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2. Recommitment

Winnebago County v. S.H., 2019AP2277-FT, 6/17/20, District 2 (recommended for publication); case activity The court of appeals rarely publishes opinions in “fast track” cases. It took that unusual step here. The opinion strives to show the type of evidence that is sufficient for a recommitment even though the mentally ill person has taken all of… Read More


Winnebago County v. L. F.-G., 2019AP2010, 5/20/20, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity This is an appeal of the extension of the commitment of someone the court calls “Emily.” Following our supreme court’s decision in Portage County v. J.W.K., 2019 WI 54, ¶19, 386 Wis. 2d 672, 927 N.W.2d 509, the court… Read More


Langlade County v. D.J.W., 2020 WI 41, reversing an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 4/24/20; case activity Wisconsin’s involuntary commitment rate is higher than that of any other state–by a long shot. According to a report for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, the annual commitment rate among states ranges from 0.23 to 43.8… Read More

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Marathon County v. R.J.O., 2020 WI App 20; case activity This is an important, published, and demonstrably incorrect court of appeals’ decision regarding Chapter 51 recommitment procedure. The county petitioned to recommit R.J.O. but the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department did not bother trying to serve her. Its certificate of service states: “There were no attempts… Read More


Jefferson County v. M.P., 2019AP2229, 3/5/20, District 4 (One-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity M.P. has schizophrenia. In 2018, she was committed for six months after she made statements about shooting some relatives and burning down a house. In 2019, the county sought and received an extension of the commitment. M.P. argues that recommitment… Read More


Portage County v. L.E., 2019AP1841-FT, District 4, 1/9/19 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity Welcome to another chapter in the Wisconsin saga “once committed, always committed.” L.E. has been under commitment for 25 years. At her most recent recommitment hearing, the County offered a doctor’s testimony that “if treatment were withdrawn she’d become a… Read More


COA: evidence sufficient for ch. 51 extension

La Crosse County v. J.M.A., 2018AP1258, 11/21/19, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity J.M.A. appeals his recommitment under ch. 51. He argues the psychiatrist who was the sole witness at his trial provided only conclusory testimony on dangerousness; the court of appeals disagrees. But first, and odd detour into waiver and standing… Read More


Waupaca v. K.E.K., 2018Ap1887, District 4, 9/26/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity This opinion infuses uncertainty, if not confusion, into the law governing circuit court competency to decide a Chapter 51 recommitment case and the substantive legal standard that courts are to apply at the recommitment stage. Circuit court competency. Section §51.20(13(g)2r provides that 21… Read More