Local Rules


Users of the electronic filing system in the Western District of Wisconsin are reminded that specific requirements related to case initiation and electronic filing are contained in the Electronic Filing Procedures.

Western District of Wisconsin
Local Rules


A.   Any lawyer licensed to practice before the highest court of any state or the District of Columbia is eligible for admission to practice in this court.

B.   To be admitted to the bar of this court, a lawyer must complete a verified application for admission and pay the prescribed fee.

C.   Any lawyer eligible for membership in the bar of this court may, upon payment of the prescribed fee, move the court to proceed in a particular matter without becoming a member of the bar of this court.

D.   Non-resident lawyers need not retain local counsel to assist in the presentation of their cases unless specifically directed to do so by a judge or magistrate judge.

E.   Reciprocal Discipline

1.   When another jurisdiction enters an order of discipline against an attorney admitted to practice in this court, the same discipline is automatically effective in this court without further action by the court.

2.   The attorney may apply to the chief judge for modification or vacation of the discipline in this court.


A.   The United States Magistrate Judges in this district are designated to hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before this court, except a motion for injunctive relief, for judgment on the pleadings, for summary judgment, to dismiss or quash an indictment or information made by a defendant, to suppress evidence in a criminal case, to dismiss or to permit maintenance of a class action, to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or to dismiss an action involuntarily. 

B.   The United States Magistrate Judges in this district are designated to conduct hearings, including evidentiary hearings, and to submit to a judge of this court proposed findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition by the judge, of any motion excepted in the preceding paragraph and of applications for post-trial relief made by individuals convicted of criminal offenses. 

C.   All civil cases in which the parties have consented pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1) and (2) to have a United States Magistrate Judge exercise jurisdiction are hereby referred to the full-time United States Magistrate Judge stationed at Madison, Wisconsin.  This order does not limit the power of this court under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(6) to vacate the reference of civil cases to a magistrate judge. 

D.   The United States Magistrate Judges in this district are designated to perform any additional duty that is not inconsistent with the Constitution or laws of the United States.


A.   Litigants are to consider the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) within thirty days of defendants' appearance.

B.   The clerk of court shall administer the ADR program which procedures shall be confidential.  Any disclosure of confidential dispute resolution communications is prohibited.

C.   This court provides the services of its clerk to act as mediator in civil cases without additional compensation.  Prior to the commencement of mediation any party may move to disqualify the mediator for any reason.  Litigants are free to engage in other forms of available ADR  outside the court which will not require any scheduling change in the trial and pretrial schedules.

D.   The following cases are exempt from the provisions of this rule:

1.   Those in which the plaintiff is proceeding pro se.

2.   Collection and United States mortgage foreclosure actions.

3.   Social Security appeals.

4.   All matters related to bankruptcy proceedings, with the exception of adversary proceedings.

E.   The court will not authorize a referral to arbitration under Section 654 of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act unless the parties dismiss the action without prejudice pending the results of the arbitration.


No lawyer or party or person acting on their behalf shall contact any juror serving in this court, either before or after impanelment, without the prior permission of the trial judge or magistrate judge.


Unless otherwise ordered by the court, papers shall be filed, signed and served electronically as required by the Court's Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing and Service.