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COA affirms domestic abuse modifier and domestic abuse surcharge

State v. Marvin Frank Robinson, 2019AP105-106-CR; 9/24/19; District 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Robinson pled to misdemeanor battery with domestic abuse assessements and to knowingly violating a temporary restraining order in one case. He also pled to misdemeanor bail jumping (violation of the TRO) and other crimes in a second case.  On appeal, he challenged trial court’s application of the domestic abuse modifier and its imposition of the domestic abuse surcharge, but the court of appeals affirmed.

Regarding the domestic abuse modifier:

¶13 Robinson argues that the complaint lacked any facts establishing that he and J.R.D. were either married or formerly married, that they resided together or had formerly resided together, or that they had a child in common, as required by WIS. STAT. § 968.075(1)(a). Specifically, Robinson argues that the restraining order, which was attached to the complaint, was not incorporated into the complaint, making the circuit court’s (and subsequently the postconviction court’s) reliance on the facts in the restraining order erroneous. Robinson is mistaken.

¶14 The criminal complaint in case No. 2017CF3763 specifically referenced the restraining order. The complaint states that J.R.D. told officers about the injunction. The injunction was referenced by a section titled “Pertaining to the Violation of the Domestic Abuse Injunction,” which indicated that “This complaint is further based upon review of the Temporary Restraining Order issued … on July 13, 2017.” Further, in case No. 17CM2528, Robinson pled guilty to violating a domestic abuse restraining order. The restraining order noted that Robinson was J.R.D.’s “current or former live-in boyfriend.” During the plea colloquy, Robinson acknowledged that the facts contained in the complaint were true and correct, the parties agreed that the complaint would constitute the factual basis for the pleas, and the court stated that it would rely upon the facts in the complaint. It necessarily follows that the restraining order was properly relied upon by the circuit court and subsequently by the postconviction court.

Regarding the domestic abuse surcharge:

¶16 We also conclude that the record supports the circuit court’s imposition of the domestic abuse surcharges. Robinson contends that he should not have to pay the domestic abuse surcharges because the circuit court never made an explicit finding of a qualifying domestic relationship as required by WIS. STAT. § 973.055(1)(a)2.

¶18 The postconviction court acknowledged that “there’s not a statement in the pleading document [that J.R.D. and Robinson had a qualifying relationship] as it stands alone,” but stated “when the [circuit] [c]ourt made the finding that there was a sufficient and factual basis … I did state there was a factual basis for the domestic abuse assessments.” We have already discussed the facts relied upon by both the circuit and postconviction courts and conclude that they support the imposition of the domestic abuse surcharges.

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