Justice System

April 12, 2024 – Resort to affidavits by a legislative fiscal analyst was appropriate to interpret an ambiguous property tax statute, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has held.In

Wisconsin Department of Revenue v. Master’s Gallery Foods, Inc.,
2022AP1909 (March 20, 2024), the Court of Appeals held that those affidavits showed that the legislature meant to exempt from the property tax only manufacturing equipment that had been reported to local governments for assessment and not equipment that had
Continue Reading Only Locally Assessed Manufacturing Equipment Is Exempt from Tax

April 1, 2024 – A village transportation utility fee that is based in part on the proportional share of road use estimated for each property subject to the fee is an illegal tax, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has ruled in Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Inc. v. Village of Pewaukee, 2023AP690 (March 13, 2024).In February 2021, the Village of Pewaukee (Village) enacted an ordinance that created a transportation utility. The ordinance specified that the utility was
Continue Reading Fee Based in Part On Road Use Is an Illegal Tax

April 1, 2024 – Parents who sued a school district over the district’s gender identity support policy lacked standing because they didn’t allege any concrete injury related to the policy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held in Parents Protecting Our Children v. Eau Claire Area School District, No. 23-1534 (March 7, 2024).In 2021, the Eau Claire Area School District (District) created an administrative guidance for gender identity support (Guidance).The goal of the Guidance
Continue Reading Parents Who Sued School District Over Gender Policy Lacked Standing

April 1, 2024 – A Catholic high school failed to show that a city discriminated against it by denying a request to install lights at an athletic field, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held in Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart v. City of Madison, No. 23-1175 (March 15, 2024).In 2013, the City of Madison (City) enacted a zoning ordinance that designated major school and medical campuses as campus institutional districts (CID).Under
Continue Reading Denial of Athletic Field Lights Not Religious Discrimination

April 1, 2024 – The fact that a physician who was sued for violating the state’s informed consent law didn’t perform the surgery that led to the plaintiff’s injuries does not entitle the physician to summary judgment, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District IV) has held in Hubbard v. Neuman, 2023AP255 (March 21, 2024).Surgery ConsultIn January 2018, Melissa Hubbard sought treatment with Dr. Carol Neuman, a licensed obstetrician and gynecologist.After an appointment on Jan. 16, 2018, Dr. Neuman wrote
Continue Reading Status as Non-Treating Physician Not Enough for Summary Judgment

March 29, 2024 – A decision by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to regulate polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances is unenforceable because it wasn’t promulgated as a rule, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has ruled (2-1) in Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 2022AP718 (March 6, 2024).Judge Shelley Grogan wrote the majority opinion, joined by Judge Maria Lazar. Judge Lisa Neubauer dissented.Dirty Soil?In 2018, Leather Rich, Inc. (LRI),
Continue Reading Court of Appeals: Law Required DNR to Promulgate PFAS Policy as a Rule

March 28, 2024 – An interlocutory appeal or an appeal from a final judgment or order is the preferable way to challenge a denial of a request to substitute a judge, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.In Antonio Davis v. Circuit Court for Dane County, 2024 WI 14 (March 26, 2024), the Supreme Court also held (4-2-1) that a defendant was not entitled a substitution of his trial judge where the request was made 71 days after his
Continue Reading Interlocutory Appeal Is Method For Appealing Denial of Judicial Substitution

March 27, 2024 – A decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in an employment case involving Amazon has renewed a debate among the justices about the wisdom of dismissing petitions as improvidently granted without an explanation.In Amazon Logistics, Inc. v. Labor and Industry Review Commission, 2024 WI 15 (March 26, 2024), the Supreme Court, in a per curiam decision, ruled that the case should be dismissed as improvidently granted.The case involved a dispute between Amazon Logistics, Inc. (Amazon)
Continue Reading Renewed Debate Over Dismissals for Improvidently Granted Petitions

March 22, 2024 – Four sub-entities of the charitable arm of the Roman Catholic Church don’t qualify for an unemployment tax exemption because their activities are secular, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-3) in Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc. v. State of Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission, 2024 WI 13 (March 14, 2024).Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote the 50-page majority opinion, joined by Justice Rebecca Dallet, Justice Jill Karofsky, and Justice Janet Protasiewicz.Justice Rebecca Bradley dissented, joined
Continue Reading Catholic Charities Don’t Qualify for Unemployment Tax Exemption

Let me start with the good news (which seems to be in short supply right now): The Alabama Supreme Court decision on IVF does not apply in Wisconsin.

