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Cases Handled by the Trial Division

The Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office (SPD) Trial Division provides legal representation at the circuit court (trial court) level in cases specified by state law. Trial Division cases include criminal, civil commitment, protective placement (personal guardianship), revocation of conditional liberty (probation, parole, or extended supervision), termination of parental rights, and juvenile delinquency proceedings. The Trial Division also handles certain other juvenile court matters and proceedings. Questions about the specific case types that the Trial Division handles may be directed to the supervisor of the local office that serves your area.

Before the Trial Division may assign an attorney in an adult proceeding, the person must complete a financial evaluation. Adult clients and parents of juvenile clients are assessed fees for Trial Division representation, which help to pay for the cost of public defender services. However, no one is denied representation because of inability to pay.