Supreme Court


In addition to its case deciding, administrative and regulatory functions, the Supreme Court and the chief justice have initiated programs designed to improve the effectiveness of the court system. Following are brief descriptions of some recent initiatives.

Wisconsin Families, Children and Justice
Family problems that require court intervention constitute an increasingly large portion of the work of Wisconsin courts. Serving families in crisis is one of the most important functions of the court system and there is growing national concern that the services these families receive may not be adequate.

In an effort to address the concern, the Supreme Court, through the Director of State Courts Office, has been involved since 1995 in an initiative called Wisconsin Families, Children and Justice PDF. Work began with an assessment of Wisconsin's handling of cases involving abused and/or neglected children, known as Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) cases. A three-day statewide conference entitled "A Coordinated Approach to Family Law Cases" was also held. Pilot projects designed to improve courts' handling of issues faced by families in the courts are now underway across the state.

Judicial career enhancement
To ensure that the Wisconsin judiciary maintains its high quality, the Supreme Court seeks to enhance judicial careers in Wisconsin, whether by assisting judges with their daily workload or by offering them opportunities to expand their professional horizons in the following ways:

Public outreach and input
The Wisconsin Supreme Court seeks to foster court-community collaboration by engaging in a variety of public outreach activities and by involving the public in the work of the courts.

Collaboration with the legislative and executive branches
The three branches of our state government have a common goal-to serve the public. Although separate and independent, the three branches must find ways to work together to the end of serving the people of Wisconsin. The court system continues to seek new opportunities for better communication, cooperation and collaboration with its partners in the legislative and executive branches of state government and also with its partners in county and local government. A few examples follow:

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