× Unsupported Browser: Some features may not work properly in Interent Explorer. Please use one of the supported browsers - Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge.

Family Court Commissioner


Family Court Commissioner



A person who believes that he or she is a victim of domestic abuse or harassment may petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and an injunction.  All petition forms are available at the Clerk of Courts Office or online at Wisconsin Circuit Court Forms.

  • “Domestic abuse” is defined as intentional infliction of or threat to inflict physical pain, physical injury or illness; impairment of physical condition, damage to personal property; stalking; or  sexual contact or sexual intercourse without consent. There must be facts showing an imminent danger of physical harm before a temporary restraining order can be issued.  Wis. Stat. §813.12 and (Forms CV-402, CV-403, and CV-404). 
  • “Harassment” is defined as: (a) Striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting the person to physical contact; or (b) Engaging in an act that would constitute child abuse under §48.02(1); or (c) Sexual assault under §940.225; or (d) Stalking under §940.32; or attempts or threat to do same; or (e) Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts which harass or intimidate the person and which serve no legitimate purpose.”   Wis. Stat. §813.125 and (Forms CV-405, CV-406, and CV-407).

For domestic abuse injunctions, the petitioner must be an adult and the respondent must be an adult family member (spouse, parent, child or person related by blood or adoption to another person), former spouse, an adult household member or former household member, an adult with whom the petitioner has had a dating relationship or an adult caregiver. 

The definition of “harassment” is much broader than “domestic abuse.”  Both adults and minors may petition for a harassment TRO and injunction.  A minor victim (under age 18) of harassment can file on his or her own.  Alternatively, the minor’s parent, stepparent, or legal guardian can file on his or her behalf.

A TRO is in effect until the injunction hearing before the judge or commissioner.  A TRO typically prohibits the respondent from having any contact with the petitioner until the time of the hearing.  If the parties live together, the respondent most likely will be prohibited from returning to the residence. 

Both parties have a right to appear at the injunction hearing and present evidence.  If the judge or commissioner signs the injunction, the respondent may be prohibited from having contact with the petitioner for up to four years.  Under limited circumstances, the injunction length can be extended to 10 years or made permanent.  If a domestic abuse injunction is granted, the respondent must surrender his/her firearms to the county sheriff or a third party approved by the court.  The respondent is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearms for the duration of the injunction and will need to petition the court after its expiration to have his/her guns returned.  The Court may order the respondent to surrender firearms as part of a harassment injunction.

Proper Completion of Petition for TRO and Injunction:  A petition for a TRO must provide sufficient detail to place the respondent on notice of his/her alleged words or conduct that meet the definition of “domestic abuse” or “harassment” as set forth above.  Frequently, petitions lack the specific facts and data for a court to grant the TRO.  To clarify what is required, please look at the Review Sheets for Domestic Abuse Injunctions and Harassment Injunctions located under the Forms tab.  Please read this Information carefully to ensure that your documentation is ready for the court’s review.  Failure to provide adequate detail will result in a denial of your TRO request.  You may submit again after providing additional information. 

Child Abuse and Individual at Risk TROs/Injunctions:  The Circuit Court handles the other types of TROs/injunctions—child abuse and individuals at risk.  §813.122 and §813.123 Wis. Stat.  The petition forms are available at the Clerk of Courts Office or online at Wisconsin Circuit Court Forms.

For child abuse TROs/injunctions, the forms are as follows:  Form CV-412 is most commonly used along with CV-413 and CV-414.  (Forms JC-1690, JC-1691 and JC-1692 are only implemented when the child is involved in a Children in Need of Protection or Services action or when the respondent is a child.) 

The proper forms for an Individual at Risk TRO/Injunction are CV-428, CV-429 and CV-430. If the petition is filed by a person other than the individual at risk, then the petitioner must serve a copy of the petition on the person who is the subject of the petition (individual at risk). §813.123(2)(a) Wis. Stat.  The Court shall appoint a Guardian ad Litem if the petition was filed by a person other than the individual at risk.