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799.11(1)(c) (c) In actions for a forfeiture, the county in which the act occurred on which the action for forfeiture is based.
799.11(1)(d) (d) In actions to recover a tax, the county in which the tax was levied.
799.11(1)(e) (e) In all other actions, the county specified by s. 801.50.
799.11(2) (2)If there are several defendants, and if venue is based on residence, venue may be in the county of residence of any one of them.
799.11(3) (3)When, in any action under this chapter, it appears from the return of service of the summons or otherwise that the county in which the action is pending is not a proper place of trial and that another county would be a proper place of trial, the court or circuit court commissioner shall, on motion of a party or its own motion, transfer the action to that county unless the defendant appears and waives the improper venue. The clerk of the court to which the action is transferred shall issue a new notice of return date upon payment of the fee required by s. 814.61 (2) (a).
799.11 History History: 1979 c. 32 ss. 66, 92 (16); Stats. 1979 s. 799.11; 1981 c. 300; 1981 c. 390 s. 252; 1983 a. 228, 389, 538; 1987 a. 208; 2001 a. 61.
799.12 799.12 Service of summons.
799.12(1)(1)Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all provisions of chs. 801 to 847 with respect to jurisdiction of the persons of defendants, the procedure of commencing civil actions, and the mode and manner of service of process, shall apply to actions and proceedings under this chapter.
799.12(2) (2)Any circuit court may by rule authorize the service of summons in some or all actions under this chapter by mail under sub. (3) in lieu of personal or substituted service under s. 801.11.
799.12(3) (3)If authorized by court rule under sub. (2), service may be made by mail by leaving the original and necessary copies of the summons with the clerk of court, together with the fee prescribed in s. 814.62 (4). The court shall require the use of certified mail with return receipt requested for all eviction cases for which service by mail is authorized under sub. (2), and for all other cases may by rule require the use of certified mail with return receipt requested. Whenever the use of certified mail is required, the additional fee prescribed in s. 814.62 (4) shall be paid for each defendant. The clerk shall mail a copy to each defendant at the last-known address as specified in the summons. Service of the summons is considered completed when it is mailed, unless the envelope enclosing the summons has been returned unopened to the clerk prior to the return date. All mailing of summonses shall be done in envelopes upon which the clerk's return address appears, with a request to return to that address. Service by mail to obtain a personal judgment shall be limited to the county where the action is commenced.
799.12(4) (4)If with reasonable diligence the defendant cannot be served by personal or substituted service under s. 801.11, or if mailed service is authorized under sub. (2) and the envelope enclosing the summons is returned unopened to the clerk, service may be made by mailing and publication under sub. (6). The clerk shall issue a new return date allowing timely publication of a class 1 notice under ch. 985.
799.12(5) (5)Section 345.09 shall not apply to actions under this chapter.
799.12(6) (6)
799.12(6)(a)(a) Service by mailing and publication authorized under sub. (4) may be made as provided in s. 801.11 (1) (c) or as provided in this subsection.
799.12(6)(b) (b) If the defendant's post-office address can be ascertained with reasonable diligence, service may be made by mailing to the defendant a copy of the summons at or immediately prior to the publication of the summons or a notice under par. (c) as a class 1 notice under ch. 985.
799.12(6)(c) (c) If the defendant's post-office address cannot be ascertained with reasonable diligence, the mailing may be omitted and service may be made by publishing as a class 1 notice under ch. 985 a notice in substantially the following form, except as provided in s. 799.22 (4) (b) 3.:
SMALL CLAIMS SUMMONS NUMBER ....
....(Defendant's Name)
....(Defendant's Address, if known)
You are being sued by .... (plaintiff's name) in the small claims court for .... County, .... (room number, address and telephone number of the court). A hearing will be held at .... o'clock (a.m.) (p.m.), on ...., .... (year). If you do not appear, a judgment may be given to the person suing you. [A copy of the claim has been mailed to you at the address above.]
