Archive for category De Novo Hearings

You Will Not Want To Miss AASEW’s Fourth Annual Landlord Boot Camp on Saturday Feb. 25th

Landlording can be pretty complex, with a seemingly never ending myriad of paperwork, rules, landlord-tenant laws and simple mistakes that can cost you thousands of dollars.

The Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin’s Fourth Annual Landlord Boot Camp can help you navigate these treacherous waters and teach you how to run your properties with greater profit and less hassles.

I have given similar landlord-tenant law seminars to fellow attorneys, landlords, and property manager organizations throughout the state for other state-wide semianr companies that charge attendees $300-$400.  This is your opportunity to learn all of the same information at a huge discount through the Apartment Association.


Who:   Taught by Attorney Tristan R. Pettit (who drafts the landlord tenant forms for Wisconsin Legal Blank)

When:    Saturday, February 25th, 2012. 8:30 am – 5 pm

Where:   Clarion Hotel 5311 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee [Map]

Included:  100 plus page manual/outline to help you put what you learn into practice plus helpful forms.

Cost:  $159 for AASEW members and $249 for non-members.  If you are not a member of AASEW but are a member of another landlord/apartment association the cost to attend will be $199.

Specials: Not a member?  Pay just a dollar more and enjoy a 2012 AASEW membership.

Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws are constantly changing.  To help keep you up to date we offer prior attendees a $50 discount.

Sign up by going to the AASEW’s Landlord Boot Camp landing page where you can sign up online and pay via PayPal.


What you will learn at the Apartment Association’s 2012 Landlord Boot Camp

Landlord Boot Camp covers everything that you need to know about residential Landlord Tenant law in Wisconsin, including:

  1. How to properly screen prospective tenants.
  2. How to draft written screening criteria to assist you in the selection process and protect you from discrimination complaints.
  3. How to comply with both federal and state Fair Housing laws including how to handle with “reasonable modifications”  and “reasonable accommodations” requests.
  4. How to legally reject an applicant.
  5. What rental documents you should be using and why.
  6. When you should be using a 5-day notice versus a 14-day notice, 28-day notice, or 30-day notice and how to properly serve the notice on your tenant.
  7. Everything you wanted to know (and probably even more than you wanted to know) about the Residential Rental Practices (ATCP 134) and how to avoid having to pay double damages to your tenant for breaching ATCP 134.
  8. When you are legally allowed to enter your tenant’s apartment.
  9. How to properly draft an eviction summons and complaint.
  10. What to do to keep the commissioner from dismissing your eviction suit.
  11. What you can legally deduct from a security deposit.
  12. How to properly draft a security deposit transmittal / 21 day letter.
  13. How to handle pet damage.
  14. What to do with a tenant’s abandoned property and how this may affect whether or not you file an eviction suit.
  15. How to pursue your ex-tenant for damages to your rental property and past due rent (and whether it is even worth it to do so).

. . .  and much more.  There will also be time for questions and answers.

You get all this for less than you would pay for an hour of an attorney’s time.

Last year’s AASEW Landlord Boot Camp was filled to capacity and we even had to turn a few people away.  So call early to reserve your spot.

Call the Association at (414) 276-7378, email or go to our Landlord Boot Camp landing page to sign up online and reserve your spot.

Remember that “landlording” is a business — so take the time to educate yourself on how to better manage your business and avoid costly errors!

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A De Novo Hearing Is A “Second Kick at the Cat”

Under Wisconsin law, a Court Commissioner cannot decide a contested eviction action — that must be decided by a judge.  However a court commissioner can preside over and decide a hearing on a landlord’s 2nd and 3rd causes for action for money damages.  Typically this includes claims for past due rent, physical damages to the rental property or holdover damages.

In Milwaukee County, due to the large number of cases,  if a tenant diputes the landlord’s claims for damages, the matter must first be heard by a Court Commissioner.  The Court Commissioner will issue a determination based on the evidence presented.  If either the landlord or the tenant does not agree with the decision of the Court Commissioner, either party has the aoutomatic right to request a de novo hearing before the circuit court judge. 

De novo literally translates to “anew;” “afresh;” or “a second time.”

A de novo hearing is essentially a “do over”  — the parties have the opportunity to present their evidence over again to the judge.  They are not restricted to the evidence that they presented in the prior hearing before the court commissioner.  New evidence can be presented or old evidence can be removed.

De novo hearings are often referred to incorrectly as “appeals.”  A de novo hearing is an opportunity to redo your case.  An appeal is a review of a lower court’s decision for error.

A de novo hearing is a “second kick at the cat,” if you will.

NOTE:  I currently own a cat.  I have had cats as pets in the past.  I love cats.  By using the above phrase “a second kick at the cat” I am not suggesting or condoning the hurting of a cat.  No cat’s were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

Above is a video clip from a seminar that I presented last year about de novo hearings.

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