Small Claims

Small claims court matters shall consist of and be governed by Section 799 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  The dollar limit amount for small claims money action to be filed is $10,000 or under.

Who do I contact if I have questions about Small claims?

Small Claims Clerk
Door County Clerk of Courts Office
1205 S Duluth Avenue
Sturgeon Bay WI  54235
920-746-2205 ext 3

What types of issues are covered in Small Claims court?

Money Claims with a limit of $10,000.00
Evictions--regardless of the amount of rent claimed
Replevin--return of property
Tort/Personal Injury--limit of $5,000.00 (*see Small Claims Guide for other less common types of cases)

Small Claims Guide


Venue

For most claims, the proper county to file your lawsuit is:
Where the claim arose and/or where the defendant resides.  It is your responsibility to review the facts of your case and to decide where to file your action.

Forms Needed to file a Small Claims Case

Summons and Complaint SC Form 500
Declaration of Nonmilitary Service GF 175

You can also get the above Small Claims forms directly from the Door County Clerk of Courts Office.

Service

Door County Residents:  Small claims summons and complaints for money judgments can be served by regular mail, Sheriff service or private service for Door County residents.

Out-of-County Residents:  Personal service IS REQUIRED for all out of county defendants.  The affidavit of service from the Sheriff’s Office, or from a private process server of your choice, must be filed at the Clerk of Courts office before the action will be taken up in court.

Small Claims Filing Fees

  • $94.50 filing fee
  • $2.00 mailing fee per defendant (unless outside of the county)
  • These pre-judgment fees will be added to your judgment by the Court.  DO NOT include them in the amount you are seeking to receive
  • These fees are payable to the Clerk of Courts; Sheriff Service fees are payable to the Sheriff Office of the county where the defendant is located

Return Date

Defendants must have their Answer Form, listing the reasons for disputing the claim, filed with the Clerk of Courts office prior to the Return Date if wishing to contest the matter.  Defendants who do not have their Answer form filed prior to the return date will have a default judgment taken against them.  No appearance is necessary from either party on the Return Date, it is only the date to file an answer.

Pre-Trial Conference

If an Answer Form is filed, or if the defendant appears in court and contests the action, a pre-trial date will be set by the court.  Non-electronic parties will be notified by mail of the pre-trial date.  Both the plaintiff and the defendant must appear for the pre-trial conference.  No witnesses will be allowed at the pre-trial.  Failure to appear could result in the case being dismissed or having judgment rendered against you.

Court Trial

If either the plaintiff or the defendant disagrees with the pre-trial results, a Court Trial will be scheduled.  This proceeding will be formal, in the Courtroom, with the Judge’s word binding.  Any form of video or jump drive will be marked as an Exhibit and kept by the Court.  A copy of any exhibits needs to be provided to ALL parties in the case, including the Court.

Garnishments

For information and/or help with Garnishment Relief click here.