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A Step-by-Step Guide to Filing an Answer in a Small Claims Suit in Wisconsin

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | Aug 04, 2023

Being served with a small claims suit in Wisconsin can be a stressful experience. However, responding promptly and appropriately is crucial to protecting your rights and presenting your side of the story. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to file an answer in a small claims suit in Wisconsin, ensuring you can navigate the process with confidence and clarity.

Step 1: Understand the Timeline

In Wisconsin, after being served with the small claims complaint, you typically have a very limited amount of time to respond. It's essential to act promptly to avoid any default judgments being entered against you.

Step 2: Review the Complaint

Carefully read the small claims complaint you received. The complaint outlines the plaintiff's allegations and the relief they seek from the court. Take note of all the details and claims made against you, as your answer will need to address each one specifically.

Step 3: Gather Evidence and Information

To construct a strong and well-supported answer, gather any evidence or documents that can help your defense. This could include receipts, contracts, photographs, emails, or any other relevant records that challenge the plaintiff's claims.

Step 4: Draft Your Answer

Compose your answer using a standard format. Start with a header that includes the name of the court, the case number, and the parties' names. Begin your response with an admission, denial, or lack of knowledge for each allegation made in the complaint. Be truthful and accurate in your responses.

Step 5: Counterclaims or Affirmative Defenses

If you have any counterclaims against the plaintiff or affirmative defenses that can potentially negate their claims, include them in your answer. Counterclaims are claims you have against the plaintiff, while affirmative defenses are legal arguments that provide a justification for your actions.

Step 6: File Your Answer with the Court

Once you have drafted your answer, make several copies of it and take them, along with the original, to the small claims court where the case was filed. File the documents with the court clerk.

Step 7: Attend the Hearing

In some cases, the court may schedule a hearing for both parties to present their arguments and evidence. Attend the hearing prepared with your evidence and ready to present your side of the case to the judge.


Filing an answer in a small claims suit in Wisconsin is a critical step in protecting your rights and ensuring that your perspective is heard by the court. By following this step-by-step guide and being diligent in responding within the specified timeline, you can effectively navigate the small claims process and present a well-supported defense. Remember to consult with an attorney if you have any doubts or need further guidance, as legal advice tailored to your specific situation can be invaluable in achieving a favorable outcome.

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


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