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Cases that include a participant who is receiving public assistance benefits are already open for child support services. Participants in non-aid cases may apply for services by downloading the application for services and forwarding it to the child support agency for processing.
No, the Child Support Agency does not participate in custody or placement issues. Access self-help forms to modify your custody or placement order at the Self-help law center.
Yes, if you have received a questionnaire, you need to complete the questionnaire and return it as soon as possible.
In any case, please complete and return the form as there are penalties for disregarding the eligibility stage of the jury selection process. If this information has not answered your questions, please call the jury clerk at 262-741-7044.
Each year Walworth County requests the Department of Transportation to provide a random list of names for anyone who has a Wisconsin driver's license, Wisconsin identification card or who has been issued a citation with a Walworth County address. Each person on that list is sent a questionnaire to determine their eligibility as a potential juror.
What is it you are suing for? Small claims can be used for the following:
Small Claims Summons and Complaint forms are available in our office, Room 2080.
You must have the following to fill out the Summons and Complaint:
After you fill out, sign, and date the Summons and Complaint, file the forms and any attachments with the Clerk of Courts, Room 2080 of the Judicial Center. A court date and a case number will be assigned by the clerk. You must pay a filing fee of $94.50 at the time of filing. You will then be responsible for seeing that the papers are properly served, paying any service fees, and filing proof of service with the court.
All Summons and Complaints must be personally served on each named defendant. After filing the Summons and Complaint, it is the plaintiff's responsibility to arrange for personal service, pay the service fees, and file the Proof of Service prior to or on the court date. See the Walworth County Sheriff's Office page for further information regarding their civil process procedures and fees. If the defendant lives outside of Walworth County, the plaintiff is responsible for getting the papers to the Sheriff in the county where the defendant resides and pay their service fees. Plaintiff may also employ the services of a private process server; costs vary.
Personal service must be completed at least eight days prior to the return date, excluding weekends and holidays. Eviction actions must be served at least five days prior to the return date, excluding weekends and holidays.
If, after reasonable diligence, the defendant cannot be served by personal service or substitute service, then service may be completed by mailing and publication (see 801.11(c) and 985.02(1)). A legal publication shall be published for one insertion where the defendant resides or is likely to see the publication. Plaintiff must also mail the Summons to the defendant(s) at the last known address. In Eviction cases, however, if after reasonable diligence, the defendant cannot be served by personal service or substitute service, then service may be made by posting and mailing (see 799.16(3)(a)). A copy of the summons and complaint may be affixed to some part of the premises where it may conveniently be read at least seven days prior to the return date, with an additional copy being mailed to the defendant at the last-known address at least five days prior to the return date.
All cases will be called before the Judicial Court Commissioner on the return date.
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.
If the plaintiff fails to appear, the case will be dismissed.
The following are the possibilities:
Either party may file a "Demand for Trial" within 10 days of the oral decision by the court commissioner or within 15 days after a written decision by the court commissioner. The matter will then be set for trial before the judge or a jury.
The party requesting the court or jury trial before the Circuit Court judge, must complete the "Demand for Trial" form for the purpose of defining the issues and estimating the time required to hear the trial. If a jury trial is demanded, a jury request fee of $89 plus $36-6 person jury fee are to be paid (814.63(3)(e)), (799.2194)). You must file the demand with the court and send a copy to the other party. It is best to use certified mail so you have proof that you did so.
Please see section 704.14 and section 704.21 regarding legal notice to vacate the premises. After proper notice to vacate has been given the tenant, the landlord may start an eviction action. Proof of service of proper notice must be filed upon commencing an action. The landlord should produce a written lease if one exists. The tenant should have receipts of canceled checks if their defense is based on payment. Photographs regarding the condition of the premises may also be helpful.
Effective June 10, 2020, through August 31, 2020, a Declaration of CARES Act Verification must be filed on all eviction actions. Failure to do so will result in either a dismissal of the action or a continuance by the Court in order to gain compliance.
It is a formal document signed by a judge or Clerk of Circuit Court, stating that the defendant owes you money or the return of property.
If the case is decided in your favor, you will get a judgment against the defendant. If the defendant fails to appear or answer, you will get a default judgment. Either way, you get a judgment. Your judgment will include court costs and fees allowed by law; filing fee, service fee, subpoena fees or witnesses, statutory attorney fees based on the amount of damages awarded, interest at 5% from the due date to date of judgment to be computed by the requesting party) and 12% thereafter until the amount is paid.
You may docket the judgment or commence a garnishment action.
Please call 262-741-4370 or 1-800-284-5879 to check juror status.
All court proceedings are held in the Judicial Center.
Your first payment should be made out to the municipality. Your second payment is made out to the Walworth County Treasurer, and can be mailed, paid through the Current Tax Payment Information page, or paid in person at the Treasurer's Office.
The County Clerk is responsible for updating the county directory. Call them at 262-741-4241 with any questions or for more information.
Call the Register of Deeds Office at 262-741-4233 for more information.
Call the Land Use and Resource Management Office at 262-741-4972 for land use information.
Call the County Treasurer at 262-741-4251 for more information.
Call the Land Use and Resource Management Office at 262-741-4972 for more information on zoning.
Call the Register of Deeds Office at 262-741-4233 for information on real estate records.
Call the County Clerk at 262-741-424 for marriage license information.
Call the Register in Probate Office at 262-741-4256 for more information.
Call The Agricultural Society at 262-741-3228 for information about the Walworth County Fair.
View the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website for more information about public hunting land.
View the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website for driver's license information.
View the Employee Wellness Council page for more information.
View the Services page to find public records.
Property tax bills are mailed out by each municipality by mid-December of each year.
If you do not receive your property tax bill by December 20th please contact your local treasurer. Failure to receive your property tax bill does not exempt you from paying property taxes timely, and interest and penalty due to delinquency.
Prior to January 31st of each year, all current year property tax payments and checks should be made payable to and paid to your local treasurer. After February 1st, property tax payments should be made payable to and paid to the Walworth County Treasurer.
Please include a stub from your tax bill. If not available, write the tax parcel number on your check. If sending one check for multiple payments, please include a list showing each tax parcel number and amount to apply to each parcel number.If you want a receipt, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Tax receipt is not valid until all payments have cleared all banks.
