History: 1995 a. 201
; 1995 a. 227
; 1997 a. 35
; 1999 a. 150
; 2005 a. 149
; 2011 a. 146
; 2013 a. 14
; 2015 a. 55
; 2015 a. 197
; 2017 a. 207
The authority of a county to enact and enforce a minimum standards housing code is discussed. 59 Atty. Gen. 248.
Section 59.07 (49) [now s. 59.70 (22)] authorizes billboard regulations relating solely to highway safety. 61 Atty. Gen. 191.
The county board may delegate relatively broad powers to the land conservation committee in connection with the lease or purchase of real property for the purposes of soil and water conservation, but such property transactions are subject to the approval of the county board. 74 Atty. Gen. 227
A board established under s. 59.07 (135) [now s. 59.70 (2)] is restricted to performing advisory, policy-making, or legislative functions. 77 Atty. Gen. 98
Section 59.07 (135) (L) [now s. 59.70 (2) (L)] authorizes counties that are responsible units of government to levy taxes for capital and operating expenses incurred in the operation of the county's recycling program only upon local governments that are not responsible units of government. Counties may levy taxes for both operating and capital expenses incurred in connection with any other form of solid waste management activity only on local governments participating in that activity. 80 Atty. Gen. 312
Section 59.18 (2) (b) transfers the authority to supervise the administration of county departments from boards and commissions to department heads appointed by the county administrator. Section 59.18 (2) therefore entirely negates sub. (2) insofar as it provides that the board may “employ" a system manager. In a county with a county administrator, the solid waste management board is purely an advisory body to the county administrator and to the county board and a policy-making body for the solid waste management department as a whole. OAG 1-12
Special counties; record keeping. 59.71(1)(1)
In this section, “eminent domain proceedings" means the laying out, widening, extending or vacating of any street, alley, water channel, park, highway or other public place by any court, legislature, county board, common council, village board or town board.
When the county board of a county with a population of 250,000 or more, according to the last state or United States census, prepares and compiles in book form an eminent domain record containing an abstract of facts relating to eminent domain proceedings and makes an order that the record, with an index thereto, be thereafter maintained and kept up, and provides a suitable book for that purpose, the register of deeds shall thereafter maintain and keep up the record and index.
The register of deeds shall enter an abstract of all eminent domain proceedings in the record maintained under sub. (2)
. The abstract shall substantially contain the facts as to the filing of a notice of lis pendens, the date of filing, the description, the court in which or the body before whom the proceeding is pending, the result of the proceedings, the action taken, and the date of the action and shall briefly state all of the essential facts of the proceeding. The index to the record shall be a practical index, with reference to the document numbers assigned and, if volume and page numbers are assigned, the volume and page where the abstracts are filed or recorded.
The abstracts and records to be kept by the register of deeds shall be certified by the register to be true and correct and when so certified shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein recited and shall be received in all courts and places with the same effect as the original proceedings; and the record so prepared and compiled by the county board shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein recited and shall also be received in all courts and places with the same effect as the original proceedings.
History: 1991 a. 316
; 1995 a. 201
; Stats. 1995 s. 59.71; 1995 a. 225
; 1997 a. 35
; 2017 a. 102
Land information. 59.72(1)(1)
In this section:
“Land information" means any physical, legal, economic or environmental information or characteristics concerning land, water, groundwater, subsurface resources or air in this state. “Land information" includes information relating to topography, soil, soil erosion, geology, minerals, vegetation, land cover, wildlife, associated natural resources, land ownership, land use, land use controls and restriction, jurisdictional boundaries, tax assessment, land value, land survey records and references, geodetic control networks, aerial photographs, maps, planimetric data, remote sensing data, historic and prehistoric sites and economic projections.
“Land records" means maps, documents, computer files and any other storage medium in which land information is recorded.
“Local governmental unit" means a municipality, regional planning commission, special purpose district or local governmental association, authority, board, commission, department, independent agency, institution or office.
No later than June 30, 2017, the board shall post on the Internet, in a searchable format determined by the department of administration, the following information related to individual land parcels:
Property tax assessment data as provided to the county by municipalities, including the assessed value of land, the assessed value of improvements, the total assessed value, the class of property, as specified in s. 70.32 (2) (a)
, the estimated fair market value, and the total property tax.
Any zoning information maintained by the county.
Any property address information maintained by the county.
Any acreage information maintained by the county.
No later than June 30 following the end of any year in which a county that accepts a grant under s. 16.967 (7)
or retains any fees under sub. (5) (b)
, the county land information office shall submit to the department of administration a report describing the expenditures made with the moneys derived from those grants or retained fees.
