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2. Recommitment

Brown County v. Z.W.L., 2022AP2201, District 3, 9/12/23 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (briefs not available) In yet another hearsay-based sufficiency challenge to a Chapter 51 commitment, Z.W.L. (“Zeb”) succeeds because the circuit court relied on inadmissible hearsay and no other evidence established that Zeb was dangerous. Specifically, while Zeb made admissible “party-opponent” statements… Read more

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Waupaca County v. G.T.H., 2022AP2146, District IV, 8/24/23, 1-judge decision ineligible for publication; case activity (briefs not available) Contrary to what has seemed like a steady stream of unsuccessful hearsay-based Chapter 51 appeals, see e.g., here, here, here, here, and here, G.T.H. succussfully convinces the court of appeals to reverse his recommitment, which was based on… Read more

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Winnebago County v. D.E.W., 2023AP215, District II, 7/26/23, 1-judge decision ineligible for publication; petition for review granted 12/12/23; case activity (briefs not available) In yet another appeal of a medication order, COA concludes the County sufficiently cleared legal hurdles meant to protect citizens from the involuntary administration of psychotropic drugs. “Darren” appeals a medication order entered… Read more

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Waukesha County v. M.A.C., 2023AP533, District II, 7/28/23, petition for review granted 12/12/23; 1-judge decision ineligible for publication; case activity (briefs not available) In a Chapter 51 case with troubling due process implications, COA is compelled to affirm by virtue of what it believes to be binding precedent. (Note: This post has been updated to reflect… Read more

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Walworth County v. M.R.M., 2023 WI 59, 6/29/23, on certification from the court of appeals; case activity (briefs not available) In a case with potentially far-reaching implications for Chapter 51 appeals, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issues a narrow holding that leaves a major D.J.W. issue for another day. (See our previous posts on this case here and here.)… Read more

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Marathon County v. T.R.H., 2022AP1394, 3/14/23, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity Counties often seek recommitment under §51.20(1)(a)2.c, the third standard of dangerousness. It is the easiest standard to satisfy–especially at the recommitment stage. But not this time. The court of appeals held that the county can’t just offer testimony that, at… Read more

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Outagamie County v. C.J.A., 2022AP230, 2/17/23, District 3 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity “Catherine” appeals the extension of her ch. 51 commitment. The recommitment hearing was originally set for a few days before her previous extension would expire. But three days before that scheduled hearing, Catherine requested an independent examination. She, the court… Read more

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Barron County v. K.L., 2022AP502, District 3, 02/07/2023 (one-judge decision, ineligible for publication), case activity K.L. (Katie) challenged the 2021 extension of her original 2013 Chapter 51  commitment on two grounds: (1) insufficient evidence of dangerousness and (2) the circuit court’s failure to “make specific factual findings with reference to the subdivision paragraph of Wis… Read more

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