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OWI-1st (Civil) – Service of Citation by Mail

County of Milwaukee v. James R. Matel, 2010AP1950, District 1, 5/24/11

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Matel: Andrew Mishlove; case activity

Personal jurisdiction may be conferred on an OWI-1st defendant by mailing the uniform traffic citation, coupled with filing of the citation with the trial court. Personal service isn’t required by § 345.11(5). State ex rel. Prentice v. Milwaukee Cnty., 70 Wis. 2d 230, 234 N.W.2d 283 (1975), followed.

¶10      In this case, as in Prentice, the significant factor is that the traffic citations were in fact issued to Matel, not the manner in which they were issued.  See id. It is therefore unnecessary to look beyond Wis. Stat. § 345.11(5) to either Wis. Stat. §§ 345.20(2)(a) or 799.12 for further guidance, as Matel would have this court do.  Service by mail in this case, coupled with the filing of the traffic citations with the trial court, was sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction.

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