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Legal Statutes: Wisconsin

UPDATED August 7, 2017

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Subchapter II. Court Fees

back to top814.61 Civil actions; fees of the clerk of court.

In a civil action, the clerk of court shall collect the fees provided in this section. Unless a specific exemption is provided, a governmental unit, as defined in s. 108.02(17), shall pay fees under this section. The clerk shall collect the following fees:

(1) Commencement of actions. (a) Except as provided under pars. (c), (d), and (e), at the commencement of all civil actions and special proceedings not specified in ss. 814.62 to 814.66, $75. Of the fees received by the clerk under this paragraph, the county treasurer shall pay $45 to the secretary of administration for deposit in the general fund and shall retain the balance for the use of the county. The secretary of administration shall credit $15 of the $45 to the appropriation under s. 20.680(2)(j).

(b) Except as provided in pars. (c), (d) and (e), in addition to the fee under par. (a), at the commencement of an action affecting the family as defined in s. 767.001(1), a fee of $20 to be deposited by the county treasurer in a separate account to be used by the county exclusively for the purposes specified in s. 767.405.

(c) Paragraphs (a) and (b) do not apply to any of the following:

1. An action to determine paternity brought by the state or its delegate under s. 767.80(1)(g) or (h) or commenced on behalf of the child by an attorney appointed under s. 767.407(1)(c).

2. An action under ch. 769.

3. A forfeiture proceeding under ss. 961.55 to 961.56 or 973.075 to 973.077.

4. An action to terminate parental rights under subch. VIII of ch. 48.

5. An action for adoption under subch. XIX of ch. 48.

6. An action to commit a person under ch. 51, 55, or 980.

7. An action under s. 165.76(6) to compel provision of a biological specimen for deoxyribonucleic acid analysis.

(d) No fee charged under this subsection in any action commenced under s. 813.12, 813.122, or 813.123 may be collected from a petitioner under s. 813.12, 813.122, or 813.123. The fee charged under this subsection for petitions filed and granted under s. 813.12, 813.122, or 813.123 shall be collected from the respondent under s. 813.12, 813.122, or 813.123 if he or she is convicted of violating a temporary restraining order or injunction issued under s. 813.12(3) or (4), 813.122(4) or (5), or 813.123(4) or (5).

(e) No fee charged under this subsection in any action commenced under s. 813.125 may be collected from a petitioner under s. 813.125 if the petition alleges conduct that is the same as or similar to conduct that is prohibited by s. 940.32 or that is listed in s. 813.12(1)(am)1. to 6. If no fee is collected under this paragraph, the fee charged under this subsection for petitions filed and granted under s. 813.125 shall be collected from the respondent under s. 813.125 if he or she is convicted of violating a temporary restraining order or injunction issued under s. 813.125(3) or (4).

(2) Change of venue. (a) Except as provided in par. (b), on a change of venue at commencement in the court to which the action is transferred, a fee equal to the fee paid by the plaintiff to commence the action. The transferring court, in its order for change of venue, shall make a finding as to which party's actions necessitated the change of venue and shall order that party to pay the fee, which shall not be taxed as a cost in the action.

(b) If the court orders a change of venue under s. 801.52, no fee may be charged.

(3) Third-party complaint. When any defendant files a 3rd-party complaint, the defendant shall pay a fee of $45. The defendant shall pay only one such $45 fee in an action. Of the fees received by the clerk under this subsection, the county treasurer shall pay $25 to the secretary of administration for deposit in the general fund and shall retain the balance for the use of the county. The secretary of administration shall credit $5 of the $25 to the appropriation under s. 20.680(2)(j).

(4) Jury fee. For a jury in all civil actions, except a garnishment action under ch. 812, a nonrefundable fee of $6 per juror demanded to hear the case to be paid by the party demanding a jury within the time permitted to demand a jury trial. If the jury fee is not paid, no jury may be called in the action, and the action may be tried to the court without a jury.

(5) Judgments, writs, executions, liens, warrants, awards, certificates. The clerk shall collect a fee of $5 for the following:

(a) Issuing executions, certificates, commissions to take depositions, transcripts from the judgment and lien docket, and any writs not commencing an action or special proceeding.

(b) Filing and entering judgments, transcripts of judgments, liens, warrants and awards, including filing and entering assignments or satisfactions of judgments, liens or warrants and withdrawals, satisfactions and voidances of tax warrants under s. 71.91(5)(g).

(6) Foreign judgments. On filing a foreign judgment under s. 806.24, $15.

