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E. Procedure

Waukesha County HHS v. S.S., 2020AP592, District 2, 6/10/20 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The circuit court properly exercised its discretion in ordering default judgment for S.S.’s egregious conduct of lying to the court to get her TPR trial adjourned. ¶13     As entry of a default judgment is a particularly harsh sanction… Read More

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Juneau County DHS v. C.C., 2020AP438, 6/4/20, District 4, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity Courts don’t usually award summary judgment in TPR cases, especially not at the grounds phase where the question is whether the parent abandoned the child. The issue is generally too fact intensive. But here the circuit court found no… Read More

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S.L.H. v. J.J.D., 2019AP1554, District 2, 3/25/20 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The lawyer representing J.J.D. (“John”) in his TPR proceeding failed to mount a sufficient defense to the summary judgment motion brought by S.L.H. (“Sarah”). But that deficient performance didn’t prejudice John. The evidence the lawyer failed to present wasn’t enough to… Read More

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Racine County Human Services Department v. S.J.A., 2019AP2160 & 2161, 2/5/20, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity It would be interesting to see the briefs in this case, but of course they’re confidential, so we cannot. What we can see is the opinion, which shows commendable (and unfortunately uncommon) attention to detail… Read More

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Kenosha County DHS v. M.M.B., 2019AP1776 & 1777, 1/22/20, District 2 (one judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity M.M.B. is the father of two children, each of whom has a serious genetic disorder that threatens normal brain growth and function. The disorder can’t be cured but it can be controlled by adherence to a… Read More

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State v. Z.J., 2019AP1623-1626, District 1, 11/19/19, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity All TPRs are sad. But this one really highlights the Catch 22 that poverty can create for a parent. Z.J., mother of 4, was struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. The State sought to terminate her parental rights for these and… Read More

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Default judgment in TPR affirmed

State v. C.M., 2019AP1483, District 1, 11/5/19 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The circuit court didn’t err in entering a default judgment against C.M. in her termination of parental rights proceeding.  C.M. failed to appear in person at the initial appearance, so the court called her on the phone, told her to talk… Read More

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State v. T.S.W., 2019AP450-451, District 1, 10/22/19 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity The trial court failed to hold a hearing on T.S.W.’s motion for change of physical placement of her child, J.C., before the jury trial on the grounds phase of her TPR. She argued that this violated her right to due process because… Read More

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