Summary of case law and attorney general opinions.
OPEN MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENTAL BODIES
Declaration of policy.
Meetings of governmental bodies.
Closed sessions by ethics or elections commission.
Notice of collective bargaining negotiations.
Ballots, votes and records.
Exclusion of members.
Use of equipment in open session.
Interpretation by attorney general.
OFFICIAL OATHS AND BONDS
Oaths and bonds. 19.01(1)(1)
Form of oath.
Every official oath required by article IV, section 28, of the constitution
or by any statute shall be in writing, subscribed and sworn to and except as provided otherwise by s. 757.02
and SCR 40.15
, shall be in substantially the following form:
State of Wisconsin,
County of ....
I, the undersigned, who have been elected (or appointed) to the office of ...., but have not yet entered upon the duties thereof, swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin, and will faithfully discharge the duties of said office to the best of my ability. So help me God.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this .... day of ...., .... (year)
(1m) Form of oral oath.
If it is desired to administer the official oath orally in addition to the written oath prescribed above, it shall be in substantially the following form:
I, ...., swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin, and will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of .... to the best of my ability. So help me God.
Every official bond required of any public officer shall be in substantially the following form:
We, the undersigned, jointly and severally, undertake and agree that ...., who has been elected (or appointed) to the office of ...., will faithfully discharge the duties of the office according to law, and will pay to the parties entitled to receive the same, such damages, not exceeding in the aggregate .... dollars, as may be suffered by them in consequence of the failure of .... to discharge the duties of the office.
Dated ...., .... (year)
Any further or additional official bond lawfully required of any public officer shall be in the same form and it shall not affect or impair any official bond previously given by the officer for the same or any other official term. Where such bond is in excess of the sum of $25,000, the officer may give 2 or more bonds.
(2m) Effect of giving bond.
Any bond purportedly given as an official bond by a public officer, of whom an official bond is required, shall be deemed to be an official bond and shall be deemed as to both principal and surety to contain all the conditions and provisions required in sub. (2)
, regardless of its form or wording, and any provisions restricting liability to less than that provided in sub. (2)
shall be void.
(3) Official duties defined.
The official duties referred to in subs. (1)
include performance to the best of his or her ability by the officer taking the oath or giving the bond of every official act required, and the nonperformance of every act forbidden, by law to be performed by the officer; also, similar performance and nonperformance of every act required of or forbidden to the officer in any other office which he or she may lawfully hold or exercise by virtue of incumbency of the office named in the official oath or bond. The duties mentioned in any such oath or bond include the faithful performance by all persons appointed or employed by the officer either in his or her principal or subsidiary office, of their respective duties and trusts therein.
Official oaths and bonds of the following public officials shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state:
The justices, reporter and clerk of the supreme court.
Every officer, except the secretary of state, state treasurer, district attorney and attorney general, whose compensation is paid in whole or in part out of the state treasury, including every member or appointee of a board or commission whose compensation is so paid.
Every deputy or assistant of an officer who files with the secretary of state.
Official oaths and bonds of the following public officials shall be filed in the office of the governor:
Official oaths and bonds of all district attorneys shall be filed with the secretary of administration.
Official oaths and bonds of the following public officials shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for any county in which the official serves:
All circuit and supplemental court commissioners.
All judges, other than municipal judges, and all judicial officers, other than judicial officers under subd. 1.
, elected or appointed for that county, or whose jurisdiction is limited to that county.
Official oaths and bonds of all elected or appointed county officers, other than those enumerated in par. (c)
, and of all officers whose compensation is paid out of the county treasury shall be filed in the office of the county clerk of any county in which the officer serves.
Official oaths and bonds of members of the governing board, and the superintendent and other officers of any joint county school, county hospital, county sanatorium, county asylum or other joint county institution shall be filed in the office of the county clerk of the county in which the buildings of the institution that the official serves are located.
Official oaths and bonds of all elected or appointed town officers shall be filed in the office of the town clerk for the town in which the officer serves, except that oaths and bonds of town clerks shall be filed in the office of the town treasurer.
Official oaths and bonds of all elected or appointed city officers shall be filed in the office of the city clerk for the city in which the officer serves, except that oaths and bonds of city clerks shall be filed in the office of the city treasurer.
Official oaths and bonds of all elected or appointed village officers shall be filed in the office of the village clerk for the village in which the officer serves, except that oaths and bonds of village clerks shall be filed in the office of the village treasurer.
The official oath and bond of any officer of a school district or of an incorporated school board shall be filed with the clerk of the school district or the clerk of the incorporated school board for or on which the official serves.
Official oaths and bonds of the members of a technical college district shall be filed with the secretary for the technical college district for which the member serves.
(4m) Approval and notice.
Bonds specified in sub. (4) (c)
and bonds of any county employee required by statute or county ordinance to be bonded shall be approved by the district attorney as to amount, form and execution before the bonds are accepted for filing. The clerk of the circuit court and the county clerk respectively shall notify in writing the county board or chairperson within 5 days after the entry upon the term of office of a judicial or county officer specified in sub. (4) (c)
or after a county employee required to be bonded has begun employment. The notice shall state whether or not the required bond has been furnished and shall be published with the proceedings of the county board.
