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755.045   Jurisdiction.
755.05   Territorial jurisdiction.
755.06   Sessions of court.
755.09   Office, where kept.
755.10   Employees.
755.11   Records.
755.12   Delivery of books to municipal clerk.
755.13   Books demanded by municipal clerk.
755.14   Duty of clerk on receipt of books.
755.15   Pending actions triable by court which receives books.
755.16   Continuance on vacancy; notice of trial.
755.17   Municipal court decorum and facilities.
755.18   Municipal judge and court clerk training.
755.19   Municipal court commissioners.
755.21   Collection.
755.001 755.001 Definitions. In this chapter:
755.001(1) (1) "Judge" means municipal judge.
755.001(2) (2) "Judicial administrative district" means the judicial administrative district having the largest portion of the population in the jurisdiction served by the judge.
755.001(3) (3) "Records" mean all of the records subject to SCR chapter 72.
755.001 History History: 1977 c. 305; 2009 a. 402.
755.01 755.01 Option of municipality.
755.01(1) (1) There is created and established in and for each city, town and village, a municipal court designated "Municipal Court for the .... (city, town or village) of .... (name of municipality)". A municipal court created under this subsection is a coequal branch of the municipal government, subject to the superintending authority of the supreme court, through the chief judge of the judicial administrative district. A court shall become operative and function after January 1, 2011, when the city council, town board, or village board adopts an ordinance or bylaw providing for the election of a judge and the operation and maintenance of the court, receives a certification from the chief judge of the judicial administrative district that the court meets the requirements under ss. 755.09, 755.10, 755.11, and 755.17, and provides written notification to the director of state courts of the adoption of the ordinance or bylaw. A permanent vacancy in the office of municipal judge shall be filled under s. 8.50 (4) (fm). Any municipal court established under this section is not a court of record. The court shall be maintained at the expense of the municipality. The municipal governing body shall determine the amount budgeted for court maintenance and operations. The budget of the municipal court shall be separate from, or contained on a separate line item from, the budget or line items of all other municipal departments.
755.01(2) (2) The governing body may by ordinance or bylaw abolish the municipal court as part of a consolidation under s. 66.0229 or at the end of any term for which the judge has been elected or appointed. The governing body may not abolish the municipal court while an agreement under sub. (4) is in effect.
755.01(3) (3) A municipality may establish as many branches of municipal court as it deems necessary.
755.01(4) (4) Two or more cities, towns or villages of this state may enter into an agreement under s. 66.0301 for the joint exercise of the power granted under sub. (1), except that for purposes of this subsection, any agreement under s. 66.0301 shall be effected by the enactment of identical ordinances by each affected city, town or village. Electors of each municipality entering into the agreement shall be eligible to vote for the judge of the municipal court so established. If a municipality enters into an agreement with a municipality that already has a municipal court, the municipalities may provide by ordinance or resolution that the judge for the existing municipal court shall serve as the judge for the joint court until the end of the term or until a special election is held under s. 8.50 (4) (fm). Each municipality shall adopt an ordinance or bylaw under sub. (1) prior to entering into the agreement. The contracting municipalities need not be contiguous and need not all be in the same county. Upon entering into or discontinuing such an agreement, the contracting municipalities shall each transmit a certified copy of the ordinance or bylaw effecting or discontinuing the agreement to the appropriate filing officer under s. 11.02 (3e) and to the director of state courts. When a municipal judge is elected under this subsection, candidates shall be nominated by filing nomination papers under s. 8.10 (6) (bm), and shall register with the filing officer specified in s. 11.02 (3e).
755.02 755.02 Term. The judges shall be elected at large for a term of 4 years unless a different term, not exceeding 4 years nor less than 2 years, is provided by charter ordinance enacted under s. 66.0101. The term shall commence on May 1 of the year of the judge's election.
755.02 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 273, 305, 447; Stats. 1977 s. 755.02; 2009 a. 402.
755.03 755.03 Oath and bond.
755.03(1)(1) The judge shall, after election or appointment, take and file the official oath as prescribed in s. 757.02 (1) and at the same time execute and file an official bond in an amount to be fixed by the governing body. The governing body shall pay the costs of the bond. No judge may act as such until he or she has complied with the requirements of sub. (2).
755.03(2) (2) Within 10 days after a municipal judge takes the oath, the judge shall file the oath and bond with the clerk of the city, town or village where the judge was elected or appointed. If the municipal judge is elected under s. 755.01 (4), the judge shall file copies of the oath and bond with each applicable municipal clerk. The judge shall file a certified copy of the oath with the office of director of state courts within the 10-day time period after the judge takes the oath.
755.03 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305; Stats. 1977 s. 755.03; Sup. Ct. Order, 88 Wis. 2d xiii (1979); 1983 a. 192; 1985 a. 89, 304; 2009 a. 402.
