≡ Menu

COA: Mother forfeited personal jurisdiction and improper substitution claims

State v. J.S.,, 2024AP180 & 2024AP181, 4/16/24, District I (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

On appeal from TPR orders related to her two children, J.S. (“Julia”) raised two issues: whether the circuit court had personal jurisdiction over her and whether the circuit court erred by granting the GAL’s substitution request. The court of appeals makes short work of each argument because Julia forfeited the claims by not first raising either issue in the circuit court.

With respect to Julia’s personal jurisdiction claim, it seems relatively clear the state never personally served Julia with the original summons and TPR petitions. However, Julia appeared in court with her attorney at numerous hearings on the petition and never objected to the lack of personal service or moved to dismiss the petitions. Therefore, the court agrees with the state and the GAL that Julia forfeited her right to raise the argument on appeal. The court also notes the state and GAL’s argument that Julia submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, thereby nulifying any issue with the lack of personal service. Op., ¶12 (citing Wis. Stat. § 48.42(4)(a) (“Service of summons is not required if the party submits to the jurisdiction of the court.”).

With respect to Julia’s improper substitution claim, she claimed the GAL’s request for substitution did not comply with Wis. Stat. § 48.29(1). Specifically, Julia argued that the GAL waived the right to substitution at her adjourned initial appearance. At the same hearing, Julia received an adjournment to more fully consider whether she wished to substitute. Later, apparently out of concern over the court’s trial calendar, the GAL changed course and exercised her previously waived right of substitution. However, both the court and Julia acknowledged that Julia had the right to object to substitution within 10 days. Julia failed to do so. The court’s analysis of this issue starts and ends there. Op., ¶11.

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment