About the Court System

The Circuit Court Judge

Circuit Court Judges are responsible for conducting court hearings, bench trials, and jury trials concerning most areas of law. These areas include civil and criminal cases, probate of estates, guardianships and protective placements, mental commitments, juvenile matters, small claims, restraining orders and domestic abuse cases. Judges may conduct marriages upon request.

Circuit Court Judges also oversee the management of the entire county court system by developing system policies and procedures to be implemented by the Clerk of Courts.

Richland County Circuit Court Judge
Judge Andrew Sharp
P.O. Box 427
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-2626

Richland County Judicial Assistant
Sandy McNamer
181 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-2626

The Clerk Courts

Circuit Clerks of Court are responsible for recording court minutes, maintaining court records, case management, jury management, collection of fines, fees, forfeitures, assessments and surcharges as ordered by the court. The Clerk of Court also works in conjunction with the Circuit Court Judge(s) to ensure efficient administration of the circuit court system.

Richland County Circuit Clerk of Courts
Stacy Kleist
P.O. Box 655
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-3956

District Attorney

The District Attorney is charged with prosecuting criminal, juvenile delinquency and forfeiture cases. In some counties like Richland County — the District Attorney also handles Child in need of Protective Services (CHIPS) and Juvenile in need of Protective Services (JIPS) actions, as well as, Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) matters. Forfeiture actions include State and County traffic code violations, Department of Natural Resources citations, other county code violations, and vehicle and asset forfeitures.

Richland County District Attorney
Jennifer Harper
181 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-3493

Richland County Assistant District Attorney
Amy Forehand
181 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-3493

Victim/Witness

The Victim/Witness Office works in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Office to help statutory victims of crime understand and exercise their rights. Victim/Witness advocates help victims understand the court process, provide specific case information, and assist with other matters such as restitution. The Victim/Witness Office can also provide case information and instructions to witnesses.

Victim/Witness Advocate
Andrea Fields
181 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-3493

Corporation Counsel

Corporation Counsel examines and reports liability for all claims filed against the County; drafts resolutions, ordinances, contracts and other necessary legal documents. He or she prosecutes and defends civil matters affecting the County. Corporation Counsel may represent the County in actions such as Mental and Alcohol Commitments, Guardianships/Protective Placements Child, Support Enforcement, Paternity, Zoning Enforcement/Injunctions, and Forfeitures.

Richland County Corporation Counsel
Ben Southwick
130 W. Court Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-4111

Richland County Assistant Corporation Counsel
Amy Forehand
181 W. Seminary
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-3493

Family Court Commissioner

The Family Court Commissioner works under the direction of the family or circuit court judge(s). The Family Court Commissioner conducts temporary hearings and enters orders regarding support, maintenance, use of property and payment of debts, custody and visitation, etc.; enforces orders and conducts contempt hearings; ensures all counseling requirements are met; conducts pre-trial conferences; conducts hearings on motions to amend temporary orders or judgments and generally aids attorneys and the public in the efficient processing of family cases.

Richland County Family Court Commissioner
Debra A. Schwarze
P.O. Box 671
165 Central Suite 103
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-5151

Register in Probate/Probate Registrar

The Registrar in Probate maintains records of estates, adoptions, guardianships, conservatorships, joint tenancy terminations, and summary estate proceedings. The Registrar also furnishes copies of such documents as requested by the public.

Richland County Register in Probate
Sandy McNamer
181 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-2626

Clerk of Juvenile Court

The Clerk of the Juvenile Court schedules juvenile matters, records minutes of juvenile court proceedings, and maintains juvenile court records. Juvenile records are released only upon the Court’s order for good cause.

Richland County Clerk of Juvenile Court
Sandy McNamer
181 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-2626

Judicial Assistant

The Judicial Assistant works under the direction of the Circuit Court Judge and directly provides all administrative and scheduling support to him or her.

Richland County Judicial Assistant
Sandy McNamer
181 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-2626

Child Support Agency

The Child Support Agencies are responsible for working with families to establish and enforce child support orders. Richland County Child Support Agency is one of 72 county and 11 tribal agencies that work in conjunction with the State of Wisconsin Bureau of Child Support.

Richland County Child Support Administrator
Amy Forehand
P.O. Box 541
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-8663

Court and Community, Inc.

Court and Community is a not-for-profit organization developed to assist and enable the Richland County Circuit Court to better serve the residents of Richland County. Court and Community oversees two pro se (without a lawyer) clinics — one for simple divorce proceedings and one for post divorce judgment modifications. Court and Community also oversees AKOMI – a helpful resource for support persons of the mentally ill who find themselves in the court system. AKOMI also provides mental health seminars.

Director of Richland County Court and Community
181 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581

Court Reporter

Court reporters use computer aided transcription equipment to create a verbatim record of most legal proceedings. Court reporters are responsible for ensuring a complete, accurate, and secure legal record. Accuracy is crucial since the court reporter creates the only official court transcript. Many legal proceedings, such as appeals, depend on such transcripts. Transcripts of court proceedings, with limited exception, can be requested in writing. Transcript fees are set on a per page basis as provided by statute.

Richland County Court Reporter
Sue Kaderavek
P.O. Box 655
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-2626

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Clerk of Court Office
181 W. Seminary Street
Richland Center, WI 53581
Phone: 608-647-3956
 
Clerk of Court
Stacy Kleist
Judicial Assistant
Sandy McNamer


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