AP NEWS

Dodge County Circuit Court may change districts

January 30, 2018 GMT

JUNEAU – Dodge County Circuit Court may be realigned with another district if the Supreme Court decides to eliminate District 6.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court and the director of state courts, Randy Koschnick, are considering a proposal to dissolve Judicial District 6 (one of 10), which includes the circuit courts in Columbia, Adams, Clark, Dodge, Green Lake, Juneau, Marquette, Portage, Sauk, Waushara and Wood counties.

If the realignment occurs, Dodge County would be aligned with Jefferson, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties in District 3, said Steven Bauer, the presiding judge in Dodge County.

The idea is nothing new as the state Supreme Court has visited the idea to realign District 6 several times over the last 10 years, Bauer said.

“It’s the Supreme Court’s decision,” he said.

Most of the counties that Dodge County would be realigned with in District 3 are similar in size to Dodge County. However, Waukesha County itself has 12 judges, Bauer said.

“I’ve liked the relationship we have had with other counties (in District 6),” Bauer said. “It has been very good.”

Bauer said Dodge County has worked with Columbia County quite a bit when judges get assignments outside of their county.

“We could be assigned anywhere in the 6th District,” Bauer said. “If there is a conflict, we could go to a different county. However technically, we could be assigned to any county in the state.”

Bauer said he doesn’t think Dodge County would have problems with developing relationships with other counties in the state if the change does happen.

“Jefferson and Washington (counties) are very similar to Dodge County,” Bauer said.

Columbia County’s courts would be aligned with the much more populous Dane and Rock counties under the proposal.

The issue that Bauer was concerned with was the possibility of losing court reporters but he has been assured that a change in districts would not result in that loss.

“If a court reporter takes vacation, usually a court reporter from another county comes in to take their place,” Bauer said.