Clerk of Circuit Court

Clerk of Circuit Court

Related Information: Register in Probate & Clerk of Juvenile Court

Clerk of Circuit Court


We are asking citizens to please make requests remotely and not come to the Clerk of Courts office.

  • General inquiries and open records requests can be made by phone at 262-335-4341, fax at 262-335-4776 or email at
Accounting   262-365-5131
Civil/Small Claims/Jury 262-365-5133
Criminal/Traffic 262-365-5134
Family/Mediation 262-365-5135
Juvenile 262-365-5136
Probate 262-365-5137
Note: Clerks of Court cannot accept documents for filing via email, but can accept inquiries and open records requests.
  • New files can be opened electronically at

  • Most case files are accessible online by the parties on the case for a one time fee of $20. Parties can opt-in as a e-filing participant through If you have questions, you can contact this office at 262-335-4341.

  • Non-attorneys can mail documents.

  • Payment of fines, forfeitures and other court ordered obligations can be paid:
    • With a credit card by calling Pay Gov at 1-866-480-8552 and use the pay location code of 2936. Be prepared to provide your case number. Case numbers can be found on or call the Clerk of Court's office at 262-365-5131.
Circuit Court Judge Branch 1: James G. Pouros
Reporter Katherine Lopez
Circuit Court Judge Branch 2: James K. Muehlbauer
Reporter Cindy Stuesser
Circuit Court Judge Branch 3: Todd K. Martens
Reporter Geri O'Brien/Brittany T. Verhasselt
Circuit Court Judge Branch 4: Andrew T. Gonring
Reporter Lisa A. Balkowski
Judicial Court Commissioner Dolores A. Bomrad
Circuit Court Commissioner Jeffrey A. Jaeger
Supplemental Court Commissioners

William F. Alderson
Timothy J. Algiers
Jerome Becker
John A. Best
Christine Eisenmann Knudtson
Julie A. Maule
Roland Pieper
Condemnation Commissioners:

John Isselman
Robert Klockow, Sr.
Patricia Borchert Stroik
Franz (Bink) Steinbach
Lloyd (Whitey) Uelmen
Paul Albinger
Roland Pieper
Carol Pouros
Marilyn H. Merten
 Clerk of Juvenile Court Lisa Milella
 Register in Probate Sarah Adjemian

The Clerk of Courts is an elected position with a 4 year term of office.  Clerks are required to maintain records of all documents filed with the courts, keep a record of court proceedings, schedule court hearings, and collect various fees, fines and forfeitures ordered by the court or specified by statute.  The office is also responsible for selecting and notifying potential jurors for jury service.

The administrative responsibilities of the Clerk of Circuit Court include budgeting and administering trial court resources, developing effective policies and procedures and recruiting and maintaining competent staff.

Clerks are record keepers, court administrators and government leaders.  They provide an administrative link between the judiciary, the County Board and the public.

In addition to the resources provided below, you may also wish to utilize the self-help legal resources directory provided by the Wisconsin Court System.

Washington County local circuit court rules may be found at

Circuit Court of Washington County - Language Access Plan

Courtroom Technology

The four Washington County juried courtrooms are equipped with an evidence presentation system with the following features: 

  • Document cameras are provided at each counsel table

  • Input ports at counsel tables for computer display (HDMI and VGA) and an audio input jack to broadcast through the courtroom sound system.  The computer must be supplied by the litigant. 

  • Barco ClickShare - device used to connect  laptop, tablet or smartphone to the wireless presentation system

  • Witness annotation - used to emphasize visual presentation by highlighting selected portions of an image on the courtroom displays.  Electronic enhancement does not alter the orginal object, document, photograph or electronic image.  The annotation equipment works with the document cameras or other video sources. 

  • Video conferencing capability

  • Audio conferencing capability

  • Wireless internet

  • Wireless microphones

The two court commissioner hearing rooms are equipped with all the above technology with the exception of annotation and jury deliberation room displays.

Assistive listening devices are available in all court and hearing rooms. 

If you have questions or care to view the equipment's capability prior to a hearing, please contact the judge's judicial assistant.

