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3. Civil Commitments

Kahler v. Kansas, USSC No. 18-6135, certiorari granted 3/18/10 Question presented: Do the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments permit a state to abolish the insanity defense? Decision below; USSC docket; Scotusblog page As Scotusblog explains, Kahler was convicted of killing his, wife, kids, and his wife’s grandmother, and he was sentenced to death. His lawyers argued… Read More

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Ozaukee County v. R.T.H., 2018AP1317, 2/27/19, District 2, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity; Marathon County v. C.M.L., 2017AP2220, 2/26/19, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity These two, unrelated decisions highlight a recurring due process violation at Chapter 51 hearings. For an original commitment, the county must prove that the person… Read More

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Winnebago County v. A.A., 2018AP1505-FT, 12/12/18, District 2 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity A.A.’s commitment was set to expire on March 28th. Two days before his March 22 recommitment hearing he demanded a jury trial. The court gave him one on  April 12th. A.A. argued that the trial court lost competency to act when… Read More

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Milwaukee County v. T.L.R., 2018AP1131, 12/4/18, District 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication), case activity Here’s an issue of first impression for SCOW. Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp. 1078, 1092 (E.D. Wis. 1972) established procedural and substantive due process rights for persons undergoing mental commitments. One of those rights is the right to particularized… Read More

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Monroe County v. B.L., 2018AP694, 11/8/18, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity B.L. argues on appeal that the doctor who initiated his emergency detention could not also be one of the examiners appointed under Wis. Stat. § 51.20(9)(a)1.. The court does not address the argument, because B.L. raises it for the first… Read More

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Fond du Lac County v. S.R.H., 2018AP1088-FT, 10/17/18, District 2 (1-judge opinion, eligible for publication); case activity At the beginning of a Chapter 51 extension hearing, S.R.H. told the court that he wanted to fire his attorney, and he asked for a new one. When that failed, he asked the court “Your honor, could I… Read More

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Winnebago County v. B.C., 2018AP846-FT, District 2, 9/5/18 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity B.C. challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to extend his commitment and involuntarily medicate him. His challenge fails. B.C. is a prison inmate, so his commitment is governed by § 51.20(1)(ar), so instead of dangerousness the petitioner has to show that… Read More

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Winnebago County v. M.R.R., 2018AP273, 10/3/18, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) M.R.R. suffered a traumatic brain injury 35 years ago; he’s diagnosed with a personality change due to the injury and unspecified personality disorder. He was found incompetent and placed in a guardianship in 2015 and a protective placement… Read More

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