Please refer to the back of your tax bill for the statutory definition of a timely payment on current year tax payments. For delinquent payments, the statutes allow for United States Postal Service postmarks to be used as the effective date of payment.
Please have the Post Office hand stamp your envelope with the current day's postmark if paying at the end of a month.
Delinquent property taxes are charged interest and penalty at a rate of 1.5% per month on the unpaid tax owed, beginning February 1st until paid in full. All delinquent property taxes are payable to the Walworth County Treasurer’s Office. If property taxes are delinquent for 2 or more years, the property will be subject to foreclosure.
Tax bill information is available on this Walworth County website. A copy of the tax bill can also be obtained from the Treasurer's office at a cost of $1 per copy. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with your written request including the tax year, tax key number and payment to:Walworth County TreasurerP.O. Box 1001Elkhorn, WI 53121
Homeowners in Wisconsin who use the home as their primary residence on January 1st of the year in which the property taxes are levied qualify for a lottery and gaming credit. View more information on the Department of Revenue website.
Beginning with the 2008 tax bill, State of Wisconsin taxable parcels containing a real property improvement qualify for the First Dollar Credit. Find more information about First Dollar Credit.
All assessment questions should be directed to your local assessor. For more information please contact your local treasurer using the Municipality Directory.
All personal property taxes for businesses or mobile homes are due to your local treasurer by January 31st. Please refer to the Municipality Directory.
If you are a defendant and have hired an attorney, our office will not be able to communicate with you. We are only able to communicate with your attorney regarding your case.
If you are a defendant and have not hired an attorney, you may complete a form called Waiver of Your Right to an Attorney. This form can be obtained from the Clerk of Courts Office at the Judicial Center. After you have completed the form, sign it and file it with the Clerk of Courts Office. Once the form has been filed and we have received a copy, you may contact our office to communicate with the prosecutor assigned to your case.
If you are looking to obtain access to or copies of police reports, you must go directly to the police agency that prepared the reports and make an open records request. There may be a fee to obtain police reports.
No, our office does not handle child support matters. Any child support questions should be directed either to your attorney or the Child Support Office in the Judicial Center. That phone number is 262-741-7100. Our office only becomes involved in child support matters when a criminal child support case has been referred to us.
No, our office does not handle civil matters. We do not represent private citizens. We represent the County of Walworth and the State of Wisconsin only.
If you would like to commence a small claims action against another party you can obtain and file the paperwork with the Clerk of Courts Office in Room 2080 of the Judicial Center. You may also contact the Clerk of Courts Small Claims division at 262-741-7019 for more information.
You may go directly to the State Public Defender's Office located at:209 O'Connor DriveElkhorn, WI 53121Phone: 262-723-3212
They will discuss the steps you need to take to determine if you are eligible for public defender representation. If you are not eligible for public defender representation, the public defender's office will give you a form called Notice of Ineligibility. The Public Defender's Office will also give you a Motion for Appointment of Counsel. Fill this form out and file the original with the Clerk of Courts Office. The Judge will then decide at the next court hearing whether or not to grant your motion for appointment of counsel.
If you wish to make a complaint against someone, go to the police agency where the violation occurred and make a complaint to a police officer. You cannot make your complaint directly to our office. The police officer will investigate the matter and refer any appropriate charges to our office for prosecution. An attorney from the District Attorney's office will decide whether or not to file charges.
Once charges have been filed from the District Attorney's office only the attorney can decide to drop the charges.
There is a page of instructions entitled "To Lift the No Contact". See the table of contents of this website. A printed copy can also be obtained from the Clerk of Court's office.
If you have an attorney, contact him/her with this question. If you do not have an attorney, you must contact our office to inquire whether or not the prosecutor assigned to your case objects to your request. You must then call the Clerk of Court's office at 741-7012 to advise the court of the prosecutor's position and of your request for a new court date. The Judge will make the final decision to grant or deny your request.
The following conditions apply:
The bond conditions last until the case is dismissed or the defendant is sentenced for the crime.
The prosecuting attorney believes that you have relevant testimony necessary to prosecute the case.
There are many factors involved for each case. Some cases are resolved within several weeks, whereas others may take several months.
Contact the police agency that is holding your property. They will then contact the District Attorney's office regarding this matter. The police department will then contact you regarding the release of your property.
Contact the State Department of Justice at the Department of Justice.
If is important to keep the school updated if your child will not be in attendance due to illness or other planned/unplanned absence. Please contact the main office at 262-741-4118 to report an absence. You may also contact the School Nurse, if you have additional questions.
Links to upcoming calendar events are listed on the School website home page. A Quick Link to the school calendar is also posted on the For Parents webpage.
During extreme winter weather, please refer to radio/television stations for possible closing information. Because Lakeland School is not part of any district schools, closing notification will be announced as 'Lakeland School of Walworth County'. See Emergency School Closings page for media links.
LSYou is programming available for students ages 18+ who have completed their Lakeland High School experience but require some continued services to work on their transition goals. LSYou students have not received their Diploma yet. LSYou provides opportunities for students to gain independent living skills, social skills, employment skills, and self-advocacy skills in real-life settings and to participate in age-appropriate activities in the community appropriate for each student and their post-secondary goals. See the LSYou Department webpage for additional information.
Summer school is typically held for three weeks in the month of July. For specific dates, please refer to the calendar details on the Lakeland School Homepage.
School Fest is a parent-teacher sponsored event in which the proceeds are used to supplement the unique Special Education programming needs for each and every one of Lakeland School students. See the School Fest Webpage for additional information.
Lakeland School students participate in many sports offered through Wisconsin Special Olympics. Please visit the Athletics page of the school website for additional information.
Lakeland School is an IEP placement option for residents of one of the 15 school districts in Walworth County. Students are placed in programs such as Lakeland School, based on an IEP team determination of need. Lakeland School is one option within a range of services. Less restrictive, mainstream options are always considered prior to placement. Parents and other members of the IEP team are encouraged to explore all options to endorse the program and placement most appropriate for each student. Please contact Your Walworth County School District to discuss Lakeland School as a placement option.