799.12(7) (7)Any circuit court may by rule authorize service of the summons and complaint prior to filing and authentication thereof, provided the appropriate fee under s. 814.62 is paid before the summons is issued and the summons is not reusable for a different defendant.
799.12 History History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 776 (1975); 1977 c. 449 s. 497; 1979 c. 32 ss. 66, 92 (16); 1979 c. 89, 176; Stats. 1979 s. 799.12; 1981 c. 317; 1987 a. 208; Sup. Ct. Order No. 95-10, 195 Wis. 2d xv (1996); 1997 a. 250; 2013 a. 76.
799.12 Annotation How Wisconsin Circuit Courts Can Ensure Proper Service in Eviction Actions After 2013 Wisconsin Act 76. Ahrendt. 2014 WLR 1201.
799.14 799.14 Failure of actual notice of suit by mail.
799.14(1)(1)Petition; hearing; trial on merits. In any action, where service of summons is made by mailing, a defendant, at any time within 15 days of receiving actual knowledge of the pendency of the action or of the entry of judgment against the defendant, if judgment has been entered, but not more than one year after judgment was entered, may, by written verified petition, on forms provided by the court, petition to set aside the judgment if one has been entered and for an opportunity to be heard upon the merits. Thereupon the court shall set the matter for hearing at a time that will give the parties reasonable opportunity to appear and, if judgment has been entered, shall stay all proceedings on the judgment. At the time of the hearing the questions raised by the petition shall first be heard and determined by the court. If the court grants the petition, the court shall proceed to try the matter upon the merits or, if judgment has been entered, shall vacate the judgment and proceed to try the matter upon the merits. If the court denies the petition, it shall, if judgment has been entered, revoke its order staying proceedings thereon or, if a judgment has not been entered, it may give the defendant opportunity to be heard upon the merits.
799.14(2) (2)Effect of actual appearance. This section shall not apply to a defendant who actually appeared and submitted to the jurisdiction of the court without filing application as provided in sub. (1).
799.14 History History: 1979 c. 32 s. 66; 1979 c. 176; Stats. 1979 s. 799.14; 1999 a. 85.
799.16 799.16 Actions in rem or quasi in rem; limitation on judgment.
799.16(1)(1)Basis. In proceedings in rem or quasi in rem no judgment shall be entered against a defendant for an amount in excess of the value of the property unless based on personal or substituted service as provided in s. 799.12 (1), or unless the defendant appears without objecting to the jurisdiction of the court over defendant's person.
799.16(2) (2)Adjournment and publication. When the defendant has not been served with personal or substituted service pursuant to s. 799.12 (1) and does not waive the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person under s. 802.06 (8) and the court has jurisdiction over the property, service may be made on the defendant by publication. If service is to be made by publication, the proceeding shall be adjourned to a day certain by the court, and a notice in substantial conformity with sub. (4) shall be published as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985.
799.16(3) (3)Adjournment, posting and mailing in eviction actions. In eviction actions, when the defendant has not been served with personal or substituted service pursuant to s. 799.12 (1) and does not waive the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person under s. 802.06 (8), service may be made as follows:
799.16(3)(a) (a) If the summons is returned more than 7 days prior to the return date with proof that the defendant cannot be served with personal or substituted service within the state under s. 799.12 (1), the plaintiff may, at least 7 days prior to the return date, affix a copy of the summons and complaint onto some part of the premises where it may be conveniently read. At least 5 days prior to the return date an additional copy of the summons and complaint shall also be mailed to the defendant at the last-known address, even if it is the premises which are the subject of the action.
799.16(3)(b) (b) In all other cases where the summons and complaint are returned with proof that the defendant cannot be served with personal or substituted service within the state under s. 799.12 (1), the court shall, on the return date, adjourn the case to a day certain not less than 7 days from the return date, and the plaintiff shall affix a notice in substantial conformity with sub. (4) (c) onto some part of the premises where it may be conveniently read. At least 5 days prior to the return date, an additional copy of said notice, together with a copy of the summons and complaint, shall be mailed to the defendant at the last-known address, even if it is the premises which are the subject of the action.
