Small Claims

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Who do I contact if I have questions about Small Claims?

Small Claims Clerk
Clerk of Courts Office
77 W. Park Street / PO Box 187
Montello, WI  53949
Fax 608-297-9188 (by request)

What types of issues are covered in Small Claims Court?
•Money Claims ◦ Limit of $10,000
•Evictions ◦Regardless of the amount of rent claimed
•Replevin ◦Return of property
•Tort/Personal Injury ◦ Limit of $5,000
•See the Small Claims Guide for other less common types of cases

Where do I file a Small Claims Case?
•In the county where defendant resides or does substantial business
•Where the claim arose
•Where the subject property is located

How do I file a Small Claims?

Small claims forms assistant
The small claims forms assistant site guides you through the process of filing a small claims legal claim in Wisconsin. By answering a series of questions this interactive site will help you to fill out necessary forms, print blank forms, or download a basic guide to small claims actions for each county. •Go to small claims forms assistant.


Get the forms at the Clerk of Courts Office: Summons and Complaint (SC-500) and Affidavit of Non-Military Service (GF-175)
•File the forms with the Clerk of Courts Office
•Receive a return date from the Clerk.  The return date is the initial appearance in the Small Claims case. All parties must attend the hearing.
•Pay the Filing Fee:  $94.50 + possible service fee. 
•Service of Summons and Complaint:  If personal service is required – you (the Plaintiff) are required to have the document(s) served by the Sheriff’s Department or a private process server. If mail service is allowed, the Clerk of Courts Office will mail the document(s) for a $2.00 fee per defendant.

I was granted a judgment by the Court – Now what?
The Court will grant allowable court costs
•Docket the judgment ◦ Pay a $5.00 fee at the Clerk of Courts to perfect a lien on the debtor’s real estate
•Financial Disclosure ◦Debtor required to complete and return to you within 15-days of entry of judgment – If debtor does not complete Financial Disclosure, you may file a contempt motion.

The judgment was paid:
•Satisfaction of Judgment:  Plaintiff is required to complete form GF-129 and provide that document to the debtor for filing at the Clerk of Courts with $5.00 fee. This will satisfy the judgment.

What if the judgment isn’t paid?
•Garnishment:  Creditor may start wage garnishment to recover the money owed
•Non Earnings Garnishment:  Garnishment of accounts
•Execution:  Creditor may obtain a Court order to the sheriff to seize and sell the (non-exempt) property and deliver the money to the creditor.

Other Questions
•What if we come to an agreement before the return date?
◦A Stipulation form can be used to put the agreement in writing. This can be filed before the return date for the Court’s signature. 

•What if I want to counterclaim?
◦You may file a counterclaim up to $10,000
◦Counterclaims over $10,000 may be filed but require a fee. The case will then be transferred out of Small Claims to the upper branch.

•How do I reopen a judgment?
◦File a motion/petition to reopen. Must be filed within 12 months of default judgment. No filing fee.

•What if I don’t like the Court’s decision?
◦If it’s the Commissioner decision, you can request a Trial De Novo.
◦If it’s a Judge’s decision, you can appeal the case to the Court of Appeals.

Do I need a lawyer?
◦An attorney is not required. It’s your decision whether or not to retain one. Court staff can not give legal advice.

Need more information?
Refer to the Wisconsin Guide to Small Claims Court. for a complete overview, forms and instructions.