Lakeland School is an IEP placement option for residents in all of the 15 school districts in Walworth County. If, while attending Lakeland, you change your district of residence within the County, your student is eligible to continue at Lakeland School. Please notify Lakeland School (262-741-4118) of your move and contact your new Walworth County School District to register your student, and discuss continuing placement at Lakeland School. Students are placed in programs such as Lakeland School, based on an IEP team determination of need. Lakeland School is one option within a range of services. Less restrictive, mainstream options are always considered prior to placement. Parents and other members of the IEP team are encouraged to explore all options to endorse the program and placement most appropriate for each student.
Lakeland School is an IEP placement option for residents of one of the 15 school districts in Walworth County. Students are placed in programs such as Lakeland School, based on an IEP team determination of need. Lakeland School is one option within a range of services. Less restrictive, mainstream options are always considered as part of a student's placement decision. Parents and other members of the IEP team are encouraged to explore all options to endorse the program and placement most appropriate for each student. If you would like to discuss placement within /return to your District of Residence, please contact the Assistant Director of Special Education at 262-741-4118 or your Walworth County School District.
The behavior matrix is a detailed description of expected behavior in seven settings of our daily school life. For example, in the cafeteria, it is respectful to talk with our peers at our table at a voice level three, and say "Please" and "Thank You." It is responsible and safe to clean your space. The matrix will be posted in classrooms, around school, and sent home.
Acknowledging and reinforcing positive behavior is one of the best ways to change inappropriate behavior. At Lakeland School, staff will be rewarding students regularly with UR Cool tickets for displaying characters of good citizenship. Students will be able to recognize their peers by issuing a School Shout Out to be mentioned over the loudspeaker at the start of each day. These students that are recognized will be entered in monthly and quarterly school-wide celebrations.
No, students will still have consequences such as time outs, detentions and/or other necessary forms of discipline. Detentions will continue to be used as a method of reteaching expectations in the school environment.
Call, email, or write a note to your child's homeroom teacher. All Lakeland School staff will be trained in PBIS.
There are a number of bristly, or tufted, caterpillars that are often mistaken for the gypsy moth. The gypsy moth caterpillar can be identified by five pairs of blue dots followed by six pairs of red dots down the length of back. The head is yellow and the entire body is covered with long hairs. By the end of June, they are 1 to 2 inches long. They do not build silk tents.
Management includes applying barrier bands around trees in April through May, applying burlap collection bands June to July, and pesticide treatments such as Bacillus thuringiensis (BTK) applied on young caterpillars mid May to early June when they are about a half-inch long or Golden Pest Spray Oil on the egg masses in late fall or winter. For photos and more information visit the Gypsy Moth website.
They favor the following trees:
Yes, a County Zoning Permit and a County-approved Land Disturbance and Erosion Control Plan and Permit are required for any pond construction project in Walworth County. Pond construction must meet County Conservation Standards and County Zoning Standards.
County Pond Standards specifically restrict the construction of location and dimension of ponds in wetlands. If a pond is permitted in a wetland, it can not impair the functional values of the existing wetland. Only shallow wildlife ponds can be constructed in wetlands. Other standards apply for any pond construction in wetlands.
A permit or plan approval must also be obtained by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for pond construction connected to or near other bodies of water or in wetlands.
View the rezoning/conditional use procedures (PDF).
Take a look at the Rezone and Conditional Use Process Flowchart (PDF).
The following ordinances are regulated:
A zoning permit is typically required for any construction, addition or alteration of any structure, within the County's jurisdiction, including but not limited to:
A structure is defined as anything constructed or erected. Single Family Residences or other principle structures on a parcel, additions, roof alterations, accessory structures (greater than 100 square feet in size), and signs are included.
In addition, in the shoreyard (75 feet from a lake or stream) permits are required for:
Please contact our office for an explanation of these regulations relative to these types of uses with the County's zoning jurisdiction.
A Zoning Permit is typically required even if the structure exists and the person is replacing it.
A zoning permit application form must be completely filled out and a plat of survey (prepared by a registered land surveyor showing all existing and proposed structures) shall be attached to the permit application, including the required fee (Zoning Fees (PDF)). Any construction started without permit approval will be charged a double fee. Additional supporting materials may be required for certain projects such as building plans, grading plans, existing and proposed contours, etc. Zoning permits are valid for two years.
If your zoning permit is denied, the applicant has 30 days to appeal the denial to the Walworth County Board of Adjustment (Variance Application (PDF)). Depending on the request, additional reviews of the proposed project may be required by the:
No, a zoning permit is not required from Walworth County, provided the fence does not exceed 6 feet in height. A fence is required to be located at least 2 feet from the right of way, at least 75 feet from a waterbody, and is not permitted to be greater than 2.5 feet in height in the vision triangle of an intersection (Fence Regulation Diagram (PDF)). Please contact the appropriate Code Enforcement Officer for further guidance and explanation of these regulations.
Yes. Many construction and related activities require some type of permit from the Zoning, Sanitation and Land Conservation Division if the property is located with the County's zoning jurisdiction. Please contact our office for an explanation of these regulations relative to these types of uses with the County's zoning jurisdiction.
The Walworth County Zoning and Shoreland Zoning Ordinances regulate land use and setbacks from property lines to structures. The Building Inspector at the Township level reviews and inspects construction relative to compliance with the State of Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code. Simply stated, the Zoning office and the Building Inspector regulate two distinctly different regulations, therefore, different conditions of approval are required.
There are several options to choose from:
To learn how to find your zoning, click here
If your property is within the County's zoning jurisdiction, it has been designated by a particular zoning district. Each district outlines the zoning requirements (example: Permitted uses, conditional uses, setback requirements, lot area and width requirements, etc.) that are applicable to each zoning district. There are 31 different zoning districts in Walworth County ranging from:
You will need to have the tax key number of the property to determine the location of the property thereby determining the zoning district designation.
To learn what the different zoning districts mean, click here
Maps are available in our office to assist in determining the zoning classification on your property. Call our office 262-741-4972 for assistance.
Walworth County jurisdiction includes all, or portions of, the 16 Towns in the county. The County's jurisdiction does not include non-shoreland extraterritorial zoning around the city of Elkhorn, Village of Williams Bay, and Village of Fontana. The County's jurisdiction does not include non-shoreland areas in the Town of Bloomfield. The County's zoning jurisdiction does not include cities or villages. You should contact the appropriate municipality for their zoning requirements.
