Bills on Notice of Claim, Pleading Procedures Pass Legislature

Two bills that would make changes to Wisconsin procedures for service of certain documents are moving in the Wisconsin Legislature. The bills, authored by Rep. Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) and Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), passed the Senate this week after passing the Assembly in June. Now, the bills go to the governor’s desk for signature before they can become law.

AB 58 would allow personal service of a notice of claim against a state, officer, employee, or agent. Current law (Wis. Stat. § 893.82(5)) requires notice of claim by certified mail in order to bring such an action. The bill comes after the 2016 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision Sorenson v. Batchelder, which held that a plaintiff who had delivered a notice of claim to the attorney general via personal service did not strictly comply with the law, thus invalidating the claim.

AB 59 would allow certain pleadings and other papers to be served by e-mail, if the attorney has consented in writing to accept service by e-mail. The bill does not allow service by e-mail for initial pleadings.

With the bills passing the Assembly and Senate on bipartisan votes, it is likely Gov. Tony Evers will sign them into law in the upcoming weeks.