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2. Recommitment

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 At her most recent recommitment hearing, the County offered a doctor’s testimony that “if treatment were withdrawn she’d become a… Read More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Waupaca v. K.E.K., 2018Ap1887, District 4, 9/26/19 (not recommended for publication); case activity This opinion infuses uncertainty, if not confusion, into the law governing circuit court competency to decide a Chapter 51 recommitment case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


Dane County v. N.W., 2019AP48, 8/29/29, District 4 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity N.W. entered a written stipulation to extend his Chapter 51 involuntary mental commitment. On appeal he argued that due process required the circuit court to conduct a colloquy to determine whether he knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily agreed to the extension… Read More


Langlade County v. D.J.W., 2018AP145-FT, petition for review granted 7/10/19; case activity Issue:  A doctor opined that David (a pseudonym) is unable to care for himself, and therefore dangerous under Wis. Stat. § 51.20(1)(am), because he lost employment and relies on the assistance of the government and his family for income and housing. As a… Read More


Today Mad in America, a nonprofit that publishes a webzine on science, psychiatry and social justice ran a long article on the dark side of “Assisted Outpatient Treatment” or, as we think of it in Wisconsin, “outpatient recommitments.” Turns out they have a very dark side. Chapter 51 practitioners may find the many studies and… Read More

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Waukesha County v. S.L.L., 2019WI66, affirming an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 2017AP1468; 6/12/19; case activity This 4-3 decision is alarming. Waukesha County petitioned to recommit S.L.L., a homeless person, but failed to serve her with notice of the hearing because it had no idea where she was. Since she was not served, she didn’t… Read More