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 on-line 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:
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.