Wisconsin Court Records

Wisconsin court records

Due to the increasing capacity of digital storage in our new era of online access, court records are more highly available than they have ever been. This expediency is not lost on those who formerly had to appear in person at the courthouse or law library of record to request documents during business hours only. Now the public and legal professionals alike have quick and easy access to Wisconsin court documents through the convenience of the Internet.

Wisconsin has a traditional judicial branch with multiple levels of courts each documenting their own proceedings to later be referenced as publicly accessible court records, a valuable resource of the state.

History of Wisconsin Court Records

The judicial system framework was established when Wisconsin became a state in 1848. Similarly to today, the original courts were laid out as a Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, Courts of Probate, and Justices of the Peace. The first Supreme Court was comprised of the five justices who presided over the Circuit Courts, and were required to meet in Madison at least once annually until a separate court could be established. It was in 1853 that voters were able to elect three justices to serve on the first regularly meeting Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

In 1959 legislation was brought about to reorganize the lower courts of Wisconsin. Over the next several years the specialty statutory courts were phased out to make room for a more uniformed system of County Courts. This, of course, created better organized and more accessible court records as a byproduct.

Wisconsin Court Records Availability

Wisconsin Circuit Court provides online access for the public to search the court records of criminal and civil cases. The simple case search feature allows you to search the records by party name, date of birth, business name or case number. The methods for finding court cases from the appellate courts are similar and you may search by appeal number, Circuit Court case number, party name, business name, attorney name, or class code.

Records not open to the public include adoptions, juvenile delinquency, child protection, termination of parental rights, guardianship and civil commitments.

Additionally, the Wisconsin State Library is open to the public and provides educational materials on the structure, history and research of the judicial system.

Main Court Information

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has jurisdiction over all other courts of the state as the court of last resort, and can preside over original actions. It is composed of a Chief Justice and six associate justices who are elected for 10-year terms. The Supreme Court is responsible for overseeing all cases that require interpretation of the state or federal constitution, as well as upholding the Bar of Wisconsin Law Professionals by admitting and dismissing attorneys and justices. The Court of Appeals is the state’s intermediate appellate court, which was founded in 1978. It is divided into four districts and presided over by 16 justices.

Caseload Statistics

The caseload of the Wisconsin Supreme Court has a steady record of filings and dispositions. In 2014 there were 792 filings and 860 dispositions. Comparatively, there were 810 filings in 2007 with 826 dispositions reached by the court.

Wisconsin Court Structure

Wisconsin Court Statistics

Wisconsin Courts receive 747,480 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 427,496 filings and gave 432,136 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 353,884 filings and had 354,896 outgoing cases.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Wisconsin at year end of 2016 has decreased by 15.5% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 55,922 with a rate of 977 cases per 100000 population, lower than it’s in 2016.

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Wisconsin

More Domestic Relations Cases than Wisconsin:
State: Caseload:
New York570,709
Pennsylvania342,163
Texas397,468
California388,903
Virginia342,040
Less Domestic Relations Cases than Wisconsin:
State: Caseload:
Colorado44,152
New Mexico43,588
Kansas34,696
Iowa34,221
Nebraska32,394

Wisconsin Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Wisconsin counts 110,725 with 39,157 felony cases and 71,568 misdemeanors accordingly.

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has decreased by 59,318 cases, it went from 255,238 to 195,920 with clearance rates of 103% and 102% accordingly.

Small Claims Caseloads & Rates

Caseload: Per 100K Population: Percent of Total Caseload: Max Limit in $:
100,975 1,747 52.0% $10,000

Wisconsin Court Locations

State Court Holidays

Holiday: Date:
New Year's DayMonday, January 1, 2018
Martin Luther King, Jr's BirthdayMonday, January 15, 2018
Memorial DayMonday, May 28, 2018
Independence DayWednesday, July 4, 2018
Labor DayMonday, September 3, 2018
Thanksgiving DayThursday, November 22, 2018
Christmas EveMonday, December 24, 2018
Christmas DayTuesday, December 25, 2018
New Year's EveMonday, December 31, 2018

Wisconsin court records search by Counties

DISCLAIMER: The Wisconsin court records information accessible herein is derived from unofficial, publicly-available sources, does not constitute the official court records of any case, may not be up-to-date, complete, or accurate, and should not be relied upon by any person or entity for any purpose. This site is a third-party commercial entity that is neither authorized by nor affiliated with the Wisconsin Judiciary or the Wisconsin Administrative Office of State Courts in any way. The Wisconsin Judiciary and the Wisconsin Administrative Office of State Courts have not endorsed, warranted, or otherwise validated any of Wisconsin court records information available on this site.