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3. Civil Commitments

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

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Winnebago County v. C.S., 2020 WI 33,  reversing a published court of appeals opinion; 4/10/20; case activity This is a BIG case for Chapter 51 lawyers! In a 4-3 opinion, SCOW held that when a court commits a prison inmate under Chapter 51, it cannot order involuntary medication without finding the inmate dangerous first. The… Read More

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State v. Jamie Lane Stephenson, 2018AP2104, petition to review a published court of appeals decision granted 3/17/20; case activity Issues: To prove that a person meets the criteria for commitment under Chapter 980, must the state present expert opinion testimony that the person is “dangerous” as defined under ch. 980? Should the standard of review… Read More

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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

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Marathon County v. D.K., 2020 WI 18, 2/4/2020, affirming an unpublished court of appeals decision; 2017AP2217; (case activity) The caption is the most confusing part of this opinion: ZIEGLER, J., delivered the majority opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I., II., III., IV.A., IV.B., and IV.C.1, in which ROGGENSACK, C.J., REBECCA GRASSL BRADLEY… Read More

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SCOW: Precedent? What precedent? ¯\_(ヅ)_/¯

State v. Anthony James Jendusa, 2018AP2357-CRLV, review of a decision of the court of appeals denying the state’s petition for leave to appeal; case activity Before turning to the issues presented, we’ll start with an observation about how this case might seem to affect appellate litigation in all kinds of cases, civil and criminal. As… Read More

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Milwaukee County v. E.C.H., 2019AP772, District 1, 1/14/20, (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity This appeal asks: Is evidence of homelessness, by itself, sufficient to prove that a person is dangerous to himself or will become dangerous if treatment is withdrawn? And the answer is . . . we don’t know. Hiding behind the… Read More

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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

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