Dec 22

A reader sent this to me today. I thought it was worth sharing as his frustration has been echoed by many owners lately.

I read your blog and wanted to relate my experience yesterday, Wednesday, October 21st with the disaster of the Milwaukee Kangaroo Eviction Court.

  1. Case is called by clerk. Myself and the tenant come forward.
  2. It is automatically placed with a commissioner for the commissioner to conduct a hearing.
  3. When the commissioner calls the case for the hearing, I come forward, but the tenant is gone. Has he just taken off? Who knows, but get this, the commissioner suggests that I go out into the hallway outside the court room to see if I can find the tenant! What? Being the good person that I am, I do that, TWICE within about 5-10 minutes of the commissioner telling me that he will recall the case and to give it a “few” minutes. I let him know that I have parking that is about to expire (I had already extended it the maximum amount of time). The commissioner seems indifferent.
  4. After the MKE Park program notifies me my parking has expired, I tell myself I have had it, and I approach the clerks’ pen (where by the way they now have 3 clerks there, instead of what was traditionally two clerks, one calling and the other as “support”. But now they have a third person, in this case I lady I have seen in the past who used to be the “support” clerk, just standing where the files are placed for the commissioner to call the case for hearings, standing and talking, really doing nothing). Well, I am in the process of letting the third support lady know that my parking is expired and I would like the case called whether the tenant is there or not, when the tenant smoothly walks up and is by my side like nothing has happened. What? No reprimand from the commissioner or the clerk, but they turn on me with the approach that nothing has happened, where I had to explain that I had been sitting on the front row bench waiting for the case to be called, and all the third support clerk could do is point to the file and state “see, it is marked as P.P.” (I guess that means Party Present). I let her know that that was when the case was initially called and not when the commissioner called it.
  5. When the commissioner comes from his office, I direct myself to him and state “the tenant was not here when you called it, right?” Nothing. His manner was just let’s go back and look at the case.
  6. What floors me now is that I am entitled to the Writ of Restitution, because the tenant has not paid December’s rent. Done deal, right? Wrong! The commissioner states he will not issue a Writ immediately (despite the Statutes, what is supposed to be the Law, stating the Writ shall be issued immediately. Crystal clear language, right? I guess the courts in Milwaukee County don’t follow the law, and why the city is a mess!) and that he will stay the writ until the end of the month, another ten days! I point out that he is allowing someone to use my property. The commissioner seems to not care. What message does that send to the tenant? Exactly. What he is doing is OK.

I guess I should have asked for a judge’s hearing, but I was informed that the judge is just going to stand behind his minions doing a terrible bidding.

This is exactly why I won’t buy another piece of real estate in Milwaukee, ever.

Would it do any good to call my state legislature representatives? Is there a way to begin to have the courts apply the statutes? Are they allowed to disregard the Legislature with impunity? And that is why I wonder what good is it sometimes to have the statutes changed, i.e. the recent changes to the Wis. Stats. relating to landlord/tenant law, when the courts don’t apply what is the law?

So frustrating, so very frustrating…

A reader
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Oh, thanks for taking the time to read the story.

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