Part 1: Publication and Revision of Circuit Court Rules

Part 2: General Rules

Part 3: Rules of Decorum

Part 4: Civil Practice

Part 5: Criminal Law Practice

Part 6: Small Claims Practice

Part 7: Reserved for future publications

Part 8: Family Law Practice

Part 9: Policy and Procedures Regarding Threats Against the Judiciary and Security Incidents in the Courts



100 Proposed rules shall be posted for public review in the Brown County Courthouse by the clerk of circuit court, and copies shall be forwarded to the president and secretary of the Brown County Bar Association at least 30 days prior to formal adoption. The clerk of circuit court shall make copies available to the public.

101 Notice of proposed rules as described in Rule 100 shall constitute sufficient public notice.

102 Rules shall be adopted by written order of a majority of Brown County circuit judges, subject to approval of the chief judge.

103 Orders adopting rules shall specify an effective date.

104 Once adopted, court rules shall be filed with the clerk of circuit court, and the clerk of circuit court shall provide copies to the chief judge or designee, president and secretary of the Brown County Bar Association, State Law Library, and State Bar Association.


200 Assignment of Cases

Cases will be randomly assigned by computer to a branch at the time of the filing of a summons and complaint/petition.

201 Local Fax Rule

a. Pursuant to §801.16, Wis. Stats., the filing of pleadings and other papers that do not require a filing fee may be made with the clerk of circuit court through the use of the plain-paper facsimile machine. Documents may be transmitted under the authority of this rule if no additional fee or charge must be paid by the clerk of circuit court for accepting or receiving the facsimile document.

b. Documents submitted under this rule shall not exceed 15 pages in length, excluding cover sheet, unless an exception is approved by the assigned judge or court commissioner on a case-by-case basis. If the facsimile transmission exceeds 15 pages, the party or attorney shall certify that the assigned judge or court commissioner has approved the facsimile transmission.

c. Documents filed under this rule may be transmitted to the following number: (920) 448-4156.

d. Facsimile papers are considered filed upon receipt by the clerk of circuit court and are the official record of the court and may not be substituted. No additional copies may be sent. The clerk of circuit court shall discard any duplicate papers subsequently received by the clerk of circuit court, assigned judge, or court commissioner.

e. Papers filed by facsimile transmission completed after regular business hours of the clerk of circuit court’s office are considered filed the next business day.

f. The party transmitting the facsimile document is solely responsible for ensuring its timely and complete receipt. The assigned judge, court commissioner, or clerk is not responsible for errors or failure in transmission that result in missing or illegible documents or periods when a circuit court facsimile machine is not operational for any reason.

g. Facsimile documents which are not to be filed but submitted to a judge or court commissioner for reference or other purposes may be transmitted at the discretion of the judge or court commissioner subject to Rule 201(b), above.

h. A judge assigned to a particular matter may authorize in advance the filing of particular documents that do not conform to these rules if good cause is show, and they are in conformance with SCR 806.16.

i. If papers are transmitted to a plain-paper facsimile machine of a noncourt agency, party, or company for the receipt, transmittal, and delivery to the clerk of circuit court, the clerk of circuit court shall accept the papers for filing only if the transmission complies with the local rule or has been approved by the assigned judge or court commissioner and certified by the party or attorney.


300 Court shall be formally opened on each day in which court business is transacted by either the bailiff or the clerk.

301 As the judge enters the courtroom, the bailiff or clerk shall require all present to rise and stand. When the judge has reached the bench, the bailiff or clerk shall open court. All shall be seated and the business of the court shall proceed.

302 In recessing, the judge shall announce: “The court is now in recess.”

303 The flag of the United States shall at all times while court is in session be displayed at, on, or in close proximity to the bench or on a standard to the right of the judge (to the viewer’s left).

304 Lawyers shall never lean upon the bench or appear to engage the court in a manner which would lessen the dignity of the proceedings in the eyes of the jury and public.

