2013 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
799. Procedure in small claims actions.
799.12 Service of summons.
799.12 Service of summons.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all provisions of chs. 801 to 847 with respect to jurisdiction of the persons of defendants, the procedure of commencing civil actions, and the mode and manner of service of process, shall apply to actions and proceedings under this chapter.
(2) Any circuit court may by rule authorize the service of summons in some or all actions under this chapter by mail under sub. (3) in lieu of personal or substituted service under s. 801.11.
(3) If authorized by court rule under sub. (2), service may be made by mail by leaving the original and necessary copies of the summons with the clerk of court, together with the fee prescribed in s. 814.62 (4). The court shall require the use of certified mail with return receipt requested for all eviction cases for which service by mail is authorized under sub. (2), and for all other cases may by rule require the use of certified mail with return receipt requested. Whenever the use of certified mail is required, the additional fee prescribed in s. 814.62 (4) shall be paid for each defendant. The clerk shall mail a copy to each defendant at the last-known address as specified in the summons. Service of the summons is considered completed when it is mailed, unless the envelope enclosing the summons has been returned unopened to the clerk prior to the return date. All mailing of summonses shall be done in envelopes upon which the clerk's return address appears, with a request to return to that address. Service by mail to obtain a personal judgment shall be limited to the county where the action is commenced.
(4) If with reasonable diligence the defendant cannot be served by personal or substituted service under s. 801.11, or if mailed service is authorized under sub. (2) and the envelope enclosing the summons is returned unopened to the clerk, service may be made by mailing and publication under sub. (6). The clerk shall issue a new return date allowing timely publication of a class 1 notice under ch. 985.
(5) Section 345.09 shall not apply to actions under this chapter.
(a) Service by mailing and publication authorized under sub. (4) may be made as provided in s. 801.11 (1) (c) or as provided in this subsection.
(b) If the defendant's post-office address can be ascertained with reasonable diligence, service may be made by mailing to the defendant a copy of the summons at or immediately prior to the publication of the summons or a notice under par. (c) as a class 1 notice under ch. 985.
(c) If the defendant's post-office address cannot be ascertained with reasonable diligence, the mailing may be omitted and service may be made by publishing as a class 1 notice under ch. 985 a notice in substantially the following form, except as provided in s. 799.22 (4) (b) 3.:
SMALL CLAIMS SUMMONS NUMBER ....
....(Defendant's Address, if known)
You are being sued by .... (plaintiff's name) in the small claims court for .... County, .... (room number, address and telephone number of the court). A hearing will be held at .... o'clock (a.m.) (p.m.), on ...., .... (year). If you do not appear, a judgment may be given to the person suing you. [A copy of the claim has been mailed to you at the address above.]
(7) Any circuit court may by rule authorize service of the summons and complaint prior to filing and authentication thereof, provided the appropriate fee under s. 814.62 is paid before the summons is issued and the summons is not reusable for a different defendant.
History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 776 (1975); 1977 c. 449 s. 497; 1979 c. 32 ss. 66, 92 (16); 1979 c. 89, 176; Stats. 1979 s. 799.12; 1981 c. 317; 1987 a. 208; Sup. Ct. Order No. 95-10, 195 Wis. 2d xv (1996); 1997 a. 250; 2013 a. 76.
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