(7) Revision of judgment or order in action affecting the family. (a) Except as provided in par. (b), upon the filing of any petition under s. 767.59(1c)(a) or any motion, by either party, for the revision of a judgment or order in an action affecting the family, $30. No fee may be collected under this paragraph for any petition or motion by either party for the revision of a judgment or order involving child support, family support, or maintenance if both parties have stipulated to the revision of the judgment or order. Of the fees received by the clerk under this paragraph, the county treasurer shall pay 50% to the secretary of administration for deposit in the general fund and shall retain the balance for the use of the county.

(b) Upon the filing of any petition, motion, or order to show cause by either party under s. 767.451 or 767.481, $50. No fee may be collected under this paragraph for filing a petition, motion, or order to show cause for the revision of a judgment or order for legal custody of physical placement if both parties have stipulated to the revision of the judgment or order. Of the fees received by the clerk under this paragraph, the county treasurer shall pay 25% to the secretary of administration for deposit in the general fund, retain 25% for the use of the county, and deposit 50% in a separate account to be used by the county exclusively for the purposes specified in s. 767.405.

(c) Paragraphs (a) and (b) do not apply to a petition or motion filed by the state or its delegate in connection with an action to determine paternity under s. 767.80(1)(g), to a petition or motion filed by an attorney appointed under s. 767.407(1)(c) in connection with an action to determine paternity when the circumstances specified in s. 767.407(1)(c)1. or 2. apply or to a petition or motion filed in an action under ch. 769.

(8) Appeal from municipal court or administrative decision. (am) On appeal from municipal court or on review of any administrative decision, including an appeal from a commission's award in a condemnation action under ch. 32:

1. If the appeal or review is by certiorari or on the record, $40.

2. If a new trial is authorized and requested, $55.

(c) Of the fees received by the clerk under par. (am)1., the county treasurer shall pay $22.50 to the secretary of administration for deposit in the general fund and shall retain the balance for the use of the county. The secretary of administration shall credit $5 of the $22.50 to the appropriation under s. 20.680(2)(j).

(d) Of the fees received by the clerk under par. (am)2., the county treasurer shall pay $30 to the secretary of administration for deposit in the general fund and shall retain the balance for the use of the county. The state treasurer shall credit $5 of the $30 to the appropriation under s. 20.680(2)(j).

(9) Transmitting documents. For certifying and transmitting documents upon appeal, writ of error, change of venue, for enforcing real estate judgments in other counties, or for enforcing judgments in other states, $15 plus postage.

(10) Copies. (a) Except as provided in par. (b), for copies, certified or otherwise, of any document for which a specific fee is not established by this section, or for comparison and attestation of copies not provided by the clerk, $1.25 per page.

(b) For copies of any court document requested by the state public defender, other than a transcript, a fee equal to the actual, necessary and direct costs of copying.

(11) Searches. For searching files or records to locate any one action when the person requesting the search does not furnish the case number of the action, or to ascertain the existence or nonexistence of any instrument or record in the custody of the clerk of circuit court, $5.

(12) Receiving and disbursing money. (a) Trust funds and small estates. 1. For receiving a trust fund, or handling or depositing money under s. 757.25 or 807.10(3), at the time the money is deposited with the clerk, a fee of $10 or 0.5 percent of the amount deposited, whichever is greater. In addition, a fee of $10 shall be charged upon each withdrawal of any or all of the money deposited with the clerk.

2. If the clerk is required by court order or by law to deposit any of the funds in subd. 1 in an account in a bank, savings bank, savings and loan association or other suitable financial institution, the type of account shall be in the clerk's discretion unless the court specifies a particular type of account in its order. In depositing the funds into any account, the clerk shall act as a conservator, not as a trustee, and shall not be held liable or responsible for obtaining any specific rate of interest on the deposit.

(c) Deposits in contempt proceedings. For receiving and disbursing deposits made under s. 818.12 in contempt proceedings under ch. 785, $10 per deposit. The $10 fee shall be deducted from the deposit, unless the entire deposit is ordered returned to the defendant, before applying the deposit to the satisfaction of a judgment under s. 818.14.

(13) Support or maintenance petition. For the cost of court services, whenever a person not receiving benefits under s. 49.148 or 49.155 or aid under s. 49.19, 49.46, 49.465, 49.468 , 49.47, or 49.471 files a petition requesting child support, maintenance or family support payments, $10 in addition to any other fee required under this section. This subsection does not apply to a petition filed by the state or its delegate.

