On October 15, 1998 the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted Supreme Court Rule (SCR) Chapter 75 , effective January 1, 1999. In part, SCR Chapter 75 establishes a compulsory education requirement for circuit court commissioners.
SCR 75.05 Continuing Education mandates that circuit court commissioners earn minimum education credits within specified time frames. It establishes specific credit requirements for full-time and non full-time circuit court commissioners and grants authority to the Judicial Education Committee to approve continuing education programs.
Since its promulgation, SCR 75.05 has been the subject of numerous questions directed to the Office of Judicial Education. Circuit court commissioners have repeatedly expressed their concerns regarding compliance with this rule. The rule has also been the subject of considerable discussion among the members of the Judicial Education Committee.
On January 22, 1999 the Judicial Education Committee met and adopted the following actions, procedures, and policies:
- The committee adopted an interim policy that will grant credit, upon request, for the education component of the following: association meetings, programs approved by the Board of Bar Examiners for CLE credits, Wisconsin State Bar programs, Local Bar Association meetings or programs, and State Public Defender programs. The committee did not establish criteria limiting applicability of course content to circuit court commissioner duties.
- The committee established the following procedure for processing credit requests by circuit court commissioners:
- Requests for credit are to be submitted on form CS-104 (formerly SC-228), Request for Continuing Education Credit.
- Subsequent to attending a program, applicants should complete the form and file it with the Office of Judicial Education.
- Requests for credit will be considered at regularly scheduled meetings of the committee. A copy of form CS-104 will be returned to applicants with the action of the committee noted at the bottom of the form.
- The committee authorized granting education credits to circuit court commissioners who attended Office of Judicial Education sponsored programs between July 1, 1998 and December 31, 1998. The committee will also consider granting credit for attendance at Board of Bar Examiners CLE approved courses conducted between July 1, 1998 and December 31, 1998. A sample list of courses approved by the Judicial Education Committee are available in the document Judicial Education Committee Approved Courses .
- The committee will grant credits for teaching and writing consistent with criteria established for judges (SCR 32.07 ). For further information contact the Office of Judicial Education.
- The committee will consider requests for extensions in obtaining education credits consistent with the authority provided it under SCR 32.09 (1) . Requests for extensions must be submitted in writing to the Office of Judicial Education and set forth the nature of noncompliance. The director of judicial education may set the period of extension at up to six months for compliance. For good cause, the committee may extend further the period for compliance.