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New study shows Wisconsin leads nation in Black imprisonment rates


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 […]

October 15, 2021


Are appeals from expired involuntary med orders ever moot?


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 […]

October 13, 2021


Another Ch. 51 recommitment reversed due to a circuit court’s violation of D.J.W.


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)2.  Langlade County v. D.J.W., 2020 WI […]


A new Jury Instruction for Ch. 51 recommitment proceedings.


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.


Court of appeals takes hard line on appeals from municipal court decisions


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 […]

October 11, 2021


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 […]

October 3, 2021


GAL didn’t improperly argue best-interests standard at TPR trial; Zoom disposition hearing didn’t violate parent’s right to be present


La Crosse County DHS v. B.B. and E.B., 2020AP2030 & 2020AP2031, District 4, 9/30/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity B.B. and E.B. challenge the order terminating their parental rights, arguing that the guardian ad litem improperly invoked the children’s best interest standard during the grounds trial and that conducting the dispositional hearing via […]

October 2, 2021


COA affirms probable cause finding in alcohol test refusal case


State v. Edward R. Gasse, 2021AP484, 9/29/2021, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Gasse arrived at the police station shortly after midnight; officers had observed him about 80 minutes prior at his residence and believed him to be drunk. He initially said he’d driven there but later changed his story; […]

September 30, 2021


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