Defendants Procedures for Small Claims by 3Dq00V


									                                   EAU CLAIRE COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS PROCEDURES
                                       DEFENDANTS' NOTICE - READ CAREFULLY


If you do not agree with the plaintiff's complaint, you must appear in small claims court on the return date shown on the
summons served to you. If you fail to appear, judgment may be entered against you for the amount requested in the complaint, plus
statutory costs which may include fees incurred for filing, service of the action, docketing the judgment for public records, statutory
attorney fees, and enforcement of the judgment.

If you wish to be more informed on small claims procedures, there is a small claims guide available for $2.00(plus tax) through the
Clerk of Courts' office. The guide can be picked up during office hours, which are 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday, closed
major holidays. The guide can be mailed upon receipt of $3.00(plus tax).


         Be on time for court. Allow time for parking and finding the right courtroom. The receptionist in the Clerk of Court's office
can help direct you to the proper courtroom.
         If you agree with the plaintiff's complaint, then you do not have to appear in court. A default judgment will be entered
against you. You will receive a notice of entry of judgment and a financial disclosure of assets form in the mail. It is important that
you fill out the financial form and mail or deliver it to the plaintiff/attorney listed on the form. Inability to pay is not a defense to the
         If you show up on the return date to object to the claim, you will be required to participate in learning about mediation.
Local court rules dictate that "all contested small claims actions shall undergo mediation before being scheduled for trial." See
below for more information on mediation.
         Adjournment of the return date will be considered upon a written and timely request to the Court. This request should be
written to the attention of the Court Commissioner and given to the Clerk of Court's office for direction. Please date and sign this
request, and include the name of the case, case number, return date, and your current address and/or telephone number.


Eau Claire County has a mediation service which helps parties resolve their problems. This service provides a trained and impartial
person (mediator) who listens to the dispute, asks questions, and guides a discussion in order to help people reach their own solution.
 Agreements can save you time, money and emotional stress. This mediation service is known a TRY Mediation, Inc., hereafter
referred to as TRY, and is located on the second floor of the Eau Claire County Courthouse. TRY's telephone number is 715-839-

TRY will normally present an orientation film about their services at the commencement of the return date session. Cases are then
called with disputed actions being referred to TRY mediators who are present in the courtroom at that time. The mediators confer
with the parties in trying to reach an agreement. NOTE: DO NOT bring witnesses or exhibits on the return date.
If an agreement is reached in mediation, it will be reduced to writing and filed with the Court. Comply with this agreement to avoid
further court action. If an agreement is not reached, the Clerk's office will be notified and a date for trial will be set.


The original answer and/or counterclaim is to be filed in the Clerk of Court’s office. The party filing the document is responsible for
providing and serving a copy on all interested parties. Suggested method: File the original; have necessary copies file-stamped;
mail or otherwise serve copies on the parties; provide a record of the service method and date to the Clerk’s office for the court file.

ANSWERS: If you do not agree with the plaintiff’s complaint, you may file a written answer. An answer is the defendant’
response to the plaintiffs’ allegations as stated in complaint. File the original answer with the Clerk and provide sufficient copies for
all parties. Make sure the answer is dated, signed, includes your address and telephone number, and shows the name of the case and
case number. Form available at, form SC-5200V
COUNTERCLAIMS: If you have a claim which arises from the same transaction as the current claim, you may file a
counterclaim. A counterclaim is a claim made by the defendant in a civil lawsuit against the plaintiff. File the original counterclaim
with the Clerk and provide sufficient copies for all parties. Make sure the counterclaim is dated, signed, includes your address and
telephone number, and shows the name of the case and case number. Form available at, form SC-5200V
There is no fee to file a counterclaim unless the total amount requested in the counterclaim exceeds $5,000.00. In that case, there
would be a statutory fee to transfer the case out of small claims to regular civil court.

If a judgment is taken against you, the clerk's office will send a notice of entry of judgment to you, along with a blank financial
disclosure form. DON'T IGNORE THIS FORM!. The form is court ordered and is to be completed and mailed to the party
granted judgment. If you fail to complete and return this financial disclosure, the plaintiff may take action to find you in contempt of
Court. Contempt means a willful disobedience of an official court order. If found in contempt, you may be subject to further
penalties, sanctions, or costs.

If you are interested in paying the claim or working out an agreement prior to the return date or judgment, take the initiative to
contact the party who filed the action. They may be willing to work with you.

If you are interested in working out payment after judgment has been taken, contact the party who was granted the judgment
(creditor). They may be willing to enter into an agreement for payment which would be beneficial to all in terms of saving time and
additional costs. Without an agreement, the creditor may take action to enforce collection of the judgment.

If you believe you have good cause, you may submit a written request to the Court for consideration of vacating and/or reopening
judgment. If cause is based on issues such as lack of and/or proper service, there is a "Petition to Answer or to Reopen Small Claims
Judgment and Order" form available through the Clerk of Court's office. Reference WI STATS 799.14, 799.29, and /or 806.07.
Time limits do apply.

After the judgment is fulfilled, the creditor should issue you a document referred to as a "Satisfaction of Judgment". This document
should be filed with the Clerk of Court's office in the county/counties where the judgment is on record, along with the required fee.
The satisfaction document enables the Clerks' office to clear the judgment and notice it for public record viewing. If you lose or
misplace this document, there may be a cost to secure another one from the creditor.

If a judgment is discharged through federal bankruptcy proceedings, procedures need to be followed in order to transfer that
information to the County where the judgment is on record. Federal and County Courts are not the same and do not procedurally
share case information. Statutory procedures are outlined in WI STATS 806.19.

GENERAL: If you have questions, please call. Thank you.
For legal questions: Free Legal Clinic at the LE PHILLIPS MEMORIAL PUBLIC LIBRARY
  Third Wednesday evening of each month
  TIME: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
  A public service from the Eau Claire County Bar Association

                     You may have the right to a court-appointed interpreter in a court case. Call 715-839-3762

                          Koj muaj txoj cai tau ib tug neeg txhais lus uas yog tsev hais plaub muab los nyob
                                               rau ib qho kev hais plaub. 715-839-3762

                       Usted podría tener derecho a un intérprete nombrado por el tribunal para asistirle
                                              con su caso judicial. 715-839-3762

Revised 11/16/2009

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