Waukesha County

Lawsuit $10,000 or More

Large Claims

A case involving issues such as breach of contract, property damage, personal injury, etc. when the amount claimed is more than $10,000 or may be a case involving no money at all like restraining orders. A complete list of the specific case types can be found here. Large claims cases generally take longer to resolve, are more costly, and the rules are more complicated and formal than small claims cases.

The Wisconsin Statutes govern how these matters are filed and processed. Waukesha County judges have developed a set of Local Rules that contain information pertinent to many large claim case types and the various court procedures surrounding them. The Rules may be accessed online or a hard copy may be obtained in the Civil Division, Room #C-167 of the Courthouse.

Some important things to consider when deciding whether to file a large claim lawsuit:

  1. If not 100% sure of how to handle a large claim matter from filing to disposition, it is best to seek legal assistance. Large claim lawsuits and the statutes that govern them can be very confusing and most often require someone with legal experience to fully understand the process. Clerk of Circuit Court staff, Court Commissioners, Judges and other court personnel are allowed to provide limited procedural information, but are not allowed to legal advice.
  2. The Civil Division does not provide any forms or instructions for most large claim matters, with these exceptions:

    - Restraining Orders
    - Name Change
    - Garnishment

  3. Most large claim actions require a filing fee to start. That fee will vary depending on the type of case being filed. It is paid at the time of filing in the Civil Division, Rm. #C-167.
  4. There will also most likely be a service fee associated with any new large claim case filed (some exceptions apply). All Sheriff’s Departments and private process agencies that serve paperwork on parties to an action, will charge a fee to the requesting party. That fee varies depending on the agency contacted.


Summons: The form used to notify the defendant of a lawsuit.
Complaint: The statement describing why the defendant is being sued.
Answer: A statement setting forth the basis of a defense – filed by the defendant.
Counterclaim: A claim by the defendant in opposition to the claim of the plaintiff.
Plaintiff: The person(s) filing the lawsuit.
Defendant: The person(s) being sued.
Scheduling Conference: The first meeting between the judge and attorneys (or parties) to discuss the merits of the case and set future dates.
Final Pretrial: The last meeting between the judge and attorneys (or parties) before the case proceeds to trial.
Motion: A written request filed with a court by a party to an action, asking the court to issue a ruling or order.
Trial: Examination of evidence and law by a judge or jury to determine the outcome of specific charges or claims. In large claim cases, a trial is held before a Circuit Court Judge.
Judgment: A determination of a court of law, that may involve a monetary award to one party.
Judgment Creditor: Successful party in a lawsuit who receives a money judgment in their favor.
Judgment Debtor: Unsuccessful party in a lawsuit who has a money judgment granted against them.
Satisfaction: A document indicating that the judgment has been paid. Must be signed by the judgment creditor and notarized – file the original with the Clerk of Court.

We hope this basic information provides some necessary & helpful guidance when deciding whether to proceed with a large claim lawsuit. If unsure how to proceed please seek legal assistance.

Connect with us! Facebook Linkedin Twitter YouTube Connect with us on Nextdoor