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3. Prisoner commitments

Winnebago County v. C.S., 2019 WI App 16; case activity C.S., a mentally ill prisoner committed pursuant to §51.20(1)(ar), challenged the constitutionality of §51.61(1)(g) on its face and as applied because it allowed the government to medicate him against his will without finding him dangerous first. In a published decision, the court of appeals upholds… 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Winnebago County v. J.M., 4/18/18, 2018 WI 37, affirming an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 2016AP619, case activity. This opinion will interest lawyers who handle Chapter 51 cases and appellate lawyers of all stripes. It establishes that persons undergoing Chapter 51 mental commitments are entitled  to the effective assistance of counsel and formally adopts the… Read More

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Winnebago County v. C.S., 2016AP1955, 8/16/17, District 2 (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity C.S. argues that §51.61(1)(g) is unconstitutional because it allows the government to administer involuntary medication to a prisoner without a finding of dangerousness. The court of appeals elected not to decide the issue due to mootness, but that seems like a mistake. This… Read More

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Winnebago County v. J.M., 2016AP619, 5/15/17, granting a petition for review of  an unpublished court of appeals decision; case activity  Issues: Whether the subject of a §51.20(1)(a) extension of involuntary commitment and medication order has a claim for ineffective assistance of trial counsel where his lawyer fails to object to, prevent the admission of, or request… Read More

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Prison garb not unfashionable at ch. 51 trial

Winnebago County v. J.M., 2016AP619, District 2, 11/9/16 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication), petition for review granted 5/15/17, affirmed, 2018 WI 37; case activity J.M.’s lawyer didn’t secure civilian clothes for him to wear at his ch. 51 recommitment hearing, so he appeared before the jury in his prison greens (sans the shackles, at least; and the stun… Read More

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Winnebago County v. Christopher S., 2016 WI 1, on certification from the court of appeals, and affirming the circuit court’s orders for commitment and involuntary medication; majority opinion by Justice Gableman, concurrence/dissent by Justice Abrahamson; case activity The provisions of ch. 51 allowing the involuntary mental health commitment of prison inmates without a finding of dangerousness… Read More

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Click here for certification order; circuit court order affirmed, 2016 WI 1; click here for case activity Issue (composed by the court of appeals): This appeal raises an important issue of first impression regarding the constitutionality of a mental health treatment statute related to inmates within the Wisconsin state prison system.  The question presented is whether… Read More

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