Trempealeau County
Circuit Court

PO Box 67
Whitehall WI, 54773-0067
( 715) 538-2311 Ext. 239
Fax: (715) 538-4123

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Press Release



May 20, 2015


Whitehall, Wisconsin – The Trempealeau County Recovery Court wishes to acknowledge National Drug Court Month.  This is the ninth year that the Trempealeau County Recovery Court has operated.  During this time, there have been 110 participants and 30 people who have successfully completed the program.

 Today, more than 2,900 Drug Courts are in operation in all fifty states and U.S. territories successfully treating 142,000 drug-addicted individuals a year.  Since 1989, Drug Courts have saved over 1.3 million lives and billions of tax dollars.

 “This has saved hundred of days of jail time, thousands of dollars in costs and insured public safety by reducing repeat criminal offenses,” said Judge John Damon, who presides over the Recovery Court.  Recovery Court is held at 9:00 a.m. every other Wednesday.  The public is always welcome.

 “Drug Courts demonstrate that a combination of accountability and treatment can transform the lives of seriously addicted offenders,” said Chris Deutsch of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.  “By treating our chronically addicted offenders in Drug Court, we can save vast amounts of money, protect public safety, reunite families and significantly reduce crime and drug abuse in the community.”

 Like the more than 2,900 operational Drug Courts in the United States, the Trempealeau County Recovery Court is a judicially-supervised court docket that reduces correctional costs, protects community safety, and improves public welfare.  In Recovery Court, seriously drug-addicted individuals remain in treatment for long periods of time while under close supervision.  Participants must meet their obligation to themselves, their families, and society.  To ensure accountability, they are regularly randomly tested for drug use, required to appear frequently in court for the judge to review their progress, rewarded for doing well and sanctioned for not living up to their obligations.  Research continues to show that Drug Courts work better than jail or prison, better than probation, and better than treatment alone.

 Drug Courts are this nation’s most effective strategy at reducing recidivism among seriously drug addicted, nonviolent offenders with long criminal histories.  Nationally, 75% of individuals who complete Drug Court are not re-arrested.  Drug Courts save up to $13,000 for every individual they serve and return as much as $27 for every $1 invested.

Ninety three percent of Trempealeau County Recovery Court graduates have not been re-arrested for a criminal offense.  Our Recovery Court saves the county up to $5,000 per individual that participates in the program.  These savings are reflected in fewer jail days, court appearances and staff time.

Pictured from left to right: Honorable John Damon, Gerardo Calvillo,
Heather Brake, Trevor Frei and District Attorney Taavi McMahon.



November 11, 2010


Whitehall – Judge John A. Damon announced that the Trempealeau County Drug Court received a check for $10,000 from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen this week. The funds were from a Department of Justice settlement in a class action suit involving a vitamins price fixing conspiracy.

Judge Damon said the funds will be used by the Drug court to expand drug treatment options and to provide for testing community based options for offenders. The Drug Court team will continue to discuss uses at future meetings. On behalf of the Trempealeau County Drug Court Judge Damon expressed his gratitude to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. “We appreciate the support and commitment to alternatives for offenders the Attorney General has provided. This money is a real shot in the arm for our drug court,” said Judge Damon.


March 3, 2010


WHITEHALL, WISCONSIN-- Trempealeau County Circuit Court Judge John Damon has released 2009 statistics for the Community Work Service program, Small Claims Mediation program and the Teen Court program. “We’re fortunate that in this small rural community of Trempealeau County, we have these programs and alternatives to jail.”  

Last year, 144 offenders provided more than 3,798 hours of community work service to the citizens of Trempealeau County. Community work service was performed for many non-profit locations, including schools, churches, libraries, recycling centers, nursing homes, governmental agencies, and civic organizations throughout Trempealeau County. This program also provides the county savings in jail expenses as well. In most cases where community work service is ordered in this county, the Court provides that the ordered jail days are stayed upon the satisfactory completion of community work service. Last year, 316 jail days were saved because of community work service completion, providing substantial savings to the residents of Trempealeau County.   

In 2009, there were 146 cases referred to small claims court volunteer mediators, and 74 of those cases were settled the day of mediation. And even when the cases are not settled at the initial mediation time, the process of having the parties sit down together to discuss the dispute usually leads to the matter being settled before being scheduled before the Court. This volunteer program is valuable because it saves taxpayer money by freeing up the court calendar to allow other cases to be heard in a more timely manner. It also allows the parties to tailor a solution to their dispute that is mutually agreed upon, which is of benefit to both the parties.  

Trempealeau County Teen Court was established in 1997 and has heard over 200 cases in that time. Seventeen of those referrals were from 2009 with offenses ranging from disorderly conduct to possession of tobacco to truancy. Teen Court accepts first time offenders from the ages of 10 years to 17 years old. The juveniles going through Teen Court had to write reports, apology letters, and make good on any harm they had done. In 2009 they completed 45 hours of community service. Of those teens completing Teen Court only one re-entered the system. The judges are area teens from all seven school districts while serving in their capacity as Teen Court Judges completed 80 hours of service.                                                              

“These programs are just a few innovative ways that the Court and Trempealeau County are addressing some of the issues that it faces,” Judge Damon said. If you have any community work service sites or project suggestions, or would be interested in volunteering for the small claims court mediation program you can contact Court Services at 715-538-2311 ext. 322 or 264 for more information. [END]

April 24, 2009

Whitehall, Wisconsin - Trempealeau County Circuit Court Judge John A. Damon announced the appointment of Attorney Charles V. Feltes as Court Commissioner.  The Court Commissioner's powers include issuing warrants, setting bail, conducting initial criminal appearances, temporary hearings and weddings, Chief Judge William Dyke made the appointment on April 23, 2009.

"We are fortunate that Attorney Feltes agreed to accept this appointment ", stated Judge Damon.  "He brings great experience and intellect to this position."  Damon added.

Charles V. Feltes is a 1969 graduate of University of Wisconsin - River Falls.  In 1973 he received his law degree from the University of Illinois.  Since 1976 he has practiced law in Osseo, Wisconsin.  He is formerly a partner of the law firm of Kostner, Ward & Koslo.  He is a former president of the Osseo Commercial Club and the Tri-County Bar Association.  In his career, Charles has been the city attorney for the cities of Osseo and Augusta, as well as the Village Attorney for Fall Creek. 

Charles has donated his time and talents to numerous community organizations.  He did the legal work to organize the Osseo Area Economic Development Corporation, Osseo Community Foundation, the Osseo-Fairchild Public Educational Foundation and Lake Martha Days, Inc.  as non-profit organizations.  In addition, he did the title work in relation to Osseo's Little League baseball fields.  He is presently the secretary and a board member of the Osseo Area Economic Development Corporation and the Osseo Community Foundation. 

Since 1995 Charles as been a sole practitioner with his office in downtown Osseo.  He is a general practitioner with emphasis in real estate, family law, business law, and litigation of all types.

For the last 34 years he has been married to his wife, Susan, who is the secretary at the Osseo-Fairchild Elementary School.  Susan and Charles have four children. 

Charles is a member of the St. Raymond's Catholic Church in Brackett, Wisconsin.  He has served on various committees for the church and has donated his legal expertise when needed.  he is a member of the Knights of Columbus.  During the Knight's Lenten fish fries, he cooks the beans.   (green and baked).