305 Witnesses shall be examined from the counsel table, except when handling exhibits, unless a lectern is provided by the court, in which case the examination shall be either from the counsel table or lectern. Persons examining witnesses may either stand or remain seated while examining a witness from the counsel table. In no case shall a witness be crowded during examination.

306 When a lawyer or party is addressing the jury, he or she shall not crowd the jury box.

307 During examination of jurors on voir dire, the lawyer or party conducting the examination shall, insofar as practical, use collective questions, avoid repetition, and seek only material information.

308 During trial, no lawyer or party shall exhibit familiarity with witnesses, jurors, or opposing counsel, and generally the use of first names shall be avoided. In jury arguments, no juror shall be addressed individually or by name.

309 Lawyers, court reporters, deputy clerks and bailiffs shall, while in attendance in the court, wear professional business attire so as not to lessen the dignity of the court or proceedings in the eyes of the jury and public.

310 Lawyers shall advise their clients and witnesses of the formalities of the court and seek their full cooperation. It is expected that lawyers will guide clients and witnesses as to appropriate attire.

311 Witnesses shall be examined with courtesy and respect, and their good faith presumed until the contrary appears.

312 The swearing of witnesses shall be an impressive ceremony and not a mere formality.

313 In jury cases which are disposed of on a motion for nonsuit or directed verdict, the judge in dismissing the jury should briefly explain the procedure and why a verdict was necessary.

314 The judge shall wear a robe while presiding on the bench, provided that judicial discretion may be exercised otherwise in proper situations.


400 All civil cases will be reviewed for proof of service and answer 135 days after filing. If, at that time, the case file reveals that the case has not reached issue, a dismissal order or default proceeding may be initiated by the court.

401 Motions – General Filing Requirements

All motions shall be heard at a date and time set by the judge or judge’s designee. It is the attorney’s responsibility to schedule the motion with the court. A motion filed only with the clerk of circuit court will not be scheduled until a specific request by phone or in writing is made of the court for a date and time. Motions, supporting documents, and briefs shall be filed at least 20 days before the hearing date unless provided otherwise by these rules or order of the court. Any motion requiring an evidentiary hearing may be placed at the foot of the motion calendar or scheduled for some other time convenient to the court’s calendar.

402 General Motions

All motions shall state the supporting statute(s). A brief statement of facts and proposition of law relied on with citation of the authorities in support of the relief requested may be required. Briefs on all motions, except summary judgment motions (see Rule 404), shall be no more than seven double-spaced pages. All documents shall be served on the opposing party and filed with the court at least 20 days before the hearing. The opposing party shall serve and file a written response with a citation of authorities at least ten days before the hearing.

403 Telephone Motions

Telephone motions or scheduling conferences can be arranged by calling the judge’s judicial assistant. After approval by the court, a date and time will be set by the judicial assistant. The party requesting the telephone motion or scheduling conference is responsible for notifying all parties, initiating the call, and connecting all parties to the call who wish to appear by telephone.

404 Motion for Summary Judgment

a. Time for Filing. The parties may file motions for summary judgment within eight months of the filing of the summons and complaint or within the time set in the scheduling order. They shall be scheduled to satisfy the briefing schedule established by the court or by these rules.

b. Briefing Schedule. The motion with all supporting documents shall be filed with the clerk of circuit court, a courtesy copy to the judge, and served on opposing parties at least 60 days before the hearing. The court shall enter a scheduling order setting times for opposing affidavits to be filed and for briefs of both parties to be filed. A hearing date may be set if requested by any party. All briefs must be received at least ten days before the hearing.

c. Form of Submission. The briefs supporting and opposing the motion for summary judgment shall be limited to 15 double-spaced pages. Reply briefs shall be limited to seven double-spaced pages. All supporting affidavits and documents shall be attached as appendices to the motion or briefs. Reference to documents in the case file or depositions is not permitted. Pertinent parts of documents, depositions, interrogatories, or admissions shall be reproduced and attached as part of the appendices. The specific parts sought to be utilized shall be color lined.

d. Noncompliance. Noncompliance will be the basis for imposition of sanctions including dismissal, striking of papers, imposition of terms, and such other appropriate sanctions.