A zoning permit application, which regulates where the residence is placed on the property. A sanitary permit, which regulates where, what type and size of septic system is being installed on the property. An erosion control permit, which regulates what land will be disturbed, for how long and how will it be stabilized during construction. The Walworth County Land Use and Resource Management Department reviews and issues all three permits together to assure fewer problems in the construction process. Once the County permits are issued the applicant shall contact the appropriate Town for the applicable Town Building Permit.
View Town Building Inspectors (PDF).
The Walworth County Land Use and Resource Management Department has office hours on Monday though Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Permit applications can be submitted in person or by mail. If the applicant would prefer a zoning staff member's time to look at the application prior to submittal, appointments are recommended, but walk-in hours are also available. The phone number for the Walworth County Land Use and Resource Management Department is 262-741-4972.
The office is located at the:Government Center (Old Courthouse)100 W Walworth Street2nd FloorElkhorn, WI 53121
The reception area is at the top of the central stairway on the second floor.
Your tax key number can be found on your Real Estate Tax Bill.
The legal description can be found on a copy of the plat of survey for the property, or a less descriptive legal description can be found on a copy of your property tax bill.
Yes, the County has regulations regarding tree/vegetation that can be removed and how much vegetation can be cut in the Shoreland and Floodplain jurisdictional areas, (1,000 feet from a lake, pond or flowage, and/or 300 feet from any other navigable body of water or in its floodplain whichever is greater). Please contact our office for a determination as to whether or not any of the above regulations apply to your property prior to removing any vegetation on your property.
No, the Walworth County Code of Ordinances strictly prohibits the storage of more than one unlicensed and/or inoperable vehicle on properties within the County's zoning jurisdiction. Please contact our office for an explanation of these regulations relative to these types of uses with the County's zoning jurisdiction.
Yes, Walworth County requires filing as a minor home occupation or conditional use review and approval (Conditional Use form). Please contact our office for a detailed explanation of these regulations prior to commencing a home occupation or professional home office.
In general, more than one dwelling unit on a property is not permitted. The zoning ordinances provide for this type of use under limited circumstances based on the zoning district the property is located in. Please contact our office for an explanation of these specific regulations.
In general, more than one dwelling unit on a property is not permitted. The zoning ordinances provide for conditional use review of planned residential developments in certain zoning districts based on minimum lot area requirements. Please contact our office for an explanation of these specific regulations.
The mobile home would have to have at least 22 by 22 feet minimum core living area and be placed on an enclosed foundation to be permitted in an area that would permit a single-family residence. Please contact our office for an explanation of these regulations relative to these types of uses with the County's zoning jurisdiction.
No, the County does not issue permits for private piers. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at 262-574-2100 and/or the Town for any permit requirements. The Commercial use of a pier may require Walworth County review and approval.
The Shoreland Zoning Ordinance permits boathouses provided it is not a wet boathouse. The boathouse shall be located to as to minimize earth disturbing activities and shoreland vegetation removal, shall be designed exclusively for the storage of watercraft and related marine equipment and shall not be used for human habitation or commercial purposes. A boathouse with rooms above or within, used for purposes other than the storage of watercraft and related marine equipment, shall not be deemed to be a boathouse. Features inconsistent with the use of the structure exclusively as a boathouse are not permitted in or on boathouses such as:
The boathouse shall not be closer than three feet to any side lot line. Railings are not permitted on top of the boathouse, nor shall roofs be designed to provide general outdoor living space, i.e. as a deck. Only one boathouse is permitted on a lot. Please contact our office for explanations of other size and location regulations.
Walworth County zoning does not limit the number of accessory structures but limits the total square footage of all accessory structures on a parcel. The square footage limitations are based on lot area. Please contact our office for an explanation of these regulations.
No. Only Agricultural zoned land can have agricultural-related structures on a parcel without a residence. Please contact our office for further explanation of these regulations.
Walworth County Zoning permits horses on lands zoned A-1, A-2, A-3, A-5, and C-2. Any building that has animals in them is required to be 100 feet from all side and rear property lines. Please contact our office for further explanation of these regulations.
If you have a lot or structure that is sub-standard, please contact our office for an explanation of the regulations that may apply to your particular situation.
If you have a structure that is legal non-conforming, please contact our office for an explanation of the regulations that may apply to your particular situation.
Walworth County has plat review authority for land divisions in Walworth County. The County also administers the Walworth County Subdivision Control Ordinances. Please contact our office for an explanation of these regulations and the County's subdivision review authority prior to commencing any land division.
To inquire about a death investigation, you may contact our office at 262-741-4729. Our normal business hours are Monday through Friday. Please provide your name, the name of the deceased, the date of death (actual or approximate), and your relationship to the deceased when calling.Keep in mind that, while we do our best to keep families informed, we may not be able to answer all questions if the investigation is incomplete or if release of information would compromise an active criminal investigation.
Only in rare instances do we require family members to come to our facility to make a visual identification based on a photograph (for example, when the remains are those of an unidentified person or when the identification has not been previously confirmed). The Walworth County Medical Examiner's Office does not allow the viewing of decedents at our facility under any circumstances. Since the funeral home is the more appropriate setting for the viewing of remains, we ask families and friends to be patient and allow us to complete our examination, so that the decedent can be quickly released to the funeral home of their choice.
Following the post-mortem examination of a decedent's body, the Deputy Medical Examiner (Investigator) will contact the legal next of kin with preliminary findings (if they wish to be notified). If the cause of death cannot be determined immediately (requiring further investigation and/or studies), you may request that a copy of the final autopsy report be mailed as soon as it is complete.
All personal property that is received with the decedent's body is released to the funeral home chosen by the legal next of kin. In some instances, personal property may be retained by law enforcement or the Medical Examiner's Office for evidentiary purposes. A property release form listing all property with the decedent is signed by the person transporting the decedent for the funeral home.
The Medical Examiner's Office does everything possible to complete examinations and release bodies within the shortest period possible. In the majority of cases, bodies are examined and released within 24 hours. Since autopsies are not routinely performed on Sundays or holidays, releases involving such periods may be delayed slightly.
