PUBLICATION OF LEGAL NOTICES; PUBLIC NEWSPAPERS; FEES
985.01   Definitions.
985.02   Method of notification.
985.04   Official state newspaper.
985.065   Publication and printing; counties with population of 250,000 or more.
985.07   Classes and frequency of legal notices.
985.09   Computation of time, Sundays, legal holidays.
985.11   Fees and work on Sunday.
985.15   Forfeiture for refusal to publish.
985.01(1g) (1g) "Governing body" has the meaning given in s. 345.05 (1) (b) and includes a long-term care district board under s. 46.2895.
985.01(2)(b) (b) Every notice and certificate of election, facsimile ballot, referenda, notice of public hearing before a governmental body, and notice of meetings of private and public bodies required by law.
985.01(2)(c) (c) Every summons, order, citation, notice of sale or other notice that is intended to inform a person that the person may or shall do an act or exercise a right within a designated period or upon or by a designated date.
985.01(3) (3) "Municipality" has the meaning in s. 345.05 (1) (c) and includes a long-term care district under s. 46.2895.
985.01(5) (5) A newspaper is "published" at the place from which its mailing permit is issued, except that if the place where the newspaper has its major concentration of circulation has no primary post office, then at the place it shall designate as its place of publication in the affidavit required by s. 985.03 (2), but no newspaper shall have more than one place of publication during the same period of time.
985.01(7) (7) "Wisconsin newspapers legal notices Web site" means an Internet Web site maintained by Wisconsin newspapers for the purpose of providing and maintaining an electronic version of printed and published legal notices.
985.02 985.02 Method of notification.
985.02(2)(a) (a) The notice must be posted in at least 3 public places likely to give notice to persons affected.
985.02(2)(c) (c) The notice posted after the act or event requiring notice shall be posted within one week after the act or event. Actions of governing bodies posted after the act or event shall be effective upon posting.
985.02(3) (3) The newspaper that publishes a legal notice shall, in addition to newspaper publication, place an electronic copy of the legal notice at no additional charge on the Wisconsin newspapers legal notice Web site.
985.02 History History: 2007 a. 20; 2011 a. 228.
985.02 Annotation A county with a population of less that 250,000 is not required to designate an official newspaper. A county is not required to seek bids for the publication of legal notices. Even if a county does not competitively bid the publication of its own proceedings as provided in sub. (3), it may print its own proceedings or post them on its web site. A county may not, in lieu of publication in a printed newspaper or posting on a physical bulletin board, post its legal notices on its official web site. OAG 2-08.
985.03(1) (1)
985.03(1)(a)1. 1. That has constituted 50% or more of its circulation; and,
985.03(1)(c) (c) A newspaper, under this chapter, is a publication that is published at regular intervals and at least once a week, containing reports of happenings of recent occurrence of a varied character, such as political, social, moral and religious subjects, designed to inform the general reader. The definition includes a daily newspaper published in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, devoted principally to business news and publishing of records, which has been designated by the courts of record of the county for publication of legal notices for a period of 6 months or more.
985.03 History History: 1975 c. 341; 1989 a. 31; 2011 a. 228.
985.03 Annotation A municipality may not expend funds to publish legal notice in a "shopper" that does not meet the qualifications in s. 985.03 (1) (a). 71 Atty. Gen. 177.
985.04 History History: 1977 c. 29; 1979 c. 34; 1981 c. 372 ss. 12, 13.
985.05(1) (1) The governing body of every municipality not required to have an official newspaper may designate a newspaper published or having general circulation in the municipality and eligible under s. 985.03 as its official newspaper or utilize the same for specific notices. The governing body of such municipality may, in lieu of newspaper publication, direct other form of publication or posting under s. 985.02 (2). Other publication or posting, however, shall not be substituted for newspaper publication in proceedings relating to: tax redemptions or sales of land acquired by the county or city authorized to act under s. 74.87 for delinquent taxes, charges or assessments; civil annexations, detachments, consolidations or incorporations under chs. 59 to 66; or legal notices directed to specific individuals. Posting may not be substituted for publication in school board elections conducted under s. 120.06 or publication under s. 60.80 (2) of town ordinances imposing forfeitures. If an eligible newspaper is published in the municipality, other publication or posting shall not be substituted for newspaper publication under s. 61.32 or 61.50.
985.05(3) (3) In lieu of the requirements of this chapter, a school board may publish or publicize under s. 120.11 (4).
985.05 Annotation A county board may not designate more than one newspaper having a general circulation in the county as its official newspaper. However, the county board may direct that a particular legal notice also appear in one or more other county newspapers. 60 Atty. Gen. 95.
985.05 Annotation A county with a population of less that 250,000 is not required to designate an official newspaper. A county is not required to seek bids for the publication of legal notices. Even if a county does not competitively bid the publication of its own proceedings as provided in sub. (3), it may print its own proceedings or post them on its web site. A county may not, in lieu of publication in a printed newspaper or posting on a physical bulletin board, post its legal notices on its official web site. OAG 2-08.
985.06(2) (2) In cities of the fourth class, the council, at its first meeting or as soon as may be, shall designate one or more newspapers eligible under s. 985.03 and published in the city, if any, otherwise published in the county and having a general circulation in the city, for publication of the council proceedings and as the official city newspaper for the publication of the city's legal notices for the ensuing year. The council shall fix the price at not to exceed the legal rate for like work.
985.065 985.065 Publication and printing; counties with population of 250,000 or more.
985.065(2) (2)
985.065(2)(b) (b) Such proposals shall name a price per standard line, or shall name a price per standard line per thousand of average daily circulation in such county for the period of 6 months next preceding the date of such proposals, as shown by the affidavit of an authorized officer or agent of such proponent, or shall name a price for such advertising space as may be required or ordered by the board at any time during the year for which awards are made, or, at the option of the proponent, shall include any or all of such separate proposals as aforesaid.
985.065(2)(c) (c) The said board may by resolution suspend the publication of proceedings in newspapers and provide for the printing thereof in pamphlet form until the further action of the board in relation thereto. Separate bids may be called for if so ordered by said board, from printers in the county, for the printing of the proceedings of said county board in pamphlet form in such quantities as shall be determined by said board.
985.065(2)(e) (e) Upon the award of the contract, or contracts, the deposits of unsuccessful bidders, and upon execution of proper contracts by successful bidders, the deposits shall severally be returned. The contract, or contracts, shall be accompanied by a good and sufficient bond in such amount as shall be fixed by said board conditional for the faithful performance of such contract.
985.065 History History: 1983 a. 192; 1993 a. 486.
985.07 985.07 Classes and frequency of legal notices. There shall be 3 classes of legal notices under this chapter. The designated number of insertions is the minimum required by law, and the frequency may be increased at the discretion of the requisitioning agency.
985.07(1) (1)Class 1 notices. All notices designated as class 1 notices require one insertion.
985.07(2) (2)Class 2 notices. All notices designated as class 2 notices require 2 insertions.
985.07(3)(b) (b) Any legal notice not otherwise designated shall be a class 3 notice unless the time permitted by law necessitates a class 2 or class 1 notice, except that any notice required by law on January 2, 1966, which is not otherwise designated, shall be a class 1 notice.
985.07(4) (4) The classification provided herein does not apply to notices of public election or referenda or to notices governed by s. 815.31 but such notices shall be governed by the specific statutes relating thereto.
985.08(2) (2)
985.08(2)(b) (b) When electronic copy for the entire notice or substantial areas thereof is provided, eliminating typesetting, enlargements or reductions, or other changes by the newspaper, the maximum rate is the same as the maximum rate established under sub. (1) for subsequent insertions.
985.08(3) (3) The publisher may increase rates allowed by this section up to 15 per cent for each 4,000 of circulation or fraction thereof above 8,000 of circulation, based on previous year-end circulation figures, but not to exceed an additional increase of 75 percent.
985.08(7) (7) Fees established herein are applicable to legal notices and are not intended to restrict the use of classified and display advertising which is not required by statute to be published or legal notices which the requisitioning agency orders to be published in a classified or display manner. The discretion of utilizing the display method of publishing official materials shall be vested solely in the public authority ordering such publication and the rate charged for publication in this instance shall not exceed the regular commercial display advertising rate of the publisher.
985.08(8) (8) Upon request, a tear sheet proof of a multiple insertion notice shall be mailed to the advertiser or the advertiser's attorney within 72 hours after the first insertion, and an additional charge of $1 for such tear sheet proof may be made.
985.09(1)(1) The time for publication of legal notices shall be computed so as to exclude the first day of publication and include the day on which the act or event, of which notice is given, is to happen or which completes the full period required for publication.
985.09 Cross-reference Cross-references: See s. 801.15 for exception as to computation of time. Also see s. 990.001 (4).
985.10 985.10 Publication on Sunday. Any legal notice may be published in a newspaper printed on Sunday, and such publication is a lawful publication and a full compliance with the order of the court or officer ordering such publication; and any such notice that may, by law or the order of any court, be required to be published for any given number of weeks may be published on any day in each week of such term, and if so published as many weeks and as many times in each week as may be required by such law or order, it shall be a lawful publication thereof.
985.11(2) (2) In any action to recover compensation for labor performed on any newspaper, dated, published or issued on the first day of the week, it shall be no defense that such labor was performed on the first day of the week.
985.12 985.12 Proof of publication.
985.12(1) (1) Affidavit of printing. The affidavit of the editor, publisher, printer or proprietor of any newspaper, or of his or her foreman or principal clerk, of the publication of any legal notice, annexed to a copy of the notice clipped from the newspaper, and specifying the date of each insertion, and the paper in which it was published, shall be received in all cases as presumptive evidence of the publication and of the facts stated therein.
985.12(4) (4)Fee. The fee for an affidavit of publication shall be $1.
985.12 History History: 1993 a. 486.
985.13(2) (2) When a newspaper ceases to be published before the publication of a legal notice is commenced, or when commenced ceases before such publication is completed, the order for publication, when one is required in the first instance, may be amended by order of the court or judge, on proof of the fact by affidavit, so as to designate another newspaper, as may be necessary; and if no order is required in the first instance such publication may be made or completed in any other newspaper; and any time during which such notice is published in the first newspaper shall be reckoned a part of the time required for the publication thereof, proof of which may be made by affidavit of any person acquainted with the facts. The second newspaper may be one published in an adjoining county in the cases mentioned in s. 985.14.
985.14 985.14 Refusal to publish. When there is only one newspaper in a county and the publisher thereof refuses to publish a legal notice, such legal notice may be published in a newspaper printed in an adjoining county; and proof by affidavit of the reason why such publication was made in an adjoining county shall accompany the proof of publication, or the order for publication, when any is necessary, may be made or amended by the court or judge so as to designate a newspaper in an adjoining county, upon affidavit showing the necessity therefor. Whenever a legal notice is required by law to be published in a newspaper in any county having a village or city situated partly in said county and partly in an adjoining county where there is no newspaper printed in such village or city within the county first mentioned, but there is a newspaper published in such village or city within such adjoining county, such notice may be published in such last mentioned newspaper.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Dec. 13, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Dec. 13, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-13-14)