State officials are being urged to raise the dollar limits on small claims court cases.
Cases headed to small claims court currently have a cap of $5,000. Wayne Corey of Wisconsin Independent Businesses says that limit is out of date. Corey says many cases just over that threshold are often rejected by lawyers because the cost to take it to trial is too great, compared to the potential settlement. Legal representation is not needed for cases heard in a small claims court. If a lawyer won't take up the case, Corey says many businesses with a small debt to settle either drop the case or scale back what they're owed.
WIB wants the state to raise the limits for small claims actions to $10,000. Corey says that would be reasonable and would help modernize the current system.
Counties oppose the measure because of the extra burden it would place on small claims courts. Corey says justice should not be denied because court budgets are too tight.