In many cases, the cause of death is evident at the time of autopsy. In these cases, the death certificate is completed immediately and the examination report will typically be mailed out shortly thereafter. In other cases, the cause of death may require additional studies, and therefore, additional time. Many of these studies require processing and analysis of specimens by consulting laboratories, whose turn-around times are not controlled by the Walworth County Medical Examiner's Office.
Toxicology analysis is one of the most frequent reasons for a delay in completing an investigation and death certificate. Forensic toxicology (in Medical Examiner Office cases) is very different from the drug testing performed in hospitals. Toxicology analysis may only take 4 to 6 weeks if no drugs are present; however, 6 to 8 weeks are typically required to perform the necessary confirmations and quantitations of drugs detected. Longer toxicology turn-around times are required in cases where numerous drugs were involved, where unusual drugs are involved, or if the person is decomposed.
Finally, the death investigation may be prolonged if the pathologist's initial suspicions are not confirmed. For example, if the death is strongly suspected to be the result of drug toxicity, but the toxicology analysis detects no drugs, the forensic pathologist may submit additional tissues for microscopic examination and/or may consult with the certified forensic toxicologist to make decisions on analyzing further specimens for unusual substances. The forensic pathologist may also confer with the law enforcement agency investigating the death to consider other possibilities (asking the police to return to the scene of death or to interview additional witnesses).
As one might suspect, all death investigations are different, and determining the cause and manner of death may require a great number of steps, each requiring time to complete-the time needed to complete some of these steps may not be under the control of the Medical Examiner's Office. We greatly appreciate the patience of families and friends in these matters as we try to provide accurate and complete answers.
The death certificate is completed in two sections: the medical portion is completed by the forensic pathologist of the Medical Examiner's Office, while the remainder is completed by the funeral home. Once the death certificate is completed, it is the responsibility of the funeral home to file the document with the Wisconsin State Office of Vital Statistics. The funeral home can then provide you with the copies of the death certificate.
Yes, "pending" as cause and/or manner of death implies that additional studies are necessary, such as drug testing, microscopic tissue examination, etc. A death certificate, even a pending certificate, is a legal document which serves as proof that the named individual has been pronounced dead. If any problems arise in the acceptance of this document as proof of death, please call the office at 262-741-4729 for assistance.
When a funeral and burial is to be held in another state, the family should contact the funeral director of their choice in that state. That funeral director will then take charge of making arrangements for the transport of the decedent's body by contacting a local funeral director. The family should notify the out of state funeral director that the deceased's death is being investigated by the Medical Examiner's Office.
The Walworth County Medical Examiner's office will consider the facts of each case individually. Once we receive all of the pertinent information regarding the circumstances surrounding the death, we will determine what level of investigation/examination is necessary to determine the cause and manner of death. In some cases, this will require the performance of an autopsy.
An autopsy is a medical examination of a decedent and consists of two parts: an external examination and an internal examination. During the external examination, the decedent is first examined as received (including any clothing present), again after removal of clothing, and yet again after being cleaned up. Throughout the examination process, the findings (traumatic injuries, disease states, etc.) are documented. Following the external examination, the decedent is then examined internally, with all organs and tissues examined for the presence of injuries and pre-existing natural disease.In the course of an autopsy, samples of various organs, tissues, and body fluids are retained for additional studies, if warranted. These studies include toxicology (testing for drugs, etc.), microscopic examination and microbiology (bacterial, viral, or fungal cultures). In addition, other items of evidence may be collected, such as:
The performance of an autopsy should not affect funeral arrangements. The incisions made during autopsy are easily concealed by a funeral director and are not visible during the funeral visitation. The performance of the autopsy should not delay the funeral under most circumstances.
No. There is no charge to the family for an autopsy on a death which falls under the legal jurisdiction of the Walworth County Medical Examiner's office.
It is the policy of the Walworth County Medical Examiner's office not to perform "private autopsies" on Walworth County deaths, as it is felt to represent a possible conflict of interest. As this is a county office, funded by tax dollars, the performance of autopsies on Walworth County deaths is restricted to those which fall within our legal jurisdiction. In other words, the medical examiner's office is not mandated to perform an autopsy on any Walworth County death-only on those over which jurisdiction is assumed. The office may, however, be able to provide next-of-kin with contact numbers for pathologists known to perform private autopsies. Be aware that the cost of a private autopsy is the financial responsibility of the legal next-of-kin.
Email Public Works the exact location.
Email Public Works the name, address, date, and approximate time.
Email Public Works the exact location using the nearest crossroad along with an address if possible.
Salt is used to make the roadways safer during the winter. It lowers the freezing point of snow and ice and keeps the snow "workable" so it is more easily removed. Salt can be used for anti-icing, de-icing, or melting. Anti-icing is a technique where chloride is applied to the roadway prior to a storm to prevent the snow/ice from bonding to the pavement. De-icing and melting is when chloride is applied after the storm has begun in order to break up ice and snow pack or to melt glare/black ice.
The minimum practical applications range for salt is a pavement temperature of 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and above. While salt will melt snow and ice down to a pavement temperature of negative 6 degrees Fahrenheit, it can melt over five times as much ice at 30 degrees Fahrenheit as at 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus the effectiveness of salt is sensitive to small differences in pavement temperature. We attempt to apply only the amount required for temperature, time and use. Too little and the roadway will refreeze, too much is a waste of money and resources.
When the pavement temperature drops below 15 degrees Fahrenheit the effectiveness of salt is decreased significantly. At these lower temperatures, we typically cease straight salt applications and begin adding other chemicals to the salt such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride that will lower the freezing point even further. Wind conditions must also be considered when deciding on whether to apply salt or other de-icing agents. As the temperatures drop and the snow becomes dryer, the wind can begin to blow the snow across the pavement. If there is a chemical residue left on the pavement from a previous salt application, blowing snow can be attracted to the residue and stick to the pavement creating hazardous conditions that would not have existed if no de-icing agents were previously applied.
This is why we are sometimes reluctant to apply salt or chemicals when the pavement temperatures are below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The type of pavement can also affect the effectiveness of salt. For example, salt works better on new asphaltic (blacktop) pavements than on concrete pavement. The salt being used today typically includes other ice melting de-icing agents to increase its effectiveness at lower temperatures and to help it better adhere to the pavements. Adding other de-icing agents to the salt also reduces the number of applications needed. WisDOT is always looking for new ways to reduce the amount of chlorides needed to return the roadways to safe winter driving conditions.