(3) Land information office.
The board may establish a county land information office or may direct that the functions and duties of the office be performed by an existing department, board, commission, agency, institution, authority, or office. If the board establishes a county land information office, the office shall:
Coordinate land information projects within the county, between the county and local governmental units, between the state and local governmental units and among local governmental units, the federal government and the private sector.
Within 2 years after the land information office is established, develop and receive approval for a countywide plan for land records modernization. For any county in which land records are not accessible on the Internet, the plan shall include a goal of providing access to public land records on the Internet. The plan shall be submitted for approval to the department of administration under s. 16.967 (3) (e)
. No later than January 1, 2014, and by January 1 every 3 years thereafter, the land information office shall update the plan and receive approval from the department of administration of the updated plan. A plan under this paragraph shall comply with the standards developed by the department of administration under s. 16.967 (3) (cm)
Review and recommend projects from local governmental units for grants from the department of administration under s. 16.967 (7)
If the board has established a land information office under sub. (3)
, the board shall have a land information council consisting of not less than 8 members. The council shall consist of the register of deeds, the treasurer, and, if one has been appointed, the real property lister or their designees and the following members appointed by the board for terms prescribed by the board:
A realtor or a member of the Realtors Association employed within the county.
A public safety or emergency communications representative employed within the county.
The county surveyor or a professional land surveyor employed within the county.
Any other members of the board or public that the board designates.
Notwithstanding par. (a)
, if no person is willing to serve under par. (a) 3.
, or 4m.
, the board may create or maintain the council without the member designated under par. (a) 3.
, or 4m.
The land information council shall review the priorities, needs, policies, and expenditures of a land information office established by the board under sub. (3)
and advise the county on matters affecting the land information office.
A board that has established a land information office under sub. (3)
and a land information council under sub. (3m)
may apply to the department of administration for a grant for a land information project under s. 16.967 (7)
A board shall use any grant received by the county under s. 16.967 (7) (a)
and any fees retained under sub. (5) (b)
to design, develop, and implement a land information system under s. 16.967 (7) (a) 1.
and to make public records in the system accessible on the Internet before using these funds for any other purpose.
(5) Land record modernization funding. 59.72(5)(a)(a)
Before the 16th day of each month a register of deeds shall submit to the department of administration $15 from the fee for recording or filing each instrument that is recorded or filed under s. 59.43 (2) (ag) 1.
, less any amount retained by the county under par. (b)
Except as provided in s. 16.967 (7m)
, a county may retain $8 of the portion of each fee submitted to the department of administration under par. (a)
from the fee for recording or filing each instrument that is recorded or filed under s. 59.43 (2) (ag) 1.
if all of the following conditions are met:
The county has established a land information office under sub. (3)
A land information office has been established for less than 2 years or has received approval for a countywide plan for land records modernization under sub. (3) (b)
The county uses the fee retained under this paragraph to satisfy the requirements of sub. (2) (a)
, or, if the county has satisfied the requirements of sub. (2) (a)
, to develop, implement, and maintain the countywide plan for land records modernization on the Internet.
(6) Land records modernization.
With regard to land records modernization as described in sub. (3) (b)
, if a register of deeds transfers an instrument that was filed or recorded with the register of deeds before April 1, 2006, to an electronic format, as described in s. 59.43 (4)
, the register of deeds shall make a reasonable effort to make social security numbers from the transferred instrument's electronic format not viewable or accessible on the Internet.
Surveys; expressing bearings, subdividing sections. 59.73(1)(1)
How bearings expressed in surveys.
In all surveys the bearings shall be expressed with reference to a magnetic, true or other identifiable line of the public land survey, recorded
and filed subdivision or to the Wisconsin coordinate system. In all cases the reference selected shall be so noted as set forth in s. 59.45 (1) (a) 2.
and if magnetic must be retraceable and identifiable by reference to a monumented line.
(2) Subdividing sections.
Whenever a county surveyor or professional land surveyor is required to subdivide a section or smaller subdivision of land established by the United States survey, the county surveyor or professional land surveyor shall proceed according to the statutes of the United States and the rules and regulations made by the secretary of the interior in conformity to the federal statutes. While so engaged a professional land surveyor and the professional land surveyor's assistants shall not be liable as a trespasser and shall be liable only for any actual damage done to land or property.
