The Wisconsin circuit courts are the state's trial courts. Currently, there are 249 circuit court judges in Wisconsin.
The circuit courts are divided into branches with at least one branch in every county, with the exception of six counties that are paired off and share judges. The paired counties are: Buffalo/Pepin, Florence/Forest, and Shawano/Menominee. The first two pairs are each staffed by a single judge who travels between the courthouses; Menominee County is a federal reservation and both judges for this circuit are located in Shawano. Of the remaining circuits, 26 have a single judge and the largest circuit is Milwaukee County with 47 judges and 22 court commissioners. Milwaukee Circuit Courts process in excess of 150,000 case files per year within the court system (i.e., Criminal, Civil, Children’s and Probate). Circuit courts have original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal matters within the state, including probate, juvenile, and traffic matters, as well as civil and criminal jury trials.