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Parent’s attack on TPR order rejected

Winnebago County DHS v. B.K.V., 2023AP310, District 2, 6/7/23 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

B.K.V. filed a postdisposition motion for a new trial in her termination of parental rights proceeding. The court of appeals affirms the circuit court’s denial of her motion.

B.K.V.’s motion claimed she told her attorney to withdraw from representing her before she entered a no contest plea, but the lawyer didn’t. The circuit court denied the motion after a hearing, finding that B.K.V.—the only witness at the hearing—wasn’t credible based on her testimony and the record of the proceeding as a whole. (¶¶2-7, 9-10).

The fact-specific basis for the circuit court’s finding won’t be summarized here; it is addressed at length in the opinion. (¶¶28-43). Suffice it to say that B.K.V.’s argument on appeal that the circuit court’s credibility determination was “unfair” (¶11) goes nowhere based on both the record and the daunting standard of review of circuit court credibility determinations.

B.K.V.’s legal argument is also fatally flawed. She relies on § 805.15(1), but that statute only applies when there’s a trial, and B.K.V. entered a plea. Even if it did apply, the time limits under § 805.16(2) and (3) for filing and decision of a motion under the statute weren’t followed here. (¶¶20-26).

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