. 121, 271 N.W. 14 (1937), is now reviewable by the Court of Appeals upon an appeal of the final judgment. The objective is to have only one appeal in each case, absent unusual circumstances which would justify an appeal from a nonfinal order under s. 808.03 (2). [Re Order effective July 1, 1978]
Judicial Council Committee's Note, 1981: To facilitate the efficient administration of appeals by the court of appeals, sub. (1) (a) is amended to require that the notice of appeal state whether the appeal is in one of the types of cases specified in s. 752.31 (2). [Re Order effective Jan. 1, 1982]
Judicial Council Note, 2001:
Former sub. (1) (a) has been repealed and recreated as subs. (1) (a) to (d). Subsection 1 (d) clarifies when a docketing statement must be filed. Former sub. (1) (b) has been repealed and recreated as sub. (1) (e). Subsection (1) (f) codifies existing law. See Northridge Bank v. Community Eye Care Ctr.
, 94 Wis. 2d 201
, 203, 287 N.W.2d 810
, 811 (1980); Carrington v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co
., 169 Wis. 2d 211
, 217 n.2, 485 N.W.2d 267
, 269 n.2 (1992). Please see s. 809.32 for special requirements for a Notice of Appeal in a No-Merit Report appeal. [Re Order No. 00-02 effective July 1, 2001]
Judicial Council Note, 2002:
See also related changes in ss.
809.40 (3) and 809.50 (3). Prior to 2001 WI 39
, effective 7/1/01, s. 809.10 (1) provided that docketing statements were not required in "criminal cases or in cases in which a party appears pro se." State's appeals in criminal cases were inadvertently omitted from the list of statutory references that replaced "criminal cases" in the prior statute. Subsection (1) (d) is amended to clarify that docketing statements are not required in state's appeals in criminal cases. The amendment also clarifies that docketing statements are not required in permissive appeals in criminal cases, but are required in other permissive appeals. [Re Order No. 02-01 effective January 1, 2003]
When an appeal is pending, matters not directly concerned with the appeal but related to the case are still properly within the trial court's jurisdiction. In Matter of Trust Estate of Schaefer, 91 Wis. 2d 360
, 283 N.W.2d 410
(Ct. App. 1979).
The filing date stamped on the notice of appeal is not conclusive as to the date of filing. Boston Old Colony Insurance Co. v. International Rectifier Corp. 91 Wis. 2d 813
, 284 N.W.2d 93
A respondent was allowed to challenge a trial court order denying a motion for summary judgment despite the failure to file a notice of cross-appeal. Auric v. Continental Casualty Co. 111 Wis. 2d 507
, 331 N.W.2d 325
Service of the notice of appeal on opposing parties is not necessary to confer jurisdiction on the court of appeals. Rhyner v. Sauk County, 118 Wis. 2d 324
, 348 N.W.2d 588
(Ct. App. 1984).
Failure to submit the docketing fee within the time specified for filing a notice of appeal does not deprive the court of appeals of jurisdiction. The notice of appeal, not the docketing fee, vests the court with jurisdiction. Douglas v. Dewey, 147 Wis. 2d 328
, 433 N.W.2d 243
The federal prohibition against stacking cross-appeals is not applicable under sub. (2) (b). The time limits under sub. (1) (b) are jurisdictional and may not be extended. Estate of Donnell v. Milwaukee, 160 Wis. 2d 529
, 466 N.W.2d 670
(Ct. App. 1991).
A nonlawyer may not sign and file a notice of appeal on behalf of a corporation. To do so constitutes practicing law without a license in violation of s. 757.30 and voids the appeal. Requiring a lawyer to represent a corporation in filing the notice is constitutional. Jadair Inc. v. United States Fire Insurance Co. 209 Wis. 2d 187
, 561 N.W.2d 718
Section 799.06 (2) authorizes a non-lawyer employee to represent a party to a small claims action at the appellate, as well as trial court, level and is an exception to the rule stated in Jadair
. Holz v. Busy Bees Contracting, Inc. 223 Wis. 2d 598
, 589 N.W.2d 633
(Ct. App. 1998), 98-1076
Section 753.016 (1) and (2) provide that in Milwaukee County each branch of the circuit court shall have a deputy clerk provided by the clerk of the circuit court. In Milwaukee County "the clerk of the trial court" under sub. (1) (a) necessarily encompasses the deputy clerk assigned to the specific branch of the circuit court as well as deputy clerks performing duties within the office of the clerk of circuit court. Kelley v. State, 2003 WI App 81
, 261 Wis. 2d 803
, 661 N.W.2d 854
Appeal of a judgment, the date of which was specified in the notice of appeal, included an appeal of an order for costs entered after that date. A judgment is perfected by the taxation of costs and the insertion of the amount into the judgment so that the order of costs becomes part of the judgment subject to appeal. DeWitt Ross & Stevens v. Galaxy Gaming and Racing, 2003 WI App 190
, 267 Wis. 2d 233
, 670 N.W.2d 74
In order to confer jurisdiction on the court of appeals, a notice of appeal filed by counsel must contain the handwritten signature of an attorney authorized to practice law in Wisconsin. Counsel cannot delegate the duty to affix a signature on a notice of appeal to a person not authorized to practice law in Wisconsin. When a notice of appeal is not signed by an attorney when an attorney is required, the notice of appeal is fundamentally defective and cannot confer jurisdiction. Brown v. MR Group, LLC 2004 WI App 121
, 274 Wis. 2d 804
, 683 N.W.2d 804
The plaintiffs in this case were not "respondents" under sub. (4) because they were not named in the notice of appeal, and thus were not "respondents" adverse to the appellants. The appellants could not name the plaintiffs as respondents in the notice of appeal because the appellants were not aggrieved by any final order entered against the appellants and in favor of the plaintiffs. The appellants could not evade the bar to appealing non-final-orders as of right by the expedient of appealing final orders against those named in the notice of appeal in order to get review of non-final orders and rulings favorable to parties who were still active in the litigation. Dixon v. Hnilicka Company, Inc. 2011 WI App 46
, 332 Wis. 2d 357
, 798 N.W.2d 264
Applying well-established principles of law that apply equally to the United States government when it is a party, a decision not to litigate any of the issues involved in the circuit court precludes the United States from pursuing relief in the court of appeals. Nickel v. United States of America, 2012 WI 22
, 339 Wis. 2d 48
, 810 N.W.2d 450
Mechanics of making an appeal in the court of appeals. Felsenthal, WBB October 1981.
Appellate review: Choosing and shaping the proper standard. Leavell. WBB Apr. 1987.
Changing standards of review. Leavell. WBB May 1987.
Appeals in proceedings related to prisoners. 809.103(2)
The appellate court shall notify the department of justice by a procedure developed by the director of state courts in cooperation with the department of justice when the appellate court rules that an appeal or supervisory writ proceeding brought by a prisoner meets any of the following conditions:
Is used for any improper purpose, such as to harass, to cause unnecessary delay or to needlessly increase the cost of litigation.
Seeks review of a denial of monetary damages from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
There is no ground upon which relief may be granted.
A prisoner is not relieved from paying the full filing fee related to an appeal or supervisory writ proceeding if the appellate court dismisses the appeal or supervisory writ proceeding for one of the reasons listed in sub. (2)
History: 1997 a. 133
; Sup. Ct. Order No. 03-06A
, 2005 WI 86, 280 Wis. 2d xiii; 2011 a. 2
Appeals in proceedings related to parental consent prior to performance of abortion.