Given Gov. Evers’ veto power and the makeup of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, it’s not likely to be the law here anytime soon. For that matter, the decision does not even apply to Alabama anymore, as it was quickly reversed by legislation.

Still, the decision raises some interesting issues
Continue Reading Sweet Home Alabama? Not So Much

March 18, 2024  – A creditor who waited until after a debtor’s discharge to argue that the debtor’s interest in a company was not worthless waited too long under the bankruptcy rules, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held in In the Matter of Gregory Kleynerman, No. 22-2947 (Feb. 27, 2024).Gregory Kleynerman and Scott Smith founded Alpha Cargo Technology, LLC (ACT) in 2002. Each man owned one-half the company.In 2009, ACT sold all its
Continue Reading Creditor’s Arguments About Exempt Interest Came Too Late

March 18, 2024 – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association arbitrarily applied its own rules by disqualifying a high school wrestler from competing in a regional meet after receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct calls at the prior meet, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has held (2-1) in Halter v. Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, 2021AP525 (Feb. 28, 2024).Judge Maria Lazar wrote the majority opinion, joined by Judge Mark Gundrum. Presiding Judge Lisa Neubauer dissented.Unsportsmanlike ConductOn Feb. 2, 2019, Waterford
Continue Reading Court of Appeals: WIAA Was Arbitrary in Declaring Wrestler Ineligible

March 14, 2024 – Dismissal of a petition for judicial review is warranted where a party failed to physically place the petition in the hands of an agency employee authorized to accept service before the filing deadline ran, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District IV) has held in Laughing Cow, LP v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue, 2023AP583 (Feb. 29, 2024).In August 2022, Laughing Cow, LP (Laughing Cow) appealed tax assessments, made by the state Department of Revenue (the
Continue Reading Proper Service Required Petition to be Placed in Hands of Authorized Official

March 14, 2024 – Any injuries that resulted from a company’s majority shareholder creating an employee stock plan and a nonprofit foundation to handle marketing fell on the company and not minority shareholders, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District IV) has ruled.As a result, in an unpublished per curiam opinion in Eichoff v. New Glarus Brewing Company, 2022AP1958 (Feb. 22, 2024), the Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the minority shareholders’ lawsuit.In 1993, Deborah Carey incorporated New
Continue Reading Dismissal of Minority Shareholder Suit Over Brewery Was Proper

March 7, 2024 – The proper remedy for a prisoner’s failure to timely submit all the documents required to file a writ of certiorari is dismissal of the writ, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled in Mitchell v. Buesgen, 2022 AP1076 (Feb. 22, 2024)Artillis Mitchell, an inmate at Stanley Correctional Institute, received a misconduct report in September 2021.A disciplinary committee found Stanely guilty of the two violations and imposed disciplinary separation, as well as restitution. Mitchell appealed
Continue Reading Dismissal of Writ Proper Where Prisoner Missed 45-day Deadline

March 7, 2024 – A proposed judgment that included the word “contempt” in its title was not a motion for contempt when it was filed to enforce the terms of an injunction, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District III) has held in an unpublished per curiam opinion in Pine Ridge Wausau, LLC v. Krist Oil Co., 2022AP1793 (Feb. 21, 2024).Pine Ridge Wausau, LLC (Pine Ridge) operates a convenience store in Wausau. Krist Oil Co., (Krist), operates a convenience
Continue Reading Motion that Mentioned ‘Contempt’ Was Not Motion for Contempt