Small Claims Division

  1. Pre-judgement
  2. Post-judgement

Pre-Judgment

Important Notice: All attorneys and pro se filers of 10 cases or more annually must file electronically. Some of the following instructions may not apply.

Small claims court matters shall consist of and be governed by Section 799 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The dollar limit amount for a small claims money action to be filed is $10,000.00 or under. The dollar amount limit for small claims Third-party, Personal Injury claims, and Tort claims are $5,000.00 or under. If filing an eviction action, the 5-Day Notice to Vacate must be attached to the Summons & Complaint. 

Plaintiff: Party commencing the action.
Defendant: Party the action is against.

Where to File

The county in which the defendant currently lives or county where the claim arose. This can be done electronically on wicourts.gov or with the Clerk of Courts Office.

If you would like a copy returned to you with the case number and court date listed, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Pre-Judgment Instructions

  • Basic Guide to Wisconsin Small Claims Actions (form #SC-6000V)
  • Pre-Judgment: Basic Steps for Handling a Small Claims Case for Eviction (form #SC-6010V)
  • Pre-Judgment: Basic Steps for Handling a Small Claims Case for Recovery of Money (form #SC-6020V)
  • Pre-Judgment: Basic Steps for Handling a Small Claims Case for Replevin (Recovery of Property) (form #SC-6030V)

Forms Needed to file a Small Claims Case

All summons and complaint forms must be printed or typed, not handwritten.

Service

ALL eviction and replevin actions must be personally served.

  • Calumet County Residents: Small claim summons and complaints for money judgements can be served by regular mail, Sheriff service or private service for Calumet County residents. 
  • Out-of-County Residents: Personal Service IS REQUIRED for all out of county defendants. The affidavit of service from the Sheriff's Office, or from a private process server of your choice, must be filed at the Clerk of Court office before the action will be taken up in Court. The Sheriff or private service is REQUIRED in garnishment cases IF either the defendant’s or garnishee defendant’s address is outside of Calumet County.
  • Pre-Judgment: Basic Steps to Small Claims Service (form #SC-6050V)

Small Claims Filing Fees  

  • $94.50 filing fee
  • $ 2.00 mailing fee per defendant (unless outside of the county)
  • These pre-judgment fees will be added to your judgment by the Court. DO NOT include them in the amount you are seeking to receive.
  • These fees are payable to Clerk of Courts; Sheriff Service fees are payable to the Sheriff Office of the county where the defendant is located.

Cross Complaints and Counterclaims

Must be filed prior to the initial Return Date. If the total amount requested exceeds $10,000.00 the matter must be transferred to a civil case and the applicable fees paid.

  • Pre-Judgment: Basic Steps for Filing an Answer to a Small Claims Complaint (form #SC-6040V)

Initial Appearance

Referred to as Return Dates, initial appearances are usually held on Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. Parties are not required to appear on return dates for money judgments.  Attorneys for plaintiffs may appear by letter. 

Defendants must have their Statement of Defense, listing the reasons for disputing the claim, filed with the Clerk of Court's office prior to the Return Date if wishing to contest the matter. Defendants who do not have their statement of defense filed prior to the Return Date will have default judgment taken against them. Telephone answers are not acceptable.

Pre-Trial Conference

If a Statement of Defenses is filed, or if the defendant appears in court and contests the action, a Pre-trial date will be set by the court. Non-electronic parties will be notified by mail of the Pre-trial date. Both the plaintiff and the defendant must appear for the Pre-Trial Conference. The Pre-Trial proceedings will be informal and will be held with the Court Commissioner in Courtroom #115. No witnesses will be allowed at the Pre-Trial. Failure to appear could result in the case being dismissed or having judgment rendered against you.

Court Trial

If either the plaintiff or the defendant disagrees with the Pre-Trial results, a Court Trial will be scheduled. This proceeding will be formal, in the Courtroom, with the Judge's word binding. Any form of video or jump drive will be marked as an Exhibit and kept by the Court. A copy of any exhibits needs to be provided to ALL parties in the case, including the Court.