Must the defendant appear for the court date?

Wisconsin Resident

A defendant who resides in the state of Wisconsin is required to appear in person on the return date if they wish to contest the claim.


A defendant who is a non-resident of the State of Wisconsin must either appear on the scheduled return date or file and serve a written answer at least 72 hours prior to the court date and time (section 799.22(4)). If an answer is properly filed and a request to adjourn said hearing is made by the defendant, the initial appearance will be scheduled for a future date. A written answer, however, is not in lieu of an appearance.

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1. How do I file a small claims action?
2. Where do I get forms to file a Small Claims Action?
3. What information must I have to file a Small Claims Action? What happens on the day I come in to start my case?
4. How do I obtain service on a small claims Summons and Complaint?
5. How far in advance of my court date must the defendant be served?
6. What happens if the defendant cannot be personally served?
7. What judge will hear my case?
8. Must the defendant appear for the court date?
9. What happens if the plaintiff doesn't appear on the court date?
10. What will happen at court?
11. How do I get a trial before the Circuit Court Judge?
12. What must be included in the "Demand for Trial" form?
13. I have a tenant I want to evict. How do I do this?
14. What is a judgment?
15. How do I obtain a judgment in small claims?
16. How do I enforce a judgment?