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State v. William C. MacDonald, 2020AP605-CR, 10/14/21, District 4 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Section 973.042(2) mandates a $500 surcharge for each image “associated with the crime” of possession of child pornography. The State charged MacDonald with 10 counts of possessing child porn. He pled “no contest” to a single charge. The State dismissed and read in 9 charges at sentencing. It then requested a $5,000 surcharge for the 10 images supporting the conceded and read-in charges. But it also requested (and received) $45,000 for MacDonald’s possession of an additional 90 images for which he was not charged. [continue reading…]

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Traffic stop based on mistake of law upheld

State v. Kyle M. Kleinschmidt, 2020AP881-Cr, 10/13/21, District 3 (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Kleinschmidt’s vehicle had two brake lights in good working order, but it also had a high-mount brake light that was not working.  An officer stopped him due to the defective light and established that he was operating a vehicle while his license was revoked.  Kleinschmidt argues that the officer, who based the stop on §374.14(1), lacked reasonable suspicion. Plus the correct law, § TRANS 305.15 (re high mounted brake lights), exceeds the authority granted in §374.15 and is thus invalid. [continue reading…]

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A new study by the Sentencing Project finds that nationally “one in 81 Black adults per 100,000 in the U.S. is serving time in state prison. Wisconsin leads the nation in Black imprisonment rates; one of every 36 Black Wisconsinites is in prison.” The study also examines incarceration rates for Latinx individuals. If you’re thinking “deja vu,” consider this data point: When prisons are described as being “more black,” people are more supportive of harsh policies that contribute to the disparity. [continue reading…]

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Milwaukee County v. R.T.H., 2019AP1763, 10/12/21, District 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity

This decision raises an important question of first impression: Are appeals from expired involuntary medication orders ever moot? The court of appeals holds that once the involuntary med order expires, it doesn’t have to address the merits of a claim that there was insufficient evidence to support the order. We think the court of appeals is wrong. Let’s hope that “Robert” files a petition for review. [continue reading…]

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Milwaukee County v. D.C.B., 2021AP581, 10/12/21, Distract 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity

Before a circuit court enters an order to recommit a person under Chapter 51, it is supposed to make specific factual findings with reference to the applicable standard of dangerousness in Wis. Stat. §51.20(1)(a)2Langlade County v. D.J.W., 2020 WI 41, 391 Wis. 2d 231, 942 N.W.2d 277. The court of appeals reversed the recommitment order in this case because the circuit court violated this rule. [continue reading…]

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FYI, the Civil Jury Instruction Committee has revised JI 7050 to take account of DJW and other recent cases. Of note, there is now a new instruction, JI 7050A, for recommitment proceedings. They are available in both Word and PDF formats at the State Law Library’s jury instruction site; more specifically, 7050 is here and 7050A is here.

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City of Port Washington v. Sandra J. Koziol, 2021AP449-450-FT, 10/6/21, District 2 (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Each year, Wisconsin’s municipal courts resolve close to half of a million cases, including traffic offenses, OWIs, and other quasi-criminal matters. See data here. A party aggrieved by a municipal court judgment has a statutory right to appeal it. This unpublished opinion resolves an issue of first impression regarding the procedure for appealing municipal court judgments in a way that restricts that right and violates the statute. [continue reading…]

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Is State v. Machner unconstitutional? Part 2

We have a new development to report.  Recall that in 2015, Federal Defender Shelley Fite wrote an excellent guest post about a 7th Circuit decision, Pidgeon v. Smith, 785 F.3d 1165 (2015).  The 7th Circuit held that Machner‘s requirement–that a defendant claiming ineffective assistance of counsel must present his lawyer’s testimony at an evidentiary hearing–is just a Wisconsin rule. “[A]n ineffective assistance claim is a claim under the United States Constitution” and “[n]othing in Strickland or its progeny requires prisoners seeking to prove ineffective assistance to call the challenged counsel as a witness.” [continue reading…]

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