Welcome and thank you for visiting the Green Lake County District Attorney’s website. Public safety is my priority as your District Attorney. We exist to assist local law enforcement in their everyday fight to protect the citizens of this County. It is my hope this website can assist you in learning about the District Attorney’s Office and how we fight crime, enforce the law and support the citizens of this great County.
The mission of the District Attorney’s Office is to prosecute all criminal actions including all State and County forfeiture and traffic actions. (including but not limited to: sexual assaults, domestic violence offenses, felony child non-support, property crimes, obstructing/resisting an officer, drug offenses, burglary and theft, computer crimes, endangering safety, homicide, arson, battery, disorderly conduct and harassment.) In addition, the District Attorney’s Office must conduct: John Doe proceedings, grand juries (when requested), inquests, sexually violent person commitments, prosecute welfare fraud cases, prepare criminal appeals, prosecute juvenile delinquencies, and child in need of protection or services and truancy actions, and oversee the Green Lake County Victim/Witness program.
The Green Lake County Victim/Witness program provides for the needs of and protects the rights of victims and witnesses of crimes.
The District Attorney’s Office is also responsible for advising law enforcement in Green Lake County, and assisting with the training of law enforcement officers. The District Attorney carries out public speaking engagements as required. As part of carrying out this mission, the District Attorney’s Office must work efficiently and effectively with court support staff, social workers, probation and parole agents, law enforcement personnel, community agencies, the general public, crime victims and witnesses and defense attorneys.
The District Attorney also acts as a special prosecutor in other jurisdictions when required.
Gerise Laspisa – District Attorney
Matthew McElroy – Assistant District Attorney
Mitzi Putzke – Paralegal/Office Manager
Megan Strahan – Legal Clerk
Brandi Schreiber – Victim/Witness Coordinator
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I speak with the prosecuting attorney assigned to my case?
If you are a defendant and have hired an attorney, our office will not be able to speak with you because it would be a conflict of interest. We are only able to speak with your attorney regarding your case. If you are a defendant and have not hired an attorney, you may contact our office to schedule an appointment with the attorney assigned to your case.
Are your records open to the public?
No, our files are not open to the public. If you are looking for information regarding a case, you may contact the Clerk of Courts in the Green Lake County Justice Facility at 920-294-4142. The only persons who may be allowed to look at our files are defendants who are not represented by counsel or the attorney who is representing the defendant. If you are a victim, you may be granted permission to view a file. Those requests are handled on a case-by-case basis through victim/witness services in the District Attorney’s Office.
Does your office handle child support issues?
No, our office does not handle child support matters. Any child support questions should be directed either to your attorney or the Green Lake County Child Support office in the Justice Facility. That phone number is 920-294-4048. Our office only becomes involved in child support matters when a criminal child support case has been referred to us.
Does your office handle civil matters?
No, our office does not handle civil matters. You will need to contact a private attorney for these matters.
How do I file a small claims action?
If you would like to commence a small claims action against another party you can obtain and file the paperwork with the Green Lake County Clerk of Courts Office in the Justice Facility.
I have been charged with a crime. I would like an attorney to represent me, but I cannot afford one. What can I do?
There are two ways for you to retain an attorney to represent you in a criminal action. However, that is based on eligibility. If it is determined that you are not eligible, you will need to hire your own attorney, if so desired. You may go directly to the State Public Defender’s Office located at 160 S. Macy St. – 3rd Floor, Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4241 or call 920-929-3990. They will discuss the steps you need to take to determine if you are eligible for public defender representation. If you are not eligible for public defender representation, the public defender’s office can advise you as to how you can obtain a Court appointed attorney.
If I have a DNR, Speeding or OWI first offense ticket(s), when can I talk to the prosecutor handling it?
If you have one or more of the above-mentioned citations and your initial appearance court date is scheduled for a Monday, you can request to talk with the district attorney about the citation to try and resolve the case after your court appearance. Our office is not involved in your case prior to this time, and we cannot talk to you about it. If at the initial appearance you enter into a not guilty plea, your case will then be referred to our office and a pre-trial conference will be scheduled to try to resolve the case. If we are unable to resolve the case at the pre-trial, the matter will then be scheduled for a trial and you will be notified of the time and date for the trial.
How can I go about getting an extension of time to pay for my court fines?
You need to contact the Green Lake County Clerk of Courts Office at 920-294-4142 to ask for an extension to pay for court fines. Our office does not take in money to pay for fines. All fines must be paid to the Green Lake County Clerk of Courts.
Arraignment – A court appearance at which the defendant is formally charged and is asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. In felony cases, an arraignment follows a preliminary hearing.
Bound Over – At the completion of the preliminary hearing, if the judge finds that it is reasonable to believe that the defendant committed a felony, the defendant is sent to the Court to stand trial.
Complaint – A legal document prepared by the DA based on the police reports. It lists the charges and some of the evidence against the defendant. The complaint is filed in Court.
Defendant – The person accused of or charged with a criminal offense. This is the person alleged to have committed a particular crime.
Decline – The office of the District Attorney decides not to issue any criminal charges.
Dismissal – The charge or charges against the defendant are dismissed. No Conviction.
District Attorney – Under state law, the prosecuting attorney who represents the state in each county.
Assistant District Attorney – An attorney who acts on the District Attorney’s behalf.
Felony – A crime punishable by confinement in a state prison, for one year or more.
Pretrial Conference – A hearing before a case proceeds to jury trial. The parties discuss a case and either settle it or ask that it be scheduled for trial.
Initial Appearance – A defendant’s first appearance in court. A judge may read the charges, set bail (either cash or personal recognizance and determines the conditions of release if any). In felony cases, a date is set for a preliminary hearing. In misdemeanors, the initial appearance is also the arraignment where the defendant enters an initial plea.
Misdemeanor – A crime punishable by confinement in a county jail, for one year or less.
Motions – Oral or written requests about legal questions made by the prosecutor or the defendant before, during or after a trial. Motions ask the court to issue a ruling or order regarding the case.
Plea – A person accused admits or denies commission of a crime by pleading guilty (no contest) or not guilty. The accused can be convicted on his/her plea of guilty (no contest).
Preliminary Hearing – In felony cases, an evidentiary hearing at which the state must prove to the judge that there is enough evidence to believe the defendant committed a felony.
Status Hearing – A hearing in court to see if the case can be settled without going to trial.
Probable Cause – A judicial determination that there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
Restitution – An amount of money set by the court to be paid to the victim of a crime for property losses or injuries, physical or emotional, caused by the crime.
Sentencing – The hearing at which the court imposes sentence. Sentencing follows a guilty plea or a finding of guilt by a jury or judge.
Subpoena – A written order requiring a person to appear in court to testify. The subpoena states the date, time, place and proceeding at which the witness must appear.
Trial – A hearing for presenting physical and testimonial evidence to a judge or jury for a determination of whether an accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt or not guilty of the crime(s) charged. A defendant may be found guilty of all, some, or none of the charges. If the defendant is found guilty, he/she can then be sentenced for that crime by the judge at that time or at a later hearing; if the defendant is found not guilty of a crime, the charge is dismissed.