405 Discovery Motions

a. Good Faith Effort to Resolve. All motions to compel discovery pursuant to Chapter 804 Wis. Stats. must be accompanied by a statement in writing by the movant that after consultation with the opposing party and sincere attempts to resolve their differences, the parties are unable to reach an accord. Such statement shall recite the date, place, and name of all parties participating in such conference.

b. Limitations. The court may, upon its own initiative after reasonable notice, or pursuant to a motion, limit the number of depositions and interrogatories and may also limit the length of depositions. Written interrogatories are limited to 30 questions including subparts. The frequency and extent of the use of discovery methods otherwise permitted or limited by these rules may be further limited if the court determines that:

(i) The discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative or is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;

(ii) The party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity by discovery in the action to obtain the information sought; or

(iii) The burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its benefit, taking into account the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties’ resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation, and the importance of the proposed discovery in resolving the issues.

c. Meeting of Parties; Planning Discovery. Except in actions exempted by the court in the scheduling order, the parties shall, as soon as practicable and in any event at least 30 days after the scheduling conference or a scheduling order, meet to discuss the nature and basis of their claims and defenses and the possibilities for a prompt settlement or resolution of the case, select the form of alternate dispute resolution and the neutral, and develop a discovery plan.

d. Briefs. The person seeking discovery shall specifically state what information is sought and the reasons supporting the production. The person refusing to produce the information shall state why the information sought is not discoverable. Blanket contentions of work product are insufficient. Specific reasons must be stated for each denial of information.

406 Default Judgment

a. Mortgage Foreclosures. All default judgments in mortgage foreclosures shall be scheduled for a hearing in open court, due notice of which shall have been given to all defendants at least ten days before the hearing. If all parties consent or no defendant appears at the scheduled hearing, the court may grant a default based on affidavits or testimony.

b. Large Claim Civil Action. Where a defendant has not filed a timely answer, a plaintiff may obtain a default judgment without a hearing upon the filing of appropriate supporting information as required by §806.02(2) and (3), Wis. Stats. A judge may, in any case, require a hearing or further proof regarding service, claims, damages, costs, or other issues if the judge deems the same to be necessary.

407 Mortgage Foreclosure

In all Judgments of Foreclosure and Orders Confirming the Sale of Foreclosed Property, the Plaintiff shall provide a final accounting of all funds and a proposed distribution of any surplus funds.

408 Pretrial

In all pretrial matters, attorneys must have the authority to negotiate in the absence of their clients or, if authority is not granted, immediate telephonic access to the clients shall be required. The judge may require all parties to be present personally at the pretrial.

409 Scheduling

Attorneys are required to have their calendars with them in court so dates can be set in the courtroom when possible. In the event that an attorney does not have a calendar in court, a date will be set in accordance with the judge’s calendar. Telephone scheduling can be arranged by calling the judge’s judicial assistant. See Rule 403.

410 Continuance of Trial Date

All stipulated requests for continuance of trail date shall require the consent of the named parties in writing or on the record and must be for good cause shown. Requests for continuance must be on motion and hearing and for good cause shown by the party or with the party’s written consent. All requests for continuance are subject to the approval of the court.

411 Extraordinary Writs

This rule shall apply to the filing and handling of Writs of Habeas Corpus, Certiorari, Mandamus, Prohibition, and Quo Warranto.

The petition or application must be filed with the clerk of circuit court. This includes the payment of the appropriate filing fee (or an order waiving the same) and authentication of the action by the clerk of circuit court.

The matter will then be randomly assigned to a branch of the circuit court pursuant to the most recent circuit court rotation plan. Writs of Habeas Corpus shall be assigned to branches handling felony matters, and all other Writs shall be assigned to branches handling civil matters.