Video Conferencing Appearances in Criminal and Other Cases

Local Rule effective March 1, 2009:

The circuit Court Judges of Washington County are committed to avoiding the need to transfer criminal defendants and respondents in Chs. 48, 51, 55, 938 and 980 cases to Washington County for non-critical court appearances and appearances at critical stages of the proceedings where a defendant or respondent wishes not to attend. Any attorney appearing in such a case in Washington County shall be required to notify the judicial assistant for the branch in which a case is pending of the attorney's belief that a hearing in which a defendant or respondent might otherwise be produced will involve other than a critical state of the proceedings or a critical stage of the proceedings where the defendant or respondent wishes not to attend. Critical stages of the proceedings include evidentiary hearings, trials or fact-finding hearings, plea hearings at which a plea of guilty or no contest, or an admission, will be offered, and sentencing or dispositional hearings. Attorneys shall advise the judicial assistant of the appropriate branch of the possibility of a video conference appearance by the defendant or respondent as soon as practicable.

Criminal Court Actions

A criminal case is an action brought by a government to penalize a violation of the criminal laws. In either a misdemeanor or a felony case you will have an initial appearance. At this appearance you will be served with a criminal complaint that outlines the charge, the probable cause supporting the charge, and the penalty.  Adjournments cannot be granted in criminal cases unless it is deemed an emergency by the court.

See below for FAQs regarding criminal cases

Q. How do I find out information about a criminal case?

A. A brief description of cases and an index of records is available on the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website. Cases can be viewed at the Clerk of Courts Office, 484 Rolfs Avenue, West Bend, WI 53090 in person. There is a statutory fee of $1.25 per page for copies of documents contained within the court file.

Q. Which statutes deal with criminal laws?

A. The primary statutes can be found in Chapters 938-961 which deal with the Criminal Code and Controlled Substances Act and Chapters 967-980 which deal with Criminal procedures.

Q. Can I sue someone in criminal court?

A. No; criminal complaints must be brought to the local police department, Sheriff's Department, or District Attorneys's office. These agencies will determine if they will proceed or investigate your complaints.

Q. How do I appeal a criminal case?

A. An appeal of a final circuit court judgment or order can be initiated with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals by filing a notice of appeal with the Clerk of Circuit Court for the county in which the judgment or order being appealed was entered. You will need to familiarize yourself with the Rules of Appellate Procedure (Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 809). Appeals can be complicated so you may want to consult an attorney for legal advice. You may also access the Citizen's Guide to Filing an Appeal in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals for additional information.

Q. I don't want my criminal case on Wisconsin Circuit Court Access.  How can I get it removed?

A. You probably can't. Wisconsin law allows a judge to "expunge" a case in only certain circumstances that you may review in the Expunging Court Records brochure.

Q. Does expunction remove my criminal case from everywhere?

A. No. Even under the limited circumstances described above, a judge can only order expunction of the court's record. The Wisconsin Crime Information Bureau also keeps criminal records. The case may still exist in the records of the District Attorney, other law enforcement records, the Department of Transportation and other places. The judge has no authority to require removal of these records. You may review documentation concerning removal of criminal records on the Wisconsin Department of Justice website.
Criminal Records: Questions & Answers
Removal of Arrest Information

Q. I need more time to pay my fine!  What do I do?

A. If you are requesting an extension of time to pay a fine, you may contact the Clerk of Courts office at 262-335-4341, or submit a written request by mail or in person. The request should include your current address, the case number or the citation number, the reason for the extension and the length of time you are requesting. If the time to pay the fine has passed and the alternative has been issued, no further extension can be granted and the fine must be paid in full.

Can I represent myself in a family action?

Whether to hire a lawyer or not can be a difficult question.  Information and questions located on the State of Wisconsin self-help family website  may help you decide whether or not you want to represent yourself.   After selection Washington County from the drop down menu, click next, you will then view a page entitled Family Law Form Assistant;   click next, click on Washington County Basic Guide to Divorce/Legal Separation and review that document.

Are there forms available for family court cases?

There are family forms available on the State of Wisconsin website.  It is recommended that you go to the self-help family website and download the Guide before completing these/any forms.

Can I submit my forms or start a new action online/electronically?

The State of Wisconsin circuit court eFiling system allows attorneys and parties to electronically file new cases and documents for various case types including family and paternity.  You may find information regarding efile/eCourts by visiting the Wisconsin Court System eFile/eCourts website.  It is recommended that you download the State of Wisconsin's brochure: eFiling for Attorneys: A quick reference guide, which contains information that may be useful to parties who want to represent themselves in their case.

Am I required to attend a parenting class for my divorce case?

It is highly recommended that you attend a parenting class.  In some cases you may be ordered by the court to attend a parenting class.  In Washington County, parents may attend Parenting When Relationships Change offered through The Youth and Family Project, Inc. located at 630 Elm Street, West Bend, WI 53095.  For more information on this class, you may contact The Youth and Family Project at 262-338-1661. 

