Following is a brief overview of the Wisconsin Court System.
•252 municipal courts
•254 municipal judges
•Milwaukee has the largest number of municipal courts and three full-time municipal judges. Madison has the only other full-time municipal court
•Single level trial court since 1978
•246 circuit judges in 72 counties. Judges elected countywide to six-year terms in non-partisan elections
•Milwaukee County is the largest jurisdiction with 47 judges
•30 counties have one judge each; smaller counties share a judge
Court of Appeals
•Created in 1978 and originally designed to handle 1,200 cases per year
•Mostly mandatory jurisdiction, meaning that litigants have the right to appeal their cases from the circuit court to the Court of Appeals
•16 judges in four districts. Judges elected district wide to six-year terms
•Seven justices elected statewide to 10-year terms
•Court of last resort
•Court reviews approximately 1,000 petitions per year and accepts between 100 and 120
The administrative structure of the court system is detailed in Article VII, section 4(3) of the Wisconsin Constitution, Statute (758.19) and Supreme Court Rule (SCR) Chapter 70 .The chief justice is the administrative head of the judicial system, exercising authority according to procedures adopted by the Supreme Court. The structure is analogous to a corporation, with the chief justice as the chair of the board, the other justices as the board of directors, and the director of state courts as the chief operating officer.
For administrative purposes, the circuit courts are divided into ten judicial administrative districts. The districts range in size from one county to 13 counties. The judicial business in each district is supervised by a chief judge selected by the Supreme Court to serve a...