Only after the above steps are complied with may the matter be presented to the assigned judge for the judge’s signature and/or scheduling.

The above do not apply to Writs of Habeas Corpus Ad Testificandum or Prosequendum. These Writs should be submitted to the court assigned the particular case involved.

412 Harassment Restraining Orders and Injunctions

The clerk shall ensure that the petitioner has signed the moving papers and that the signature is notarized. The clerk will ensure that all relevant paragraphs on the petition and other papers are complete and stated with specificity. The clerk should also inquire whether the parties are currently or have formerly resided together, and if they have, then advise the parties of the availability of the domestic abuse injunction in the appropriate case. The clerk shall also determine whether any other actions between the parties are pending. If there are, the court commissioner assigned shall be so informed.

The court commissioner shall review all petitions as to form and substance. If satisfactory, the court commissioner will explain the procedure to the petitioner, including petitioner’s obligation to present evidence under oath before the court, and explain that the petitioner has the burden of proof. If the petitioner seeks to have the filing fees waived due to indigency, the commissioner shall determine the question of indigency.

All child abuse, harassment and domestic abuse temporary restraining orders, and injunctions issued under Chapter 813 shall be served by the Brown County Sheriff’s Department.

413 Foreclosure Mediation

Foreclosure actions which meet the following requirements;

1) Homestead property which is owner occupied
2) Foreclosure is being sought by the primary mortgage lender; and
3) Homeowner has not filed a bankruptcy action

shall be provided with a Notice of Availability of Mediation and Application for Mediation. Upon agreement by both the lender and the homeowner, receipt of the Application for Mediation and a $100 fee from both the lender and the homeowner, the mediator shall file with the Court an Order to Stay Foreclosure Proceedings to Allow Mediation. Only upon notification of non-agreement from the mediator shall the foreclosure litigation be reinstated on the Court’s calendar.


1. At the initial appearance in a criminal case, a trial judge shall be assigned from the random draw except as  provided in this rule.
 (a) A single judge shall be assigned all files presented against a defendant at initial appearance.  When a defendant has a pending matter, the following shall be applicable:  All subsequent case filings (CF, CM, CT, TR and FO) will be assigned to that branch.
(b) If a substitution request is made on a subsequent case filing, the case being substituted upon shall be re-assigned to a new branch and any subsequent case filings would be assigned to the branch with the most recent case number. 

(c) When the criminal complaint lists more than one defendant, one assignment shall be drawn per file.
(d) All defendants in a multiple-defendant complaint shall be assigned the same trial judge, and in the case of felonies, all defendants should be scheduled for preliminary haring at the same time, if possible.  The district    attorney shall notify the court/commissioner at initial appearance in multiple defendant cases which judge has been previously assigned the case, if a trial judge has been previously assigned. 
2. Substitution assignments shall be assigned to a specific branch with the intent of maintaining an equal work load for all eight branches in the criminal rotation.      
This Amendment shall become effective February ___, 2022. 
 Donald R. Zuidmulder, Br. I                   Thomas J. Walsh, Br. II
 Tammy Jo Hock, Br. III                              Kendall M. Kelley, Br. IV
 Marc A. Hammer, Br. V                           John P. Zakowski, Br. VI
 Timothy A. Hinkfuss, Br. VII                  Beau G. Liegeois, Br. VIII
Honorable James Morrison
Chief Judge, Eighth Judicial District

501 Continuances

All stipulated requests for a continuance of trial date shall require the consent of the named parties in writing or on the record and must be for good cause shown. Non-stipulated requests for a continuance must be on motion and hearing with good cause shown by the party. All requests for continuance are subject to the approval of the court.

502 Motion Practice

All discovery demands/motions shall be filed and served on the opposing party within ten days of the arraignment. All such demands or motions shall be complied with or objected to, in writing, within seven days thereafter. Any motions to compel discovery shall be filed within ten days of the latter date.