What paperwork must I bring to my final divorce hearing?


• Completed/updated financial disclosure statements, form FA-4139, which reflects income earned to date as
well as a copy of your most recent W-2 statement (original & 1 copy).
• Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law & Judgment with a copy of your Marital Settlement Agreement attached
to the original, form FA-4160VA and FA-4160VB if you have Minor Children or form FA-4161VA and FA-
4161VB if you do not have Minor Children.
• Unless you are Joint Petitioners, proof of service of an Order to Appear, form FA-4142V, is also needed.
These forms are available on the State of Wisconsin website at http:/ click on Family then click on Pre-judgment.

• The "Divorce/Annulment Worksheet" (F-05080) MUST be completed and brought to your hearing. This form
is available on the Washington County website. If you do not bring it with you, you must fill it out and hand it
to the clerk before you leave your final hearing.



How do I get a copy of my judgment of divorce or paternity order?

For cases filed in Washington County, M-F 8:00 am - 4:00 pm in the Clerk of Courts office, Room 3151 of the Washington County Courthouse Justice Center, 484 Rolfs Avenue, West Bend, WI  53090.  There is a statutory fee of $1.25 per page for any document from your court file, plus an additional $5.00 if you want the document certified.  Copies are also available by mail upon receipt of a check or money order in the correct amount for the number of pages to be copied, along with your written request if you want to have a copy sent to you.  Your case number should be included on your request for copies.

Writing letters to the Court regarding Family cases:

Individuals often write letters to Judges or Court Commissioners requesting that they take certain action in their case.  A court official cannot review these submissions, unless it is also sent to all parties and lawyers on the case.  However, to have the court take any formal action on your case, such as changing a court order, you are required to submit completed paperwork/forms to the court to request that a court hearing be scheduled to address the issues you want the court to hear.  There is a filing fee to submit paperwork to request a court hearing to modify existing court orders.  There is no fee if an agreement is reached between the parties to change the court order, and that agreement is filed with the court.  Do not write to the court official unless the court has specifically directed you to write him/her a letter.

When you write letters to the court, you need to be aware of what is referred to as ex parte communication.
What is Ex parte Communication?
Ex Parte Communication is an attempt (not allowable by law) to communicate with a court official, either verbally or in writing, without the knowledge or consent of the other party.  Written correspondence (letter) to the court is considered to be ex parte when a copy is not also sent at the same time to the other party.  If the other party is not sent a copy and the correspondence does not indicate that a copy has been sent (ie.  a "cc" on the bottom of the letter) the court official will not consider the contents.

How can I submit a letter to the court that can be read?
Include the copy notation (cc:) on the bottom of your correspondence. This notifies the recipient that a copy of the letter is being sent to the other parties named on the letter after the cc:.  You must send a copy of your correspondence to all parties and attorneys involved with your case.  If the State of Wisconsin is involved, you must mail a copy of the letter to the attorney for the Child Support Agency.

What if there is a Restraining Order between yourself and the other party?

 If a restraining order prohibits you from having any contact with the other party (sending the letter directly to the other party), you can provide the other party's copy of the correspondence to the clerk of courts, along with a note indicating that a restraining order exists.  Include a stamped envelope with the other party's address on it and request that the court forward the letter to the other party for you.

Additional legal resources:

Legal Issues To Consider

Legal Custody and Physical Placement (visitation):

Legal Custody refers to the major decision-making authority for a child.  Wisconsin law presumes that joint legal custody is in the best interest of the child unless the court finds that awarding legal custody to a parent would be harmful to the child.  In making an order of joint legal custody, the court may specify what decisions are considered to be "major decisions."  The court may give one parent some responsibilities and give the other parent different responsibilities, or the parents may be required to agree on all major decisions.

Physical Placement

Physical placement refers to the right to have a child physically placed with a party.  It gives that party the right and responsibility to make, during that placement, routine daily decisions regarding the child's care, consistent with major decisions made by a person having legal custody.  One party may be awarded primary physical placement with the other party having periods of physical placement (visitation), or the parties may be awarded shared physical placement.  It is recommended that the parties come to an agreement as to the legal custody and physical placement of the children. 

If they cannot, and a dispute arises, the court will order that the parties attend Mediation with Family Court Counseling Services.  If the parties are still unable to come to an agreement, the court may order a Physical Placement Study or appoint a Guardian ad Litem.  In making the final decision, the court will consider all factors related to the best interest of the child.  The court will consider many factors that are listed in WI Statute 767.41.

