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Motion to Reconsider Trial Ruling – Necessity to Raise “New Issue”

State v. Larry G. Edwards, 2003 WI 68, reversing unpublished summary order of court of appeals
For Edwards: Martha K. Askins, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue: Whether, after the trial court dismissed a criminal case due to violation of intrastate detainer act time limits, the state’s motion for reconsideration was supported by a “new issue,” namely whether the dismissal was with prejudice.

Holding: “We conclude that the State raised a ‘new issue’ in its motion for reconsideration because the circuit court did not clearly dispose of whether the dismissal was with prejudice in its original judgment.” ¶1.
<pclass=”alert”>Measured against the original dismissal order the state’s appeal would have been untimely. A motion for reconsideration may not present the “same issues” as those already disposed of – otherwise, it would simply become a mechanism for extending the notice of appeal deadline – but must instead only raise “new issues.” That makes this case awfully fact-specific and non-recurrent: when this trial judge granted the motion to dismiss, he said “Consequences are, he walks”; did this mean, dismissal with prejudice? The supreme court says that the meaning was ambiguous: “‘He walks’ could mean forever; it could also mean until he is recharged.” ¶11. If there is a general rule to be gotten at, it might be the court’s seeming approval of the principle that the “new issues” test is liberally applied. ¶12.

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