The Courts in Wisconsin consist of a state court system and four federal courts.
The structure of Wisconsin's state court system.
The Wisconsin court system is composed of a Supreme Court, a Court of Appeals, Circuit Courts and Municipal Courts.
Wisconsin Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the court of last resort in Wisconsin. It has discretionary appellate jurisdiction (it determines which appeals it will hear) and also has administrative authority over the rest of the courts.
Wisconsin Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court in Wisconsin. Unlike the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals has mostly mandatory jurisdiction so it cannot pick which appeals it will or will not hear.
Wisconsin Circuit Courts
The Circuit Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction. These courts are divided into branches. There is at least one branch serving every county, with 246 circuit judges in the state. The state is divided into ten administrative districts, however, judges are elected on a county-by-county basis.
Wisconsin Municipal Courts
Many communities, by local option, have created a Municipal Court to handles non-criminal traffic and municipal ordinance matters.
Wisconsin judicial districts
|| Counties served
| 1st Judicial District
| 2nd Judicial District
|| Kenosha, Racine and Walworth
| 3rd Judicial District
|| Jefferson, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha
| 4th Judicial District
|| Calumet, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Winnebago
| 5th Judicial District
|| Dane, Green, Lafayette and Rock
| 6th Judicial District
|| Adams, Clark, Columbia, Dodge, Green Lake, Juneau, Marquette, Portage, Sauk, Waushara and Wood
| 7th Judicial District
|| Buffalo, Crawford, Iowa, Grant, La Crosse, Jackson, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Richland, Trempealeau and Vernon
| 8th Judicial District
|| Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie and Waupaca
| 9th Judicial District
|| Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Menominee, Oneida, Price, Shawano, Taylor and Vilas
| 10th Judicial District
|| Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix and Washburn
There are four federal courts in Wisconsin:
Appeals go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
- Oneida, Wisconsin: The Oneida Indian tribe uses a Peacemaking system which has an emphasis on reaching an agreement/settlement.
- "During a hearing in Tribal Court, hearing officers have the discretion to recess to allow parties an opportunity to settle their dispute through the Peacemaking system. If the parties agree, the hearing officers could stay the case up to forty-five days. Also, the clerk will inform parties filing a petition that the Peacemaking system is available. If the parties resolve their dispute in Peacemaking, they must inform the court. The court may then dismiss the case in lieu of the peacemaking agreement."