Eau Claire County - Clerk of Court Office
Small Claims Division
721 Oxford Avenue, Eau Claire WI 54703
SMALL CLAIMS PROCEDURES - READ CAREFULLY!!
WHEN AND WHERE TO FILE SMALL CLAIMS
Please refer to the small claims guide available for $2.00(plus tax) at the Fees/Fines counter in the Clerk of Courts office; or
by mail for $3.00(plus tax) or at www.co.eau-claire.wi.us for no fee. If your question cannot be answered, you may wish
to call 1-800-362-9082 this is the Lawyer Referral & Information Service. Small claims actions are to be filed in the
county where the defendant lives or where the cause of action took place. These actions may be commenced for money,
replevin, eviction, or arbitration awards. Other forms are available at www.wicourts.gov.
There is a $5,000.00 statutory limit for small claims. If a party is seeking more than that amount, the action should be
commenced through civil proceedings.
FORM, FILING, AND SERVICE INFORMATION
NCR FORMS: The Clerk of Courts office has NCR (no carbons required) forms available to commence a small claims
case. You are urged to use these forms and leave them intact for the clerk's convenience.
LISTING DEFENDANTS: Defendants should be named as an individual or a corporation. "For example:
Jane Doe vs. John Smith, individually, and John Smith, dba Smith's Snow Removal." If in doubt, please refer to the statute
book or secure a legal opinion.
SIGNING COMPLAINT BEFORE A NOTARY: Before filing, the plaintiff should sign the summons & complaint in
front of a notary. This is required to commence the action in Eau Claire County. A verified complaint allows the Court to
enter a default judgment without further action such as taking testimony or receiving affidavits in support of the claim.
Verifying the complaint at the time of filing expedites the process.
EVICTION CLAIM NOTICE: For your benefit, eviction claims should: (1) State in the complaint that you are the
owner of said property located at (where-ever) and are seeking eviction of said premises; (2) The action should be signed by
the owner of the property or the owner's attorney; (3) Include with the action a copy of the rental lease and the notice to
REPLEVIN CLAIM NOTICE: For your benefit, replevin claims should include a copy of the loan or rental agreement
and the notice of right to cure.
FILING THE FORM: When an action is filed, submit the fees, an original form, and necessary copies for all parties to the
case. The Clerk's office will process the forms, keep the original, and handle or return copies for service.
SERVICE INFORMATION: If the copies are returned to you for service arrangements (personal or sheriff), take
prompt action to see that they are served. Make sure the right party is served. Evictions should be served no later then 5
days before the court date. Other actions should be served no later than 8 days before the court date. Weekends do not
count as service days.
SERVICE COURTESY NOTE: If a transmittal letter and a postage paid envelope addressed to the sheriff’s epartment or
private server is provided, the Clerk's office will mail copies for service to them. (over)
FEE FOR FILING AND SERVICE
FILING FEE: $94.50 fee to Clerk of Court. Service cost additional.
SERVICE FEES: See below. Select service method. Some restrictions apply*
1. REGULAR MAIL SERVICE BY CLERK OF COURT: $2.00 per defendant. Paid to Clerk
2. CERTIFIED MAIL SERVICE BY CLERK OF COURT: $8.00 per defendant. Paid to Clerk.
3. PERSONAL SERVICE BY PRIVATE PROCESS/DISINTERESTED THIRD PARTY: The fee, payment, and
service arrangements are handled between you and the process server.
4. PERSONAL SERVICE BY SHERIFF: Sheriff Departments are to be contacted individually for fee
information. Payment and service arrangements are handled between you and that department.
If the defendant lives out of county, there must be personal service.
Evictions are limited to personal service.
Replevin cases are limited to certified mail or personal service.
RETURN COURT DATE
The Clerk's office will notify you of the return date. You must make an appearance at this return date in order for the
Court to take action. Be on time for Court. Allow time for parking and finding the courtroom. If you fail to appear, your
case may be dismissed. Do not bring witnesses with you at the return date.
The purpose of the return date is to determine whether the claim is contested. If the claim is not contested, the Court may
grant judgment. If the claim is contested, it will be referred to mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached through
mediation, the case will be scheduled and noticed for trial.
Adjournment of court dates will be considered upon written and timely requests to the Court.
If you file an action without an attorney, you are responsible for details. These responsibilities include reading the small
claims guide, properly naming the parties, securing their addresses, properly submitting the claim, making sure the action was
properly and timely served, making court appearances, complying with statutory and local court procedures, taking post-
judgment action to enforce collection of the judgment, and satisfying paid judgments.
The Clerk of Court's office serves record keeping functions and is available to assist you with non-legal, procedural
information. If you have legal questions, please direct them to an attorney or make a decision based on your own study and
conclusions of the law, or attend the Free Legal Clinic at the L. E. Phillips Public Library the 3rd Wed of every month from
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
TRY MEDIATION, INC. SERVICES
Eau Claire County has a mediation service which helps parties resolve their problems. This service provides a trained and
impartial person (mediator) who listens, asks questions, and guides the discussion in order to help people reach their own
solution. Agreements can save you time, money and emotional stress.
This mediation service is utilized at the initial return date for contested small claims actions handled through the Eau Claire
County Courts. Local court rules state that "all contested small claims actions shall undergo mediation before being
scheduled for trial". 11-15-2010