Contact Us for a Free Consultation 414.377.0515


Navigating the Badger State: Your Guide to Wisconsin Small Claims Court

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | May 01, 2024

Let's face it, disagreements happen. Whether it's a bounced check for a service or a damaged item you never received, sometimes you need to take legal action to recover what's owed. If you're in Wisconsin and the dispute falls under a certain dollar amount, small claims court offers a quicker and more affordable option than traditional litigation. But how exactly does a small claims trial work? This blog post will be your guide through the process.

Is Small Claims Court Right for You?

Wisconsin small claims court handles civil cases involving $10,000 or less (with some exceptions for specific cases). If your situation falls within this limit and involves money owed, damaged property, or breach of contract, then small claims court might be the right fit. However, it's not suitable for every case. For instance child custody battles and claims exceeding the limit require actions in different courts. 

Getting Started: Filing Your Claim

The first step is to initiate the case by filing a complaint form with your local county clerk's office. These forms are typically available online or in person. The complaint details the nature of your dispute and the amount you're seeking. There's usually a small filing fee associated with this process.

Serving the Defendant: Delivering the News

Once your complaint is filed, the you will arrange for the defendant (the party you're suing) to be served with the lawsuit documents. This typically involves a process server delivering the papers in person.

Preparing for Court: Gather Your Evidence

While small claims court is less formal than traditional court, it's still essential to come prepared. This means gathering all documentation related to your case, such as contracts, receipts, and any witness statements. Organize your evidence clearly and practice explaining your case concisely.

The Day of Trial: Presenting Your Case

On the day of your trial, a court commissioner or judge will preside. Each party gets a chance to present their arguments and evidence. Be clear, professional, and stick to the facts of your case. Having witnesses can strengthen your position, so consider subpoenaing them if necessary (check with the court clerk's office for details).

The Decision and Beyond

The court commissioner or judge will issue a ruling after both sides have presented their arguments. The decision can be appealed within a specific timeframe (usually 10 days) to circuit court for a traditional trial.


  • Dress professionally and arrive on time for your court date.
  • Be respectful of the court and all participants.
  • While you can represent yourself, consulting with an attorney can be beneficial, especially for complex cases.

Winning in Small Claims Court

By understanding the process and coming prepared, you can navigate the Wisconsin small claims court system effectively. Remember, the WCA [Wisconsin Consumer Act] also offers protections for consumers in various situations. For further information on the WCA, consider visiting the Wisconsin Department of Justice's website

Good luck in court, Wisconsin!

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.


The DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC is committed to answering your questions about Vehicle Repo's, Credit Report/Identity Theft, Auto Fraud, and Debt Collection Abuse law issues in Wisconsin.

We offer free consultation and look forward to discussing your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC
Mon: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Tue: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Wed: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Thu: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Fri: 08:00am - 05:00pm