Personal Safety Issues

If your case involves minor children, and you have serious reason to believe that the health, safety, or liberty of you or a child would be jeopardized by the disclosure of certain identifying information both in paper and electronic records, you may request that identifying information be sealed from the public or the other party until a hearing is held.  Once you have completed the forms, the court will schedule a hearing. At that hearing you will have to convince the judge that it is in the interest of justice for the information to continue to be sealed. 

For more information related to Legal Custody and Physical Placement issues you may review Subchapter V of Wis. Stat. 767 
Actions Affecting the Family 767

The Family Law Assistance Program (FLAP) has been suspended at this time.  It is anticipated services will resume on May 5, 2020. 

Every Tuesday from noon to 1:00 p.m., in room 1104 of the Justice Center
, volunteer attorneys assist Washington County self represented family court litigants by providing forms, written instructions, and checklists. They also provide procedural guidance and assistance in completing the forms and following the written instructions. There is no cost for the service. No appointment is necessary. Walk-ins are welcome, and will be assisted on a first-come first-served basis.  Self represented parties can use this service pre-judgment and post-judgment for divorce, legal separation, annulment, child support, and other family court actions.

NOTE: The volunteer attorneys cannot provide legal advice as part of this program. All parties to Family Court cases are encouraged to consult with an attorney. There is no substitute for legal advice received from an experienced family law attorney. An experienced family law attorney retained by a party can explain options and provide information to that party regarding the long-term legal and financial consequences of those options.

The Family Law Assistance Program will not be available the week of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day.

Mediation Program

The Program's purpose is to serve and support parents who are involved in legal custody and physical placement disputes to assist them in reaching mutually acceptable agreements. We seek to improve the lives of these parents and their children through the use of trained professional mediators who facilitate communication between parents and empower parents to come to a resolution which is satisfactory for both parties. We strive to help parents move beyond their present disagreements and focus on their children and their children's futures.

Mediation services are available during and after the divorce process or paternity action to assist parents in resolving disputes pertaining to legal custody, physical placement (visitation of their minor children), and other parenting issues.

Wisconsin law requires that all disputes related to legal custody and physical placement of children must be referred to mediation from Family Court Services.  The court may waive this requirement if there is an undue hardship or the health or safety of a parent would be at risk.  Family Court Services mediators do not mediate issues relating to property division, maintenance, child support or other financial matters.

Participation may be ordered in one of three ways:
*  An attorney makes a verbal request in a court hearing or by filing a Request for Mediation form.  The Judge or Commissioner reviews the request and signs an Order if s/he agrees.
*  A parent makes a verbal request in a hearing or by filing the Request for Mediation form.  The Judge or Commissioner reviews the request and signs an Order if s/he agrees.
* A Judge or Commissioner may decide to order mediation because s/he determines that it may be helpful to resolving a case, without a request from a parent or attorney being made.

The fee for mediation is $300 which is to be paid either when the Request is filed with the clerk of courts or as ordered by the court.  The court determines which party will pay which portion of the fee, either before payment is made or at a later hearing.  If not ordered by the court, each party is generally required to pay half of the fee in pending divorce/legal separation actions.  In all other cases, the requesting party is generally required to remit the deposit.  If a party is unable to remit the entire amount, the clerk of courts offers a payment plan; please call the Accounting Division of the Clerk of Courts at (262)335-4869.

After the Request is made, mediation is ordered and the fee is paid, the parties are required to attend a group orientation session. A letter is sent notifying the party of the date.  Upon completion of this orientation by both parties, a mediator is assigned and a letter is sent to the parties with the mediator's contact information.  One or more private mediation sessions are then scheduled and held.  If mediation is successful, a Parenting Agreement is drafted, signed and filed with the court by the mediator.  If mediation is not successful in reaching an agreement, the mediator will advise the court that mediation was not successful.  If a Parenting Agreement is reached, a Stipulation and Order must also be filed with the Parenting Agreement for the court's signature to make the Agreement an enforceable court Order.   These two links will provide you with more detailed information about the process.  Flow Chart Checklist Stipulation and Order  For your review, this is the presentation that you will see at Orientation:  Orientation 

Washington County also offers a Family Law Assistance Center every Tuesday at the Justice Center from 12:00 p.m.noon until 1:00 p.m. 


Call the Family/Senior Court Assistant at (262)335-4838 for more information.

