137.21   Admissibility in evidence.
137.22   Automated transactions.
137.23   Time and place of sending and receipt.
137.24   Transferable records.
137.25   Submission of written documents.
137.26   Interoperability.
137.11 137.11 Definitions. In this chapter:
137.11(1) (1)“Agreement" means the bargain of the parties in fact, as found in their language or inferred from other circumstances and from rules, regulations, and procedures given the effect of agreements under laws otherwise applicable to a particular transaction.
137.11(2) (2)“Automated transaction" means a transaction conducted or performed, in whole or in part, by electronic means or by the use of electronic records, in which the acts or records of one or both parties are not reviewed by an individual in the ordinary course in forming a contract, performing under an existing contract, or fulfilling an obligation required by the transaction.
137.11(3) (3)“Computer program" means a set of statements or instructions to be used directly or indirectly in an information processing system in order to bring about a certain result.
137.11(4) (4)“Contract" means the total legal obligation resulting from the parties' agreement as affected by this chapter and other applicable law.
137.11(5) (5)“Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
137.11(6) (6)“Electronic agent" means a computer program or an electronic or other automated means used independently to initiate an action or respond to electronic records or performances in whole or in part, without review or action by an individual.
137.11(7) (7)“Electronic record" means a record that is created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means.
137.11(8) (8)“Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
137.11(9) (9)“Governmental unit" means:
137.11(9)(a) (a) An agency, department, board, commission, office, authority, institution, or instrumentality of the federal government or of a state or of a political subdivision of a state or special purpose district within a state, regardless of the branch or branches of government in which it is located.
137.11(9)(b) (b) A political subdivision of a state or special purpose district within a state.
137.11(9)(c) (c) An association or society to which appropriations are made by law.
137.11(9)(d) (d) Any body within one or more of the entities specified in pars. (a) to (c) that is created or authorized to be created by the constitution, by law, or by action of one or more of the entities specified in pars. (a) to (c).
137.11(9)(e) (e) Any combination of any of the entities specified in pars. (a) to (d).
137.11(10) (10)“Information" means data, text, images, sounds, codes, computer programs, software, databases, or the like.
137.11(11) (11)“Information processing system" means an electronic system for creating, generating, sending, receiving, storing, displaying, or processing information.
137.11(12) (12)“Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
137.11(13) (13)“Security procedure" means a procedure employed for the purpose of verifying that an electronic signature, record, or performance is that of a specific person or for detecting changes or errors in the information in an electronic record. The term includes a procedure that requires the use of algorithms or other codes, identifying words or numbers, encryption, callback, or other acknowledgment procedures.
137.11(14) (14)“State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian tribe or band, or Alaskan native village, which is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.
137.11(15) (15)“Transaction" means an action or set of actions occurring between 2 or more persons relating to the conduct of business, commercial, or governmental affairs.
137.11 History History: 2003 a. 294; 2019 a. 125.
137.12 137.12 Application.
137.12(1)(1)Except as otherwise provided in sub. (2) and except in ss. 137.25 and 137.26, this chapter applies to electronic records and electronic signatures relating to a transaction.
137.12(2) (2)Except as otherwise provided in sub. (3), this chapter does not apply to a transaction to the extent it is governed by:
137.12(2)(a) (a) Any law governing the execution of wills or the creation of testamentary trusts;
137.12(2)(b) (b) Chapters 401 and 403 to 410, other than s. 401.306.
137.12(2m) (2m)This chapter does not apply to any of the following records or any transaction evidenced by any of the following records:
137.12(2m)(a) (a) Records governed by any law relating to adoption, divorce, or other matters of family law.
137.12(2m)(b) (b) Notices provided by a court.
137.12(2m)(c) (c) Court orders.
137.12(2m)(d) (d) Official court documents, including briefs, pleadings, and other writings, required to be executed in connection with court proceedings.
137.12(2p) (2p)This chapter applies to a transaction governed by the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 USC 7001, et seq., but this chapter is not intended to limit, modify, or supersede 15 USC 7001 (c).
137.12(2r) (2r)To the extent that it is excluded from the scope of 15 USC 7003, this chapter does not apply to a notice to the extent that it is governed by a law requiring the furnishing of any notice of:
137.12(2r)(a) (a) The cancellation or termination of utility services, including water, heat, and power service.
137.12(2r)(b) (b) Default, acceleration, repossession, foreclosure, or eviction, or the right to cure, under a credit agreement secured by or a rental agreement for a primary residence of an individual;
137.12(2r)(c) (c) The cancellation or termination of health insurance or benefits or life insurance benefits, excluding annuities;
137.12(2r)(d) (d) Recall of a product, or material failure of a product, that risks endangering health or safety; or
137.12(2r)(e) (e) A law requiring a document to accompany any transportation or handling of hazardous materials, pesticides, or other toxic or dangerous materials.
137.12(3) (3)This chapter applies to an electronic record or electronic signature otherwise excluded from the application of this chapter under subs. (2), (2m), and (2r) to the extent it is governed by a law other than those specified in subs. (2), (2m), and (2r).
137.12(4) (4)A transaction subject to this chapter is also subject to other applicable substantive law.
137.12(5) (5)This chapter applies to the state of Wisconsin, unless otherwise expressly provided.
