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Sentence Modification – Necessity of Postconviction Motion, Even Following Resentencing

State v. Roger S. Walker, 2006 WI 82, affirming as modified summary order
For Walker: James Rebholz

Issue/Holding: In order to obtain review, a defendant must file a postconviction motion to modify sentence, even if the event was a re-sentencing which came to the same result as originally imposed.

¶37      In the hope of clarifying appellate procedure, we conclude that when a defendant seeks modification of the sentence imposed at resentencing, Wis. Stat. (Rule) § 809.30(2) and Wis. Stat. § 973.19 require the defendant to file a postconviction motion with the circuit court before taking an appeal. These rules on sentence modification apply even though the sentence imposed at resentencing is identical to a previous sentence. [12] The rules apply regardless of whether a defendant challenges the original sentence, a sentence after revocation, or the sentence imposed at resentencing.¶38      Because, however, Wis. Stat. (Rule) § 809.30(2) and Wis. Stat. § 973.19 are silent in how they relate to a motion to modify a sentence imposed at resentencing, we conclude that there is good cause to grant Walker an extension of time to file a notice of intent to pursue postconviction relief.

 [12]  Wisconsin Stat. (Rule) § 809.30(2)(h) recognizes two situations in which a defendant need not go back to the circuit court: when the grounds for seeking relief are “sufficiency of the evidence or issues previously raised.” These exceptions would not normally apply to modification of a sentence.

The appellate court may excuse failure to file a motion where a “compelling circumstance” exists and though the court finds none here it is “not unsympathetic to the confusion that this unusual set of facts must have created for counsel,” ¶35, hence the deadline extension for filing a postconviction motion on remand.


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