The websites listed below offer separated, divorced and unmarried parents further resources, forms and information:

Up To Parent

Family Court Services Reading Resource List

The Wisconsin Trial Court system was reorganized on August 1, 1978. Washington County is now one judicial circuit with four branches. The presiding Judges are Andrew T. Gonring, James K. Muehlbauer, James G. Pouros and Todd K. Martens.

The Circuit Judges are elected by the people of the circuit and hold office for a term of six years. No person shall be eligible to the office of Judge who shall not at the time of his/her election be a citizen of the United States, have attained the age of 25 years, and be a qualified elector within the jurisdiction for which he/she may be chosen. No person may take or hold the office of the Circuit Judge unless he/she is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and has been so licensed for five years immediately prior to his/her election or appointment. Circuit Judges may be assigned to any one of the branches.

The Judicial Court Commissioner is part of the judicial branch. The FCC assists the judges, enters temporary Court Order(s) as to custody, support, etc. in family actions, orders mediation for custody and visitation disputes, presides over and issues decisions, orders and judgments in civil domestic abuse and harassment actions, motions to revise support, final hearings in stipulated divorces, initial appearances and pre-trials in paternity cases, juvenile plea hearings, mental commitment and protective placement probable cause hearings and handles other duties assigned by the Judges.


Jury duty is the obligation of every citizen. “Forgetting” to show up is not an excuse. In fairness to jurors who do show up for jury duty, those who do not appear are held accountable for their actions.  Failure to appear for jury duty when summoned could result in contempt of court and possible criminal prosecution pursuant to Wis. Stats. §756.30.




A juror's term of service shall be for a period of one month and shall not exceed 5 days of actual court attendance except when necessary to complete a trial in a particular case. The majority of trials last an average of 2 or 3 days. A “day of service” is a day for which you appeared and were available to serve on a jury panel.


If you are selected for a jury panel, you serve until that case is completed. If selected, you will have an opportunity to make a call to your employer/family. Evening work is avoided whenever possible. However, if a jury is deliberating, your service may be extended into the evening hours.


If you are not selected to serve that day, you are usually excused within a few hours.


Jurors are required to be available for service only once in any four year period.




Unless you have a very serious conflict, you will be expected to serve as a juror. The court may excuse a person from jury service if the court determines that the person cannot fulfill the responsibilities of a juror. The court may also defer jury service to a later date if the court determines there is undue hardship.


Please notify the court if you are requesting deferral due to important personal or business commitments, vacation, etc.

·   Employment Reasons:  If you are requesting to be excused for employment reasons, a letter from the employer must accompany the request to be excused.


·   Medical Condition: If you have a medical condition that would prevent service as a juror, a medical excuse from your physician is required.


·   Vacation: If you are unable to serve specific dates because of vacation plans, submit the request in writing listing the dates you are unavailable.

Requests to be excused or to have your service deferred must be made within 10 days from receipt of your jury questionnaire or summons to appear.

You may send a written request to be excused via regular mail, e-mail, or fax (see jury contact information). A response to your request to be excused will be sent.


If you move out of Washington County or if you have a name or address change, please notify the jury clerk at the address below. Please include your juror ID # whenever corresponding with the court.



Serving as a juror is one of the highest duties in our democratic system of government and, therefore, you should dress appropriately for the occasion. Do not wear tank tops, cut-off shorts, halter tops or beach shoes/flip-flops or similar clothing.



If you are chosen to serve on a jury, the judge may release you for lunch on your own. It is important to return to the courthouse by the time specified by the judge. During deliberation or on special order of the judge, the county may provide meals.


You may bring technical equipment such as MP3 players, Ipods, laptops, blackberries, cell phones and pagers to court. However, this equipment can only be used outside of the courtroom and it will be collected by the bailiff prior to deliberation.

Please be aware that you will be going through a security checkpoint before entering the Justice Center which includes X-ray and metal detection equipment. Items such as knitting needles, crochet hooks, scissors, and pocket knives will not be allowed.

Food and liquids are not allowed through security. If you need these items for medical reasons during jury service, you must contact the Jury Clerk so that our office can provide you with a letter to present to courthouse security upon your arrival for jury duty. This letter will allow an exception to be made for your provisions.

Everyone is encouraged to bring reading materials as there will be breaks throughout the day.



