MUNICIPAL COURT PROCEDURE
Commencement of action.
Form of citation, complaint, summons and warrant in municipal ordinance violation cases.
Amended citation and complaint.
Deposit amount and schedule.
Substitution or disqualification of municipal judge.
Illness, absence or vacancy; pending actions triable by court which receives papers; continuance on vacancy and notice of trial.
Reserve municipal judges.
Discovery in municipal court.
Procedure at trial.
Telephone and audiovisual proceedings.
Nonpayment of monetary judgment.
Fees and costs in municipal court.
Municipal court record and transcript entries.
Relief from judgment.
Municipal court contempt procedure.
Recording in municipal court.
Appeal from municipal court decision.
In this chapter:
“Judicial administrative district" means the judicial administrative district having the largest portion of the population in the jurisdiction served by the municipal court.
“Municipality" means the city, village, or town that governs the municipal court, or if more than one city, village, or town has agreed jointly to establish a municipal court under s. 755.01
, “municipality" means the city, village, or town where the violation occurred.
History: 1987 a. 389
; 2009 a. 402
History: 2019 a. 70
Commencement of action. 800.01(1)(1)
In municipal court, ordinance violation cases are commenced when the complaint or citation is filed with or transmitted to the court.
The municipal court has jurisdiction over a defendant when any of the following conditions is met:
The defendant is arrested and brought before the court personally or through interactive video and audio transmission conducted in accordance with the rules of the supreme court.
The defendant voluntarily appears before the court.
The court finds that the defendant has acknowledged receipt of the citation or summons and complaint.
The summons and complaint or citation are sent to the defendant by 1st class mail.
The law enforcement officer or municipal employee who serves the summons shall indicate the method of service on the copy of the documents filed or transmitted to the court.
If the action is commenced by a citation under s. 800.02 (2) (a)
, a deposit may be taken from the defendant. The defendant may be released on his or her own recognizance. A nonresident defendant who does not make a deposit may be detained in jail to be brought before the court at the earliest opportunity.
Due process does not require commencing a municipal ordinance action by a summons. Haas v. Wisconsin, 241 F. Supp. 2d 922
Uniformity in Municipal Courts. Gramling. Wis. Law. Aug. 2010.
Form of citation, complaint, summons and warrant in municipal ordinance violation cases. 800.02(1)(1)
An action in municipal court for violation of a municipal ordinance is a civil action, and the forfeiture or penalty imposed by any ordinance of the municipality may be collected in an action in the name of the municipality.
The citation or complaint shall contain the name of a law enforcement officer, attorney representing the municipality, or, if applicable, a conservation warden. In addition, the governing body of a municipality authorized to adopt the use of citations or complaints may designate by ordinance or resolution other municipal officials who are authorized to issue and be named in citations or complaints with respect to ordinances which are directly related to the official responsibilities of the officials. Officials granted the authority to issue and be named in citations and complaints may delegate, with the approval of the governing body, the authority to employees. Authority delegated to an official or employee may be revoked only in the same manner by which it is conferred.
The citation or complaint shall contain substantially the following information:
The identification of any permit issued to the defendant, or license number of the defendant, if applicable.
The violation alleged, the time and place of the occurrence of the violation, a statement that the defendant committed the violation, the ordinance violated, and a description of the violation in language that can be readily understood.
A notice to appear at a date, time and place for the court appearance, and a statement as to whether the appearance is mandated by the judge.
Provisions for amount of deposit and stipulation in lieu of a court appearance, if applicable.
Notice that the defendant may make a deposit and thereby obtain release if an arrest has been made.
Notice that the defendant may, in writing, prior to the court appearance, enter a plea of not guilty.
Notice that, if the defendant makes a deposit and fails to appear in court at the time fixed in the citation, the defendant is deemed to have tendered a plea of no contest and submits to a forfeiture, plus costs, fees, and surcharges imposed under ch. 814
, not to exceed the amount of the deposit. The notice shall also state that the court may decide to summon the defendant rather than accept the deposit and plea.
Notice that if the defendant does not make a deposit and fails to appear in court at the time fixed in the citation, the court may issue a summons or a warrant for the defendant's arrest or may enter a default judgment against the defendant.