Drafted by Atty. Jennifer M. Hayden of Petrie + Pettit S.C.

As you may be aware, Milwaukee County Local Rule 3.85 requires that if the tenant did not sign the Stipulation in person in front of the court, or where the tenant made the first three payments due under the Stipulation and then defaulted, the Landlord must provide the tenant with notice before the court will issue a writ of restitution.

Pre-Covid-19, Landlords would send a letter by Certified and First Class Mail to the Tenant informing the tenant of the overdue payment, by amount and due date and stating in plain language that the Landlord intends to ask the court to issue a writ of restitution on a specified date at a specified time. After seven days, the Landlord would file an Affidavit of Non-Compliance along with proof of mailing by certified mail and an affidavit certifying the notice was also served by first Class Mail. The Landlord would appear in court at the date and time specified in the notice sent to the Tenant, meet with a Commissioner and obtain the Authorization for a Writ of Restitution and Judgment for Eviction. If the tenant appeared, he or she could contest the claims in the Affidavit of Non-Compliance with the Commissioner.

If the Judgement was granted, the Landlord would obtain a paper copy of the Writ Authorization from the Commissioner, purchase a Writ of Restitution from the Clerk’s office for $5.00, fill out the writ and file both documents along with the Sheriff’s Department fee, a letter of Authority for a Moving Company and the Billing Information “Yellow Card,” if necessary, with the Sheriff’s Department in the Safety Building.

With all appearances currently being by Zoom, these procedures have to be amended.

Affidavits of Non-Compliance where Notice is not required to the Defendant under Local Rule

In scenarios where notice to the tenant would not be required under Local Rule, the Landlord can sign and upload the Affidavit of Non-Compliance along with an Affidavit that the CARES Act does not apply. The court will review the Affidavit and can issue an Authorization of Writ. The Landlord can access and print the Authorization, fill out a Writ of Restitution (which are still available in person from the Clerk’s office between the hours of 12: 00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, for a $5.00 fee) and mail both documents, along with payment, a copy of the letter of Authority for a Moving Company and the Billing Information “Yellow Card,” if necessary, to the Sheriff’s Department for processing. The Sheriff’s Department is not currently accepting in-person filing of writs.

Affidavits of Non-Compliance where Notice IS required to be given to the Defendant under Local Rule

In situations where the Landlord IS required to give the Tenant Notice under Local Rule, the Landlord can complete the Affidavit of Non-Compliance and electronically file it putting in the Notes Section that Notice must be given to the tenant. The Landlord should also file an Affidavit that the CARES Act does not apply. The Clerk’s office will then put the matter on Commissioner Flynn’s calendar at 8:30 the second Monday after the Affidavit is filed and will send a Notice of Hearing and Zoom instructions to all parties. The Landlord will appear as per the Notice. After review, Commissioner Flynn will either dismiss the matter or grant the Judgment for Eviction and issue a Writ Authorization. If Commissioner Flynn grants the judgment, she will upload the Writ Authorization. The Landlord can access and print the Authorization, fill out a Writ of Restitution (which are available in person from the Clerk’s office between the hours of 12: 00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, for a $5.00 fee) and mail both documents, along with payment, a copy of the letter of Authority for a Moving Company and the Billing Information “Yellow Card,” if necessary, to the Sheriff’s Department for processing. The Sheriff’s Department is not currently accepting in-person filing of writs.

Staying of Writs

In either scenario, Commissioners in Milwaukee County have been issuing but staying writs for up to two weeks due to the public health crisis, so be prepared for additional delays even if judgment is granted.

Tristan is the Executive Vice President and shareholder with the law firm of Petrie+Pettit and focuses his practice in the area of landlord-tenant law representing landlords and property management companies throughout Wisconsin.