PLEASE BE AWARE WHEN CONTACTING THE CLERK OF COURT'S OFFICE:
The Racine County Clerk of Circuit Court Office is not permitted to give legal advice to anyone. The legal analysis of any situation depends on a variety of factors that cannot be properly represented or accounted for on a website; therefore, if you have any questions about your legal rights and remedies, you may consult an attorney licensed to practice law in Wisconsin.
Why Court Employees Are Not Allowed to Give Legal Advice
Even though we may wish to provide the best assistance possible, we cannot legal advice even in circumstances where we are certain of the answer to a question. It is necessary that we refrain from doing so for the following reasons:
1. Neutrality: When dealing with court users, court staff must remain neutral at all times. As a result, staff cannot promote or recommend a particular course of action, regardless of how many hundreds of similar cases they may have filed. If they were to do so, court staff would risk favoring one party over the other. Additionally, court staff is not in a position to know what is in the self-represented litigant’s best interest. Only litigants or their attorneys can make that determination.
2. Impartiality: Court staff has an absolute duty of impartiality. Per Supreme Court rule, Court staff “may not provide or withhold assistance for the purpose of giving one party an advantage over another.” The considerable knowledge that court employees possess about the workings of the legal system must be shared fairly and equitably between the parties. Furthermore, staff cannot disclose confidential or ex parte communication to either of the parties.
3. Unauthorized Practice of Law: Every state, including Wisconsin, has laws prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law. Only attorneys licensed by the state are permitted to practice law and give legal advice. Because court staff employees are generally not attorneys, they cannot give legal advice because doing so is constitutes the unauthorized practice of law. Even if an employee of the court were an attorney, he or she still could not give legal advice because it would violate the concepts of neutrality and impartiality that must be exercised by court staff.