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Court of appeals rejects pro se litigant’s appeal of conviction for obstructing an officer

State v. Dale Andrejczak, 2019AP285, 5/23/19, District 4 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity (including response brief only)

Talk about disparate treatment. In a considered, respectful ruling against a different pro se appellant, the court of appeals here affirms a conviction for obstructing an officer out of deference to the circuit court’s credibility determinations.

A bar bouncer approached a deputy about an underage person’s attempt to enter a Grant County bar. According to the opinion, Andrejczak approached the patron and told her not to say anything. When the deputy asked Anrejczak why he did this, he claimed that he did not say anything to the alleged underage person. He later testified that there were lots of people outside the bar and that he was actually speaking to someone about 10 feet in front of the person whom the deputy was questioning. The deputy, in contrast, testified that there was no one with ,or 10 feet ahead of,  Andrejczak.

On appeal Andrejczak challenged the circuit court’s credibility determination. That strategy virtually never works, and it didn’t here because appellate courts defer to circuit courts’ credibility determinations. See Lessor v. Wangelin, 221 Wis. 2d
659, 665, 586 N.W.2d 1 (Ct. App. 1998).  An appellate will substitute its judgment for the circuit court’s only it is inherently or patently incredible–such as when the evidence conflicts with nature or fully established or conceded facts. See State v. Daniels, 117 Wis. 2d 9, 17, 343 N.W.2d 411 (Ct. App. 1983).

Andrejczak’s briefs are not available on line. Like Meyers in the post above, Andrejczak made some common pro se mistakes such as failing to support an argument with legal authority and filing a reply brief that fails to respond to a dispositive point by his opponent. The court of appeals called him on these missteps. But boy what a difference. Here the court of appeals explains clearly and respectfully why Andrejczak lost. He should be able to understand the rationale. In the decision above it seems like the court of appeals is rebuking Meyer for not being a lawyer.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Andy Czarnecki July 12, 2019, 8:14 pm

    Talk about violating someone’s freedom of speech…

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