What is a Request for Certification?

Sometimes, a case presents a matter of law that would be better answered by the courts of another state or jurisdiction. This often occurs when federal courts are asked to decide an issue that turns on state law. When this occurs, the reviewing court may ask a court within another jurisdiction or state to consider the question.

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin, for example, may answer questions of law certified to it by the United States Supreme Court, a United States Court of Appeals, or the highest appellate court of any state. In order to request that the Supreme Court of Wisconsin answer a question of law, a party must submit a request for certification that includes:

(1)  The questions of law to be answered; and

(2)  A statement of the facts relevant to the questions certified and showing the nature of the controversy in which the questions arose

Upon receiving a request for certification, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin may answer the question of law, however is not required to do so. Importantly, only a court (not an independent litigant), may file a request for certification.

To speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your case, contact the Alderman law Firm today for your free consultation by calling 720-588-3529 (CO) or 608-620-3529 (WI).