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Common Law Defenses – Collateral Attack on Order as Element of Pending Offense, Generally

State v. John W. Campbell, 2006 WI 99, on certification
For Campbell: Charles B. Vetzner, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding:

¶42      Where a valid order or judgment is a necessary condition for one of the elements of a crime, a collateral attack upon the order or judgment can negate an element of the crime if the order or judgment is void. See State v. Orethun, 84 Wis.  2d 487, 490-91, 267 N.W.2d 318 (1978); State v. Jankowski, 173 Wis.  2d 522, 528, 496 N.W.2d 215 (Ct. App. 1992). A void judgment is a nullity and cannot create a right or obligation. Kett v. Cmty. Credit Plan, 222 Wis.  2d 117, 127-28, 568 N.W.2d 68 (Ct. App. 1998) (affirmed 228 Wis.  2d 1, 596 N.W.2d 786) (citing Fischbeck v. Mielenz, 162 Wis. 12, 17-18, 154 N.W. 701 (1916)). It is not binding upon anyone. Id. On the other hand, a voidable judgment has the same force and effect as a valid judgment until it has been set aside. Id. at 128 (citing Slabosheske v. Chikowske, 273 Wis. 144, 150, 77 N.W.2d 497 (1956)); Stimson v. Munson, 251 Wis. 41, 44, 27 N.W.2d 896 (1947) (“The order or judgment, however erroneous, must stand until reversed, modified, or set aside . . . . It is not subject to collateral attack merely because it is erroneous, nor is it void for that reason.”) (quoting Pugh v. Fowlie, 225 Wis. 455, 471, 274 N.W. 247 (1937)).

 

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