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How is subject matter jurisdiction established in circuit court?

Marathon, WI |

How is subject matter jurisdiction established in circuit court? By statute? I know that the Wisconsin Constitution says: "Except as otherwise provided by law, the circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal within this state." Does "except as otherwise provided by law" mean statute?

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Attorney answers 3


"by law," such as statute, by the Constitution, and in some instances as a result of judicial decisions.
Essentially the cause of action - a tort for example, has to have happened within the state of WI, and within the territorial limits of a particular circuit court.;; 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Typically, it depends on the nature of the claim and the amount in controversy. State courts have subject matter jurisdiction over certain matters which you should find in the state statutes that concern the state judiciary. Without getting into a long diatribe, federal courts generally have jurisdiction over cases which involve a federal question or where "diversity" exists (i.e., where citizens from different states sue each other and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000). There are statutes which address these very issues.

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By way of example, a statute may provide that cases involving under a certain amount must originate in small claims court. In days past if you wanted equitable relief such as an injunction there were separate courts for that, but those distinctions have gone the way of the buffalo. There are usually separate courts for unemployment claims, for instance- an administrative structure.

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