On Point

Latest from On Point

DRW’s Council on the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness is hosting a virtual event regarding mental health advocacy on April 20th from 5 to 6 p.m. It is open to everyone. DRW will share how it currently supports people with mental illness. But it really wants to hear ideas from people like you–public defenders, social workers, clients, judges–regarding additional ways it might help people with mental health needs recover and live successfully in the community.  Learn more here. The featured speaker–Phyllis Greenberger–will focus on working with children and teens in the juvenile justice system. Pre-registration is…
Rusk County v. A.A., Appeal No. 2019AP839 and 2020AP1580 (consolidated); certification granted 4/13/21, District 3; case activity here and here In Waukesha County v. S.L.L., 2019 WI 66, 387 Wis. 2d 333, 929 N.W.2d 140, SCOW held that recommitment proceedings are governed only by the procedures in §§ 51.20(10)-(13). Thus the procedural requirements in §§(1)-(9) do not apply. S.L.L., ¶¶24, 27. The court of appeals certification asks SCOW to decide whether S.L.L. violates the plain language of Chapter 51. If not, then does Chapter 51 violate 14th Amendment due process and equal protection given that, under S.L.L.‘s construction,…
State v. Davonta J. Dillard, 2020AP999, 4/13/21, District 1, (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Officers patrolling in Milwaukee noticed a vehicle idling and apparently unoccupied. One approached the vehicle and shined his flashlight through a window; he saw a person (Dillard) in the back seat who immediately ducked out of view (most of the windows were highly tinted, impeding the officer’s view). The officer opened the rear driver’s side door, and the person then opened and ran out the door on the other side. Other officers tasered and detained him. The officer who’d opened the…
Milwaukee County v. K.M., 2019AP1166, 4/13/21, District 1; (1-judge opinion ineligible for publication); case activity The saga continues. Portage County v. E.R.R. 2019AP20133 presented the question of whether appeals from recommitment orders are ever moot due to their collateral effects. When SCOW split 3-3 in that case, it granted review in Sauk County v. S.A.M., 2019AP1033 and ordered the parties to brief whether it may order the court of appeals to decide commitment appeals before they expire. See our post here. Some might see the S.A.M. order as a red flag signaling “proceed with caution” on mootness.…
Appellate lawyers, take note. Several recent press reports have observed that Justice Hagedorn has become the powerful swing vote on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Yesterday’s SCOWstats post provides the data. “In 2020-21, with Justice Kelly now supplanted by Justice Karofsky, the remaining three conservatives can no longer win without Justice Hagedorn, and, with him, they have prevailed in three of the seven 4-3 decisions so far this term—a ‘victory total’ no greater than that of the three liberal justices joined by Justice Hagedorn.” This morning’s decision in Tavern League of Wisconsin, Inc. v. Andrea Palm, shows just how critical…
State v. Richard Michael Arrington, 2019AP2065-CR, 4/6/21, District 3 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Arrington was being held at the Brown County Jail for 1st-degree homicide when another inmate, Miller, began chatting with him about his case. Turns out Miller was a snitch for State. With the assistance of police, Miller recorded his conversations with Arrington. Then the State used Arrington’s statements to obtain a homicide conviction. The court of appeals held that the State’s use of the snitch violated Arrington’s 6th Amendment right to counsel, and his trial lawyer was ineffective for failing to move to…
Rock County Department of Human Services v. J.E.B., 2020AP1954-FT, 4/7/21, District 4 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity Good news/bad news. It’s terrific that the court of appeals is going to enforce the new requirement that circuit courts ground their recommitment orders on factual findings tied to a specific standard of dangerousness in §51.20(1)(a)2.a-e.  See Langlade County v. D.J.W., 2020 WI 41, ¶3, 391 Wis. 2d 231, 942 N.W.2d 277. However, J.E.B. requested reversal. Period. Without any objection by the county or briefing by the parties, the court of appeals decided to remand the case for…
State v. Kevin M. Jereczek, 2019AP826, 4/6/21, District 3 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Police suspected Jereczek’s son in a sexual assault and thought there might be evidence on the family desktop computer. They asked Jereczek if they could search the machine; he agreed but limited his permission to the son’s account. The examiner, Behling, didn’t adhere to this restriction: he instead began his search in the recycle bin, which contains files deleted from any of the computer’s accounts. There he found child pornography apparently associated with Jereczek’s account, which led him to seek a warrant to…
