There are some serious unresolved confrontation questions around statements alleged victims make in settings involving both medical treatment and criminal investigation: often, during a police-instigated physical examination after an alleged physical or sexual assault. Here, despite turning out a 52-page, recommended-for-publication opinion, the court of appeals fails meaningfully to address any. [continue reading…]
This month features some interesting Fourth Amendment cases, a few decisions on guns, as well as a successful challenge to a Wisconsin statute which prohibits the “harassment” of hunters.
Given the discretionary standard of review used to assess a circuit court’s evidentiary rulings, COA wastes no time in upholding the court’s order excluding evidence the defendant did well on some field sobriety tests at a second offense PAC trial.
Despite a creative challenge to a continued protective placement order, COA rejects any argument that the circuit court lost competency by failing to timely reappoint a GAL in this protective placement appeal. [continue reading…]
In Kenosha Cnty. DHHS v. Jodie W., 2006 WI 93, ¶56, 293 Wis. 2d 530, 716 N.W.2d 845, the court overturned a TPR order premised on a parent’s failure to meet “an impossible condition of return, without consideration of any other relevant facts and circumstances particular to the parent.” R.H.H. argued that he was likewise subject to an “impossible” condition of return because the dispositional order that denied him placement or visitation with his four children required him to complete sex offender treatment and domestic violence programming. The court rejects his due process-based claim, for multiple reasons, including that R.H.H., failed to introduce evidence to support his assertions that his confinement in prison or his pending criminal appeal made it “impossible” for him to meet his conditions of return. (Op., ¶21). [continue reading…]
Graham L. Stowe v. Gregory Van Rybroek, 18-CV-400-wmc (W.D. Wis. 11/6/23).
Having recently prevailed on a judicial bias claim in state court, Stowe makes a return appearance to the blog on his 2018 federal habeas petition. Unfortunately, the Western District of Wisconsin denied the petition, which had been pending for close 5 years. The petition sought relief from the Wisconsin courts’ denial of his 2016 petition for conditional release under Wis. Stat. § 971.17(4)(d). In a novel reading of a nearly three-decades old Wisconsin Supreme Court decision, State v. Randall, 192 Wis. 2d 800, 532 N.W.2d 94 (1995) (“Randall I”), the federal court concludes that “one can reasonably read Randall I to require a showing of both mental illness and dangerousness.” [continue reading…]
Although we know that this blog is “wisconsinappeals.net” we also acknowledge that many of our readers might also practice in Wisconsin’s federal courts, or have a general interest in developments from the Seventh Circuit. To that end, the blog is trying out a new feature, one in which we use our editorial special sauce to bring you capsule summaries of those Seventh Circuit decisions we found interesting, and potentially relevant to your practice. We hope you enjoy!
- USA v. Darlene Fieste, No. 23-1739: For those state court litigators who are currently working on involuntary medication issues, the Seventh Circuit’s jurisprudence in this area is noteworthy for the thoroughness of analysis and careful application of the Sell factors. Here, the defendant fails to persuade the Court that the district court was wrong to conclude that application of those factors to this case warranted the pretrial administration of involuntary medication. However, the latter portion of the decision contains a defense win, as Fieste persuaded the Court that the district court erred when it permitted medication without placing sufficient constraints on the specific medications and their dosages. Just because the State is permitted to medicate, they don’t get a blank check. If you have one of these cases, the lengthy discussion of the case law on this requirement may have some nuggets that are useful for your state court litigation.
- USA v. John Pacilio and Edward Bases, Nos. 23-1528 & 23-1530: While readers of this blog who are primarily involved in indigent defense may have no frame of reference for the sophisticated white collar criminality discussed in this appeal, this case presents a bevy of interesting issues including a challenge to the constitutionality of the underlying conviction as well as an interesting evidentiary challenge, wherein experts were functionally allowed to testify that the defendant’s conduct was, in fact, unlawful.
- USA v. Jazz Price, No. 22-2061: This defense loss is worth pointing out because it originates from Wisconsin’s Western District and involves a novel sentencing challenge–whether the district court adequately considered this transgender litigant’s “unique vulnerability” in a prison environment. While Price does not succeed in her challenge, the Seventh Circuit’s opinion does contain helpful language which suggests that it least acknowledges the unique risks posed to transgender individuals in prison environments.
In a noteworthy juvenile appeal, COA rejects a novel argument highlighting the dysfunctional nature of our juvenile justice system as caused by the “closure” of Lincoln Hills.