Clerk of Circuit Court


Clerk of Circuit Court

Related Information: Register in Probate & Clerk of Juvenile Court



THERESA M. RUSSELL
Clerk of Circuit Court

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.

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 Gresbach
Circuit Court Judge Branch 4: Andrew T. Gonring
Reporter Tamara A. Hardy
Judicial Court Commissioner

Dolores A. Bomrad
Jeffrey A. Jaeger
Supplemental Court Commissioners






William F. Alderson
John A. Best
Karen Christianson
John Grundahl
Roland L. Pieper
Christine Eisenmann Knudtson
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 Theresa M. Russell
 Register in Probate Denise M. Kist

Courtroom Technology


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


  • Document Camera
  • Annotation tablet - used to emphasize aspects of an attorney's visual presentation. This annotation feature highlights selected portions of the image on the courtroom display monitors. Electronic enhancement does not alter the original object, document, photograph or electronic image. The annotation equipment works with the document camera and videotaped presentations.
  • VCR/DVD player
  • Input port for SVGA computer displays and an audio input jack to broadcast through the courtroom sound system. (The computer must be supplied by the litigant.)
  • Audiocassette player
  • Video conferencing capability
  • Wireless microphone
  • Wireless Internet

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, 432 E. Washington Street, West Bend, WI 53095 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 two situations, both involving youthful offenders:

Certain crimes committed by a person under 25. If the judge ordered expunction upon successful completion of the sentence,the record can be expunged for misdemeanors and certain H & I felonies. See Sec. 973.015 Wis. Stats.

Adjudication of a juvenile delinquent A juvenile who has been adjudged delinquent can, upon reaching age 17, petition the judge for expunction of the juvenile adjudication.See 938.355 Wis. Stats. However, WCCA does not display juvenile adjudications because they are not public records.

An expunged case is sealed by the clerk of court and is available to be viewed only with a court order. If the judge properly orders a case expunged, any reference to it will be removed from WCCA. A judge has no other authority or power to expunge cases, and there are no similar provisions for other types of cases.

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, the request must be made in writing, either by mail or in person at the Clerk of Court's office. 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, in cash or in person with Visa or Master Card or you must serve the alternative sentence.


Can I represent myself in a family action?

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.  By going through a question and answer area on this site there are forms that are automatically filled in as you go.

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 before proceeding with the family forms.

What paperwork must I bring to my final divorce hearing?

Generally You will need:

The original and three copies of your current financial disclosure statement, which reflects your income earned to date (form FA-4139) and copies of your most recent W-2 statement.

The original and four copies of your Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law & Judgment (form FA-4160 if you have minor children or you will need form FA-4161 if you do not have minor children), with a copy of your marital settlement agreement attached to the original and all four copies.

The original Certificate of Divorce form filled out completely, with no white outs, cross outs or erasures.  A blank Certificate of Divorce is mailed with the Notice of Hearing; alternatively, you may obtain a blank Certificate of Divorce from the Clerk of Courts office.

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, 432 East Washington Street, P. O. Box 1986, West Bend, WI  53095.  There is a statutory fee of $1.25 per page for any document from the court file, plus an additional $5.00 if you want the copy certified.  Copies are also available by mail upon receipt of a check or money order for the copies 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 Judges or Court Commissioners (court officials) letters asking that they do certain things for them.  The court officials cannot try cases by mail.  To have the court act, you must submit completed paperwork/forms to have hearings or follow-up to change an existing court order, or if someone didn't do what they were supposed to do, to enforce the court order.  There is a fee to modify existing court orders unless it is done by stipulation (agreement) of the parties.  Do not write to the court official unless the court has specifically directed you to write him/her a letter.
You may review the State of Wisconsin website regarding family forms to find a form that meets your needs.
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 there is nothing written in the letter to indicate that the other party received a copy.  When this occurs the court official may not consider the contents.
How can I submit a letter to the court that can be read?
Use copy notation (cc:) on your correspondence, this lets the reader know 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 involved with your case, including the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) if there is one (a GAL is the attorney representing the child/children in 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 sending the letter directly to the other party, you may provide the other party's copy of the correspondence to the court, along with a note indicating that a restraining order exists.  Include a stamped envelope and request that the court forward the letter to the other party for you.


