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Sanctions — Frivolous Appeal

State v. John Casteel, 2001 WI App 188, PFR filed

Issue: Whether the appeal is sufficiently frivolous to warrant sanctions.


¶19. On five previous occasions, Casteel’s appeals have been dismissed based on Wis. Stat. § 974.06(4) and Escalona-Naranjo. This case is dismissed on the same basis. Because we conclude that Casteel knows or should know that this, his eighth postconviction order appeal, is without any reasonable basis in law or equity and is not supported by a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law, we determine that this appeal is frivolous. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.25(3)(c)2….¶23. The purpose of the frivolous claims and appeals statute, Wis. Stat. Rule 809.25(3) is ‘to deter … litigants … from commencing or continuing frivolous actions and to punish those who do.’ Village of Tigerton, 211 Wis. 2d at 785. However, ‘[w]ithout an order prohibiting future filings related to the same issues, these statues would be virtually useless against a pro se party who cannot pay.’ Id. (quoting Minniecheske, 161 Wis. 2d at 748). Frivolous actions hinder a court’s ability to function efficiently and effectively and to fairly administer justice to litigants who have brought nonfrivolous actions. A court may exercise its inherent power to ensure that it ‘functions efficiently and effectively to provide the fair administration of justice,’ City of Sun Prairie v. Davis, 226 Wis. 2d 738, 749-50, 595 N.W.2d 635 (1999), and to control its docket with economy of time and effort. Rupert v. Home Mut. Ins. Co., 138 Wis. 2d 1, 7, 405 N.W.2d 661 (Ct. App. 1987).

(Court proceeds to bar future filings unless Casteel satisfies certain conditions. ¶25.)


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