All other motions (including suppression motions, motions in limine, and other §901.04, Wis. Stats., motions) shall be filed and heard no later than seven days prior to the time set for the trial. It is the responsibility of the attorney filing the motion to obtain a hearing date by contacting the court’s judicial assistant. All motions shall be supported by affidavits or other papers set with, with particularity, the grounds therefore.

503 Stipulations

The court shall be informed of all agreed facts in writing prior to trial.

504 Witnesses

Attorneys will be expected to list their potential witnesses during voir dire for the benefit of the jury.

505 Exhibits

In cases where each attorney has more than five exhibits, they shall be listed and marked by the clerk of circuit court prior to trial.

506 Jury Instructions/Verdicts

The proposed instructions, verdicts, and applicable law shall be filed with the court no later than the Thursday before trial. The court will generally give the Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instructions. Pattern instructions may be requested by number only. Pattern instructions containing alternative paragraphs to be selected or blanks to be filled in must be submitted in final form. Special instructions submitted must contain citations to the applicable law.

507 Jury Trials

a. Felonies. The court shall be notified by the final conference or by noon of the Thursday prior to trial, whichever occurs first, whether the case will be tried.

b. Misdemeanor/Traffic. The court shall be notified by noon of the Thursday prior to trial whether the case will be tried.

This rule is instituted to provide sufficient time for the clerk of circuit court to notify jurors and for the court to prepare for the trial.

508 Indigency Determination/Fine Review

All reviews of indigency determinations and of a defendant’s ability to pay monetary obligations shall be heard by a court commissioner.

509 Competency

The court assigned a case will hear any competency questions which may be raised.

510 Plea Forms

A plea and waiver of rights form must be completed and signed by the defendant prior to a change of plea hearing being called.

511 Scheduling Orders

Each judge may supplement these rules with scheduling orders.

512 Presentence Reports

a. Counsel. Presentence reports are confidential. Clients may only review them in the presence of counsel. Counsel must ensure that no one but the client sees them.

b. Pro se. Pro se defendants must review their presentence reports in the courthouse as directed by the sentencing judge.

c. Copies. Copies of presentence reports will be made available by the court only for these purposes and no other copies may be made. The original will be retained in a sealed envelope in the court file. All copies shall be returned to the clerk and destroyed immediately after sentencing.


600 In suits for money judgments, service of summons may be by personal service, substitute service, or, if within Brown County, by mail sent by the clerk of circuit court. Eviction actions require personal or substituted service. Replevin actions may be commenced by personal service, substituted service, or, if within Brown County, by certified mail.

601 Where personal, substitute, or mail service has failed, plaintiff may request permission of the court on the return date for publication to establish personal or in rem jurisdiction. Where personal and substituted service has failed in eviction actions, adjournment of the return date, posting, and mailing is the procedure.

602 Both plaintiff and defendant must appear in person or by an attorney, in person, at the return date of the summons.

603 Financial Disclosure. In small claims actions, the petition and order for hearing of contempt on the failure to file a financial disclosure statement must be served personally if the moving party wants to request a bench warrant or other sanction for the judgment debtor’s nonappearance.

The petitioner must appear in person unless represented by an attorney. Upon request, an attorney may appear by telephone. If an attorney appears by telephone, the attorney will be bound by any information submitted to the court by the respondent.

Reserved for future publications.


