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SVP – Postdisposition: Supervised Release – Revocation – Uncharged Rule Violation – Right to Notice

State v. Keith Alan VanBronkhorst, 2001 WI App 190
For VanBronkhorst: Jack E. Schairer, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue: Whether revocation of supervised release from a ch. 980 commitment was properly based on an uncharged rule violation.


¶9 … “(P)rocedural due process protections afforded in probation or parole revocation proceedings apply to supervised release revocation proceedings under ch. 980. “…¶15. Notice to comply with due process requirements must be given sufficiently in advance of scheduled court proceedings so that a defendant will have a reasonable opportunity to prepare. In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 33-34 (1967). There is no principle of due process more important or firmly established than notice of the specific charge so that the accused can prepare a defense. Cole v. Arkansas , 333 U.S.196, 201 (1948). The purpose of the petition for revocation is to inform the person on supervised release of the alleged violations so he or she can prepare a defense.

¶16. Here, VanBronkhorst was charged with violating Rules 1, 17, 36, and 37. Further, the petition specified only one incident: contact with a seven-year-old. However, the circuit court based the revocation upon a Rule 15(i) violation involving an adult and another child and upon the grounds of public safety. VanBronkhorst was not given notice of those specific charges or a factual basis. When the State asked the court to find a Rule 15(i) violation, the hearing had concluded. VanBronkhorst’s chance to present, let alone prepare a defense, was lost. “…

¶25. The only violation that was properly noticed and proved was a Rule 37 violation. Rule 37 required VanBronkhorst to remain mute and leave any situation immediately when a juvenile initiates a conversation with him. The circuit court found that there was a minimal violation of that rule. However, the court did not determine whether that violation alone merited revocation.

¶26. Because the circuit court did not rule whether the violation of Rule 37 warranted revocation of VanBronkhorst’s supervised release, we remand with directions to determine whether VanBronkhorst’s violation of Rule 37 was itself sufficient to revoke supervised release.

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