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Toepel, M. G.; Theobald, H. Rupert (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1962

Judicial branch,   pp. [549]-564 PDF (4.4 MB)

Page 552

  The municipal justice of the peace and the justice of peace are
also elected in April, but candidates for these offices need not be
attorneys to qualify. These offices are usually not full-time positions.
  One of the purposes of the court reorganization is to assure a
competent and qualified judiciary. To promote this aim, the posi-
tion of judge of county court is established as a salaried, full-time
office. Prior to reorganization, a part-time judge presided over
some of the county courts and some of the other statutory courts.
The salaries of judges of the statutory courts were set by local
ordinance and consequently great differences existed between the
salary of one judge and another. With abolition of the statutory
courts and the establishment of the county court under general
law, some of these undesirable features have been eliminated. The
practice of compensating judges by fees is now prohibited in all
cases except for the justice of peace.
   The justices of the Supreme Court and all judges of courts of
record are eligible to join the Wisconsin retirement system. The
retirement age is set at 70. Retired Supreme Court justices and
circuit court judges may serve temporarily as circuit judges at the
request of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
                           Supreme Court
   The Supreme Court consists of 7 justices. They are elected for
a 10-year term  except when appointed by the Governor to fill
vacancies. The justice who has continued as a member of the
Supreme Court for the longest time serves as the Chief Justice.
Salaries of the justices are fixed by statute and cannot be raised
during the term of office. Since the salaries of justices have been
increased by legislative acts over the years, the salary for each
individual justice varies according to the time when his term of
office began. The salaries are as follows: for terms commencing
after July, 1957, $17,500 (Chief Justice $18,000); for terms com-
mencing after July, 1955, $14,000; for terms commencing after
July, 1949, $12,000.
   The Supreme Court appoints the clerk of the Supreme Court who
 is a constitutional officer. He keeps the court's records and serves
 as secretary of the Board of Bar Commissioners. The court also
 employs a deputy clerk, marshal, and reporter; and each justice
 has a private secretary and a law examiner.
   Under the Constitution, the Supreme Court has original juris-
 diction in a limited number of cases of state-wide concern and
 appellate jurisdiction in all other cases. In the 1960 term, 367
 appeals from the lower courts came before it (337 civil and 30
 criminal). The court each year receives about 20 applications for
 the exercise of its original jurisdiction. No testimony is taken in
 the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court disposes of cases brought

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