State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 814 > 814.02

814.02

814.02 Costs limited, discretionary.

814.02(1)

(1) When several actions are brought against parties who might have been joined as defendants and the actions are consolidated under s. 805.05 (1) no costs, other than disbursements, shall be allowed to the plaintiff in excess of what the plaintiff would be entitled to had the plaintiff brought but one action.

814.02(2)

(2) In equitable actions and special proceedings costs may be allowed or not to any party, in whole or in part, in the discretion of the court, and in any such case the court may award to the successful party such costs (exclusive of disbursements) not exceeding $100, as the court deems reasonable and just, in view of the nature of the case and the work involved. This subsection refers only to such costs and fees as may be taxed by the authority of the statutes, independent of any contract of the parties upon the subject, which contract shall apply unless the court finds that the provisions thereof are inequitable or unjust.

814.02 - ANNOT.

History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 761, 780 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 814.02; 1993 a. 486.

814.02 - ANNOT.

Courts can make a determination of the reasonableness of attorney fees even when a note specifies the amount. Lakeshore Commercial Finance Corp. v. Bradford Arms Corp. 45 Wis. 2d 313, 173 N.W.2d 165 (1970).

814.02 - ANNOT.

Neither s. 814.02 or 814.036 grants the trial court the power to allow costs that are not explicitly authorized by statute. Kleinke v. Farmers Coop. Supply & Shipping, 202 Wis. 2d 138, 549 N.W.2d 714 (1996), 95-0856.

814.02 - ANNOT.

The court exercises its discretion under this section by determining what is a necessary cost. Aspen Services, Inc. v. IT Corp. 220 Wis. 2d 491, 583 N.W.2d 849 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-0897.

814.02 - ANNOT.

Kleinke instructs that the trial court's discretion is limited to when the court may allow costs and not what costs are allowed. The trial court erred in awarding costs for the transcription of materials on a computer disk that were made for the convenience of the moving party. Transcripts obtained solely for the convenience of counsel are not necessary disbursements under sub. (2) and thus not taxable costs. Alswager v. Roundy's Inc. 2005 WI App 3, 278 Wis. 2d 598, 692 N.W.2d 333, 03-2274.