The exemption from liability for trespass in sub. (2) did not prevent the DNR from issuing a citation against a surveyor for violating an administrative rule prohibiting operating vehicles on park land. DNR v. Bowden, 2002 WI App 129
, 254 Wis. 2d 625
, 647 N.W.2d 865
Resurveys of public lands are discussed. United States v. Citko, 517 F. Supp. 233
Perpetuation of section corners, landmarks. 59.74(1)(1)
Relocation and perpetuation of section corners and division lines. 59.74(1)(a)(a)
If a majority of all the resident landowners in any section of land within this state desire to establish, relocate or perpetuate any section or other corner of any section, or in the same section a division line of the section, they may make a formal application in writing to the circuit judge for the county in which the land is situated. The circuit judge shall file the application in his or her court and shall within a reasonable time give at least 10 days' notice in writing to the owners of all adjoining lands, if those owners reside in the county where the land is situated and if not, by publication of a class 3 notice, under ch. 985
, stating the day and hour when the circuit judge will consider and pass upon such application. The circuit judge shall hear all interested parties and approve or reject the application at that time. If the application is approved, the clerk shall notify the county surveyor who shall within a reasonable time proceed to make the required survey and location. If a corner is to be perpetuated, the surveyor shall deposit in the proper place a stone or other equally durable material of the dimensions and in the manner and with the markings provided under s. 60.84 (3) (c)
, and shall also erect witness monuments as provided under sub. (2)
. The surveyor shall be paid the cost of the perpetuation from the general fund of the county.
All expense and cost of the publication of the notice and of the survey and perpetuation shall be apportioned by the clerk among the several parcels of land in the section upon the basis of the area surveyed, shall be included by the clerk in the next tax roll and shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes are collected.
No landmark, monument, corner post of the government survey or survey made by the county surveyor or survey of public record may be destroyed, removed, or covered by any material that will make the landmark, monument, or corner post inaccessible for use, without first having erected witness or reference monuments as provided in subd. 2.
for the purpose of identifying the location of the landmark and making a certified copy of the field notes of the survey setting forth all the particulars of the location of the landmark with relation to the reference or witness monuments so that its location can be determined after its destruction or removal. The certified copy of the field notes shall be filed as provided under par. (b) 2.
Witness monuments shall be made of durable material, including cement, natural stone, iron or other equally durable material, except wood. If iron pipe monuments are used, they shall be made of 2 inch or more galvanized iron pipe not less than 30 inches in length having an iron or brass cap fastened to the top and marked with a cross cut on the top of the cap where the point of measurement is taken. If witness monuments are made of cement, stone or similar material, they shall be not less than 30 inches in length nor less than 5 inches in diameter along the shortest diagonal marked on the top with a cross where the point of measurement is taken.
Whenever it becomes necessary to destroy, remove, or cover up in such a way that will make it inaccessible for use, any landmark, monument of survey, or corner post within the meaning of this subsection, the person including employees of governmental agencies who intend to commit such act shall serve written notice at least 30 days prior to the act upon the county surveyor of the county within which the landmark is located. Notice shall also be served upon the municipality's engineer if the landmark is located within the corporate limits of a municipality. The notice shall include a description of the landmark, monument of survey, or corner post and the reason for removing or covering it. In this paragraph, removal of a landmark includes the removal of railroad track by the owner of the track. In a county having a population of less than 750,000 where there is no county surveyor, notice shall be served upon the clerk. In a county with a population of 750,000 or more where there is no county surveyor, notice shall be served upon the executive director of the regional planning commission which acts in the capacity of county surveyor for the county. Notwithstanding par. (c)
, upon receipt of the notice the clerk shall appoint a professional land surveyor to perform the duties of a county surveyor under subd. 2.
The county surveyor or executive director of the regional planning commission, upon receipt of notice under subd. 1.
, shall within a period of not to exceed 30 working days, either personally or by a deputy, or by the municipality's engineer make an inspection of the landmark, and, if he or she considers it necessary because of the public interest to erect witness monuments to the landmark, he or she shall erect 4 or more witness monuments or, if within a municipality, may make 2 or more offset marks at places near the landmark where they will not be disturbed. The county surveyor shall make a survey and field notes giving a description of the landmark and the witness monuments or offset marks, stating the material and size of the witness monuments and locating the offset marks, the horizontal distance and courses in terms of the references set forth in s. 59.45 (1) (a) 2.
that the witness monuments bear from the landmark and, also, of each witness monument to all of the other witness monuments. The county surveyor may also make notes as to such other objects, natural or artificial, that will enable anyone to locate the position of the landmark. The county surveyor upon completing the survey shall make a certified copy of the field notes of the survey and record it as provided under s. 59.45 (1)
. The municipality's engineer upon completing the survey shall record the notes in his or her office, open to the inspection of the public, and shall file a true and correct copy with the county surveyor. In a county with a population of 750,000 or more, the certified copy of the field notes of the survey shall be filed in the office of the regional planning commission which acts in the capacity of county surveyor for the county.
