Summary of Responsibilities
The primary responsibility of the Court Commissioner's Office is to assist in the administration of the court system. This is usually done in one of three ways.
The first is to conduct preliminary matters in certain court proceedings. These include temporary order hearings in divorces; probable cause hearings in mental commitments; bail hearings and initial appearances in traffic, small claims, ordinance, paternity and juvenile court cases. Assistant Court Commissioner Susan Schaubel also serves the courts by researching complex legal issues and advising the judges as to how the law should be applied in particular situations.
In addition to preliminary matters, this office helps the circuit courts by rendering final decisions in stipulated divorces, domestic abuse and harassment injunction hearings and most small claims cases.
The third manner in which we help the courts is through mediation. Small claims disputes and child custody disputes are mediated through this office before they go to trial. If litigants are able to resolve matters through mediation, the time and expense of a trial will be avoided by not just the litigants, but also the courts.