The mission of the Douglas County Courts is to serve the citizens of Douglas County with an independent, competent, just, and fair judiciary and to interpret and apply the laws which govern all of us.
Central to the Douglas County Circuit Courts, as one of the co-equal branches of government, are the concepts of justice for all people, fair and consistent application of the rule of law, and equal access to the courts for the resolution of disputes and determination of rights and responsibilities in a timely manner.
In Douglas County, there are two circuit courts (Branch I
and Branch II
) handling the caseload with the assistance of a full-time Judicial Court Commissioner and a Register of Probate who are both appointed by the judges. The two branches share the caseload according to a rotation plan approved by the judges.
The circuit court system is a State court system of trial courts administered by the State of Wisconsin through districts, and in Madison by the Director of State Courts. Douglas County is part of the 10th Judicial District, which covers 13 counties in the northwestern corner of the State. The Chief Judge for the District is currently Judge Ben Proctor from Eau Claire County. The circuit court system is regulated and supervised by the Wisconsin Supreme Court through Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
Circuit Courts Funding
The Circuit Courts are funded with a combination of State and County money. State funds are used to pay the salaries and benefits of the judges and their court reporters. The State also pays for the travel and continuing education expenses for the judges. By State law, the County is responsible for all the general operating expenses, although the State does provide some money to the County to offset those expenses.
Each judge appoints a judicial assistant who is a County employee. Besides assisting the judge with case management and scheduling, the assistant fulfills all of the judge’s secretarial and receptionist needs.