In those counties where there are no county surveyors a petition can be made to the board by any resident of this state requesting the board to appoint a professional land surveyor to act in the capacity of the county surveyor. The board, upon receipt of this petition, shall appoint a professional land surveyor to act in the capacity of the county surveyor. In counties with a population of 750,000 or more, the board may appoint a governmental agency to act in the capacity of county surveyor.
The cost of the work of perpetuating the evidence of any landmark under the scope of this subsection shall be borne by the county or counties proportionally, in which said landmark is located.
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, any person who removes, destroys or makes inaccessible any landmark, monument of survey, corner post of government survey, survey made by the county surveyor or survey of public record without first complying with this subsection shall be fined not to exceed $1,000 or imprisoned in the county jail for not more than one year.
Any person who removes railroad track as provided in par. (b) 1.
without first complying with par. (b) 1.
shall be subject to a forfeiture not to exceed $1,000.
Any person who destroys, removes or covers any landmark, monument or corner post rendering them inaccessible for use, without first complying with pars. (a) 1.
and (b) 1.
shall be liable in damages to the county in which the landmark is located, for the amount of any additional expense incurred by the county because of such destruction, removal or covering.
Every professional land surveyor and every officer of the department of natural resources and the district attorney shall enforce this subsection.
Any professional land surveyor employed by the department of transportation or by a county highway department, may, incident to employment as such, assume and perform the duties and act in the capacity of the county surveyor under this subsection with respect to preservation and perpetuation of landmarks, witness monuments, and corner posts upon and along state trunk, county trunk, and town highways. Upon completing a survey and perpetuating landmarks and witness monuments under par. (b) 2.
, a professional land surveyor employed by the state shall file the field notes and records in the district office or main office of the department of transportation, and a professional land surveyor employed by a county shall file the field notes and records in the office of the county highway commissioner, open to inspection by the public, and in either case a true and correct copy of the field notes and records shall be filed with the county surveyor. In a county with a population of 750,000 or more where there is no county surveyor, a copy of the field notes and records shall also be filed in the office of the regional planning commission which acts in the capacity of county surveyor for the county.
The records of the corners of the public land survey may be established and perpetuated in the following manner: commencing on January 1, 1970, and in each calendar year thereafter, the county surveyor or a deputy may check and establish or reestablish and reference at least 5 percent of all corners originally established in the county by government surveyors, so that within 20 years or less all the original corners will be established or reestablished and thereafter perpetuated.
The county surveyor may employ other professional land surveyors to assist in this work and may accept reference checks for these corners from any professional land surveyor.
The cost of perpetuating these corners shall be paid out of the county road and bridge fund or other county fund under s. 83.11
Resurveys of the public lands under s. 59.635 (8) [now s. 59.74 (2) (i)] are discussed. 66 Atty. Gen. 134.
A city or village engineer acting under s. 59.635 (2) [now s. 59.74 (2) (b) 2.] need not be registered as a land surveyor. 68 Atty. Gen. 185.
Certificates and records as evidence.
The certificate and also the official record of the county surveyor when produced by the legal custodian thereof, or any of the county surveyor's deputies, when duly signed by the county surveyor in his or her official capacity, shall be admitted as evidence in any court within the state, but the same may be explained or rebutted by other evidence. If any county surveyor or any of his or her deputies are interested in any tract of land a survey of which becomes necessary, such survey may be executed by any professional land surveyor appointed by the board.
History: 1977 c. 449
; 1995 a. 201
; Stats. 1995 s. 59.75; 2013 a. 358
Registration of farms.
The owner of any farm or country estate, or that person's authorized agent, may register the name of the farm or estate in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the farm or estate is situated. The owner or purchaser of the farm or any part of the farm may change or release the name from that person's respective interest in the farm by recording a certificate stating that the original registered name is released. A new name of the farm or any parts of the farm may then be registered. Every register of deeds shall index all registrations of farm documents and make the index available upon request. The index shall contain the name of the owner of the farm or estate and the name for the farm or estate that the owner or agent may designate, if no other farm or estate in the county has been previously registered under the same name. The fee for recording an instrument under this subsection shall be the fee specified under s. 59.43 (2) (ag)
In a county with a population of 750,000 or more, the board may: