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(State) Habeas Corpus – Venue

State ex rel. Steven M. Rupinski v. Smith, 2007 WI App 4
For Rupinski: Daniel R. Drigot

Issue/Holding: ¶12 n. 3:

The State challenges the venue of Milwaukee County as improper because Rupinski is confined at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution located in Winnebago County. The State argues that, as a result, the writ was improperly filed under Wis. Stat. § 801.50(4).  The proper venue for writ of habeas corpus shall be in the county “[w]here the plaintiff was convicted or sentenced if the action seeks relief from a judgment of conviction or sentence under which the plaintiff’s liberty is restrained” or “[w]here the liberty of the plaintiff is restrained if the action seeks relief concerning any other matter relating to a restraint on the liberty of the plaintiff.” Wis. Stat. § 801.50(4)(a), (b).

However, a “court may at any time, upon its own motion, the motion of a party or the stipulation of the parties, change the venue to any county in the interest of justice or for the convenience of the parties or witnesses.” Wis. Stat. § 801.52.

We note from an examination of the record that Rupinski moved the circuit court of Milwaukee to exercise its discretion pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 801.52 to permit the venue to be Milwaukee County. For reasons of judicial economy, the motion was granted. Based upon the record, the trial court did not erroneously exercise its discretion.

See also State ex rel Edwin C. West v. Bartow, 2002 WI App 42, ¶¶9-10 (transfer of habeas venue from county of confinement to county where judgment entered because latter has “all of the documents, regarding the judgment that’s being attacked,” satisfied § 801.52 standard for exercising discretion).


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