This article picks up from our last discussion on “Notice”. Here, we will begin with the manner in which notice must be given. Unless a specific statute states otherwise, a notice is always required by law. It must be issued via First Class Mail within Wisconsin, or outside of Wisconsin a minimum of 20 days before the hearing is to commence to any individual whose address is either known, or may be reasonably obtained.
An affidavit is required which proves proof of service. It must show who mailed the notice, when the notice was mailed, the address to where the notice was sent, and to whom the notice was sent.
Remember, the first notice sent by mail must also be accompanied by a class 3 notice by publication in a newspaper that is published in the county. In addition, if the names or addresses of one or more parties to the case cannot be obtained, all subsequent hearings must be preceded by notice by mail and notice by publication.
It can also be issued by personal service a minimum of 10 days before the hearing, except as provided for service by publication. That alternative service may not be issued outside of Wisconsin. If this is the case, proof of personal service must be provided.
Delayed service of notice. If for any reason whatsoever, notice to any interested parties is insufficient, the court might order service of notice in conjunction with certain documentation, appoint a guardian ad litem when required, or the court may order the individual or the guardian ad litem to show cause as to why that individual should not be subject to court action due to the fact notice has been rendered. In such cases, the individual can consent in writing to have been bound by preceding actions.
Waiver of notice. Individuals who are not minors or deemed to be incompetent, except by virtual representation, may waive service of notice in writing. So may the appointed guardian ad litem and guardians of an estate, when acting on behalf of themselves or those they represent. A waiver of notice qualifies as the same as timely service of notice.
Effect of failure to give notice. The failure to provide notice to an interested party leaves all judgments and/or order not binding, due to the fact that the court does not have jurisdiction over the individual(s) because they did not receive notice.
Please contact me if all of this seems overwhelming to you.
Family Law Attorney