Our experience, and the body of research on the use of sand, indicates the benefits of abrasives (sand) applied to roadways are very minimal. Abrasives are easily displaced from the roadway by traffic and they have no ice melting properties. There are also negative environmental consequences such as air pollution and siltation of waterways.
There are no state laws that prohibit you from passing a snowplow. However, it is illegal (State Statute 346.915) to follow a snowplow closer than 200 feet upon any highway having the posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour if the snowplow is engaged in snow and ice removal. The majority of crashes involving snowplows and vehicles happen when a snowplow is rear ended or hit while being passed.
Snowplows have wing plow blades that can extend anywhere between 2 and 10 feet beyond the width of the truck. This wing and plow blade is often not seen because of the snow cloud being kicked up by the snowplow. These wing plows can often weigh as much as a compact car.
Under department policy, Highway Division Superintendents determine when and how to respond to a storm, including calling out crews.
This department is responsible for snow removal on approximately 1,150 centerline miles of roadway and 130 bridges. The average time to complete a section is approximately 2 hours, but some cycle times can be as long as 3 hours. Time is also needed to load and reload the truck with de-icing materials.
One of the biggest factors that determine performance is the type of storm and range of temperatures. There are reportedly more than 60,000 combinations of winter storms that can hit Wisconsin during the winter and each poses unique problems to snowplow operators. Storms with low temperatures can be difficult because deicing agents become less effective at the lower temperatures. Storms with high winds also are a challenge because the snow quickly blows back onto the roadway after the plows pass.
We are actually spraying a liquid salt solution on the roadway that will help keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. Spraying a salt solution on the roadway is similar to spraying a frying pan with oil to keep food from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The salt solution acts as a barrier so that the snow and ice won't form a strong bond to the pavement. In many locations we will spray the bridge decks the afternoon before a predicted frost. The early application of the salt solution helps prevent frost from forming on the bridge decks throughout the night.
A "Special-Use" permit must be requested and granted prior to camping in the County parks.
There is electrical power at each shelter. However, the amperage for the outlets is low. For example, there is only 15 amp service at White River Park. Depending on your event, you may want to consider bringing a generator.
Fires (such as campfires) are prohibited. A special use permit may be granted if the fire is in a container designed for eliminating the spread of the fire.
Gas grills may be brought and used at the shelters. There are also grills available at the following parks:
Some hunting is allowed, but only at White River Park. A permit must be granted by Walworth County.
The picnic tables in the shelters are bolted down. If you rent a shelter, you may move other picnic tables in the park to the shelter area, but they must returned to their original location after your event.
Tents are allowed in the parks. However, no stakes may be used. Tents should be secured using cement blocks or similar objects.
Use of an ATV or other low-powered, mechanically-propelled vehicle, is acceptable if it's being used to go from the parking lot to the shelter. It cannot be used on the trails.
Probate is the process that transfers a decedent's property to persons entitled to receive it, pays creditor's claims, and determines and pays any state or federal taxes.
Every person, other than the executor, having the custody of a will, shall within 30 days after he or she has knowledge of the death of the testator, file the original will in the proper court or deliver it to the person named as executor in the will. Every person named as executor shall, within 30 days after he or she has knowledge that he or she is named executor, and has knowledge of the death of the testator, file the original will in the proper court, unless the will has been otherwise deposited with the court.
The filing fee is 0.2% of the total value of the property subject to administration, or a minimum of $20.
These are two terms referring to the person to whom letters to administer a decedent's estate have been granted by the court or by the probate registrar.
The Probate Office has an index card file in the office that the public can access. Records filed after November 1996, are on the computer. Microfilm is available for viewing.
If an individual requesting the search comes into our office and looks up the record him/herself, there is not a search fee. If the search request is mailed to the probate office, there is a $4 search fee that must be paid in advance.
The cost is $3 for the certification plus $1 per page.
Copies are $1 per page.
No, pursuant to local court rule, the pleadings must be filed with the Probate Office before the clerk will assign a court date.
You must fill out a claim form, have it notarized, and file it in the Probate office, along with a $3 filing fee.
No, the property can be transferred using an Affidavit of Transfer form by any heir or guardian of the decedent. This form is available from any office supply store or online (form PR-1831). If you have questions regarding the use of this form, please contact the Supreme Court Forms Officer at 608-266-7143.
If no personal representative has been appointed in Wisconsin, upon filing a certified copy of your appointment papers in Walworth County you may exercise power over the Walworth County real estate, including sale or assignment of the property.
The personal representative must be represented by an attorney if formal probate is filed. The Wisconsin Legislature created a procedure for probating a decedent's solely owned property as well as property in which he had a joint tenancy interest in an informal manner without the necessity of processing the probate through the court and without the necessity of an attorney, if certain conditions are met. You may use an attorney, as needed, at any time during informal probate.
At any point in informal administration, you can ask the court to switch from an informal to a formal. The Registrar can also ask the court to switch to a formal, and you would then be required to retain an attorney. The Probate Registrar can answer questions on preparation of forms but cannot give legal advice.
The decedent's probate estate consists of all property that the decedent owned solely or as a tenant in common. Proceeds from a life insurance policy which are payable on the decedent's estate also require probate. Jointly owned property, survivorship marital property, life insurance, annuity, or retirement accounts that are payable upon death to a named beneficiary, or assets that are payable on death (POD) to another person (such as bank accounts) are not probate property.
The personal representative is allowed all necessary expenses in the care, management, and settlement of the estate. The personal representative shall be allowed a fee for his or her services. The amount of the fee is determined by the probate court, based on a statutory formula. If the decedent and the personal representative, or the persons who receive the majority interest in the estate and the personal representative, agree to a different amount, it must be in writing.
If the estate requires extraordinary services or is unusually difficult, the court may allow a greater fee. If a personal representative is derelict in his duty, his or her compensation for services may be reduced or denied.
Yes, many probate forms are now available on the Wisconsin Court website. These may be "downloaded" and are "fillable" forms. The Register in Probate's office also has an informal packet with a helpful informal handbook. You can obtain these in Room 2085 of the Walworth County Judicial Center.