Village of Grafton v. Elizabeth A. Wesela, 2020AP1416, District 2, 4/7/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Wesela concedes police had reaonsable suspicion to make the initial stop of the car she was driving, but complains, fruitlessly, that the officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion to extend the stop to conduct field sobriety tests or to ask for preliminary breath test. Wesela was pulled over very early on a June morning after driving from a lot that served as a park-and-ride site for Summerfest wassailers. The officer stopped the car because the registered owner had an expired…
State v. V.S., 2021AP136, District 1, 4/6/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The record shows the circuit court considered all of the § 48.426(3) factors relevant to determining the best interests of the child and properly applied them to the facts in deciding whether to terminate V.S.’s parental rights to D.D.S. ¶22     V.S. argues on appeal that the circuit court erroneously exercised its discretion during the dispositional phase and improperly weighed the factors…. He points to the testimony given by his therapist and his mother and argues that their testimony shows that the factors enumerated…
State v. Markell Hogan, 2019AP2350-CR, District 2, 3/24/21 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) A police officer who has experience investigating human trafficking cases and who has training from various prosecutorial and law enforcement conferences about the methods traffickers use may testify as an expert under §907.02 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The officer, Remington, was a detective who investigated claims that Markell was trafficking “Mary” and attempted to entice a child, “Cathy,” into trafficking. Remington did not receive formal education in human trafficking or conduct research or publish studies on…
Brown v. Davenport, No. 20-826, cert. granted 4/5/21; Scotusblog page Question presented: May a federal habeas court grant relief based solely on its conclusion that the Brecht test is satisfied, as the Sixth Circuit held, or must the court also find that the state court’s Chapman application was unreasonable under § 2254(d)(1), as the Second, Third, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits have held? That QP is subject to debate: Davenport, the prisoner who won in the Sixth Circuit, maintains there’s really no split and that all the circuits apply the same test. But at any rate, the…
Jackson County DHS v. M.M.B., 2021AP98 & 2021AP99, District 4, 4/1/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity M.M.B. stipulated that there were grounds for terminating her parental rights to her two children, but argued at the disposition phase that termination wasn’t in the best interest of the children. At that hearing, the County presented the testimony of a psychologist who had assessed M.M.B.’s “psychosocial functioning, including issues related to parenting and substance abuse.” M.M.B. objected, arguing the psychologist’s evaluation was not contemporaneous to the dispositional hearing, but had been conducted two years earlier, and thus wasn’t relevant to…
Village of Greendale v. Matthew R. Derzay, 2019AP2294, District 1, 3/30/31 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The burden of proof for a petitioner under § 968.20 is preponderance of the evidence, but the circuit court applied the clear and convincing standard and demanded Derzay provide certain kinds of proof to meet that burden. This was error. Derzay was arrested and criminally charged for a domestic violence incident. When he was arrested police seized a number of firearms. The charges were eventually dismissed, and Derzay moved under § 968.20 for the firearms to be returned. The police…
Daniel Doubek v. Joshua Kaul, 2020AP704, 3/31/21, District 2; case activity (including briefs) Issue: Are Evans v. DOJ, 2014 WI App 31, 353 Wis. 2d 289, 844 N.W.2d 403, and Leonard v. State, 2015 WI App 57, 364 Wis. 2d 491, 868 N.W.2d 186, “good law” in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Castleman, 572 U.S. 157 (2014)? A person who has been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” can’t possess a firearm under federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), and, thus, can’t get a permit to…
State v. Avant Rondell Nimmer, 2020AP878-CR, petition for review granted 3/24/21; case activity (including links to briefs and PFR) Issue presented (composed by On Point): Did police responding to a ShotSpotter alert of shots fired have reasonable suspicion to stop and frisk Nimmer based on his proximity to the address in the alert so close to the alert and Nimmer’s response to the officer’s arrival on the scene? Investigative stop issues are fact dependent and governed by well-established rules, and so don’t usually meet the criteria for supreme court review. To get the court to bite in this case, the