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SVP – Postdisposition: Supervised Release – Reconsideration – Procedure

State v. William L. Morford, 2004 WI 5, on review of unpublished decision
For Morford: Lynn E. Hackbarth


¶41 The State urges us to hold that Wis. Stat. § 980.08(6m), not § 806.07(1)(h), applies and the State seeks relief from a chapter 980 committee’s status of supervised release when the committee has not yet been released on supervised release. The State asks this court to hold that the Department of Health and Family Services may petition for revocation of supervised release under Wis. Stat. § 980.08(6m) whenever it believes that a person who is the subject of a supervised release decision (whether or not the individual is released on supervised release) violates any condition or rule or threatens the safety of others.¶42 We agree with the State. Wisconsin Stat. § 980.08(6m) is better suited for granting the State relief from a chapter 980 committee’s supervised release than § 806.07(1)(h), regardless of whether the chapter 980 committee has actually been placed on supervised release. We conclude that the court of appeals erred in its interpretation of § 980.08(6m). We reach this conclusion for several reasons.

¶55 Allowing a circuit court to initiate proceedings on its own motion, as it in effect did here, or allowing a district attorney to initiate proceedings, as happened here, is contrary to the intent of the legislature, subjugates the authority of the department to the will of a circuit court or district attorney and vitiates an important safeguard the legislature provided for sex offenders.

¶56 For all of these reasons, we hold that Wis. Stat. § 980.08(6m), rather than § 806.07(1)(h), governs granting relief to the State from a chapter 980 committee’s supervised release when the committee is confined in an institution awaiting placement on supervised release. Any language or inference in State v. Castillo, 205 Wis. 2d 599, 556 N.W.2d 425 (Ct. App. 1996), State v. Williams, 2001 WI App 155, 246 Wis. 2d 722, 631 N.W.2d 623, or State v. Sprosty, 2001 WI App 231, ¶16, 248 Wis. 2d 480, 636 N.W.2d 213, limiting the application of § 980.08(6m) to situations in which a chapter 980 committee has actually been released into the community under supervised release, is withdrawn.

But see State v. Shawn D. Schulpius, 2006 WI 1 (State obtained recission of supervised release order by reconsideration motion under § 806.07 which, as Morford subsequently held, cannot support such a request. However, the court holds the challenge waived, because Schulpius sought to enforce the original order for supervised release rather than appeal the reconsideration order).


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