800 Contract Guardians ad Litem

a. The Court shall require one or both parties to deposit partial prepayment of the guardian ad litem fee in the amount of $1,400.00 to the Clerk of Circuit Courts Office upon appointment of a contract guardian ad litem in all applicable cases. In marital presumption cases, the required deposit amount shall be $350.00. The Court may increase the deposit amount if a party has the ability to pay the increased amount. The Court may reduce the deposit amount or waive the deposit requirement if a party is indigent using appropriate indigency standards and court determination of such indigency. The Court may permit a party to pay the deposit in installments if no other method of payment is available. This subsection does not apply to a guardian ad litem appointed to represent a minor parent in a paternity proceeding.

b. The guardian ad litem shall appear at the final hearing in divorce or paternity proceedings with a statement of fees. In a divorce action, the Court will consider the guardian ad litem fee a marital liability in the property division. The guardian ad litem shall be required to make a report to the Court as to the existence of any liquid assets available to pay any remaining guardian ad litem fees. Sources of funds to be explored include, but are not limited to:

i. Potential equalization payments in the property division;
ii. Existing bank accounts; and
iii. Tax refunds.

In a paternity action, the court will allocate responsibility for payment of the fee in the judgment.

Prior to commencing any work on a file, the guardian ad litem shall be required to verify that the required deposit(s) have been made. If any required deposit was not made, any work performed after the due date for the deposit shall not be reimbursed. In the case of deposits being made on an installment basis, the guardian ad litem shall verify that the first payment has been made prior to commencing work.

When twenty billable hours of service have been provided by the guardian ad litem, and the matter has not yet been resolved, the guardian ad litem shall be required to submit a request to the Court, along with an itemized invoice reflecting services performed thus far and a proposed order, requiring each litigant to deposit an additional $350.00 with the Clerk of Circuit Courts Office. Thereafter, the guardian ad litem shall request an additional $350.00 deposit for each subsequent billable 10 hours of work performed by submitting a written request to the Court along with an itemized invoice reflecting services performed thus far and a proposed order.

c. The guardian ad litem shall submit a final statement of fees and an Order for Payment within 60 days of the final written order, unless a de novo hearing has been requested, to the Court Official who presided over the final hearing. Failure to timely submit a final bill and order may result in compensation being limited to deposits previously made by the parties.

d. The Court shall order either or both parties to pay all or part of the compensation of the guardian ad litem. If both parties are indigent, the Court may direct that the county of venue pay the compensation with reimbursement by the parties as ordered by the Court. See Sec. 767.407(6), Wis. Stats.

e. The court may order a separate money judgment for unpaid guardian ad litem fees so the county can docket the judgment.

801 Notwithstanding Rule 800, the parties to an action affecting the family may stipulate to the appointment of any qualified attorney as guardian ad litem for the minor children.

The appointed attorney shall be compensated at the rate of not less than the rate set by Supreme Court Rules, Sec. 81.02. The parties shall expressly agree they have the ability to pay the guardian ad litem fee, and they shall agree to not seek payment of the fee from Brown County. The guardian ad litem shall consent to not seek payment of the fee from Brown County. The guardian ad litem will remain on the case until relieved by the Court. The party’s stipulation is subject to court approval.

802 Pretrial Hearings

Where the litigants appear pro see, there may be a pretrial conference before the family court commissioner 20-30 days prior to trial. Where the litigants appear by counsel, any pretrial conference will be before the judge.

803 Custody and/or Paternity Issues

If custody or paternity is not raised in the pleadings or at the scheduling conference, the issue will not be tried unless a motion for good cause is brought before the court to amend the pleadings.

If, during a final divorce hearing, the court or family court commissioner is informed that the wife is pregnant, and there is a dispute as to paternity, or if both parties assert that the husband is not the father of the unborn child(ren), a judgment of divorce may be granted. If a divorce is granted, the court or family court commissioner shall expressly reserve jurisdiction as to paternity and appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the unborn child(ren) and take appropriate steps to establish paternity.

804 Rules of Civil Procedure

You are put on notice: The courts of Brown County will follow the Rules of Civil Procedure in divorce proceedings (Chapters 801 through 807, Wis. Stats.).

805 Court Mandated Discovery (§804.09, Wis. Stats.)

Items required at the pretrial hearing:

a. In every case where property is contested, the parties must exchange a completed FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES AND PROPOSED PROPERTY DIVISION form by the day of pretrial and present it or its equivalent to the court on the date of pretrial. Forms are available at the family court commissioners’ office.

b. Statement of position as to child support.

