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Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L. (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book
(1956)

The state government: judicial branch,   pp. [527]-540 PDF (3.4 MB)


Page 537


WISCONSIN COURTS
and 590, Laws of 1949, provide that the county board of any county
other than Milwaukee County, by majority vote of members elect,
may establish a small claims court. The county board in counties
of less than 500,000 population may establish a small claims court
to handle civil actions for claims which do not exceed $500. In
counties of less than 25,000 population, the functions of the small
claims court are conferred upon the county court contingent upon
action of the county board. Judges for the small claims courts are
elected for 6-year terms.
  The 2 superior courts in Madison and Superior and, except for
the title, are similar to the municipal courts which exist elsewhere.
The Civil Court of Milwaukee County, changed by the 1953 legis-
lature from a municipal to an inferior court, has jurisdiction in
civil cases only, but is the trial court for a large percentage of the
civil actions arising in that county. The District Court of Milwau-
kee County is a criminal court for the trial of minor offenders.
  Chapter 7, Laws of 1949, created an additional branch of the
District Court of Milwaukee County, known as District Court Branch
2 or the traffic court.
  All expenses of special and municipal courts are paid by the
counties or cities in which they are located.
   Some of the courts which are called municipal courts are not
municipal courts in the constitutional sense. For example, the
Sheboygan County Municipal Court was specifically made an in-
ferior court, although designated a municipal court in name only.
See also, Jones v. State, 211 Wis. 9, holding that the Municipal
Court of Racine County is actually an inferior court. No attempt
is made here to discuss the technical distinctions involved.
            BOARD OF CRIMINAL COURT JUDGES
Judge Roy H. PROCTOR, Madison, chairman; Judge RALPH F. GUNN,
    Janesville, vice chairman; Judge HAZEN W. McEssY, Fond du Lac,
    secretary-treasurer.
  The Board of Criminal Court Judges was organized for the pur-
pose of improving the administration of justice. The full-time
judges of the courts of record of the state, having criminal
jurisdiction, constitute the board. The board elects a chairman, vice
chairman, and secretary-treasurer. It is an organization whereby
the judges of the criminal courts mobilize their knowledge and ex-
perience to help reduce crime and to help protect human life and
property. According to law, meetings must be held at least twice
a year.
  The board designates a judge of a municipal or inferior court
other than a county court as a member of the Judicial Council.
537


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