Wisconsin State Courts
The judicial system for Wisconsin features two separate federal district courts which is linked to the 7th Circuit. There are multiple trials courts, some of which deal with specific subject-matter cases, and these feed into the court of appeals and the supreme courts for the state of Wisconsin, which is the court of last resort and wields the most power within the state.
The federal courts are split by region in Wisconsin
- Eastern District of Wisconsin
- Western District of Wisconsin
These are the point of origin for a lot of the federal cases within the state. Appeals go to the 7th Circuit.
Wisconsin has two different bankruptcy courts, too, which deal with all matters relating to individual and company bankruptcies. These are in the Eastern and Western Districts like the federal courts.
Trial courts in the state are structured in a simple way. Each county has at least one branch of a Circuit court, and the judges are elected by each county. These courts have general jurisdiction and as there aren’t as many limited jurisdiction courts as some states, issues like probate will go through the circuit courts.
With less of a focus on criminal cases, Municipal courts exist below the Circuit Courts, these deal with issues such as ordinance cases and traffic issues. If cases need to be referred they can go to the Circuit Courts.
|Court Name:||Wisconsin Supreme Court|
|Address:||16 East State Capitol PO Box 1688 Madison, WI 53701-1688|
Intermediate and Supreme Courts
Wisconsin has a Court of Appeals, which acts as the intermediate court and has a duty to deal with appeals that are referred from Circuit Courts and correct any wrongful decisions. This court has more power than the Circuit Courts, but less than the state’s court of last resort, the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has 7 judges and authority over the other courts in the system, in the majority of cases it will only review issues referred by the court of appeals, and can choose not to review cases, which the Court of Appeals cannot.
Types of Courts in Wisconsin
How to Find Wisconsin Court Records Online
Our online tool is designed to help you in your search for Wisconsin court records online. You can see a variety of different records, and in line with the Freedom of Information act your rights to see and copy this information are protected by law.
Wisconsin has kept court records for over 100 years, most of the modern records can be accessed online and some historic records have been digitized but there are still many cases that have not been fully uploaded. You don’t have to specifically request the details unless, in rare historic cases, the details have not yet been uploaded and digitized by the state’s record keepers.