Clerk of Courts

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Frequently Asked Questions

Payment Plans

Am I eligible for a payment plan?
The defendant may ask for a payment plan in writing. The source of income can include employment or someone else to make payments for the defendant. The first payment must be included with your request.

Will I get a receipt for my payment?
If the defendant brings his/her payment into the Clerk of Court's Office he/she will receive a receipt. If the defendant mails his/her payment to the Clerk of Court's Office no receipt will be supplied unless a self-addressed stamped envelope is included with the payment requesting that a receipt be returned.

What happens if I'm late with my payment?
A number of things can happen if a defendant is late (past due date) with payment of his/her court ordered obligation:

The person's driver's license may be suspended up to 2 years. This is not in lieu of payment. Department of Motor Vehicles requires a $50 reinstatement fee.

The debt will be certified with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue for tax intercept.

An income assignment may be ordered if the person is employed.
A warrant may be issued for the person's arrest.

Criminal & Traffic Court
What's the difference between criminal and civil courts?
Civil actions are non-criminal cases in which one private individual or business sues another to protect, enforce, or redress private or civil rights. A criminal case is the action or suit by a government to penalize a violation of the criminal laws. Both types of cases can be brought to the Dodge County Circuit Courts for a decision and judgment.

How do I find out information about my case?
Contact the Clerk of Courts office for copies of cases and files. Contact the Clerk of Courts in the Dodge County Courthouse, 210 W Center Street, Juneau, WI, 53039 or call (920) 386-3570 for information. Requests must be made in person, by mail or by FAX. Telephone requests will not be processed. There is a statutory charge of $1.25 per page for the copies. 

A brief description of cases and index of records is contained in the WI Circuit Court Access database. 

What happens if you're charged with non-criminal offenses?
If you're charged with an ordinance or traffic offense that is not considered a criminal violation, you'll be given a citation. In most cases you won't be taken into custody. The citation will usually give you a choice of paying a fine or going to court. It will state a date for you to appear in court if you choose not to pay the fine.

Which statutes deal with Criminal Laws?
Statutes 938-961 deal with the Criminal Code and Controlled Substances Act, while 967-980 deal with Criminal Procedure. There may be several other statutes that deal with criminal laws or procedure, such as evidence or other specific crimes. Look at the Statutes Table of Contents for more information on how Statutes are arranged.

Where can I research my criminal case?
If you want to review your case file, go to the Clerk of Courts at the Dodge County Courthouse. If you want to research the crimes with which you are charged, or investigate more information about your upcoming court date, such as reviewing the laws of evidence, or look into other areas of criminal law research, such as defenses or post conviction motions, visit a law library. Online, you may want to visit the legal topics section of the WI State Law Library's website.

How is the dollar amount on my ticket determined?
The dollar amount written on your ticket is actually a combination of a forfeiture and numerous surcharges and fees. The forfeiture for an offense is a relatively small part of the total penalty that you must pay. For example, if you received a speeding citation, the minimum forfeiture for this offense is $30. In addition, Wisconsin law requires the citation to include other fees and surcharges totaling $160.80. The base forfeiture ($30) and fees and surcharges ($130.80) total $160.80. This is the amount that the officer is required to write on your ticket, if you were traveling 1-15 mph above a 55 mph or less legal limit (65 mph limit has a higher minimum). It is the minimum amount that you must pay for a speeding conviction in the above range.

Why do I have to pay all these fees and surcharges?
The fees and surcharges that are added to your ticket are set by state statute. The legislature and the Governor have set the amount of these fees. These fees have increased drastically over the past ten years. The officer and the court must abide by state statutes. The officer and the court are not responsible for setting the amount of these fees and surcharges.

Where do these fees go?
On a typical speeding ticket, the minimum ticket amount is broken down as follows:

Forfeiture: $30-Goes to the county; if it's a state charge, it's split 50-50 with the state

26% Penalty Assessment:$7.80-Goes to the state for a law enforcement training fund

Court Costs: $25-The state gets $15, the county gets $10

Justice Information Fee: $12-Goes to the state for computer systems development (includes non-court systems)

Jail Assessment Fee: $10-Goes to the Sheriff's Office for jail expansion and maintenance

Drug Enforcement Assessment: $8-Goes to the state crime laboratory

Court Support Fee: $68-Goes to the state; a portion is returned to counties in block grants for court-related expenditures


Where do I pay speeding tickets?
All tickets issued for appearance at the Dodge County Clerk of Courts gets paid at 210 W Center Street, Juneau WI 53039. The hearing date information should be addressed to the Clerk of Courts, Dodge County Justice Facility, (920) 386-3570.

How do I contest a traffic ticket? 
Some questions to consider are: What are your chances of success if you do contest it? How much will it cost you? Will you lose your driving privileges? You may wish to consult an attorney about these issues. If you decide to contest the citation, you're entitled to a trial. If the case is to be resolved in Dodge County Circuit Court, a judge or commissioner will resolve it, unless you immediately request a jury and pay the required fee by the hearing date.

Can I sue someone in criminal court? 
No. Bring criminal complaints to the police department or District Attorney's office. They will in turn choose to proceed or investigate your complaints. 

How do I complain about a police officer who I think harassed me?
Contact the department of the officer and ask to speak to someone about complaints. The department may have a specific official or office or form for such actions.

