Mandatory use of court forms
Supreme Court Order 98-01 created §758.18 of the Wisconsin Statutes, which became effective on January 1, 2000. It provides that the Judicial Conference "shall adopt standard forms for use by parties and court officials in all civil and criminal actions and proceedings in the circuit court." The mandatory use of standard court forms in circuit court became effective January 1, 2000 for criminal and juvenile cases, and July 1, 2000 for civil cases. A copy of this order can be viewed here .
Frequently asked questions
In what formats are standard court forms available?
Standard court forms are available on the Wisconsin Court System website in Adobe PDF format and most are also available in Microsoft Word. PDF format allows viewing and printing but not downloading to a computer. Word forms are identified with a .doc extension and may be downloaded, filled in and printed. For more information on Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word files and how they are used on this site check the software information page. Standard court forms are also available in any county Clerk of Circuit Court office.
How do I find and download forms?
To find a listing of the standard mandated forms, please refer to the Wisconsin court system's online indexes on the circuit court forms page. From that page, you can conduct a forms conceptual search or view two listings of forms. That page provides access to three important indexes:
- General, Criminal, Civil, Traffic, Small Claims, Family Forms Index
- Juvenile Forms Index
- Probate Forms Index
Click on any index to see a list of the standard, mandated forms.
The indexes are arranged in a table format with columns for the form number, revision date, statute(s), name of form, and a brief description of the form. Because the forms cannot be accessed directly from the indexes, it is helpful to print the index information for the needed forms. Once you have the information, go back to the circuit court Forms page, and choose "forms directory listing," scroll through the numeric list of all forms, and click on the appropriate form number to access the form you need.
To down load and save a Microsoft Word form:
- Select the form number with .doc extension to open the form.
- Click on File at the top of the toolbar, a drop down menu will appear.
- Click on Save As and the Save As dialog box will appear.
- From this dialog box find and select the folder to save the form in, rename the form if necessary and click Save.
Forms that have been downloaded can be kept in a folder and electronically completed as needed.
Can I modify the forms?
Standard court forms cannot be modified. Users may attach additional pages of information as needed. The forms in Microsoft Word format allow users to enter text into the appropriate fields. Some of those fields are expandable.
How do I know if a specific standard court form has been adopted?
New adopted forms are identified as new in the revision date column of the forms indexes.
How do I make suggestions to change a standard court form?
Standard court forms are developed and revised by the Forms Committee of the Judicial Conference. The committee consists of 14 members, with representation from the judiciary, the State Bar, the District Attorneys Association, clerks of court, registers in probate and juvenile clerks. The committee meets four to six times per year.
Comments or suggestions about any of the forms can be e-mailed to Terri Borrud. Agenda items are set one month prior to meeting dates.