An anonymous caller told police about a vehicle swerving in her lane and having difficulty with speed control. She provided no license late number. An officer proceeded to the area and saw a vehicle make an assortment of traffic violations. When the vehicle eventually went over a curb, the officer activated his lights and conducted a stop. The driver, End, was charged with OWI and PAC as second offenses. On appeal he challenged the stop. Read more
T.F. argued that when the Department seeks to terminate parental rights on the grounds of abandonment in a case where the child is out of the home and a CHIPS order is in place, it must proceed under §48.415(1)(a)2., rather than (a)3. T.F. also argued that allowing the Department to proceed under (a)3 would result in an Equal Protection violation. The court of appeals rejected these arguments but held that the circuit court erred in granting summary judgment with respect to T.F. because material facts were in dispute over whether she had good cause for abandoning her daughter, Allie. Read more
The court of appeals found certain hearsay statements admissible under the “statement against penal interest” and “prior inconsistent statement” exceptions to the hearsay rule. It also held that part of a detective’s testimony qualified as hearsay, but its admission was harmless error. Read more
Bray was convicted of OWI. He argued that the circuit court should have suppressed statements he made to a sergeant during a traffic stop because he wasn’t Mirandized. The court of appeals held that Bray wasn’t in custody so no Miranda warning was necessary. Read more
Ozaukee County v. R.T.H., 2018AP1317, 2/27/19, District 2, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity; Marathon County v. C.M.L., 2017AP2220, 2/26/19, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity
These two, unrelated decisions highlight a recurring due process violation at Chapter 51 hearings. For an original commitment, the county must prove that the person is “dangerous” under 1 of 5 standards of dangerousness. §51.20(1)(a)2.a-e. Some counties don’t bother identifying any particular standard of dangerousness before or during the hearing. Others give notice of one standard and then prove a different standard of dangerousness at the hearing. Makes it hard to prepare a defense, no?
Brown challenged a search warrant that was executed at his home, arguing the police omitted information about J.R.R., an informant who was cited in the warrant application, and that the information provided reason to doubt J.R.R.’s credibility. The court of appeals rejects the challenge. Read more
At the start of Driver’s restitution hearing, before hearing testimony from any witness, the judge told defense counsel on the record that the victim’s word “is more credible than your client’s words[.]” Later in the hearing, when defense counsel told the judge that Driver and his co-defendant did not see “a lot” of the items the victim claimed were in the stolen car, the trial court said it would “take that without their testimony” and added, “That’s why I didn’t give them a chance to say it.” Does that show “objective bias”? You bet it does. Read more