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c. Not moot

Sauk County v. S.A.M., 2022 WI 46, reversing an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 2019AP1033; case activity Unlike other states, Wisconsin appellate courts have for decades dismissed most appeals from expired ch. 51 orders as moot. As a result, there was been little appellate review of circuit court decisions declaring people mentally ill, committing them… Read more


Shawano County v. S.L.V., 2021AP223, District 3, 8/17/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity Langlade County v. D.J.W., 2020 WI 41, 391 Wis. 2d 231, 942 N.W.2d 277, requires a circuit court to make specific fact findings about dangerousness at a ch. 51 commitment hearing. The circuit court didn’t do that in this case… Read more


Sheboygan County v. M.J.M., 2020AP1744, 6/9/21, District 2 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity This is new. M.J.M. appealed a recommitment order which expired during the course of his appeal. The usual kerfuffle regarding mootness ensued but this time (unlike here and here) the court of appeals acknowledged that the issue of whether recommitment… Read more


Bad news, good news on Chapter 51 appeals

The moment Chapter 51 lawyers have been waiting for has . . . been postponed.  This term SCOW was set to decide whether appeals from expired recommitment orders are ever moot. See our post on Portage County v. E.R.R., 2019AP20133. After briefing and oral argument (in which Justice Anne Walsh Bradley did not participate), SCOW… Read more


Fond Du Lac County v. R.O.V., 2019AP1228, 2020AP853, 12/16/20, District 2 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity In these consolidated cases, the court of appeals reviewed both Ray’s initial commitment and his 2nd recommitment (not his 1st recommitment), which has not yet ended. Although the initial commitment order expired long ago, the court held… Read more


Waukesha County v. J.K., 2018AP616-NM, 9/3/19 (unpublished order); case activity The court of appeals can be pretty aggressive about dismissing Chapter 51 appeals for mootness. This time SCOW slapped its hand.  J.K.’s lawyer filed a no-merit notice of appeal. Before appointed counsel could file a no-merit report, and before J.K. could respond to any such… Read more


Milwaukee County v. T.L.R., 2018AP1131, 12/4/18, District 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication), case activity Here’s an issue of first impression for SCOW. Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp. 1078, 1092 (E.D. Wis. 1972) established procedural and substantive due process rights for persons undergoing mental commitments. One of those rights is the right to particularized… Read more


Marathon County v. D.K., 2017AP2217, 8/7/18, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); petition for review granted 7/10/19, affirmed, 2020 WI 18; case activity “Donald” is the pseudonym the court of appeals opinion assigned to D.K., who was committed under §51.20(a)2.b. Although Dr. Dave, the examining physician, waffled on the odds of whether Donald might do… Read more

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