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Notice of Appeal – Contents: Failure to Identify Appealable Document; Notice of Intent as Substitute

Waukesha County v. Genevieve M., 2009 WI App 173
For Genevieve M.: Lora B. Cerone, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding: ¶ 2 n. 2:

The failure of the notice of appeal to correctly identify the final appealable document is not fatal to appellate jurisdiction. See Carrington v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 169 Wis. 2d 211, 217 n.2, 485 N.W.2d 267 (1992). The caption has been amended to reflect that the appeal is taken from both orders. Following entry of the order for protective placement, the appellant timely filed a notice of intent to pursue postdisposition relief under Wis. Stat. Rule 809.30(2)(a). That notice may be construed as a timely notice of appeal from the order appointing a guardian.

No quarrel with the idea that omissions, even nominally critical ones, don’t undermine a notice of appeal. Nor, really, with the idea that the notice of intent “may be construed as a timely notice of appeal.” It’s just that the latter principle is somewhat novel (and, to be sure, not always followed in the past by the court), and therefore worth keeping in mind.

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