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Statutes > Wisconsin > 814 > 814.51

814.51

814.51 Jury fees; discretion of court. The court shall have discretionary authority in any civil or criminal action or proceeding triable by jury to assess the entire cost of one day's juror fees for a jury, including all mileage costs, against either the plaintiff or defendant or to divide the cost and assess the cost against both plaintiff and defendant, or additional parties plaintiff or defendant, if a jury demand has been made in any case and if a jury demand is later withdrawn within 2 business days prior to the time set by the court for the commencement of the trial. The party assessed shall be required to make payment to the clerk of circuit court within a prescribed period and the payment thereof shall be enforced by contempt proceedings.

814.51 – ANNOT.

History: 1971 c. 297; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.51; 1977 c. 318.

814.51 – ANNOT.

This section is inapplicable if the parties reach a settlement after selecting a jury and making opening statements. Jacobson v. Avestruz, 81 Wis. 2d 240, 260 N.W.2d 267 (1977).

814.51 – ANNOT.

An accused who cancels a jury trial at the last moment to accept a plea bargain risks both taxation of costs under s. 973.06 and the assessment of jury fees under s. 814.51. State v. Foster, 100 Wis. 2d 103, 301 N.W.2d 192 (1981).

814.51 – ANNOT.

Circuit courts do not have the authority to impose a penalty for cancellation of a jury trial beyond that provided for in this section. Collins v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co. 153 Wis. 2d 477, 451 N.W.2d 429 (1990).

814.51 – ANNOT.

As a matter of sound grammar, the phrase “either the plaintiff or defendant” necessarily refers to both civil and criminal actions as “civil” and “criminal” are set forth in the disjunctive and modify the clauses that follow. Thus, circuit courts are authorized to impose jury fees in any criminal action or proceeding against either the plaintiff or defendant. If the state were not the plaintiff in criminal cases, the statute's provision that the circuit court may assess jury fees against either party in a criminal case would be rendered a nullity. State v. Circuit Court for Monroe County, 2007 WI App 36, 300 Wis. 2d 447, 730 N.W.2d 421, 06-0139.