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a. Constitutional challenges

Outagamie County v. C.J.A., 2022 WI App 36; case activity On April 12th the court of appeals issued an opinion holding that due process does not require a county to give particularized notice of the standard of dangerousness that a person will satisfy if treatment is withdrawn. It also found that special verdict given to… Read more

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Trempealeau County v. B.K., 2020AP1166, District 3, 7/27/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity B.K. (“Brian”) argues he was denied procedural due process because he was not given particularized notice of which standard of dangerousness the County intended to prove at the final commitment hearing. He also contends the evidence presented at the hearing… Read more

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Adams County v. D.R.D., 2020AP1426, 1/28/21, District 4; case activity This appeal posed a simple question about due process in a Chapter 51 commitment proceeding. Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp. 1078 (E.D. Wis. 1972) held that the 14th Amendment requires the county to give a person sufficient notice of the legal standard under which… Read more

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Winnebago County v. C.S., 2020 WI 33,  reversing a published court of appeals opinion; 4/10/20; case activity This is a BIG case for Chapter 51 lawyers! In a 4-3 opinion, SCOW held that when a court commits a prison inmate under Chapter 51, it cannot order involuntary medication without finding the inmate dangerous first. The… Read more

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Monroe County v. D.J., 2019AP1133, 1/2/19, District 4, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity Oh, this issue again. Monroe County pursued a Chapter 51 original commitment against D.J. but didn’t say which of the 5 standards of dangerousness it was proceeding under. One doctor opined that commitment was warranted under the 1st or 2nd… Read more

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Sauk County v. R.A.S., 2018AP2253, 10/31/2019, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity R.A.S. was committed after a ch. 51 jury trial. The county alleged and the court instructed on two forms of dangerousness–those in Wis. Stat. § 51.20(1)(a)2.c. and 2.d.. R.A.S. asked that the verdict form require the jury to agree on… Read more

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Milwaukee County v. D.C.B., 2018AP987, District 1, 5/14/19 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The court of appeals rejects D.C.B.’s constitutional and procedural challenges to the extension of his ch. 51 commitment. D.C.B. argues the ch. 51 extension statute is facially unconstitutional because it doesn’t require a finding of dangerousness. Because § 51.20(13)(g)3. requires… Read more

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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… Read more

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