Fiduciary; liability for costs limited; bond premium. 814.14(1)(a)
Except as provided in par. (b)
or unless otherwise specifically provided in any action or proceeding prosecuted or defended in any court in this state by a personal representative, guardian ad litem, trustee of an express trust, general guardian or person expressly authorized by statute, costs may be recovered as in an action by or against a person prosecuting or defending in the person's own right.
Except in cases in which the plaintiff or defendant is guilty of mismanagement or bad faith in the action, proceeding, or defense of the action, costs recovered under par. (a)
shall be chargeable only upon or collected from the estate, fund, or party represented. In cases in which the plaintiff or defendant is guilty of mismanagement or bad faith in the action, proceeding, or defense of the action, the court shall direct that the costs recovered under par. (a)
shall be paid by the plaintiff or defendant personally.
In addition to other costs, all actions or proceedings in which any fiduciary may be entitled to recover costs, the fiduciary may recover any sum that the fiduciary paid to a company, authorized by the laws of this state to act as the fiduciary's surety, for becoming the fiduciary's surety upon any bond or other obligation given by the fiduciary in the fiduciary's representative capacity in the action or proceeding pursuant to law or the order of any court, as may be allowed by the court in which the fiduciary accounts, not exceeding the lesser of 2 percent per year on the amount secured by the obligation or the actual amount paid to the company.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.14; 1979 c. 110
s. 60 (13)
; 1993 a. 486
; 2001 a. 102
Assignee's liability for costs.
In actions in which the cause of action shall, by assignment, after the commencement of the action or in any other manner become the property of a person not a party to the action the person shall be liable for the costs in the same manner as if the person were a party; and payment thereof may be enforced by attachment.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.15; 1993 a. 486
Settlement, costs on.
Except as provided in s. 93.20
, upon settlement of an action no greater sum may be demanded for costs than at the rate prescribed in this chapter.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.16; 1991 a. 39
Records copied not to be taxed for.
No record, writ, return, pleading, instrument or other writing copied into any proceeding, entry, process or suggestion shall be computed as any part of the draft of such proceeding, entry, process or suggestion.
History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.19.
What county to pay costs when venue changed or jury selected for use in another county, taxation, certification. 814.22(1)(1)
In all proceedings, including criminal actions, if a change of venue is had (except in cases where the change is made because the action was not brought in the proper county), the jury is selected for use in another county under s. 971.225
or an action, occupying a day or more, is tried outside the county wherein pending, the county in which the action was commenced shall pay to the county in which the action is tried or the jury is selected the following expenses arising out of the change of venue or jury selection:
The per diem fees of the clerk or the clerk's deputies, all the taxable costs, disbursements and fees of such clerk on any proceeding or action.
The per diem fees of the petit jurors actually in attendance upon said court.
The per diem fees of the sheriff, undersheriff and deputies in attendance upon said court.
The legal fees of all witnesses in any criminal case or proceedings which are a charge against the county.
All charges for subpoenaing witnesses in any criminal case or proceedings and which are a proper charge against the county. The fees of such officers and jurors shall be estimated for each day and part of a day, not less than half a day, occupied in disposing of any such action.
Such other lawful costs, charges, fees, and disbursements which are chargeable to the county, and all lawful costs, disbursements and charges which any such county may be subjected to or may incur in any such action or proceedings.
The clerk shall make out a correct bill of all the expenses which shall accrue under this section and have the bill taxed and allowed by the presiding judge of the court; and when so taxed shall transmit the bill to the county clerk of the county in which the action was commenced. A county order therefor shall issue in favor of the county in which the action or proceedings were had or tried or in which the jury was selected.
If costs are to be taxed against a county under this section, the district attorney of the county where the action or proceeding was tried or in which the jury was selected shall serve upon the district attorney of the county sought to be charged with the expense a copy of the bill of expenses, together with 8 days notice of the time and place the bill will be taxed before the presiding judge of the court. No such bill of expense may be allowed unless the notice is given or is waived in writing.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.22; 1977 c. 449
; 1981 c. 115
; 1993 a. 486
Actions by or against county.
In all actions by or against a county, and in actions or proceedings by or against county officers in their name of office, costs shall be awarded to the prevailing party as in actions between individuals.
History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.23.
A prevailing plaintiff in a habeas corpus proceeding may not be awarded costs. State ex rel. Korne v. Wolke, 79 Wis. 2d 22
, 255 N.W.2d 446
Action against city, village or town official, cost.
Costs, if any, in an action against a city, village or town officer in his or her official capacity, except an action directly involving the title to the office, and except as provided in s. 814.25
, shall not be awarded against that officer, but may be awarded against the city, village or town.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.24; 1993 a. 246
; 1997 a. 133
Actions by state agencies. 814.245(1)(1)
The legislature intends that courts in this state, when interpreting this section, be guided by federal case law, as of November 20, 1985, interpreting substantially similar provisions under the federal equal access to justice act, 5 USC 504
“Small business" means a business entity, including its affiliates, which is independently owned and operated, and which employs 25 or fewer full-time employees or which has gross annual sales of less than $5,000,000.