(5) Time of filing.
Every public officer required to file an official oath or an official bond shall file the same before entering upon the duties of the office; and when both are required, both shall be filed at the same time.
(6) Continuance of obligation.
Every such bond continues in force and is applicable to official conduct during the incumbency of the officer filing the same and until the officer's successor is duly qualified and installed.
This section shall not be construed as requiring any particular officer to furnish or file either an official oath or an official bond. It is applicable to such officers only as are elsewhere in these statutes or by the constitution or by special, private or local law required to furnish such an oath or bond. Provided, however, that whether otherwise required by law or not, an oath of office shall be filed by every member of any board or commission appointed by the governor, and by every administrative officer so appointed, also by every secretary and other chief executive officer appointed by such board or commission.
(8) Premium on bond allowed as expense.
The state and any county, town, village, city or school district may pay the cost of any official bond furnished by an officer or employee thereof pursuant to law or any rules or regulations requiring the same if said officer or employee shall furnish a bond with a licensed surety company as surety, said cost not to exceed the current rate of premium per year. The cost of any such bond to the state shall be charged to the proper expense appropriation.
Actions by the state, municipality or district.
Whenever the state or any county, town, city, village, school district or technical college district is entitled to recover any damages, money, penalty or forfeiture on any official bond, the attorney general, county chairperson, town chairperson, mayor, village president, school board president or technical college district board chairperson, respectively, shall prosecute or cause to be prosecuted all necessary actions in the name of the state, or the municipality, against the officer giving the bond and the sureties for the recovery of the damages, money, penalty or forfeiture.
Actions by individuals.
Any person injured by the act, neglect or default of any officer, except the state officers, the officer's deputies or other persons which constitutes a breach of the condition of the official bond of the officer, may maintain an action in that person's name against the officer and the officer's sureties upon such bond for the recovery of any damages the person may have sustained by reason thereof, without leave and without any assignment of any such bond.
History: 1991 a. 316
Security for costs; notice of action. 19.03(1)
Every person commencing an action against any officer and sureties upon an official bond, except the obligee named therein, shall give security for costs by an undertaking as prescribed in s. 814.28 (3)
, and a copy thereof shall be served upon the defendants at the time of the service of the summons. In all such actions if final judgment is rendered against the plaintiff the same may be entered against the plaintiff and the sureties to such undertaking for all the lawful costs and disbursements of the defendants in such action, by whatever court awarded.
The plaintiff in any such action shall, within 10 days after the service of the summons therein, deliver a notice of the commencement of such action to the officer who has the legal custody of such official bond, who shall file the same in his or her office in connection with such bond.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 773 (1975); 1975 c. 218
; 1991 a. 316
Other actions on same bond.
No action brought upon an official bond shall be barred or dismissed by reason merely that any former action shall have been prosecuted on such bond, but any payment of damages made or collected from the sureties or any of them on any judgment in an action previously begun by any party on such bond shall be applied as a total or partial discharge of the penal sum of such bond, and such defense or partial defense may be pleaded by answer or supplemental answer as may be proper. The verdict and judgment in every such action shall be for no more than the actual damages sustained or damages, penalty or forfeiture awarded, besides costs. The court may, when it shall be necessary for the protection of such sureties, stay execution on any judgment rendered in such actions until the final determination of any actions so previously commenced and until the final determination of any other action commenced before judgment entered in any such action.
Execution; lien of judgment. 19.05(1)
Whenever a judgment is rendered against any officer and the officer's sureties on the officer's official bond in any court other than the circuit court of the county in which the officer's official bond is filed, no execution for the collection of the judgment shall issue from the other court unless the plaintiff, the plaintiff's agent or the plaintiff's attorney shall make and file with the court an affidavit showing each of the following:
That no other judgment has been rendered in any court in an action upon the officer's bond against the sureties of the bond that remains in whole or in part unpaid.
That no other action upon the officer's bond against the sureties was pending and undetermined in any other court at the time of the entry of the judgment.
A transcript of a judgment described in sub. (1)
may be entered in the judgment and lien docket in other counties, shall constitute a lien, and may be enforced, in all respects the same as if it were an ordinary judgment, for the recovery of money, except as provided otherwise in sub. (1)
History: 1991 a. 316
; 1995 a. 224
Sureties, how relieved.
Whenever several judgments shall be recovered against the sureties on any official bond in actions which shall have been commenced before the date of the entry of the last of such judgments the aggregate of which, exclusive of costs, shall exceed the sum for which such sureties remain liable at the time of the commencement of such actions, they may discharge themselves from all further liability upon such judgments by paying into court the sum for which they are then liable, together with the costs recovered on such judgments; or the court may, upon motion supported by affidavit, order that no execution for more than a proportional share of such judgments shall be issued thereon against the property of such sureties or either of them and that upon payment or collection of such proportional share they shall be discharged from the judgment or judgments upon which such proportional share shall be paid or collected. When the money is paid into court by the sureties as above specified the same, exclusive of the costs so paid in, shall be distributed by an order of the court to the several plaintiffs in such judgments in proportion to the amount of their respective judgments. But every judgment shall have precedence of payment over all judgments in other actions commenced after the date of the recovery of such judgment.