Tuesday, August 02, 2005

How to Direct Complaints

Recently, someone posted a complaint about how the courthouse has too few hours of staffed weapon screening. However, the person didn't suggest what could be done to adequately get his concerns heard by someone who could make changes. DCLRC staff receive several requests a week for who to complain about various legal or court personnel. Here's a guide to directing complaints and concerns about legal and court-related functions:

Complaints about judges: The Wisconsin Judicial Commission investigates allegations of judicial misconduct. They provide an online complaint form.

Complaints about lawyers: The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) investigates grievances about attorney misconduct or medical incapacity. OLR provides instructions on how to file a grievance, outlines the grievance process, and explains under what circumstances you may learn whether other grievances have been filed or whether the attorney has been previously disciplined. For more information visit the for attorneys section of the site. If your complaint deals with malpractice rather than misconduct, you may wish to consult a different attorney to pursue the matter.

Complaints about court commissioners: Read Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 75.06. Contact the chief judge. In Dane County, that's Judge M. Nowakowski. Or contact the Wisconsin Judicial Commission. They provide an online complaint form.

Complaints about court staff: Contact the Clerk of Courts office and talk to a court manager.

Complaints about weapon screening, security, or other courthouse functions: If it is a complaint about staff, contact the Facilities Management department. They supervise most courthouse physical building functions, such as weapon screening, heat, lights, or sidewalk entrances.

If it's a complaint about the hours of weapon screening, which is a hot budget issue every year, you should contact your county board supervisor or a member of the Public Protection and Judiciary committee of the County Board. You can find your supervisor on the Board's home page, or call 266-5758.