FAQs

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 Q:   How do I get my bond money back?

A:  Contact the Clerk of Court Office.  Checks can be issued and mailed or you may come into the office to pick up.  Bond refunds are typically done on Friday each week.  On average, it takes the Clerk of Court Office 2-4 weeks to return any bond money to the poster.

NOTE:  If the defendant is found guilty and sentenced, the bond money will be used for any restitution, fines and/or costs and any balance will be returned to the poster.  If the charges are dismissed, the bond money shall be returned to the poster.  Bond money cannot be returned prior to the case closing unless a request is made to the Court and the judge approves.

 

Q: Where can I find court record information? A: You can visit Wisconsin Circuit Court Access at www.wicourts.gov and get case information on Wisconsin cases.  Or you can visit the Clerk of Courts Office and request to review a file (Eau Claire County Cases only), all we need is a case number.

Q: How do I get copies of something in my file?

A: You can visit our office and request to see your file by providing us with your case number.  Many cases are available to view on our public access computer.  Copies can be purchased from the public access computer for $1.25/page.  We can also send copies; however pre-payment of $1.25/page (plus a self address stamped envelope, if mailing) is required prior to us sending anything.  Please call our office at 715-839-4816 with your case number so we can provide you with the number of pages.  Please note: there is a $5.00 research fee if you do not provide your case number.

Q: How do I find my case number? A: You can visit Wisconsin Circuit Court Access at www.wcca.wicourts.gov and get your case information.  Please note: Cases older than 1992 maynot be listed.  You will need to contact the Clerk of Courts Office and pay a$5.00 search fee.  A public access computer is available in our office to look up the case number.

Q: How do I get a form?


 Q: What is your filing policy?

 

Q.  How to I obtain a subpoena?

A: Forms are available for free online on the states web site http://www.wicourts.gov/forms1/circuit/index.htm.  We do have many forms available on the self-help tower in the lobby of the Clerk of Courts office.

  

A.  The Clerk of Courts Case Filing Policy.

 

A.  Review the Information on Subpoenas or Foreign Subpoenas.

CRIMINAL

Q: Do I qualify for expungement/pardon?

A: See our Criminal Section-Expungements/Pardons

 

Q: Where can I get legal advice?

A: The staff at the Clerk of Courts office can NOT give legal advice.  There is a free legal clinic offered the 3rd Wed. of each month at the L.E. Phillips Public Library from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.  This is a public service from the Eau Claire County Bar Association.  You can also visit www.legalexplorer.com to get information on finding a lawyer.

CIVIL and SMALL CLAIMS

Q: How do I file a Civil Case?

A: The State does not have standardized forms (except for TRO/INJ and/or name change forms);  however, certain questions may be answered through the on-line self-help center.  Note: There are many different types of civil cases – see case classifications

  
Q. How much does it cost to file a civil case?


A:
It depends on the type of case.  There are several different fees, some based on dollar amount, no amount, and some are no fee. See current fee schedule

 
Q. How do I change my name, or my child's name?

 

A. See Civil Page


Q. How can I get a vital record corrected or changed?


A.
You would need to file a petition available at the Clerk of Courts office, pay the applicable fee, then the proposed order would be submitted to the appropriate Court Official for review.

 
Q. I received or was served with a summons, complaint, or other document. Do I have to answer or respond? How do I answer? When do I need to have my answer in?

 

A. We can not professionally advise, but can note that how and when a party answers does have a substantial impact on how the matter or court proceeds.  You may need to consult with an attorney for advice.

 
Q. I am a renter and was served with a garnishment, what do I do? I am being garnished and can’t afford to have any money taken out, what can I do?

 

A. You may wish to contact the attorney handling the process for the creditor.  If a debtor has a hardship, there is a garnishee answer form SC-518 which you can complete and provide to your employer, who then needs to copy the creditor.  If the creditor objects, they can bring the matter to court.


Q. I am being foreclosed on, how much time I have before I have to be out?


A.
Usually occupants need to vacate the premise when a new owner takes over, and that generally happens after a foreclosure sale is confirmed.  If the occupant is not out, the new owner can request a writ of assistance which then authorizes the sheriff to go out & move out the occupants.

 
Q. When is a certain property going up for sale?

 

A. See listing of Foreclosure Sales


Q. I am interested in buying foreclosed property but how do I find out if there are any judgments or liens against the property?


A.
You may pay the clerk $5 to do a judgment/lien search under a party name or business.  You may also do this yourself on-line.  You may also wish to inquire with a title/abstract business for professional assistance.  It is also wise to check with the local zoning or health department for non-compliance orders.


Q. How do I file a lien?


A.
As for a lien, please see Civil Home page "Judgments and Liens"for basic information on liens.  You may also need to educate yourself further on collection of such liens.  Once you have the necessary paperwork, the fee is $5 to file/record.

 

Q. Judgments show up on my credit report that is not mine, what can I do?


A.
For judgments with common names attached to the wrong credit report, the clerk has a courtesy “affidavit of identity” which basically sets forth that you are not the same “Jane or John Doe” who a judgment was entered against etc”.  The party could also provide a copy of this to the credit agency wrongfully reporting the information.


Q. How do I find out if there are any judgments or liens against me or another person?


A.
The clerk can do a judgment/lien search upon written request & payment of the $5 search fee, or you may do this on your own.


Q. My drivers license was revoked due to a money judgment, how can I get it back?


A.
As for a revoked drivers license, you may contact the attorney handling the claim for the creditor as it's possible payment arrangements can be made and the creditor will agree to lift the hold.  If the debtor later defaults, then the court has to approve the 2nd payment arrangement.