If you are called to report for jury duty and we are experiencing bad weather, please listen to one of the following radio stations after 7:00 a.m. the morning of the trial for information of possible cancellations:
                     WBKV/WBWI            1740 AM or 92.5 FM
                     WTMJ                        620 AM
                     WTKM                       1540 AM or 104.9 FM



The courthouse is located at 432 E. Washington Street, West Bend. Please access the courthouse by entering the Justice Center entrance. Parking is available in the Justice Center parking lot east of Schmidt Road, with access from Schmit Rd., Rolfs Ave. or Hwy 33. Walk across Schmidt Road to the Justice Center entrance and report to the Jury Assembly room.  Handicapped and limited parking is available by turning north onto Schmidt Road, then turning left to the limited space parking lot adjacent to the Justice Center.



You will be paid $25.00 for each full day and $12.50 for each half day that you appear for jury duty. You will also be reimbursed $.510/mile roundtrip mileage from your home to the courthouse and $5.00 for each meal you had on your own while serving on a specific trial.


A check for your fees and mileage will be sent approximately one month after your term of service is complete.



Failure to appear for jury duty when summoned could result in contempt of court and possible criminal prosecution pursuant to Wis. Stats. §756.30.


To request an excusal or postponement of service you may do so by visiting the Wisconsin Court System Juror Postponement Request website at  You will need to reference your Juror ID number; please have it accessible.

Jury Clerk:  (262) 335-4728


Fax:            (262) 335-4776

Mail:            Washington County Clerk of Courts

                    Attn: Jury Department

                    PO Box 1986

                    West Bend, WI 53095-7986


General information about the name change process is contained in Wisconsin Statutes 786.36 and 786.37.  There is a $164.50 filing fee to file a Name Change action. For local guidelines, click here: Washington County Name Change Guidelines

Forms for a name change, as well as Basic Steps to Handling a Name Change, can be found on the State of Wisconsin website.  

Washington County local procedures: You are now representing yourself in the Courts of Washington County, State of Wisconsin. The Clerk of Courts cannot give you legal advice. If you need further help, you may consult the Wisconsin Statutes, Sections 786.36 and 786.37.

In a Washington County name change packet you will find the following State forms and instructions:

1. Petition for Name Change (Adult or Minor 14 or Older). CV-450.

Before you begin, carefully read all the documents so that errors can be avoided. Complete all documents that apply to you. YOU MUST USE BLACK INK. Print or type the information, except for signatures, which must be notarized. A notary is available in the Clerk of Courts office.

After you have completed all documents, you must come to the Clerk of Courts office to open your file. Have photocopies of all completed documents made for your records before opening your file, or you may obtain copies in the Clerk of Courts office for $1.25 per page. After paying the statutory filing fee of $164.50, the Clerk of Courts will assign a case number and a court date.

Contact your local newspaper and make the necessary arrangements to publish your Notice of Hearing for one day for three consecutive weeks (a Class 3 notice).  Following publication, the newspaper will issue you a Proof of Publication. File this Proof of Publication with the Clerk of Courts prior to your hearing date, if possible, or bring it with you at the time of your hearing.

In some cases, additional information may be needed by the Court, especially in name changes for minor children under the age of 14 years. If this applies to your case please read the instructions on the appropriate form and the area on the Basic Steps to Handling a Name Change.

It is your responsibility to file the necessary affidavits along with your petition when needed.

If you were not born in the State of Wisconsin, it is your responsibility to contact the office of Vital Statistics in the state of your birth to find out what is required to amend your vital records there. The Clerk of Courts has a listing of the address and phone number for the vital records office in every state.

If your name change is granted, your new name is effective immediately.

Return to the Clerk of Courts office immediately after the court hearing. A clerk will collect the additional, necessary fees and costs from you. No cash can be accepted for the Bureau of Vital Statistics fees, payment must be by check or money order. The fees include the following:

          1. $10.00 fee for filing the Bureau of Vital Statistics form, if this applies to you. You may also obtain a certified copy of your new birth certificate for a cost of $20.00, for a total of $30.00. Additional copies of the same record ordered at the same time are $3.00 each. Check should be made payable to State of Wis. Vital Records.

          2. If you were born in the State of Wisconsinthere is a fee for filing a certified copy of your Order for Change of Name in the office of the Register of Deeds. You will need to check with the Register of Deeds office as to the amount of their fee. If you were born in a State other than Wisconsin, it is your responsibility to contact the office of Vital Statistics in the state of your birth to find out what is required to amend your vital records there.

          3. The clerk will certify all needed documents for a cost of $5.00 per document, plus $1.25 per page. Check should be made payable to Clerk of Courts.

          4. Additional filing fees may be required if other vital records, such as marriage certificate, need to be amended.

You must be a resident of Washington County to apply for an occupational license in Washington County. If you are revoked for 5 years because you are a habitual traffic offender, you must apply in person at the Clerk of Courts office at the Justice Center, 484 Rolfs Avenue, Room 3151, Monday through Friday between 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P. M. The following requirements are needed to apply: Application for Occupational Operator License available online at: , a driving record, a written statement indicating why an occupational license should be granted and why the judge should believe that previous conduct as a traffic offender will not be repeated, and the $40.00 non-refundable filing fee in check or cash.

For any other suspensions or revocations, you must apply at the Motor Vehicle Department in the county in which you reside.

To obtain additional information refer to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website.

Payments may be made with a MasterCard, Visa or an electronic check on-line. Click here to "Pay Fees Online". Then follow the directions to pay with a credit card or electronic check. We accept payment by cash, in person only, at the Clerk of Courts office. You can also pay by credit card, check or money order in person or by mail. Make checks and money orders payable to:
Washington County Clerk of Courts
432 E Washington St, Rm 3151
PO Box 1986
West Bend, WI 53095

The State of Wisconsin Court Access website has provided individuals with a Basic Guide to Wisconsin Small Claims Actions to assist with navigating the small claims process.
In addition to the general guide, you may also find small claim forms and summary sheets located on the Wisconsin Court System Website at: Circuit Court Forms - Small Claims

General Information:

Before starting a small claims action it is suggested that you make a formal written demand for payment to the other party. Send a certified letter asking for settlement. Make it clear you intend to take legal action if settlement cannot be reached, informing them that all court costs will be added to the amount you are seeking. Allow a reasonable amount of time for the other party to contact you before commencing the action.

Small Claims actions are filed in the county where the defendant lives or where the action took place. Landlord/tenant disputes may be taken to court in the county where the property lies or where the defendant lives.

If your claim is for money, it must not exceed $10,000.00.  Actions involving personal injury, tort, or third party claims must not exceed $5,000.00. A corporation must be represented by an attorney or a full-time employee authorized to act on its behalf. The filing fee for a small claims action is $94.50, payable upon opening the case in the Clerk of Courts office.

Washington County Small Claims Court requires personal service of the summons and complaint on the defendant. You may contact a private process server or the Sheriff's Department of the County where the defendant lives to serve your papers.

The $94.50 filing fee and the fee for having the papers served will automatically be added on to the total amount due to you if you win your case. The clerk will total the amount of the judgment.

Q.  How can I start a small claims action and where do I get the forms?

A.  You may obtain information on forms to start a small claims action, as well as a basic guide to Wisconsin Small Claims Actions from on the State of Wisconsin prose' website at  Note: This link will direct you to an online Small Claims Wizard that will assist in filling out small claims forms.

Q. Can I submit my forms or start a new action online/electronically?

A. The State of Wisconsin circuit court eFiling system allows attorneys and parties to electronically file new cases and documents for various case types including small claims actions. You may find information regarding efile/eCourts by visiting the Wisconsin Court System eFile/eCourts website. It is recommended that you download the State of Wisconsin's brochure: eFiling for Attorneys: A quick reference guide, which contains information that may be useful to prose individuals as well.

Q.  I've been served with a small claims action, how do I file my answer?

A. Your answer must be in writing and state the reasons you believe the Plaintiff is not entitled to the demands he/she makes of you in this lawsuit.

Your original Answer must be sent to the Washington County Clerk of Courts, Small Claims Division, P. O. Box 1986, West Bend, WI 53095.  You must also send a copy of your Answer to the Plaintiff/Plaintiff's Attorney by the court date. You do not need to appear if the Answer is filed, the matter will be set for a Trial to the Court and you will be mailed a notice of the Trial date and time.

If the Answer is Not Filed by the court date, the Plaintiff has the right to take a judgment against you in the amount requested in the Complaint.

Q.  What is the procedure for filing a counterclaim?

A.  Your counterclaim must be in writing and be sent to the Washington County Clerk of Courts, Small Claims Division, P. O. Box 1986, West Bend, WI 53095.  The basic procedure on the website at the top of this section for the Basic Guide to Wisconsin Small Claims Actions in Washington County is the procedure followed in Washington County.