(14) Petition for occupational license. On filing a petition for an occupational license under s. 343.10(4), $40.

<<For credits, see Historical Note field.>>

COMMENTS--1989 ACT 191, § 1

Section 814.61(12)(c) allows the clerk of court to deduct a $10 fee for receiving and disbursing a deposit made in lieu of bail in a contempt proceeding, unless the entire deposit is ordered returned to the defendant. Several counties permit such deposits in contempt proceedings under s. 799.26(2). This procedure imposes a burden on the court system which is not supported by any existing fee.
L.1981, c. 317, § 85vy, eff. July 1, 1982. 1983 Act 27, §§ 1778g to 1778n, eff. Aug. 1, 1983. 1983 Act 189, § 329(28), eff. April 10, 1984. 1983 Act 228, §§ 14, 15, eff. July 1, 1984. 1983 Act 447, § 51, eff. May 18, 1984. 1983 Act 538, § 253, eff. June 8, 1984. 1985 Act 29, §§ 2418, 2419, eff. July 20, 1985. 1985 Act 169, § 1, eff. May 1, 1986. 1987 Act 27, § 2143p, eff. July 1, 1988. 1987 Act 27, § 3202(24)(ag), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.1987 Act 144, § 1, eff. March 17, 1988. 1987 Act 355, §§ 56 to 60, eff. May 3, 1988. 1987 Act 399, §§ 472nb to 472z, eff. July 1, 1988. 1989 Act 31, §§ 2802b to 2802h, 2803b to 2803j, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. 1989 Act 31, §§ 2803, 2804, eff. Aug. 9, 1989. 1989 Act 56, § 259, eff. Nov. 16, 1989. 1989 Act 191, § 1, eff. April 25, 1990. 1991 Act 39, §§ 3562d to 3562hj, eff. Aug. 15, 1991. 1991 Act 221, § 151, eff. May 7, 1992. 1991 Act 269, §§ 1156m to 1156qm, eff. May 1, 1992. 1993 Act 16, §§ 3761 to 3766, eff. Aug. 12, 1993. 1993 Act 319, §§ 26 to 29, eff. April 30, 1994. 1993 Act 326, § 18, eff. April 30, 1994. 1993 Act 481, §§ 185, 186, eff. June 11, 1994.1993 Act 481, § 187, eff. Jan. 1, 1995.1993 Act 491, § 255, eff. June 11, 1994. 1995 Act 27, §§ 7151 to 7162, eff. July 29, 1995. 1995 Act 27, § 7163, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. 1995 Act 201, § 687, eff. Sept. 1, 1996. 1995 Act 224, §§ 110 to 112, eff. May 1, 1996. 1995 Act 269, § 36, eff. Nov. 1, 1996. 1995 Act 279, § 41, eff. May 9, 1996. 1995 Act 289, § 273, eff. July 1, 1996. 1995 Act 306, § 15, eff. May 16, 1996. 1997 Act 27, §§ 5187, 5189. 1997 Act 27, §§ 5188, 5189p, eff. Oct. 14, 1997. 1997 Act 35, § 497, eff. Dec. 31, 1997. 1997 Act 285, §§ 2, 3, eff. June 30, 1998. 1999 Act 9, §§ 3095n, 3095p, eff. Oct. 29, 1999. 1999 Act 71, §§ 1 to 3, eff. April 26, 2000. 2001 Act 109, § 519mz, eff. July 30, 2002. 2003 Act 33, §§ 2697 to 2702, eff. July 1, 2004. 2003 Act 165, § 1, eff. April 20, 2004. 2003 Act 327, § 46, eff. June 12, 2004. 2005 Act 272, §§ 7, 8, eff. April 20, 2006. 2005 Act 387, § 257, eff. Dec. 1, 2006. 2005 Act 434, § 36, eff. Aug. 1, 2006. 2005 Act 443, § 265, eff. Jan. 1, 2007. 2007 Act 20, § 3763. 2009 Act 261, § 23, eff. May 22, 2010.  2003 Act 165, § 1, eff. April 20, 2004. 2003 Act 327, § 46, eff. June 12, 2004. 2005 Act 272, §§ 7, 8, eff. April 20, 2006. 2005 Act 387, § 257, eff. Dec. 1, 2006. 2005 Act 434, § 36, eff. Aug. 1, 2006. 2005 Act 443, § 265, eff. jan. 1, 2007. 2007 Act 20, § 3763. 2009 Act 261, § 23, eff. May 22, 2010.