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Court of appeals addresses its jurisdiction over order denying only part of a postconviction motion

State v. Sean R. Wolfe and State v. Donald Ray Ward, 2019 WI App 32; case activity here and here .

¶1  We hold that under established principles of finality, when a circuit court denies a RULE 809.30 postconviction motion in part and grants the motion in part such that further proceedings are required, an appeal cannot be taken until those further proceedings are completed. Because the judgments of conviction and the circuit court orders from which these appeals are taken do not dispose of the entire matter in litigation between the parties, we lack jurisdiction.

In separate, unrelated cases Wolfe and Ward each filed Rule 809.30 postconviction motions seeking plea withdrawal and resentencing. Both circuit courts denied plea withdrawal but granted resentencing. Wolfe and Ward appealed the orders denying plea withdrawal before the resentencing occurred. The court of appeals dismissed both appeals for lack of jurisdiction.  It held in part:

¶8     . . . The Williams court applied the finality requirement of WIS. STAT. § 808.03(1) and held that the plea withdrawal order was not a final order “because it plainly anticipates further proceedings in the criminal case” and did not dispose of the entire matter in litigation. Williams, 287 Wis. 2d 748, ¶15.

¶9     Applying the principles of finality discussed above, we hold that because Wolfe and Ward will be resentenced as a result of the circuit court’s rulings on their postconviction motions, the entire matter in litigation has not concluded, and the appeals have not been taken from final orders or judgments. Any other outcome would result in piecemeal appeals, which are disfavored. Judicial economy is not often served by piecemeal appeals. K.W., 191 Wis. 2d at 357; Univest Corp. v. General Split Corp., 148 Wis. 2d 29, 38, 435 N.W.2d 234 (1989); Campbell v. Campbell, 2003 WI App 8, ¶10, 259 Wis. 2d 676, 659 N.W.2d 106 (2002).

This is a per curiam decision, but because it has been ordered published it is citable as authority. Per curiam decisions are generally not published, though by implication the rules recognize that a per curiam dealing with an issue of appellate jurisdiction or procedure may be appropriate for publication. See Rule 809.23(1)(b)5.

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