When a death occurs, normally the life insurance company requires the policy itself and a copy of the death certificate (available from the Register of Deeds). The life insurance agent can assist you in collecting the proceeds.
No, your power to act ends with the principal's death.
The State Department of Motor Vehicles has a form that is used to transfer a vehicle to a surviving spouse, heir, or joint owner.
Heir means any person, including the surviving spouse, who is entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to an interest in the property of the decedent. Refer to Wisconsin Chapter 852 for the order of distribution. Heirs are entitled to notice of probate proceedings and will inherit all of the decedent's assets if he or she did not leave a will.
Annual reports need to be filed no later than April 15th.
Yes. You will need to call the Probate Office at 262-741-7014 and request one.
Yes, both guardians/trustees must sign the annual report.
Yes, be sure to send copies of bank statements or other documents you have to verify the amounts listed on the account.
No, we will send a copy to them.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended the REAL ID deadline to May 7, 2025; to learn more about REAL ID requirements and use, visit: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id. To make your Wisconsin Driver’s License a REAL ID, the Department of Transportation requires certified copies of birth certificates and, if needed, marriage certificates. Any Wisconsin Register of Deeds office can issue birth and marriage certificates for events that occurred in Wisconsin. You can also receive these via mail by ordering online at https://www.vitalchek.com/order_main.aspx.
Walworth County Register of Deeds accepts in-person requests from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., we ask that you arrive by 4:45 p.m. so you have time to complete the required vital record application. At least one form of valid identification containing your current name and address is required to be presented at the time of application. In person requests are typically issued within 15-20 minutes.
The Register of Deeds office is charged with the duty of being an independent custodian of records relating to real estate. As such, the only area in which we can offer assistance is with general processing questions. We cannot assist you with the actual drafting of documents. We highly recommend that you obtain legal counsel for these transactions.
Although several legal documents have been developed into fill-in-the-blank style forms and appear to be very easily completed, it is the answers to those fill-in-the-blank questions that are critically important. The appropriate answers can vary widely from person to person. Determining the correct answer for your situation constitutes legal advice. We are not licensed to practice real estate law. Furthermore, our role as custodian of the records prohibits us from assisting in the creation of the records.
The legal description of your property appears on your deed. While this seems simple enough, it can be complicated by two factors. If your property consists of a number of small parcels that have been combined over time, a simple concise legal description may not exist. The opposite can also be a problem. Your property may previously have been a large parcel from which smaller parcels were sold off.
In both of these cases, several documents and some interpretation may be required to construct a legal description. If the history of your parcel fits into either of the above categories, you should contact a registered land surveyor for professional assistance in writing an accurate, up-to-date legal description.
While Federal Income Tax Liens are recorded in the Register of Deeds office, we have no jurisdiction over the lien itself or any release documentation once the lien is satisfied. We cannot record a Release unless one is presented to us for recording. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changed their procedures several years ago and now consider their liens to be "self-releasing" after a certain number of years. As a result, they do not record Release of Lien documents as they did in the past.
It is our observation that credit-reporting agencies generally do not read documents. They only look at the index and may be unaware of the self-releasing feature. However, if you contact the IRS, their staff may prepare a Certificate of Release that you can record which should clear your credit report. Contact the manager in charge of preparation of federal tax liens at 800-913-6050.
If you glance at your deed, you will notice that your name appears as "grantee", but the bank is never mentioned. That means that when you pay your mortgage in full it is not necessary to update your deed.
What does need to be done is to have a Satisfaction of Mortgage document recorded with the Register of Deeds office. Financial institutions are required to record such a document within a specified timeframe. If you receive a Satisfaction of Mortgage endorsed by a Register of Deeds with a time, date and document number, nothing further needs to be done. If you have not received the endorsed satisfaction, you should check with your lender to be certain they processed the appropriate paperwork.
If you are borrowing money from a financial institution in order to purchase the real estate, a title search will be ordered by that financial institution well in advance of the closing. This search will reveal any outstanding liens. If no financial institution is involved, then you will want to contract directly with a title company for a complete title search.
Strictly speaking, the answer is "yes". Practically speaking, however, the answer is probably "no".
The records in the Register of Deeds office are open for public inspection. However, unless you are familiar with how real estate records are organized and the procedures to perform a Grantor/Grantee and a Tract Index search, it is recommended to hire a title company to perform the search. Additionally, there may be documents on file with other county offices that may impact the property in which you are interested.
No. The Register of Deeds office is not authorized to render opinions regarding the status of title. Professional title examiners use the records in our office as well as searching records in other county offices to determine if the title is free and clear of encumbrances.
This question is more complex than it first appears. In its simplest form, you are not required to take any action. When you sell your property, you can simply indicate on the deed your former and current names such as: "Mary Smith now known as (n/k/a) Mary Jones."
However, there are many other details that might impact the answer to this question, the most important being Wisconsin's Marital Property law. This law assumes that property used by a couple during the course of a marriage is jointly owned unless specified otherwise. If you wish to remain the sole owner of the property and do not intend to convey any interest in the property to your spouse, steps must be taken prior to and during your marriage to assure that this occurs. If, however, you intend for your spouse to share in the ownership of the property, there are a number of ways a married couple can hold title, each having distinct legal implications.
As you can see, it is best to seek the help of an attorney to draft a deed that will accomplish your goals.
According to a member of the Probate and Real Property Section of the Wisconsin State Bar Association, the answer is "no." The trust remains in effect. However, it is prudent to review the trust with your attorney periodically to determine if modifications to the trust would be advisable.
The owner of the property as of January 1st of the real estate taxing year will receive a tax bill on the entire parcel of land (including the portion you just purchased). You will not receive a tax bill for the portion you purchased until the following year. Taxes should be prorated at your closing to distribute the taxes between owners for the current tax year. Pursuant to s.70.10 of Wisconsin Statutes: "The assessor shall assess all real and personal property as of the close of January 1 of each year." This means that a split that occurs during the year will not have an assessed value assigned to it until January 1st of the following year.
All matters regarding employment with the Sheriff's Office are handled by the Walworth County Human Resources Department. You may contact them directly at:Walworth County Human Resources DepartmentGovernment CenterP.O. Box 1001Elkhorn, WI 53121Phone: 262-741-7950
All Walworth County job openings are posted on their website.
