Madison, WI Local Legal Resources

Madison, WI, is the county seat of Dane County and is the Wisconsin State capital. Madison is the second largest city in Wisconsin; the 2011 estimated population was 236,901. The city of Madison began in 1829, as little more than 1,000 acres of swamp and forest purchased by a former federal judge. By 1846, Madison was incorporated as a village with a population of 626.

As the state capital, Madisons largest employer is the Wisconsin state government. The second largest employer is the combined group of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Madisons University of Wisconsin Hospital is a strategic regional trauma center as well as a key regional teaching hospital. This facility's major credentials and experience are in transplant medicine, oncology, digestive disorders, and endocrinology.

In the past decade, Madisons economy has been changing from government services to consumer services and a high-tech base. This is especially true in the areas of health, biotechnology, and advertising. Madison has felt a steady economic boom since the late 1990s, with less of the recession than other areas of Wisconsin.

The attraction of Madison for new high-tech industries is based partly on the high level of education found among residents. Of the Madison population over the age of 25, 48.2% hold at least a bachelors degree. In 2004, Forbes Magazine reported that Dane County held the U.S. record for the highest percentage of individuals holding Ph.Ds.

Madison has been chosen as one of the 10 Best Cities on several occasions in the last decade and was chosen by Forbes as No. 31 of the top 200 metropolitan areas for being the Best Places for Business and Careers.

Madison Services for the Elderly

  • Elder Abuse/Neglect Helpline: The Elder Abuse and Neglect Helpline at 608-261-9933 should be used to report suspected abuse or neglect of adults aged 60 and older. These situations may involve physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse, neglect by others or self-neglect. The Area Agency on Aging of Dane County operates The Helpline.
  • West Madison Senior Coalition and Senior Center: The centers mission is to assist older adults with services and programs that enhance independence and enrich lives. The Coalition provides case management services that help seniors find and connect to resources for living independently in the community and home chore services for seniors so they can live better, longer lives as well as remain independent. The center is located at 517 N. Segoe Road in Madison, and the phone number is (608) 238-7368.
  • Area Agency on Aging Senior Nutrition: This agency provides meals available at dining centers throughout Dane County for those aged 60 and over, as well as social opportunities, nutrition education, recreational and learning experiences. Home-delivered meals for those who are homebound are available throughout DaneCounty for those aged 60 and over. For information, safety check and a hot, well-balanced meal, telephone (608) 261-9930.

Madison Court Resources

  • City of Madison Municipal Court: The City of Madison Municipal Court represents the judicial branch of government and provides a neutral setting for resolving alleged city ordinance violations where the penalty includes a forfeiture. This court handles approximately 38,000 non-criminal cases per year. Cases include traffic and parking violations, first-offense drunk driving, disorderly conduct, unlawful trespass, school truancy, underage alcohol consumption, building and health code violations, and animal control citations. Court is held at the Madison City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., in Madison.
  • Circuit Court of Dane County: The Dane County Courthouse is located in Room 1000 at 215 South Hamilton Street in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • The civil section of the Dane County Circuit Court presides over all civil actions, including small claims. The majority of the cases heard are in the personal injury category that can include everything from dog bites, slip-and-fall accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect and abuse, defective products liability and motor vehicle accident injuries. Small claims are typically rent- and service-fee-dispute cases where the settlement sought is less than $5,000.
  • The juvenile section deals with acts of juvenile delinquency that are not quite criminal offenses, while Criminal Court deals with adult violators of state law, both felonies and misdemeanors. The criminal section also administers the prosecution of traffic and other motor vehicle violations.
  • The probate department of the Dane County Circuit Court is in charge of all document handling pertaining to wills, trusts and estates, protective orders, mental-health commitments and other important sundry records.
  • Family Court hears all cases involving children and families, including child protective orders, child support, divorce and other family dispute matters.
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