2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 807. Civil procedure--miscellaneous provisions.
807.13 Telephone and audiovisual proceedings.


807.13 Telephone and audiovisual proceedings.


(1) Oral arguments. The court may permit any oral argument by telephone.


(2) Evidentiary hearings. In civil actions and proceedings, including those under chs. 48, 51, 54, and 55, the court may admit oral testimony communicated to the court on the record by telephone or live audiovisual means, subject to cross-examination, when:


(a) The applicable statutes or rules permit;


(b) The parties so stipulate; or


(c) The proponent shows good cause to the court. Appropriate considerations are:


1. Whether any undue surprise or prejudice would result;


2. Whether the proponent has been unable, after due diligence, to procure the physical presence of the witness;


3. The convenience of the parties and the proposed witness, and the cost of producing the witness in relation to the importance of the offered testimony;


4. Whether the procedure would allow full effective cross-examination, especially where availability to counsel of documents and exhibits available to the witness would affect such cross-examination;


5. The importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses in open court, where the finder of fact may observe the demeanor of the witness, and where the solemnity of the surroundings will impress upon the witness the duty to testify truthfully;


6. Whether the quality of the communication is sufficient to understand the offered testimony;


7. Whether a physical liberty interest is at stake in the proceeding; and


8. Such other factors as the court may, in each individual case, determine to be relevant.


(3) Conferences. Whenever the applicable statutes or rules so permit, or the court otherwise determines that it is practical to do so, conferences in civil actions and proceedings may be conducted by telephone.


(4) Notice; reporting; effect of actions taken; access. In any proceeding conducted by telephone under this section:


(a) If the proceeding is required to be reported, a court reporter shall be in simultaneous voice communication with all parties to the call, whether or not in the physical presence of any of them.


(b) Parties entitled to be heard shall be given prior notice of the manner and time of the proceeding. Any participant other than the reporter electing to be present with any other participant shall give reasonable notice thereof to the other participants.


(c) Regardless of the physical location of any party to the call, any waiver, stipulation, motion, objection, decision, order or any other action taken by the court or a party to a reported telephone hearing has the same effect as if made in open court.


(d) With the exception of scheduling conferences and pretrial conferences, proceedings shall be conducted in a courtroom or other place reasonably accessible to the public. Participants in the proceeding may participate by telephone from any location or may elect to be physically present with one or more of the other participants. Simultaneous access to the proceeding shall be provided to persons entitled to attend by means of a loudspeaker or, upon request to the court, by making a person party to the telephone call without charge.

807.13 - ANNOT.

History: Sup. Ct. Order, 141 Wis. 2d xiii (1987); Sup. Ct. Order, 158 Wis. 2d xvii (1990); 1991 a. 32; 1997 a. 252; 1999 a. 85; 2005 a. 387.

807.13 - ANNOT.

Judicial Council Note, 1988: This section [created] allows oral arguments to be heard, evidence to be taken, or conferences to be conducted, by telephone. Sub. (4) prescribes the basic procedure for such proceedings. [Re Order eff. 1-1-88]

807.13 - ANNOT.

Judicial Council Note, 1990: The change in sub. (2) (c) (intro.) from "interest of justice" to "good cause" is not intended as substantive, but merely to conform it to the language used in other statutes relating to use of telephonic procedures in judicial proceedings. SS. 967.08, 970.03 (13), 971.14 (1) (c) and (4) (b), and 971.17 (2), Stats. [Re Order eff. 1-1-91]

807.13 - ANNOT.

Speaker-telephone testimony in civil jury trials: The next best thing to being there? 1988 WLR 293.

807.13 - ANNOT.

Videoconference Trial Testimony. Mondschein. Wis. Law. July 1997.

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