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Standards of Review: Administrative Decision – Certiorari: Dismissal of Petition on Procedural Grounds

State ex rel Kim J. Barksdale v. Litscher, 2004 WI App 130

Issue/Holding:

 ¶7. Generally, on an appeal of the circuit court’s order granting or denying relief in a certiorari action, we review the underlying decision of the administrative agency, not that of the circuit court. See State ex rel. Sprewell v. McCaughtry, 226 Wis. 2d 389, 393, 595 N.W.2d 39 (Ct. App. 1999). Here, however, the dispositive issues do not involve the correctness of the administrative proceedings and determination, but the interpretation of the rules of civil procedure and the application of the claim preclusion doctrine, issues that first arose in the circuit court. Accordingly, it is the decision of the circuit court to dismiss Barksdale’s petition without reaching its merits that is before us. Whether the circuit court correctly interpreted the procedural statutes and applied the doctrine of claim preclusion are questions of law that we review de novo. See Truttschel v. Martin, 208 Wis. 2d 361, 364-65, 560 N.W.2d 315 (Ct. App. 1997) (statutory interpretation); Northern States Power Co., v. Bugher, 189 Wis. 2d 541, 551, 525 N.W.2d 723 (1995) (claim preclusion).

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