755.04 755.04 Salary. The governing body shall fix a salary for the judge. The salary may be increased by the governing body before the start of the 2nd or a subsequent year of service of the term of the judge, but shall not be decreased during a term. The salary of a municipal judge who is designated or appointed under s. 8.50 (4) (fm) or 800.06 shall be determined by contract between the municipality and the judge. The judge may not serve until the contract is entered into. Salaries may be paid annually or in equal installments as determined by the governing body, but no judge may be paid a salary for any time during the term during which the judge has not executed and filed his or her official bond or official oath, as required by s. 755.03.
755.04 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305 s. 64; Stats. 1977 s. 755.04; 1985 a. 304; 2009 a. 402.
755.045 755.045 Jurisdiction.
755.045(1)(1) A municipal court has exclusive jurisdiction over an action in which a municipality seeks to impose forfeitures for violations of municipal ordinances of the municipality that operates the court, except as follows:
755.045(1)(a) (a) If the action is transferred under s. 800.035 (5) (c) or 800.05 (3) to a court of record.
755.045(1)(b) (b) If equitable relief is demanded the plaintiff shall bring the action in a court of record.
755.045(1)(c) (c) Whenever the municipal court of a 1st class city in any county having a population of 500,000 or more is not in session, the circuit court has concurrent jurisdiction to hear municipal court cases.
755.045(2) (2) A municipal judge may issue civil warrants to enforce matters which are under the jurisdiction of the municipal court, as provided in ch. 800. Municipal judges are also authorized to issue inspection warrants under s. 66.0119.
755.045(3) (3) A municipal judge may order the payment of restitution for violations of ordinances that prohibit conduct that is the same as or similar to conduct prohibited by state statute punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. The judge shall use the restitution procedure under s. 800.093.
755.045 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305; Stats. 1977 s. 755.045; 1979 c. 32 s. 92 (17); 1985 a. 179; 1989 a. 261; 1991 a. 40; 1999 a. 150; 2009 a. 402.
755.05 755.05 Territorial jurisdiction. Every judge has statewide jurisdiction as authorized by this chapter and ch. 800.
755.05 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305 s. 64; Stats. 1977 s. 755.05; 1985 a. 89; 2009 a. 402.
755.06 755.06 Sessions of court. The municipal court shall be open daily or as determined by the judge and approved by the governing body.
755.06 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; Stats. 1977 s. 755.06; 1983 a. 192 s. 303 (4); 2009 a. 402.
755.09 755.09 Office, where kept.
755.09(1)(1) The governing body of the city, village, or town shall provide the judge with an office or appropriate work space other than at a place prohibited under sub. (2).
755.09(2) (2) No judge may keep his or her office or hold court in any tavern, or in any room in which intoxicating liquors are sold, or in any room connecting with a tavern or room in which intoxicating liquors are sold.
755.09 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305 s. 64; Stats. 1977 s. 755.09; 1997 a. 27; 2009 a. 402.
755.10 755.10 Employees.
755.10(1)(1) Except as provided in sub. (2), the judge shall in writing appoint the personnel that are authorized by the council or board. The council or board shall authorize at least one clerk for each court. Except as provided in sub. (2), the hiring, termination, hours of employment, and work responsibilities of the court personnel, when working during hours assigned to the court, shall be under the judge's authority. Their salaries shall be fixed by the council or board. The clerks shall, before entering upon the duties of their offices, take the oath provided by s. 19.01 and give a bond if required by the council or board. The cost of the bond shall be paid by the municipality. Oaths and bonds of the clerks shall be filed with the municipal clerk.
755.10(2) (2) In the municipal court located in the city of Milwaukee the court administrator shall in writing appoint the personnel that are authorized by the council or board. In the municipal court located in the city of Milwaukee the hiring, termination, hours of employment, and work responsibilities of the court personnel, when working during hours assigned to the court, shall be under the court administrator's authority.
755.10 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; Stats. 1977 s. 755.10; 1983 a. 192 s. 303 (4); 2009 a. 402; 2011 a. 260 s. 80.
755.11 755.11 Records. Every judge shall file and keep together all records in an action separate from all other records. The judge shall store all records in the office of the court clerk or in another appropriate facility designated by the council or board. Access to the records shall be restricted to court personnel except as authorized by the judge or by law. Nothing in this section is intended to restrict the ability of counsel or parties to read the records. The purchase or implementation of any electronic records management system used by the court shall be approved by the judge.
755.11 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; Stats. 1977 s. 755.11; 1983 a. 192 s. 303 (4); 2009 a. 402.
755.12 755.12 Delivery of books to municipal clerk. When a municipal court ceases to operate, the court records, books of account, case files, moneys and bonds belonging to the court shall be delivered to the municipal clerk within 10 days after the vacancy occurs by the person who is in possession. If the municipal court was established under s. 755.01 (4), the person shall separate the court records, books, files, moneys and bonds according to the municipalities involved and deliver them to the appropriate municipal clerk.
755.12 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; Stats. 1977 s. 755.12; 1985 a. 89; 1995 a. 224.
755.13 755.13 Books demanded by municipal clerk. If any materials which should be delivered to the municipal clerk under s. 755.12 are not delivered within the time specified, the municipal clerk shall demand their delivery and may by action compel delivery.