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.

Mediation Services


Mission Statement: Our purpose is to serve and support parents who are involved in custody and placement disputes and 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.

The State of Wisconsin Court Access website provides a Request for Mediation form for individuals seeking mediation services through the circuit courts.


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


There is a fee for mediation. If you would like to make arrangements for a payment plan for this fee, please call the Accounting Division of the Clerk of Courts at (262)335-4869.


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

Up To Parents

Proud To Parent


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.

JUROR INFORMATION

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.

 

LENGTH OF SERVICE

 

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.

 

EXCUSE; DEFERRAL

 

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.

 

APPROPRIATE ATTIRE

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.

 

MEALS

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.

SECURITY AND ITEMS ALLOWED

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.

 

INCLEMENT WEATHER

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

 

DIRECTIONS:

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.

 

JUROR FEES

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.

 

PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR

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

JURY CONTACT

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


Jury Clerk:  (262) 335-4728

E-mail:         jury.clerk@wicourts.gov

Fax:            (262) 335-4776 (Monday–Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm)

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.

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, 432 E. Washington Street, 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: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/forms/mv3027.pdf , 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 located on Paradise Drive in West Bend, or call 1-800-924-3570. 

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


Payments may be made with a MasterCard 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 in Washington County 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 https://myforms.wicourts.gov/.  Note: This link will direct you to an online Small Claims Wizard that will assist in filling out small claims forms. 

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 court officer 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 on or before 4:30 P.M. on the court date set forth on your citation.  You will receive a notice of a pretrial conference or court trial date in the mail approximately two weeks following your initial court 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 payment envelope 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 4:30 P.M. 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.  After your appearance date, you will be notified by mail 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 requested by Wisconsin Statutes to pay the citation in full before the court date regardless of your plea.  You can pay cash in person at the Clerk of Courts office or pay by credit card, check or money order in person or by mail.  Make checks and money orders payable to the Clerk of Courts.  If your 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, your driver's license may be suspended for up to two years.  For certain DNR violations, your Chapter 29 privileges could be revoked or suspended.  The revocation or suspension can be up to two years for some violations, or for unpaid Wildlife Violator Compact citations, until paid.  DNR privileges in other states can also be revoked.  In addition to any suspension or revocation, a civil judgment may be entered against you, which becomes a lien against any real estate you may own and interest at the statutory may be charged, your tax refund may be intercepted, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and the debt may be referred to a collection agency.


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
  • West Bend Township

Mid-Moraine Municipal Court processes citations from all other municipalities within Washington County. Please note that even though Washington County processes many of the "township" citations, if you have a citation from the City or Village, these are processed by Mid-Moraine Municipal Court.

Their address and phone number is:
Mid-Moraine Municipal Court 
1625 E. Washington Street
West Bend, WI 53095
262-334-5700

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
432 E. Washington Street
PO Box 1986
West Bend, WI 53095-7986

Via Fax: 262-335-4776 (must fax during courthouse hours)
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

 

Courthouse weddings are a free service, performed in the family courtroom during regular courthouse business hours only. Appointments are limited and are scheduled around the court schedule. They are usually held on Fridays at 4:00 pm. Weddings outside of regular business hours and away from the courthouse are performed for a fee.

 

If you have not already received information about obtaining a marriage license, please do so. You can obtain the information by going on line to the County Clerk marriage license information on the WashingtonCounty website, or by calling the County clerk's office at 262-335-4735 or 335-4301

 

If you are interested in having a marriage ceremony performed by the Judicial Court Commissioner, please call 262 335-7705 and leave your name and telephone number after the beep. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible. The Judicial Court Commissioner is in court most hours during business days, so calls may be returned after regular business hours, usually within 24 hours. Please be aware that all calls from the courts are made with the number blocked. If your phone will not accept calls with a blocked number, we will not be able to reach you.

Weddings are performed in the Judicial Court Commissioner's courtroom; room 3244 of the Justice Center.  The main entrance to the Justice Center is off of Schmidt Road, on the east side of the courthouse complex.  There is a parking lot next to the entrance.  You must bring your signed marriage license and two adult witnesses with you to the ceremony.  If you wish to exchange rings, bring those as well.  There is no limit to the number of people you can bring.