How do I find a lawyer? What if I can't afford to hire a lawyer?
There are several ways for you to locate an attorney to assist you. One way is to call the WI State Bar Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (608) 257-4666. You could also search lawyer directories or the yellow pages. For more information, visit this topic on the WI State Law Library's Legal Topics page. If you are being charged with a crime, you may also contact the Office of the State Public Defender for representation at (920) 386-5577.

Can I have my friend or relative represent me at my court hearing?
Unless your friend or relative is a licensed attorney for Wisconsin, representation by a friend or relative may constitute Unauthorized Practice of Law, an offense punishable by as much as $500 or a year in jail (according to WI Statute § 757.30(1)) or both.

What's the general procedure for criminal cases?
In a nutshell, in either a misdemeanor or a felony case, you'll have an initial appearance. At this appearance, you'll be served with a criminal complaint that outlines the charge, the probable cause supporting the charge, and the penalty.

In a misdemeanor case, you'll also enter a plea at the initial appearance. If you plead "not guilty" to a misdemeanor, you'll be given a return date and a jury trial date. At the return date you will either plead to the charge and be sentenced or be prepared to go to trial on the trial date.

For a felony, the next step is the preliminary hearing. At this hearing the prosecution must present enough evidence to convince the judge that you should stand trial for a felony offense. If it's decided that your case will go to trial, you then attend an arraignment. At the arraignment, the district attorney will serve you with formal charges for a particular felony. At this time, you must enter a plea.

This information is from the Wisconsin State Bar's Legal Q & A.

What are the steps in a trial?
See WI Statute § 972.10 for the order of a jury trial, as well as more information about criminal trials. There is also an outline of a jury trial in the information for jurors on the WI Court System's website. Specifically, you may want to examine "Step 3: The Trial" for helpful information. 

What is the traffic points system?
Demerit points are assessed to drivers when convicted of a moving violation, beginning on the date of the violation. The courts send the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Division of Motor Vehicles records of all convictions for moving traffic violations. Persons who hold a probationary license are assessed double points for the second and all subsequent points. When 12 or more demerit points are accumulated in one year, a suspension of the driver privilege is required, for a minimum of two months. Convictions remain on the driver records for five years from the date of conviction. However, alcohol related and some commercial violations remain on the record for 10 years to life. This information and much more can be found on the WisDOT web page about the traffic points system in Wisconsin. 

How do I get an occupational license?
Contact the WI Department of Motor Vehicles for application procedures. If you have been revoked as a habitual traffic offender (HTO), the circuit court in your county of residence must approve the issuance of your occupational license. Dodge County provides a petition form. There is a filing fee of $40.00 for this process. 

What is a Victim Impact Panel?
Victim Impact Panels provide victims of OWI tragedies an opportunity to share their stories of pain and loss with OWI offenders. The goal of the Victim Impact Panel is not to blame or judge offenders in the audience, but to reach the audience on an emotional level…a level that courts, fines and jail may not be able to reach. Listening to the personal accounts of people who have lived to tell about the grief and despair that occurs "after a crash," can help drivers understand the dangers and consequences of driving after drinking. The ultimate goal of the Victim Impact Panel is to reduce the number of people killed or injured in alcohol related crashes. 

How do I expunge my record?
You may not be able to expunge your record. Wisconsin law allows a judge to "expunge" a case in only two situations, both involving youthful offenders:

Misdemeanors committed by a person under 21. If the judge ordered expunction upon successful completion of the sentence, the record can be expunged. See §973.015, Wis. Stats.

Adjudication of a juvenile delinquent. A juvenile who has been adjudged delinquent can, upon reaching age 17, petition the judge for expunction of the juvenile adjudication. See §938.355, Wis. Stats. However, WI Circuit Courts Access (WCCA) database does not display juvenile adjudications because they are not public records.

An expunged case is sealed by the clerk of court and is available to be viewed only with a court order. If the judge properly orders a case expunged, any reference to it will be removed from WCCA. A judge has no other authority or power to expunge cases, and there are no similar provisions for other types of cases.

How do I complain about an attorney, judge, or commissioner?
The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) investigates grievances about attorney misconduct. OLR provides instructions on how to file a grievance, outlines the grievance process, and explains under what circumstances you may learn whether other grievances have been filed or whether the attorney has been previously disciplined. Information about the OLR is on their website.

To complain about a court commissioner, read Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 75.06. Contact information for the chief judge may be found in the Circuit Court Administrative Districts directory. The Wisconsin Judicial Commission provides an online complaint form at this site.

To complain about a judge, contact the WI Judicial Commission. The Wisconsin Judicial Commission investigates allegations of judicial misconduct. They provide an online complaint form. 

How do I appeal a criminal case?
An appeal of a final circuit court judgment or order can be initiated with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which the judgment or order being appealed was entered. There is a filing fee of $195.00 payable to the Court of Appeals and a $15.00 transfer fee, made payable to the county transferring the record. You will need to familiarize yourself with the Rules of Appellate Procedure (WI Statutes Ch. 809). Appeals can be complicated, so may want to consult an attorney for legal advice. You may also consult "A Citizen's Guide to Filing an Appeal" for more information and sample forms.

Didn't find an answer to your question?
Contact the Dodge County Clerk of Courts at 920-386-3567

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