The family court commissioner shall present the above-noted forms and a copy of the court rules to out-of-county attorneys when they appear for the temporary order hearing.

806 Failure to Comply with Discovery Requirements

Failure to prepare the required discovery documents will result in penalties under the Rules of Civil Procedure.

The court shall impose sanctions under §804.12(2)(a), Wis. Stats.

807 Written Statement of Statutory Admonitions (Withdrawn 11/12/12)

Prior to the final hearing, each party shall sign a written statement of receipt of notice of statutory admonitions which states that they have read the admonitions and had the opportunity to discuss it with an attorney. Forms are available at the family court commissioners’ office.

808 Postjudgment Motions

All postjudgment motions for revision of judgment, except motions solely for the revision of maintenance, shall be heard first by the family court commissioner. If either party feels the motion should be heard by the court, a motion to bypass this procedure should be filed with the court. (See §767.11, Wis. Stats., where legal custody or physical placement are contested.)

For all contempt motions, the family court commissioner shall make findings of fact and law, recommendations as to any conclusions of law, and a determination either by stipulation or order whether or not a party is in contempt with recommended sanctions and purge conditions. The commissioner will then certify all of the above to the branch of the circuit court assigned to the case.

Within ten days of the family court commissioner’s certification, either party may seek a review of it. The motion for review shall not be stated in general terms but shall set forth with specificity the relief sought. This will not be a de novo hearing, but an opportunity for a party to show cause why the family court commissioner’s decisions should not become the order of the court. If neither party asks for a hearing before the judge within ten days of the certification and the judge agrees to the findings, the family court commissioner’s certification is changed to an order.

809 Notice to Child Support Agency

The judicial assistants shall routinely send court calendars to the Brown County Child Support Agency.

When any party is receiving AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), has applied for AFDC, has received AFDC during the pendency of the action, or an arrearage exists in favor of the State of Wisconsin, the moving party shall serve notice of the action on the Brown County Child Support Agency at the commencement of the action or as soon as it is discovered that a party is receiving AFDC in accordance with §767.15, Wis. Stats. The moving party shall provide the Brown County Child Support Agency with a copy of the financial disclosure statement, the final stipulation, if any, and the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment of Divorce.

810 Educational Program Concerning the Effects on a Child of Dissolution of a Marriage

a. All parties to actions for divorce or legal separation with children shall complete an educational program, not to exceed four hours in length, concerning the effects on a child of a marriage dissolution if there are minor children of the marriage.

b. Parties shall attend and complete the educational program within 60 days of service of the summons upon the respondent or within 60 days of filing in the case of a joint petition. The parties shall each provide proof of completion of the program to the family court commissioners’ office or the court.

c. The circuit court or the family court commissioner may require the parties to complete the educational program as a condition to granting a final judgment in divorce or legal separation as provided in §767.115(2), Wis. Stats. The family court commissioner or the court may excuse a party from participating in the educational program upon written request and a showing of hardship.

811 Psychological Evaluations

In all cases where psychological evaluations have been ordered, a notice of the filing of said evaluation shall be given by the court to the attorneys for the parties, the guardian ad litem, and any unrepresented party who may then review the same in the offices of the Family Court Commissioner or the branch of the circuit court where the action is pending.

Any attorney for any party, the guardian ad litem, and an unrepresented party may obtain a copy of any psychological evaluation in any case involving said guardian ad litem, attorney for any party, or such party by submitting a written request for a copy of said evaluation. Release of said evaluation shall be subject to the following conditions:

1. Said report shall not be reproduced in any fashion by said attorney, guardian ad litem or unrepresented party.

2. Any such attorney, guardian ad litem or unrepresented party shall be advised that the contents of such evaluation should not be disclosed to any person or persons other than a party to the case wherein the evaluation has been made.