Q.  What will happen if I appear in court on the date stated on my citation?

A.  The date on your citation is your opportunity to have a pretrial conference to attempt resolution of the case with the District Attorney's Office if your citation was issued by the Washington County Sheriff's Department or the Wisconsin State patrol.  If your citation was issued by another law enforcement agency, a representative from the agency will be available to speak to you.  If you reach an agreement, a Stipulation and Order will be filed with the court.  If you do not reach an agreement, a form will be filed with the court indicating that an agreement has not been reached and the case will be set for a court trial at a later date.

Q.  Must I appear in court on the date set forth on my citation and can the court date be changed?

A.  It is not mandatory that you appear in court; however, the court date cannot be changed.  If you are unable to attend the scheduled court date and you wish to have a pretrial conference or a court trial, a not guilty plea must be entered in writing by the end of the day on the court date set forth on your citation.  You will receive a notice of a pretrial conference or court trial date.  Failure to make a plea in writing or to appear in court by the scheduled court date may result in a finding of guilt and the imposition of a forfeiture amount.

Q.  How do I enter a not guilty plea?

A.  You may enter a "not guilty" plea at the pretrial conference which will be held on the date listed on your citation or you may submit a written "not guilty" plea by mail or fax.  The citation information form you received from the issuing agency contains information for pleading "not guilty" and may be used for this purpose.

If you choose to fax your plea, include the court date, name of the issuing agency/police department, citation number, date of violation, your current mailing address and phone number and fax to Washington County Clerk of Courts, 262-335-4776.

All not guilty pleas must be received by the end of the day on the court date set forth on your citation.  Payment of the citation in full should be included at the time of entering a not guilty plea.  You will be notified of a pretrial conference date or court trial date.

Q.  Can the citation be paid without entering any plea?

A.  If you do not wish to have a pretrial conference or court trial, the citation may be paid without entering a plea.  It must be paid on or before the scheduled court date.  You will be found guilty by default and the bond amount will be applied to the citation.  The case will be considered closed.

Q.  When is the amount on the citation due and how can it be paid?

A.  You are required to pay the citation in full before the court date regardless of your plea.  You can pay in person at the Clerk of Courts office with cash, check, money order, or a credit card.  If making payment by mail, a check or money order must be sent.  Make checks and money orders payable to the Clerk of Courts.  Credit card payments may be made by contacting PayTrust Solutions at 1-866-480-8552.  Anytime payment is made by credit card, there is an additional fee.  If your fine/forfeiture is reduced or you are found "Not Guilty", you will receive a refund.

If you are unable to pay the bond amount stated on the citation on or before the court date, you must contact the Clerk of Courts office at 262-335-4341 to request an extension.

Q.  How is the dollar amount on my citation determined?

A.  The dollar amount written on your citation consists of a base forfeiture amount and statutory surcharges and fees.

Q.  What if I don't pay my citation?

A.  If you are found guilty and you fail to pay, a civil judgment may be entered with statutory interest, tax refund intercept, defendant's driving privileges suspended (Traffic cases), revocation of the defendant's Chapter 29 privileges (Department of Natural Resources cases), and other collection methods.

The following information does NOT apply to cases requiring a mandatory court appearance; it only relates to non-criminal traffic and forfeiture violations.

Washington County Clerk of Courts processes citations from the following agencies:

  • Washington County Sheriff's Department
  • Wisconsin State Patrol
  • Addison Township
  • Barton Township
  • Big Cedar Lake
  • Little Cedar Lake
  • Silver Lake Protection & Rehabilitation
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Farmington Township
  • Germantown Township
  • Jackson Township
  • Kewaskum Township
  • Polk Township
  • Richfield Village
  • Washington County Health Department
  • Washington County Planning & Parks Department
  • Wayne Township
  • West Bend Township

Mid-Moraine Municipal Court processes citations from all other municipalities within Washington County.

Their address and phone number is:
Mid-Moraine Municipal Court 
962 W. Paradise Dr.
West Bend, WI 53095

Please review your citation carefully to determine if it contains the address of Mid-Moraine Municipal Court or the address of the Washington County Circuit Court.

Contact Information for the Clerk of Courts:
Via Mail:
Washington County Clerk of Courts
484 Rolfs Avenue
West Bend, WI 53090-7986

Via Fax: 262-335-4776
Via Phone: 262-335-4341
Hours: 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

The Washington County courts and the clerk of courts office are located in the Justice Center which is accessible off of Schmidt Road.

For further information, please click on Traffic & Forfeiture Citation FAQs

Courthouse Wedding Information


For information regarding courthouse weddings please contact the County Clerk Office.