755.13 History History: 1977 c. 187 ss. 94, 135; Stats. 1977 s. 755.13.
755.14 755.14 Duty of clerk on receipt of books.
755.14(1) (1) When the municipal clerk receives the court records, books of account and case files of a municipal court which has ceased to operate, he or she shall within 10 days dispose of them as follows:
755.14(1)(a) (a) Deliver them to the clerk of the circuit court of that county if the municipality in which the municipal court was located was within one county.
755.14(1)(b) (b) Deliver the case files of the pending and appealable cases to the clerk of circuit court of the county where the court held office and certified copies of the court records for the past 12 months to the clerk of circuit court of every county in which the municipality lies, if the municipality in which the municipal court was located is in more than one county.
755.14(2) (2) For any pending or appealable cases, the bail shall be delivered along with the case file to the proper clerk of court. Any other moneys received under sub. (1) shall be delivered to the municipal treasurer as provided in s. 800.10 (2).
755.14 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305 s. 65; 1977 c. 449 s. 497; Stats. 1977 s. 755.14; 1979 c. 32 s. 92 (17); 1981 c. 317 s. 2202; 1993 a. 246; 1995 a. 224.
755.15 755.15 Pending actions triable by court which receives books. When any action is pending before a judge at the time his or her office becomes vacant and his or her books and records have been delivered to the circuit court, it may try the action and enter judgment as though the action was begun before it.
755.15 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305 s. 64; 1977 c. 449 s. 497; Stats. 1977 s. 755.15; 2009 a. 402.
755.16 755.16 Continuance on vacancy; notice of trial. All actions before any judge undetermined or appealable when his or her office becomes vacant are continued until the expiration of 10 days from the time when his or her books and records were delivered to the circuit court. The court shall give 3 days' notice to the parties to the action.
755.16 History History: 1977 c. 187 s. 94; 1977 c. 305 s. 64; 1977 c. 449 s. 497; Stats. 1977 s. 755.16; 2009 a. 402.
755.17 755.17 Municipal court decorum and facilities.
755.17(1) (1) A municipal judge shall wear a black robe while presiding in a municipal court except when exceptional circumstances exist.
755.17(1m) (1m) The clerk of the municipal court shall be attired in appropriate clothing and may not, while performing municipal court functions, wear anything that implies or indicates that he or she is a law enforcement officer.
755.17(2) (2) The governing body of the city, village, or town shall provide a courtroom for a municipal court, which shall be in an adequate facility. The courtroom shall be in a public building if a suitable public building is available within the municipality and shall be located in an area separate from the police department by design or signage. The courtroom shall be designed and furnished to create and promote the proper atmosphere of dignity and decorum for the operation of the court.
755.17(3) (3) All personnel employed by the court shall be located in an area separate and distinct from the police department by design or signage.
755.17(4) (4) Every municipal court shall have a telephone number or extension separate from the telephone number or extension of any other governmental department.
755.17 History History: 1977 c. 305; 2009 a. 402.
755.18 755.18 Municipal judge and court clerk training.
755.18(1)(1) Municipal court clerks and judges shall participate in a program of continuing education as required by the supreme court.
755.18(2) (2) Municipalities shall bear the cost of programs under sub. (1) provided by the court. All moneys collected by the supreme court under this section shall be deposited in s. 20.680 (2) (i).
755.18(3) (3) This section does not apply to a municipal judge appointed under s. 8.50 (4) (fm) nor to a former municipal judge or former circuit judge to whom cases are assigned under s. 800.06 during the 6-month period following the date on which the judge receives his or her initial assignment.
755.18 History History: 1983 a. 27; 1985 a. 304; 2009 a. 402.
755.19 755.19 Municipal court commissioners.
755.19(1) (1) Appointment. First class cities may create the office of municipal court commissioner. The municipal court commissioner shall be an attorney licensed to practice in this state and shall complete annual educational credits consistent with supreme court requirements for municipal judges. The common council shall establish the number of positions and set the term, the additional qualifications and the compensation for the office. The presiding judge of the municipal court shall be the appointing authority and may terminate the employment of a municipal court commissioner at will and without cause. The municipal court commissioner shall be supervised by the judge whose cases the commissioner is hearing. Each municipal court commissioner shall take and file the official oath in the office of the clerk of the municipal court of the 1st class city for which appointed before performing any duty of the office.
755.19(2) (2)Powers and duties. Under the supervision of a municipal judge, a municipal court commissioner may do all of the following:
755.19(2)(a) (a) Under ss. 800.035 and 800.095 (1), conduct initial appearances and receive noncontested forfeiture pleas, order the revocation or suspension of driving privileges and impose forfeitures, impose community service and restitution according to the schedule adopted by the municipal court where appointed, and issue dispositional and sanction orders pursuant to ch. 938.
755.19(2)(b) (b) Issue warrants for those who do not appear as scheduled or as summoned.
755.19(2)(c) (c) Conduct hearings on warrant returns.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)