3. Copies of such evaluations shall be returned to the Court upon completion of the case.

4. An order releasing such evaluation and containing the text of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 above shall be attached as a face sheet to such evaluation.

812 Review of Family Court Commissioner Decisions

Any party may request a de novo hearing on matters heard by the family court commissioner. Absent a show of extraordinary circumstances, all such requests for hearing:  

Require that a de novo request be heard within 60 days of being filed and must be filed 20 days after the oral ruling or “mailing” of the written decision.  

(1)    Does not apply to stipulations;
(2)    Party seeking de novo review must have been present at the hearing
(3)    Request for de novo review does not necessarily stay the commissioner order without further court order for stay
(4)    Must be filed within 20 days of an oral ruling or if no oral ruling 20 days of the mailing of the written decision
(5)    Must be heard by the judge within 60 days of the properly filed request


900 Threats are written or oral declarations of an intention to inflict injury or pain upon individuals employed by or involved in the court system. Any threat shall be treated as serious.

901 Security incidents are episodes of conduct in the courts in which the health or safety of participants or the property of the courts or others are put at risk.

902 All threats and security incidents are to be immediately reported personally or by telephone to the court security officer.

903 Court Security Officer

The sheriff is directed to designate an officer to serve as a court security officer. The court security officer shall be responsible for:

• Referring and investigating all threats and security incidents;

• Assisting in training of court personnel in handling threats and security incidents; and

• Making recommendations to maximize court security in the future.

904 Training

Upon hiring, every employee (including elected officials) shall be trained in the policies and procedures of handling threats and security incidents, including the use and completion of the report form. Refresher training shall be scheduled for all court employees on at least a yearly basis. All training shall be coordinated by the judges, clerk of circuit court, and court security officer. To the extent possible, such initial and refresher training should include the following:

• The court’s policies and procedures concerning threats and security incidents;

• The physical layout of the courts and escape routes from courtrooms and court offices;

• Recognizing when a threat is made;

• Responding to a bomb threat;

• Responding to a hostage situation;

• Techniques in remaining calm and avoiding panic during a stressful or potentially dangerous incident;

• Techniques in responding to threats and security incidents in such a manner as to defuse the danger of the situation without placing the individual at physical risk;

• Techniques in enhancing a person’s personal safety either in the courts or elsewhere;

• Telephone protocol when a threat is being made over the phone;

• Handling irate and abusive individuals in person or over the telephone;

• Knowing when to contact law enforcement because of immediate concerns with a “panic button” rather than by telephone;

• Handling threats that are made away from the courthouse;

• Gathering evidence for potential prosecutions;

• Using the threat/security incident report form; and

• Role playing activities in order to familiarize the employee with the process of recording and reporting threats.

905 Threat/Security Incident Report Form (BC-147)

A record shall be made of all threats and security incidents on the threat/security incident report form. Such record shall be made contemporaneously with the event being recorded or as soon after as possible but in no event later than 48 hours after the incident. The original report shall be transmitted to the court security officer. If deemed appropriate, a copy may be maintained in the court offices affected. The court security officer will distribute copies to the district court administrator and the administrative supervisor.

906 “Panic Buttons”

The panic button shall be used only in those cases where there is immediate dangerous or life-threatening activity that needs the presence of law enforcement officers. The sheriff shall instruct officers acting under the sheriff to treat a panic button call as a dangerous or life-threatening activity in progress.

907 Telephone Threats

a. All court employees shall keep a copy of the threat/security incident report form immediately at hand beside all telephones on which calls from outside the courts can be received.

b. To the extent possible, while the person making the threat is still on the telephone, the report form should be completed. If not possible, the form should be completed as soon as practical while all information is still fresh in the mind.

908 Review of Security Incidents

The court security officer, district court administrator, and administrative supervisor will meet quarterly to review any incident reports filed and will make a report to the Brown County circuit court judges, county executive, sheriff, and public safety chairperson.

909 Report to PPAC

Security facilities committee shall make a quarterly report to PPAC.