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TPR – Mootness

Kenosha County DHS v. Amber D., 2011AP667, District 2, 9/7/11

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Amber D.: Philip J, Brehm; case activity

Mother’s termination appeal, explicitly linking itself to outcome of father’s then-pending appeal, rendered moot by latter’s unsuccessful outcome:

¶1        Amber D. appeals from an order terminating her parental rights.  At the time that she wrote her brief, the father’s appeal was pending. Amber claimed that if the father’s appeal is successful and his case is remanded for further proceedings, her appeal should be likewise successful because her issue mirror’s the father’s argument.  But the father’s appeal was ultimately unsuccessful.  So, there is no justiciable issue for this court to decide. Her appeal is moot.

¶4        Based on the decision from the father’s case, the County argues that Amber’s only claim—that she should be afforded the same relief that the father would obtain—is moot.  See Appel v. Halverson, 50 Wis. 2d 230, 233, 184 N.W.2d 99 (1971) (An appeal is moot when a decision “is no longer needed or makes no difference as to the resolution of the controversy.”)  We agree. We also note that Amber chose not to file a reply brief, thereby tacitly conceding the County’s argument.  See Mervosh v. LIRC, 2010 WI App 36, ¶10, 324 Wis. 2d 134, 781 N.W.2d 236 (arguments not refuted are deemed admitted).

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