Appellate eFiling FAQs

two string art conversation bubblesNote: The answers to these frequently asked questions reflect the amended Rules of Appellate Procedure, Wis. Stat. chapter 809, effective July 1, 2021. This information applies to proceedings filed in the Court of Appeals and to proceedings where the parties have been invited to participate in the Supreme Court eFiling pilot project.

Q. Where do I file a notice of appeal?

You file the notice of appeal in the circuit court case that you are appealing from. Beginning on July 1, 2021, you will file two or three additional documents in the circuit court rather than in the Court of Appeals:

  • the docketing statement, if required, should be filed at the same time you file the notice of appeal.
  • the statement on transcript must be filed within 10 days of filing the notice of appeal.
  • any motion for a 3-judge panel or hearing in county of origin under Wis. Stat. Rule 809.41 should be filed in the circuit court with the notice of appeal. These motions are optional.

The Clerk of Circuit Court will transmit the notice of appeal to the Clerk of the Court of Appeals. The other electronic parties will be served through the circuit court eFiling system. You must serve any non-eFiling parties by traditional methods such as mail or delivery. See Wis. Stat. Rules 809.10 (1) and 809.11 (2)-(5). The same process applies to a no-merit notice of appeal. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.32 (2).

Q. Which appeal documents are filed in the circuit court and which are filed in the Court of Appeals?

You file the notice of appeal, docketing statement, statement on transcript, and any motion under Wis. Stat. Rule 809.41 (1) or (4) in the circuit court. You also file a supplemental statement on transcript, if any, in the circuit court. All other documents related to an appeal should be filed in the Court of Appeals.

Q. How do I pay the filing fee for an appeal or other proceeding in the appellate courts?

If you are eFiling, you will see a link to the clerk's website where you can pay your filing fees. Both eFilers and non-eFilers may send a check to the clerk's office or call clerk for information on how to pay. If you are filing in person, you may also give a check to the clerk of circuit court if the check is made out to the Clerk of the Court of Appeals.

The eFiling fee (currently $20) is not imposed on appellate proceedings. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.11 (1).

Q. How do I know my appeal has been docketed and what the appellate case number is?

The Clerk of the Court of Appeals will send you and the respondent(s) a notice of docketing that will include information about how to opt in to the appellate case. The clerk will also send the notice of docketing to the Attorney General when service on the Attorney General is required. When you receive the notice of docketing, you should opt in to the appellate case promptly to start receiving electronic notifications and access to the appellate case. See Wis. Stat. Rules 809.11 (3) and 809.802 (1)-(2).

Q. What if I need to file a motion prior to filing an appeal?

Procedural motions such as a motion for extension of time to appoint counsel or time to pursue postconviction relief are filed as new actions in the Court of Appeals. The appellate clerk will create a new "pre-appeal" case and transmit the docketing information back to circuit court for service on the eFiling parties. The appellate clerk will also serve the Attorney General if required. You are responsible for serving any non-eFiling parties. Any subsequent motions should be eFiled in the same Court of Appeals case. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.14 (5).

Q. When do I need to serve the other parties by traditional methods and when will the eFiling system provide service?

The eFiling system is used to provide initial service of the notice of appeal or initiating petition in a number of proceedings: appeals, no-merit appeals, petitions for leave to appeal, petitions to bypass, petitions for review, & motions prior to appeal. These are proceedings where the parties are already electronically connected in the court below. The appellate clerk will transmit the initiating documents to the appropriate court for electronic service.

Traditional methods like mail and delivery should be used for initial service of supervisory writs, original actions, & judicial discipline proceedings. Once the initiating documents have been served, parties may exchange documents electronically through the eFiling system. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.801 (5).

If a party is not participating in eFiling ("paper party"), you must serve the party with one paper copy by traditional methods such as mail or delivery. eFiling parties will be served with filings from a paper party when clerk scans them in and sends a notice of activity on the case. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.80 (2).

Q. How do I know when the record has been transmitted to the Court of Appeals?

If you have opted in on the appellate case, you will receive notice from the Clerk of the Court of Appeals electronically.

Q. What should my electronic signature look like?

An electronic signature should be written in the format "Electronically signed by Your Name". Commercial electronic signatures cannot be used in the eFiling system. Handwritten signatures may be applied before the document is scanned and filed. Electronic signatures may be applied to certifications of the brief and appendix and to the no-merit certification of client counseling. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.801 (12) (a).

Q. What should my certification of form, length, and confidentiality say?

The format for certification of the brief and appendix is included Wis. Stat. Rule 809.19 (8g). The court website contains a form for the brief cover that includes certification of the brief for form and length, certification of the appendix, and a certificate of mailing. See Appellate Form CA-150. The certifications of form, length, and confidentiality may be combined into a single document for signature. A combined certification should read:

CERTIFICATION BY ATTORNEY

I hereby certify that this brief conforms to the rules contained in s. 809.19 (8) (b), (bm) and (c) for a brief. The length of this brief is .... [pages] [words].

I further certify that filed with this brief is an appendix that complies with s. 809.19 (2) (a) and that contains, at a minimum: (1) a table of contents; (2) the findings or opinion of the circuit court; (3) a copy of any unpublished opinion cited under s. 809.23 (3) (a) or (b); and (4) portions of the record essential to an understanding of the issues raised, including oral or written rulings or decisions showing the circuit court's reasoning regarding those issues.

I further certify that if this appeal is taken from a circuit court order or judgment entered in a judicial review of an administrative decision, the appendix contains the findings of fact and conclusions of law, if any, and final decision of the administrative agency.

I further certify that if the record is required by law to be confidential, the portions of the record included in the appendix are reproduced using one or more initials or other appropriate pseudonym or designation instead of full names of persons, specifically including juveniles and parents of juveniles, with a notation that the portions of the record have been so reproduced to preserve confidentiality and with appropriate references to the record.

Signature: ....

Counsel submitting a no-merit report may also include the certification of client counseling using the language provided in Wis. Stat. Rule 809.32 (1) (c).

Q. Where do I find the format requirements for briefs and appendices?

Amendments to the Rules of Appellate procedure, effective July 1, 2021, made a number of changes to the format requirements for briefs and appendices. While the general appearance of briefs remains the same, the amended rules contain a number of small changes. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.19, particularly 809.19 (8).

Q. How do I get the court's decision?

You will receive the Court of Appeals decision electronically. No paper copy of the decision will be mailed to you.

Q. What rules do I follow if my case is not designated as part of the Supreme Court eFiling pilot program?

If a proceeding in the Supreme Court is not included in the pilot project ("non-pilot proceeding"), the parties must file paper documents and use traditional methods of service until further notice. The Supreme Court has issued an Order and Revised Interim Rule with the rules applicable to parties in non-pilot proceedings. The Revised Interim Rule will be in effect starting on July 1, 2021, and continuing until the Court begins mandatory electronic filing. The rules are available here.

Q. Where do I find additional resources?

There are a number of sources of information available to help you file successfully in the appellate courts. The Clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals has compiled rules, guides, and links to legal research on the clerk's website. Resources include the "Guide to Procedure for the Self-Represented" and "Guide to Seeking Review in the Supreme Court". You may also contact the Clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals for assistance at clerk@wicourts.gov or (608) 266-1880. If you would like to read an overview of the new Rules of Appellate Procedure and appellate eFiling rules, see here.