“Small nonprofit corporation" means a nonprofit corporation which employs fewer than 25 full-time employees.
“State agency" does not include the citizens utility board.
“Substantially justified" means having a reasonable basis in law and fact.
Except as provided in s. 814.25
, if an individual, a small nonprofit corporation or a small business is the prevailing party in any action by a state agency or in any proceeding for judicial review under s. 227.485 (6)
and submits a motion for costs under this section, the court shall award costs to the prevailing party, unless the court finds that the state agency was substantially justified in taking its position or that special circumstances exist that would make the award unjust.
In determining the prevailing party in actions in which more than one issue is contested, the court shall take into account the relative importance of each issue. The court shall provide for partial awards of costs under this section based on determinations made under this subsection.
If the court awards costs under sub. (3)
, the costs shall include all of the following which are applicable:
The reasonable expenses of expert witnesses, the reasonable cost of any study, analysis, engineering report, test or project which is found by the court to be necessary for the preparation of the case and reasonable attorney or agent fees. The amount of fees awarded under this section shall be based upon prevailing market rates for the kind and quality of the services furnished, except that:
No expert witness may be compensated at a rate in excess of the highest rate of compensation for expert witnesses paid by the agency which is the losing party.
Attorney or agent fees may not be awarded in excess of $150 per hour unless the court determines that an increase in the cost of living or a special factor, such as the limited availability of qualified attorneys or agents, justifies a higher fee.
A party seeking an award under this section shall, within 30 days after final judgment in the action, submit to the clerk under s. 814.10 (1)
an itemized application for fees and other expenses, including an itemized statement from any attorney or expert witness representing or appearing on behalf of the party stating the actual time expended and the rate at which fees and other expenses were computed. Section 814.10
applies for the procedure for taxation of costs, except that the clerk shall allow the state agency 15 working days to respond under s. 814.10 (3)
The court acting under s. 814.10 (4)
may reduce the amount awarded under this section or deny an award if it finds that the prevailing party engaged in conduct which unduly and unreasonably delayed the action.
An individual is not eligible to recover costs under this section if the person's properly reported federal adjusted gross income was $150,000 or more in each of the 3 calendar years or corresponding fiscal years immediately prior to the commencement of the action. This subsection applies whether the person files the tax return individually or in combination with a spouse.
If a state agency is ordered to pay costs under this section, the costs shall be paid from the applicable appropriation under s. 20.865 (1) (a)
Each state agency that is ordered to pay costs under this section or that recovers costs under sub. (11)
shall report annually, as soon as is practicable after June 30, to the presiding officer of each house of the legislature the number, nature and amounts awarded, the claims involved in the action in which the costs were incurred, the costs recovered under sub. (11)
and any other relevant information to aid the legislature in evaluating the effect of this section.
If the court finds that the motion under sub. (3)
is frivolous, the examiner may award the state agency all reasonable costs in responding to the motion. In order to find a motion to be frivolous, the court must find one or more of the following:
The motion was submitted in bad faith, solely for purposes of harassing or maliciously injuring the state agency.
The party or the party's attorney knew, or should have known, that the motion was without any reasonable basis in law or equity and could not be supported by a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law.
A petitioner must receive at least some requested relief in order to “prevail" under sub. (3). Kitsemble v. DHSS, 143 Wis. 2d 863
, 422 N.W.2d 896
(Ct. App. 1988).
A circuit court retains jurisdiction to assess costs under sub. (3) when it remands a decision to any agency for further proceedings. The 30-day period in sub. (6) commences at the time that the matter is disposed of in favor of the party on the remand. Sheely v. DHSS, 150 Wis. 2d 320
, 442 N.W.2d 1
In order for a state agency's position to be “substantially justified" under sub. (3), it must have a reasonable basis in truth and in law and there must be a reasonable connection between the facts alleged and the legal theory advanced. An agency's failure to provide required written notice in terminating medical assistance benefits did not have a reasonable basis in law. Stern v. DHFS, 212 Wis. 2d 393
, 569 N.W.2d 79
(Ct. App. 1997), 96-2381
The appropriate base for a cost of living adjustment to the award of attorney fees under sub. (5) (a) 2. is November 1985, the date of enactment of the statute. Stern v. DHFS, 222 Wis. 2d 521
, 588 N.W.2d 658
(Ct. App. 1998), 98-1493
Unlike its federal counterpart, sub. (3) only provides for attorney fees in actions by state agencies, not actions brought by the State of Wisconsin. The legislature was guided by the federal act when enacting this section. If the legislature intended for this section to apply to actions brought by or against the State of Wisconsin, similar to the federal act applying to the United States, it could have done so, and plainly did not. This case was a forfeiture action that s. 778.02 requires be brought in the name of the State of Wisconsin. Thus, this case was not an action by a state agency. State v. Detert-Moriarty, 2017 WI App 2
, 373 Wis. 2d 227
, 890 N.W.2d 588
Costs in actions by prisoners. 814.25(2)(a)(a)
Except as provided in par. (b)
, if a prisoner brings an action or special proceeding related to prison or jail conditions, no costs may be allowed against the state, a state agency or a county, city, village or town, or against any individual defendant when sued in an official capacity.