137.12(6) (6)To the extent there is a conflict between this chapter and ch. 407, ch. 407 governs.
137.12 History History: 2003 a. 294; 2009 a. 320, 322; 2019 a. 125.
137.12 Annotation Legal Effects of Electronic Transactions. Serum. Wis. Law. Feb. 2005.
137.13 137.13 Use of electronic records and electronic signatures; variation by agreement.
137.13(1)(1)This chapter does not require a record or signature to be created, generated, sent, communicated, received, stored, or otherwise processed or used by electronic means or in electronic form.
137.13(2) (2)This chapter applies only to transactions between parties each of which has agreed to conduct transactions by electronic means. Whether the parties agree to conduct a transaction by electronic means is determined from the context and surrounding circumstances, including the parties' conduct.
137.13(3) (3)A party that agrees to conduct a transaction by electronic means may refuse to conduct other transactions by electronic means. The right granted by this subsection may not be waived by agreement.
137.13(4) (4)Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the effect of any provision of this chapter may be varied by agreement. Use of the words “unless otherwise agreed," or words of similar import, in this chapter shall not be interpreted to preclude other provisions of this chapter from being varied by agreement.
137.13(5) (5)Whether an electronic record or electronic signature has legal consequences is determined by this chapter and other applicable law.
137.13 History History: 2003 a. 294; 2019 a. 125.
137.14 137.14 Construction. This chapter shall be construed and applied:
137.14(1) (1)To facilitate electronic transactions consistent with other applicable law;
137.14(2) (2)To be consistent with reasonable practices concerning electronic transactions and with the continued expansion of those practices; and
137.14(3) (3)To effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this chapter among states enacting laws substantially similar to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act as approved and recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1999.
137.14 History History: 2003 a. 294; 2019 a. 125.
137.15 137.15 Legal recognition of electronic records, electronic signatures, and electronic contracts.
137.15(1)(1)A record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.
137.15(2) (2)A contract may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation.
137.15(3) (3)If a law requires a record to be in writing, an electronic record satisfies that requirement in that law.
137.15(4) (4)If a law requires a signature, an electronic signature satisfies that requirement in that law.
137.15 History History: 2003 a. 294.
137.16 137.16 Provision of information in writing; presentation of records.
137.16(1)(1)If parties have agreed to conduct a transaction by electronic means and a law requires a person to provide, send, or deliver information in writing to another person, a party may satisfy the requirement with respect to that transaction if the information is provided, sent, or delivered, as the case may be, in an electronic record capable of retention by the recipient at the time of receipt. An electronic record is not capable of retention by the recipient if the sender or its information processing system inhibits the ability of the recipient to print or store the electronic record.
137.16(2) (2)If a law other than this chapter requires a record to be posted or displayed in a certain manner, to be sent, communicated, or transmitted by a specified method, or to contain information that is formatted in a certain manner, then:
137.16(2)(a) (a) The record shall be posted or displayed in the manner specified in the other law.
137.16(2)(b) (b) Except as otherwise provided in sub. (4) (b), the record shall be sent, communicated, or transmitted by the method specified in the other law.
137.16(2)(c) (c) The record shall contain the information formatted in the manner specified in the other law.
137.16(3) (3)If a sender inhibits the ability of a recipient to store or print an electronic record, the electronic record is not enforceable against the recipient.
137.16(4) (4)The requirements of this section may not be varied by agreement, but:
137.16(4)(a) (a) To the extent a law other than this chapter requires information to be provided, sent, or delivered in writing but permits that requirement to be varied by agreement, the requirement under sub. (1) that the information be in the form of an electronic record capable of retention may also be varied by agreement; and
137.16(4)(b) (b) A requirement under a law other than this chapter to send, communicate, or transmit a record by 1st-class or regular mail or with postage prepaid may be varied by agreement to the extent permitted by the other law.
137.16 History History: 2003 a. 294; 2019 a. 125.
137.17 137.17 Attribution and effect of electronic records and electronic signatures.
137.17(1)(1)An electronic record or electronic signature is attributable to a person if the electronic record or electronic signature was created by the act of the person. The act of the person may be shown in any manner, including a showing of the efficacy of any security procedure applied to determine the person to which the electronic record or electronic signature was attributable.
137.17(2) (2)The effect of an electronic record or electronic signature that is attributed to a person under sub. (1) is determined from the context and surrounding circumstances at the time of its creation, execution, or adoption, including the parties' agreement, if any, and otherwise as provided by law.
137.17 History History: 2003 a. 294.
137.18 137.18 Effect of change or error.
137.18(1)(1)If a change or error in an electronic record occurs in a transmission between parties to a transaction, then:
137.18(1)(a) (a) If the parties have agreed to use a security procedure to detect changes or errors and one party has conformed to the procedure, but the other party has not, and the nonconforming party would have detected the change or error had that party also conformed, the conforming party may avoid the effect of the changed or erroneous electronic record.
137.18(1)(b) (b) In an automated transaction involving an individual, the individual may avoid the effect of an electronic record that resulted from an error made by the individual in dealing with the electronic agent of another person if the electronic agent did not provide an opportunity for the prevention or correction of the error and, at the time the individual learns of the error, the individual:
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 186 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on June 2, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after June 2, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 6-2-20)