The Marshall Project is tracking the disruption of the foster care system and family visitation during the pandemic. Attorneys involved in TPR can read about the problem here. Also, Wisconsin courts have drafted FAQs regarding timelines under Chapter 48. Read them here.
On Point is constantly updating the “resources for defenders during the pandemic” on its homepage. We’ve recently added: (1) a Motion for Modification of Bail requesting a client’s release due to her health condition and the pandemic; (2) a Motion for Stay of Sentence due to the pandemic; and (3) six affidavits from epidemiologists and specialists in health at correctional facilities attesting to the high risk of illness for incarcerated people. These may be used to support bond, sentence modification, and stay motions. Click here and scroll down to Practice materials/ sample motions/considerations.
WKOW and several other outlets are reporting that an employee of Columbia Correctional in Portage has tested positive and been directed to self-quarantine. This is the second confirmed case in Wisconsin; an employee at Waupun tested positive on March 18.
Some of you have asked whether other states have suspended jury trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The answer is “yes.” The National Center for State Courts is tracking the emergency measures being imposed by courts all around the country. See its state-by-state round-up here.
UPDATE to our previous post.
On Point is posting resources to assist defense lawyers during the pandemic. The list will remain here at the top of the blog so you can find it easily. Help your colleagues and clients. Alert us to new information through email or the comment section, and we will add it. Also, we’ll be working to share useful information and updates on our Facebook and Twitter feeds; click the links to visit and subscribe. Read more
As reported here, effective Monday, March 23, the Department of Corrections has imposed a “moratorium” on prisoner intake for DOC’s prisons and juvenile detention facilities, with the exception of “essential transfers” (which is not defined). The DOC memo is here. That means defendants sentenced to prison will, for now, be kept in the county jail instead of being transferred to Dodge. Internal transfers of DOC prisoners in county jail under a contract with DOC are also suspended. The memo on that is here.
This is a per curiam decision, so it may NOT be cited in any court of this state as precedent or authority, § 809.23(3)(a) and (b). But we’re bringing it to your attention because the issues may be of interest to trial lawyers and because it is a rare, if not mythical, beast—a reversal for plain error because the testimony of a state’s witness violated State v. Haseltine, 120 Wis. 2d 92, 352 N.W.2d 673 (Ct. App. 1984).