Costs are allowable to a prisoner who obtains prospective injunctive relief against an individual defendant when that defendant is sued in an official capacity and to a prisoner who obtains a judgment against a defendant when that defendant is sued in his or her personal capacity. This paragraph does not apply to actions or special proceedings related to prison or jail conditions that seek a remedy available by certiorari.
If the prevailing party is the state, a state agency or a county, city, village or town or an individual in any action or special proceeding commenced by a prisoner related to prison or jail conditions, the prisoner shall pay the full costs allowed under this chapter. The prisoner shall be required to pay the costs out of any trust fund accounts that he or she holds in the same manner as payment is required for court fees under s. 814.29 (1m) (e)
History: 1997 a. 133
This section does not violate a prisoner's rights to equal protection of the laws. There is more than one rational basis supporting the legislative creation of different classifications to be considered when costs and fees are awarded. Harr v. Berge, 2004 WI App 105
, 273 Wis. 2d 481
, 681 N.W.2d 282
Security for costs.
Except as provided in s. 655.27 (5) (a) 3.
, in all cases where it shall appear reasonable and proper the court may require the plaintiff to give sufficient security for such costs as may be awarded against the plaintiff.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.27; 1983 a. 158
; 1993 a. 486
Security for costs. 814.28(1)(1)
Defendant may require.
Except as otherwise provided by s. 814.29
, the defendant may require the plaintiffs to file security for costs if the plaintiffs are all nonresidents; or are foreign corporations, nonresident personal representatives, guardians, trustees, or receivers; or are trustees or assignees of any debtor; or are imprisoned for crime for terms less than life; or shall take issue upon the answer of the garnishee.
(2) Order for security.
Upon proof by affidavit entitling the defendant to security for costs, the court shall order the plaintiffs to file security for costs in a sum mentioned in the affidavit, not less than $250, within 20 days after the service upon the plaintiffs of a copy of the order requiring the security for costs, and that all proceedings on the part of the plaintiffs be stayed until security is filed.
(3) Security, how given.
Within the time required the plaintiffs shall file with the clerk of the court, and give the defendant notice thereof, an undertaking with sureties, each of whom shall justify, by affidavit, in the sum stated in the undertaking, above liabilities and exemptions, in property in this state, conditioned to pay on demand all costs that may be awarded to the defendant in such action in any court, not exceeding the sum mentioned in such order. Upon failure to file such undertaking the court may, upon motion of the defendant, dismiss the action.
(4) Deposit in lieu of undertaking.
The plaintiffs in lieu of an undertaking under sub. (3)
may deposit with the clerk of the court, who shall give a receipt therefor, money equal to the amount specified in the order for security, and give notice of the deposit.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761, 780 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.28; 1997 a. 254
; 1999 a. 85
; 2001 a. 102
Security for costs, service and fees for indigents. 814.29(1)(a)
Except as provided in sub. (1m)
, any person may commence, prosecute or defend any action or special proceeding in any court, or any writ of error or appeal therein, without being required to give security for costs or to pay any service or fee, upon order of the court based on a finding that because of poverty the person is unable to pay the costs of the action or special proceeding, or any writ of error or appeal therein, or to give security for those costs.
A person seeking an order under par. (a)
shall file in the court an affidavit in the form prescribed by the judicial conference, setting forth briefly the nature of the cause, defense or appeal and facts demonstrating his or her poverty.
The finding and order of the court under par. (a)
shall be in the form prescribed by the judicial conference. The court may deny the request for an order if the court finds that the affidavit states no claim, defense or appeal upon which the court may grant relief.
The court shall make a finding of poverty and issue an order under par. (a)
if the affidavit demonstrates any of the following:
That the person is a recipient of means-tested public assistance, including aid to families with dependent children, relief funded by a relief block grant under ch. 49
, relief provided by counties under s. 59.53 (21)
, medical assistance, supplemental security income, food stamps or benefits received by veterans under s. 45.40 (1m)
or under 38 USC 1501
That the person is represented by an attorney through a legal services program for indigent persons, including, without limitation, those funded by the federal legal services corporation, the state public defender or volunteer attorney programs based on indigency.
That the person is otherwise unable, because of poverty, to pay the costs of the action, proceeding or appeal or to give security for those costs. In determining the person's ability under this subdivision to pay or give security for fees and costs, the court shall consider the person's household size, income, expenses, assets and debts and the federal poverty guidelines under 42 USC 9902
If a prisoner makes a request for leave to commence or defend an action, special proceeding, writ of error or appeal without being required to prepay the fees or costs or without being required to give security for costs, the prisoner shall submit all of the following: