Madison, WI asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for Wisconsin

Q: Can a warrant for arrest be issued for a property code violation in Wisconsin?

In early 2016 unknown to me I was issued a citation (apparently mailed to me) for peeling paint on my windows. Early this month I called police for a car accident I was involved in municipality B. After running my driver's license, the police officer told me I had a warrant for my arrest due to the peeling paint citation in municipality A. The officer said he never saw this in his 20 plus years of policing. Anyway, after arguing with municipality A (they wanted me arrested and brought to their city immediately), the officer just had me sign a personal recognizance bond and told me to address the citation in lieu of taking me in. He said municipality A really wanted me but that he had much better things to do than arrest someone for peeling paint on their windows (thank God). Anyway, is this normal to get an arrest warrant for a property citation? I have since paid the citation but it seems very strange to arrest someone for this "crime". Thank you!

1 Lawyer Answer
William F Sulton
William F Sulton
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: Municipalities issue arrest warrants when fines are not paid. That is legal in Wisconsin and many other States.

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