799.16(3)(c) (c) Before judgment is entered after service is made under this section, the plaintiff shall file proof of compliance with this section.
799.16(4) (4)Forms.
799.16(4)(a) (a) Notice in attachment and garnishment.
STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT
.... COUNTY
TO:
You are hereby notified that (an attachment) (a garnishment) has been issued against you and your property (attached) (garnisheed) to satisfy the demand of .... amounting to $ .....
Now, unless you shall appear in the circuit court, of .... County, located in the courthouse in .... (municipality), before Judge ...., or before any judge to whom the action may be assigned, on .... (date), at .... (time), judgment will be rendered against you and your property sold or applied to pay the debt as provided by law.
Dated .... , ..... (year)
.... Plaintiff
By .... Plaintiff's Attorney
799.16(4)(b) (b) Notice in replevin.
STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT
.... COUNTY
TO:
You are hereby notified that a replevin action has been issued to recover the possession of the following described goods and chattels, to wit: .... of which I, the plaintiff, am entitled to possess, but which you have (unjustly taken) (unlawfully detained) from me.
Now, unless you shall appear in the circuit court, of .... County, located in the courthouse in .... (municipality), before Judge ...., or before any judge to whom the action may be assigned, on .... (date), at .... (time), judgment will be rendered against you for the delivery of said property to me and for damages for the (taking and) detention thereof and for costs.
Dated .... , .... (year)
.... Plaintiff
By .... Plaintiff's Attorney
799.16(4)(c) (c) Notice in eviction.
STATE OF WISCONSIN
CIRCUIT COURT
.... COUNTY
TO:
Take notice that an eviction action has been commenced against you to recover the possession of the following described premises ...., of which I, the plaintiff, am entitled to possession, but which you have unlawfully detained from me.
Unless you appear and defend on the .... day of ...., .... (year), at .... o'clock ..M., in the circuit court of .... county, located in the courthouse in the city of ...., before the Honorable ...., a Judge of said court, or before any judge to whom the action may be assigned, judgment may be rendered against you for the restitution of said premises and for costs.
Dated: ...., .... (year)
.... Plaintiff
By .... Plaintiff's Attorney
799.16 History History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 575, 764 (1975); 1975 c. 218; 1977 c. 449 s. 497; 1979 c. 32 ss. 66, 92 (16); 1979 c. 110 s. 60 (7); 1979 c. 176; Stats. 1979 s. 799.16; 1987 a. 208; 1993 a. 213, 246, 491; Sup. Ct. Order No. 95-10, 195 Wis. 2d xv (1996); 1997 a. 250.
799.20 799.20 Answer; counterclaim and cross complaint.
799.20(1)(1)Pleading on return date or adjourned date. On the return date of the summons or any adjourned date thereof the defendant may answer, move to dismiss under s. 802.06 (2) or otherwise respond to the complaint.
799.20(2) (2)Cross complaint. In the case of more than one defendant, any cross complaint by one defendant against another who has appeared shall be made or filed on the return date or any adjourned date.
799.20(4) (4)Inquiry of defendant who appears on return date. If the defendant appears on the return date of the summons or any adjourned date thereof, the court or circuit court commissioner shall make sufficient inquiry of the defendant to determine whether the defendant claims a defense to the action. If it appears to the court or circuit court commissioner that the defendant claims a defense to the action, the court or circuit court commissioner shall schedule a trial of all the issues involved in the action, unless the parties stipulate otherwise or the action is subject to immediate dismissal. In a residential eviction action, the court or circuit court commissioner shall hold and complete a court or jury trial of the issue of possession of the premises involved in the action within 30 days of the return date of the summons or any adjourned date thereof, unless the parties stipulate otherwise or the action is subject to immediate dismissal.
799.20 History History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 765 (1975); 1977 c. 449; 1979 c. 32 s. 66; Stats. 1979 s. 799.20; 1987 a. 208; 2001 a. 61; 2013 a. 76.
799.205 799.205 Substitution of judge.