Q. How do I collect on my judgment?


A.
For information on collection, you may refer to the Small Claims Guidebook.


Q. How much does it cost to file a Small Claims lawsuit?


A.
The Small Claims filing fee is $94.50 plus service fees, all filing fees are available at http://www.wicourts.gov/courts/circuit/docs/fees.pdf


Q. How much are the service fees?


A.
SERVICE FEES: See below. Some restrictions apply*
1. $2.00 per defendant (mailing fee) or
2. $8.00 per defendant (certified fee) *
3. Personal Service (Private process server or sheriff's department. Contact agency for rates.)
* SERVICE RESTRICTIONS
If the defendant lives out of the county, there must be personal service. Evictions are limited to personal service. Replevin cases are limited to certified mail or personal service.


Q. What if I cannot afford the filing and/or service fees?


A.
You may complete a Petition for Waiver of Filing and Service Fees/Affidavit of Indigency and Order (Form CV-410) and submit it with your small claims summons and complaint.  The Judge will approve, deny or order partial payment of fees based upon standard guidelines. Form CV-410 is available at: http://wicourts.gov/forms1/circuit/index.htm


Q. The other party lives in another County, where do I file my papers?


A.
See WI Stat 799.11


Q. What do I need to file a small claims action?


A.
Submit the fees, an original summons and complaint along with copies for all defendants listed. (See our Instruction Sheet for step by step instructions)
1. A picture ID for the notarization of your signature
2. A completed Affidavit of Non-Military Service (Form GF-175) is required to be filed for each defendant (not needed for a business).
3. A copy of the lease for eviction actions.


Q. Where can I get standard forms for filing a small claims summons and complaint?


A.
Numbered forms are available on the Court System website www.wicourts.gov. They are also available in our Small Claims website tab or in the Clerk of Court's office, 721 Oxford Ave, Eau Claire WI 54703 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.



Q. Where can I get additional information about small claims?


A.
There are several resources available to the public including:
1. Wisconsin Court System Self-help Center http://www.wicourts.gov/services/public/selfhelp/index.htm
2. Guide to Small Claims Court http://www.wicourts.gov/publications/guides/smallclaimsguide.htm
3. Landlord/Tenant Resource Center http://wilawlibrary.gov/topics/landloard.php
4. Landlord/Tenant information provided in the "WI Courts" (Wisconsin Statutes)
5. Questions about Landlord/Tenant Law
6. Standard circuit court forms can be obtained from the Wisconsin Court system
7. A free legal clinic is also available the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Eau Claire Public Library on Farwell from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

 
FAMILY


Q. What is the difference between DIVORCE and LEGAL SEPARATION?


A. Divorce
ends your marriage.  The Court rules on the division of property, maintenance (spousal support) and if necessary, arrangements for child custody, support and physical placement.  Divorce leaves both parties free to marry again six months after the divorce is granted.

Legal Separation does not end your marriage.  The court rules on the division of property, maintenance (spousal support) and if necessary, arrangements for child custody, support and physical placement.  The parties are still married.  After the judgment has been in effect for at least one (1) year, either party may request the court to change the legal separation into a divorce.  The parties cannot marry another person during legal separation.


Q. How can I obtain an annulment?


A.
This can be complicated.  Refer to Wisconsin Statute 767.313 at
https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutues/statutes/767/IV/313 or seek the assistance of an attorney.


Q. What is Mediation and what if it doesn't work?


A.
It is recommended that the parents come to an agreement as to the legal custody and physical placement of their children.  If they cannot, and a dispute arises, the court will order that parents attend a mediation session.  If the parents are still unable to come to an agreement, the court may make other orders, including the appointment of an attorney to represent the interests of a minor child (Guardian ad Litem), and the completion of a Proposed Parenting Plan.  In making a final decision on legal custody or physical placement, the court will consider all factors related to the best interest of the child, including those listed in WI Statute 767.41, which is available at the following web site: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/Statutes/Stat0767.pdf


Q. Can I move my child out of the area or state?


A.
Staff in the Clerk of Courts are unable to answer this question, as it is legal advice. Please refer to Wisconsin Statute 767.481 at: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/767/IV/313 or seek the assistance of an attorney.


Q. How doI move my case to Eau Claire County or out of Eau Claire County?

A.
See Family Homepage for instructions


PAYMENTS


Q: How do I set up a payment plan?



A:
See our Payments Section


Q: How do I pay a fine or find out how much I owe?


A:
See our Payments section or call the Clerk of Court at 715-839-4816 and select the option for Fees and Fines.


RESTRAINING ORDERS


Q: What are the different types of Retraining Orders?


A: Check out this guide provided by Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violation

Q: How do I get a Restraining Order in Eau Claire County?

A: Check out this Instruction Sheet for Eau Claire County.

TRAFFIC/ORDINANCE/UNDERAGE DRINKING CITATIONS


Q: I got a ticket, what happens now?


A: See our Traffic/Ordinance/Underage Drinking page


Q: How can I check to see my driver's license status?


A: Check out the DOT's web site


Q: How long are records kept?


A:
The Clerk of Court follows Supreme Court Rule 72 regarding records retention. Please see our Retention Brochure for details.

MISC.


Q: Is this where I get a marriage license?


A:
No, marriage licenses are issued by the County Clerk's Office


Q:
Is this where I get a copy of my birth certificate?



A:
No, birth certificates are stored at the Registerof Deeds Office


Q: How do I remove my address from online records


A
:There are specific instances when the court can enter such an order.  See Form GF-183 at www.wicourts.gov for Petition. (This is not for Criminal files, per state statutes.)