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Circuit court–inherent authority–civil forfeiture trial

County of Shawano v. Justin R. Buntrock, 2012AP997, District 3, 11/14/12

court of appeals decision (1-judge, ineligible for publication); case activity

A court lacks inherent authority to order an in-state defendant to appear personally at a forfeiture trial, and therefore may not default such a defendant who appears by counsel at trial. City of Sun Prairie v. Davis, 226 Wis. 2d 738, 595 N.W.2d 635 (1999) (court lacks inherent authority to order presence of out-of-state defendant at civil forfeiture trial), discussed and applied.

Requirement that local circuit court rules must not be inconsistent with state rules or statutes also stressed, ¶6, citing § 753.35(1) and Hefty v. Strickhouser, 2008 WI 96, ¶59, 312 Wis. 2d 530, 752 N.W.2d 820. Thus, just because “the circuit court has authority to adopt local court rules does not mean the court may adopt rules that are in contravention to established law,” and any such rule “is therefore invalid,” ¶13.

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