799.205(1)(1)Any party to a small claims action or proceeding may file a written request with the clerk of courts for a substitution of a new judge for the judge assigned to the case. The written request shall be filed on the return date of the summons or within 10 days after the case is scheduled for trial. If a new judge is assigned to the trial of a case, a request for substitution must be made within 10 days of receipt of notice of assignment, provided that if the notice of assignment is received less than 10 days prior to trial, the request for substitution must be made within 24 hours of receipt of the notice and provided that if notification is received less than 24 hours prior to trial, the action shall proceed to trial only upon stipulation of the parties that the assigned judge may preside at the trial of the action. Upon filing the written request, the filing party shall forthwith mail a copy thereof to all parties to the action and to the original judge.
799.205(2) (2)After the written request has been filed, the original judge shall have no further jurisdiction in the action or proceeding except to determine if the request is correct as to form and timely filed. If no determination is made within 7 days, the clerk shall refer the matter to the chief judge for the determination and reassignment of the action as necessary. If the request is correct as to form and timely filed, the named judge shall be disqualified and shall promptly request assignment of another judge under s. 751.03.
799.205(3) (3)Except as provided in sub. (4), no party is entitled to file more than one such written request in any one action, and any single such request shall not name more than one judge. For purposes of this subsection, parties united in interest and pleading together shall be considered as a single party, but the consent of all such parties is not needed for the filing by one such party of a written request.
799.205(4) (4)If upon an appeal from a judgment or order or upon a writ of error the appellate court orders a new trial or reverses or modifies the judgment or order as to any or all of the parties in a manner such that further proceedings in the trial court are necessary, any party may file a request under sub. (1) within 20 days after the entry of the judgment or decision of the appellate court whether or not another request was filed prior to the time the appeal or writ of error was taken.
799.205 History History: 1971 c. 46, 137, 296, 307; 1977 c. 135; 1977 c. 187 s. 135; 1977 c. 449; 1979 c. 32 s. 66; Stats. 1979 s. 799.205; 1987 a. 151.
799.206 799.206 Return date proceedings before court commissioner.
799.206(1)(1)In counties establishing a circuit court commissioner position under s. 757.68 (5m), all actions and proceedings commenced under this chapter shall be returnable before a circuit court commissioner appointed under s. 757.68 (1) and SCR chapter 75. In any other county, a circuit court commissioner may conduct return date proceedings if delegated such authority under s. 757.69 (1) (d).
799.206(2) (2)Judgment on failure to appear may be entered by the circuit court commissioner or the clerk upon the return date as provided in s. 799.22.
799.206(3) (3)When all parties appear in person or by their attorneys on the return date in an eviction, garnishment, or replevin action and any party raises valid legal grounds for a contest, the matter shall be forthwith scheduled for a hearing, to be held as soon as possible before a judge and in the case of an eviction action, not more than 30 days after the return date.
799.206(4) (4)Except as provided in sub. (3), the circuit court commissioner shall hear all matters using the procedures set forth in s. 799.207.
799.206 History History: 1977 c. 345; 1979 c. 32 ss. 66, 92 (16); Stats. 1979 s. 799.206; 1987 a. 208; 2001 a. 61; 2013 a. 76; 2017 a. 317.
799.207 799.207 Proceedings before circuit court commissioner.
799.207(1)(a) (a) Any circuit court commissioner assigned to assist in small claims matters may hold a conference with the parties or their attorneys or both on the return date, examine pleadings and identify issues.
799.207(1)(b) (b) Except as provided in par. (e), a decision shall be rendered by the circuit court commissioner on the return date if there is time available for a hearing, the parties do not intend to call witnesses, and the parties agree to such a hearing. If for any of the reasons stated in this paragraph, the matter cannot be heard on the return date, an adjourned date shall be set.
799.207(1)(c) (c) The proceedings shall be conducted as provided in s. 799.209.
799.207(1)(d) (d) A record of the proceeding shall be made and shall be limited to the time and location of the hearing, the parties, witnesses and attorneys present and the decision.
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