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SVP – Pretrial discovery – expert’s report

State v. Tory L. Rachel, 224 Wis.2d 571, 591 N.W.2d 920 (Ct. App. 1999).
For Rachel: Donald T. Lang, SPD, Madison Appellate.


Tory L. Rachel appeals a nonfinal order of the trial court ruling that the findings and conclusions of a court-appointed expert are subject to discovery in a ch. 980, STATS., proceeding. Because the rules of civil procedure, chs. 801 to 847, STATS., govern procedure in ch. 980 proceedings, § 804.01, STATS., applies in this case. Under that section, the report of an expert is not discoverable unless that expert will be called as a witness at trial. See § 804.01(2)(d). Here, it was not clear whether Rachel would call the expert at trial. Thus, the trial court’s order allowing discovery was erroneous. We reverse and remand.

The court explicitly rejects the idea “that the criminal rules of discovery should apply.” “(W)hen the legislature intended for criminal safeguards to apply to ch. 980 proceedings it said so. It has not said so with regard to rules of procedure.”,/p>

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