Court Frequently Asked Questions

When can I speak with the prosecuting attorney assigned to my case?

  •  If you are a defendant and have hired an attorney, our office will not be able to speak with you because it would be a conflict of interest. We are only able to speak with your attorney regarding your case.
  • If you are a defendant and have not hired an attorney and do not wish to hire an attorney, you may contact our office to schedule an appointment with the attorney assigned to your case after an initial appearance.

Are your records open to the public?

  •  Our files are NOT open to the public. If you are looking for information regarding a case, you may contact the Clerk of Courts in the Rusk County at 715-532-2108.
  • The only persons who may be allowed to look at our files are defendants who are not represented by counsel or the attorney who is representing the defendant.
  • If you are a victim, you may be granted permission to view a file. Those requests are handled on a case-by-case basis through victim/witness services in the District Attorney’s Office.

 Does your office handle child support issues?

  • Our office does NOT handle child support matters. Any child support questions should be directed either to your attorney or the Child Support office. That phone number is 715-532-2299.
  • Our office only becomes involved in child support matters when a criminal child support case has been referred to us.

Does your office handle worthless checks?

  • If the check was issued in Rusk County and was not held, post dated, on account, or third party the Rusk County District Attorney’s office may be able to assist with the worthless check. The check must fit the definition of Issuing a Worthless Check pursuant to Wis. Stats. s. 943.24. You can contact the District Attorney’s office to obtain an Information Sheet and further instruction on processing a worthless check.

Does your office handle civil matters?

  • Our office does NOT handle civil matters. You will need to contact a private attorney for these matters.

How do I file a small claims action?

  • If you would like to commence a small claims action against another party you can obtain and file the paperwork with the Rusk County Clerk of Courts Office in the Rusk County Courthouse.

I have been charged with a crime. I would like an attorney to represent me, but I cannot afford one. What can I do?

  • There are two ways for you to retain an attorney to represent you in a criminal action. However, that is based on eligibility. If it is determined that you are not eligible, you will need to hire your own attorney, if so desired.
  • You may go directly to the State Public Defender’s Office located at 2902 South Wisconsin Avenue, Ladysmith, Wisconsin, or you can contact them at 715-234-8910. 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 Court can advise you as to how you can obtain a Court appointed attorney.

If I have a DNR, Speeding, OWI first offense, or other county or state citation(s), when can I talk to the prosecutor handling it?

  • If at the initial appearance you enter into a not guilty plea, your case will then be referred to our office and a pre-trial conference will be scheduled to try to resolve the case. If we are unable to resolve the case at the pre-trial, the matter will then be scheduled for a trial and you will be notified of the time and date for the trial. Our office is not involved in your case prior to this time, and we cannot talk to you about it.

How can I go about getting an extension of time to pay for my court fines?

  • You need to contact the Clerk of Courts Office at 715-532-2108 to ask for an extension to pay for court fines. Our office does not take in money to pay for fines. All fines must be paid to the Rusk County Clerk of Courts.

I have been subpoenaed to testify. What can I expect?

  • Testifying – Being a witness may not be convenient for you. Bringing a case to trial takes time. To protect every person’s basic rights under law, the criminal justice system has many steps. Your patience and cooperation makes the system work.


Suggestions for Testifying

  • Always tell the truth.
  • Dress neatly. You want to be sure your appearance and manner does not distract the jury or judge, or make your testimony seem less valid.
  • Be prepared.
  • Stick to the facts. The Court wants to hear only the facts as you know them to be, not what someone else told you.
  • Relax and speak clearly.
  • One of the basic rules in a criminal case is that both sides have the chance to question the witness. Questions by both sides have the same goal – to find out what is true.
  • Listen to the entire question before you answer. If you don’t understand a questions, ask that it be explained.