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1. Original commitment

Fond du Lac County v. J.L.H., 2020AP2049, 3/24/21, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity Wisconsin Stat. § 51.20(1)(a)e. lays out the “fifth standard” for dangerousness; a person can be committed under it if his or her mental illness prevents him or her from understanding the advantages and disadvantages of treatment, and a… Read more

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Jefferson County v. S.M.S., 2020AP814, 3/11/21, District 4 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity It is blackletter law that the probable cause hearing for a Chapter 51 commitment must be held within a statutorily-prescribed time from the subject individual’s detention or the circuit court must dismiss the proceeding for lack of competency to adjudicate… Read more

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Waukesha County v. E.J.W., 2020AP370, petition for review granted 2/26/21; case activity Issue for review: Section 51.20(11) provides that the subject of a commitment proceeding must demand a jury trial 48 hours in advance of the time set for the final hearing. When the court adjourns the hearing for good cause to appoint new counsel… Read more

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Adams County v. D.R.D., 2020AP1426, 1/28/21, District 4; case activity This appeal posed a simple question about due process in a Chapter 51 commitment proceeding. Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp. 1078 (E.D. Wis. 1972) held that the 14th Amendment requires the county to give a person sufficient notice of the legal standard under which… Read more

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Outagamie Countyv. G.S., 2019AP1950, 1/20/21, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity “George” called law enforcement claiming to be a federal authority who wanted to make a citizen’s arrest of some duck hunters. When a deputy arrived at the lake he saw George in a boat with 2 encased firearms about 100 yards… Read more

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Fond du Lac County v. S.N.W., 2019AP2073, petition for review granted 11/19/20; case activity Issues presented: 1. Did the circuit court lack competency to adjudicate this Chapter 51 commitment proceeding due to the county’s violation of the rule requiring it to file psychiatric reports 48 hours before the final hearing? 2. If the circuit court… Read more

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Vilas County DHS v. N.J.P., 2019AP1567, 12/15/20, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity In this appeal from an initial commitment, the county conceded that it had not offered clear and convincing evidence to mee the 4th standard of dangerousness. It asked the court of appeals to affirm the commitment based on the… Read more

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Waukesha County v. L.J.M., 2020AP820, 11/4/20, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity L.J.M. (“Lisa”) appeals the extension of her commitment under ch. 51. In a thorough opinion, the court of appeals affirms, though not without pointing out deficiencies in the county’s case and the circuit court’s decision. Lisa has been committed for… Read more

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