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Small claims

Small claims court is a special type of civil court where disputes may be resolved more quickly and inexpensively than in other court proceedings. Small claims court is limited to claims of $10,000 or less. However, third-party complaints, personal injury claims, and actions based in tort are limited to claims of $5,000 or less. Claims exceeding the maximum amount allowed must be filed in civil court. Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 799 (external link) governs small claims actions.

Forms assistant

The forms assistant guides you through the process of filing a small claims case in Wisconsin. You will be asked a series of questions in an interview, and your answers will automatically be entered on the appropriate form according to the feedback you provide.

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Review the Wisconsin Guide to Small Claims Court

Types of small claims cases

The three most common types of small claims cases are:

  • Claim for money: civil actions where the amount claimed is $10,000 or less, if the actions or proceedings are:
    • For money judgments only
    • For garnishment of wages
  • Tort / personal injury action: where the amount claimed is $5,000 or less
  • Eviction action: Actions for eviction regardless of the amount of rent claimed
  • Replevins:
    • Non-consumer credit actions for replevin (return of personal property) if the property claimed does not exceed $10,000
    • Consumer credit transactions (for return of personal property that was the subject of a lease or credit from a dealer) when the amount financed is $25,000 or less

Three less common types of small claims cases are:

  • Return of earnest money for purchase of real property
  • Action on an arbitration award for the purchase of real property
  • Eviction action due to foreclosure

Procedures & forms

Guides are available for specific small claims actions and collection actions (all in PDF format):

Guides on how to enforce or collect a small claims judgment (all in PDF format):

Additional resources

The Wisconsin State Law Library website provides access to additional resources on small claims actions (external link).

For additional information visit the State Bar of Wisconsin website (external link).