2018 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 54. Guardianships and conservatorships.
54.30 Jurisdiction and venue.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 54.30 (2018)

54.30 Jurisdiction and venue.

(1) Jurisdiction. Except as provided in s. 54.38 (1), the circuit court has subject matter jurisdiction over all petitions for guardianship. A guardianship of the estate of any individual, once granted, shall extend to all of the ward's income and assets in this state and shall exclude the jurisdiction of every other circuit court, except as provided in ch. 786. Jurisdiction under this subsection also extends to the petition by a foreign guardian for the receipt and acceptance of a foreign guardianship, except as provided in ch. 53 and, if the petition is granted, to the accepted guardianship. Personal jurisdiction is subject to ch. 53.

(2) Venue. All petitions for guardianship of residents of the state shall be directed to the circuit court of the county of residence of the proposed ward or of the county in which the proposed ward is physically present. A petition for guardianship of the person or estate of a nonresident may be directed to the circuit court of any county in which the nonresident or any assets of the nonresident may be found or of the county in which the petitioner proposes that the proposed ward resides. A petition for receipt and acceptance of a foreign guardianship shall be directed to the circuit court of the county in which the foreign ward resides or intends to reside.

(3) Change of venue.

(a) Original proceeding. The court in which a petition is first filed shall determine venue. The court shall direct that proper notice be given to any potentially responsible or affected county. Proper notice is given to a potentially responsible or affected county if written notice of the proceeding is sent by certified mail to the county's clerk and corporation counsel. After all potentially responsible or affected counties and parties have been given an opportunity to be heard, the court shall determine that venue lies in the county in which the petition is filed under sub. (2) or in another county, as appropriate. If the court determines that venue lies in another county, the court shall order the entire record certified to the proper court. A court in which a subsequent petition is filed shall, if it is satisfied that an earlier filing took place in another court, summarily dismiss the petition. If any potentially responsible or affected county or party objects to the court's finding of venue, the court may refer the issue to the department for a determination of the county of residence under s. 51.40 (2) (g) and may suspend ruling on the motion for change of venue until the determination under s. 51.40 (2) (g) is final.

(b) Change of residence of ward. If a ward changes residence from one county to another county within the state, venue may be transferred to the ward's new county of residence under the following procedure:

1. An interested person shall file a petition for change of venue in the county in which venue for the guardianship currently lies.

2. The person filing the petition under subd. 1. shall give notice to the corporation counsel of the county in which venue for the guardianship currently lies and to the register in probate and corporation counsel for the county to which change of venue is sought.

3. If no objection to the change of venue is made within 15 days after the date on which notice is given under subd. 2., the circuit court of the county in which venue for the guardianship currently lies may enter an order changing venue. If objection to the change of venue is made within 15 days after the date on which notice is given under subd. 2., the circuit court of the county in which venue for the guardianship currently lies shall set a date for a hearing within 7 days after the objection is made and shall give notice of the hearing to the corporation counsel of that county and to the corporation counsel and register in probate of the county to which change of venue is sought.

(4) Conflicts of jurisdiction or venue. Before making a determination of jurisdiction or venue under this section, the circuit court shall first make any applicable determination of jurisdiction or venue under ch. 53. If any determination of jurisdiction or venue made under this section conflicts with a determination made under ch. 53, the court shall apply the determination made under ch. 53.

History: 2005 a. 387 ss. 100, 306, 313 to 316; 2017 a. 187.

Standards for courts to follow when confronted with the transfer of interstate guardianships based on principles of comity and the orderly administration of justice are set out. Grant County Department of Social Services v. Unified Board of Grant and Iowa Counties, 2005 WI 106, 283 Wis. 2d 258, 700 N.W.2d 863, 03-0634.

NOTE: The above annotations relate to guardianships under ch. 880, stats., prior to the revision of and renumbering of that chapter to ch. 54 by 2005 Wis. Act 387.

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