If law enforcement is called to the crash, then law enforcement may complete the report. If law enforcement does not file the report, you will need to complete the Wisconsin Driver Report of Crash DT4002.Per Wisconsin Statute s.346.70(1), any crash within the State of Wisconsin must be reported when it results in: -Injury of a person -$1,000 or more damage to any person's vehicle or property -Damage of $200 or more to state or other government-owned property other than a vehicleIf you received a letter from the Department of Transportation stating you were involved in a reportable crash and requesting you to complete a report, you must complete a crash report https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/crsh-rpt/default.aspx
You may pick up a copy of the report in person at the Sheriff's Office or it can be mailed or faxed to you. There is a processing fee of $3. Please allow 10 business days for the report to be completed. If you are planning to come to pick up a report in person, you may want to call ahead to ensure that the report is complete.
Physical Address: 1770 County Road NN, Elkhorn WI 53121Phone: 262-741-4400Email: Sheriff's_-_Central_Records@co.walworth.wi.us
The hours below are set aside to provide fingerprinting for members of the public. If you are unable to make these times, please call 262-741-4540 and ask for a Jail Supervisor to make other arrangements. Please note you must bring your own fingerprint cards with you. You may obtain the cards from the agency requiring the fingerprints.
Monday through Friday7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Physical Address: 1770 County Road NN, Elkhorn WI 53121Phone: 262-741-4400
Access CCAP which is another resource for Walworth County court records.
If you received a worthless check, please follow the directions and link in the Investigations Worthless Checks section.
If you are a victim of identity theft please follow the directions and link in the Investigations Identity Theft section.
Submit a tip via email to Walworth County Crime Stoppers or submit a tip via text by clicking on P3 Tips. You can also submit a tip via a phone call to 262-723-2677.
The Sheriff's Office Range Training Facility is located on Hodges Road in Lafayette Township. It is a county-owned facility and as such is regulated by policy. This facility is not open for public use and exists to train law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. In addition, the range is also used by the DNR and the NRA to provide educational courses.
The Elkhorn Pistol Club also uses the facility and membership in this club is required. Trespassing is strictly enforced and violators will be fined and/or arrested. Please contact the Sheriff's Office at 262-741-4680 with any further questions.
Inmate Locator Tool
Disposal of leftover paint through a household hazardous waste program is expensive. The best thing to do with usable paint is to use it up! If you can't use your leftover paint, give it to someone who can. Give your paint to:
Dry out latex paint and small quantities of oil-based paint according to the following directions:
LEPC stands for Local Emergency Planning Committee.
You need to make an appointment. Walk-ins for property retrieval are not allowed due to the fact that your property and case must be researched extensively before it may be considered for release. Please email Support Services or call 262-741-4466.
You may pick up a copy of the report in person at the Sheriff's Office or it can be mailed or faxed to you with a processing fee of $3. We can also email it at no cost to you. Please allow 10 business days for the report to be completed. If you are planning to come to pick up a report in person, you may want to call ahead at 262-741-4470 to ensure that the report is complete.
Provided are the hours set for fingerprinting members of the public. If you are unable to make these times, please call 262-741-4540 and ask for a Jail Supervisor to make other arrangements. Please note you must bring your own fingerprint cards to the Sheriff's Office. You may obtain the cards from the agency requiring the fingerprints.
The Sheriff's Office Range Training Facility is located on Hodges Road in Lafayette Township. It is a county-owned facility and as such is regulated by policy. This facility is not open for public use and exists to train law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. In addition, the range is also used by the DNR and the NRA to provide educational courses.
The Elkhorn Pistol Club also uses the facility and membership in this club is required. Trespassing is strictly enforced and violators will be fined and/or arrested. Please contact the Sheriff's Office at 262-741-4680 with any further questions.
Fill out the form and deliver it to the Sheriff's Office or via U.S. Mail:1770 Highway NNElkhorn, WI 53121
Access the VINELink website to track information.
The DIAL-a-RIDE service is available to the general public for any trip purpose.
The City of Whitewater has its own shared-ride service, available by calling Brown Cab at 920-563-6303.
VIP Services is the operator of both services. Each has a different funding source and specific program requirements. Fares and service hours differ and DIAL-a-RIDE is only available for trips within Walworth County. Questions asked when you call for a ride will determine which service you qualify for.
Demand for DIAL-a-RIDE trips has tripled in the first year of service. At the same time, the number of people requesting a ride and then not being there when a ride is scheduled has gotten as high as 1 out of every 10 ride requests. Changes were needed to be able to better keep up with the demand.
VIP Services provides many different transportation services. Answers to the questions being asked help determine the type of service and fare. They also help determine if a vehicle with a lift will be required to transport you safely.
Under Federal and State guidelines, Wisconsin counties operating shared-ride transit services are required to levy a fee for each ride. This charge is heavily subsidized by Federal and State grants as well as local property tax dollars to make basic transportation services available and affordable for the entire general population. Funding is limited. An agency fare can be established to maintain the "primacy" of general public transit services and avoid or limit the potential off-loading of trips that are more appropriately funded by other public or private sources. Agency fares are prepaid through a voucher system coordinated by Walworth County and must be applied uniformly.
In effect, agency fares represent a compromise (agreed upon by the Wisconsin Department of Human Services and the Federal Transit Administration) so that public transit systems can recover some costs while human service organizations can utilize public transit at a lower cost than would be paid to providers.
WisDOT Agency Fare Frequently Asked Questions, October 26, 2014
The initial one-way agency fare will be $8 for all Walworth County trips effective April 2018. Transportation outside of Walworth County is not provided by Walworth County Shared-Ride. There are no provisions for punch cards or other prepaid fare media other than vouchers. The total amount of outstanding unredeemed vouchers in any given month is at the discretion of Walworth County.
All communities, operators, and organizations struggle to maximize service with limited resources. It is inherently unfair to burden one entity with another's costs without reasonable compensation. The County's cost per hour to provide Shared-Ride Transit Service is more than three to four times the established estimated agency fare of $8. As an alternative to potential future service reductions, agency fares can be adjusted by Walworth County.