On Point

Latest from On Point

State v. S.S.M., 2022AP524 & 2022AP525, District 1, 8/2/22 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity
Under § 48.415(intro.), termination of parental rights to children subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) requires, in addition to proof of one or more grounds for termination under subs. (1) to (10), proof of “active efforts,” as defined in § 48.028(4)(e)2., to prevent the breakup of the family as well as the unsuccess of those efforts. S.S.M., whose
Continue Reading Court of Appeals rejects equal protection challenge to burden of proving TPR petition

State v. Andrew Austin Keenan-Becht, 2022AP73-CR, District 2, 8/3/22 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)
Under the long-standing test for probable cause, Keenan-Becht’s arrest was lawful.

¶12     Probable cause existed under the totality of the circumstances here based on Keenan-Becht’s admission to drinking, the odor of alcohol emanating from his body, his red and watery eyes, speeding, the time of day (around bar time), and the observation of four clues on the HGN
Continue Reading Police had probable cause to arrest for OWI

State v. Kevin Lee Wilke, 2020AP1068-CR, District 3, 8/2/22 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)
The court of appeals rejects Wilke’s arguments for a new trial and his challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence.
Wilke, who was pro se at trial and on appeal, first argues the state violated his right to discovery under § 971.23. Wilke has arguably forfeited this claim, but the court ignores that and concludes the record shows the
Continue Reading Defendant’s rights to discovery, confrontation not violated

On July 27, 2022, the court of appeals ordered the publication of the following criminal law related decisions:
State v. Gerald P. Mitchell, 2022 WI App 31 (on remand from SCOTUS, finding exigency for warrantless blood draw).
DeLorean Bryson v. Kevin Carr, 2022 WI App 34 (addressing limits on DOC’s power to take money from inmate accounts for court obligations)
State v. Sergio Moises Ochoa, 2022 WI App 35 (affirming circuit court’s exclusion of certain self
Continue Reading July 2022 publication list

Manitowoc County v. J.M.K., 2022AP122, 7/27/22, District 2, (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity
J.M.K.  is currently diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. He has been committed several times since 2015. Right now he is doing well. He lives in a supervised apartment but holds a job, participates in community activities, and works out at the YMCA. The county monitors his medication compliance because in the past when he has stopped taking them he deteriorated rapidly.
The circuit court
Continue Reading COA affirms recommitment, finds sufficient evidence and compliance with D.J.W.

Brown County v. J.V., 2022AP532, 7/28/22, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity
In a modified CHIPS dispositional order, the circuit court stated that it was suspending Jennifer’s visitation rights to her son, subject to her completing certain conditions. The court did not orally warn her that her parental rights could be terminated if her visitation rights weren’t reinstated within 1 year. Nor did the written order indicate that her rights could be terminated based on
Continue Reading Defense win! TPR reversed due to insufficient notice of grounds for termination

Chippewa County Dep’t of Health and Human Servs. v. J.W.., 2021AP1986, 7/19/22, District  3, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity

“Janine” raised an insufficient evidence claim and several ineffective assistance of counsel claims in her appeal from an order terminating her parental right to her son.  This post focuses on two of the IAC claims. Counsel failed to object to (1) portions of the county social worker’s testimony, and (2) new information that the GAL introduced during
Continue Reading Counsel performed deficiently, failed to object to GAL’s closing argument at TPR trial

State v. S.G., 2022AP585-587, 7/19/22, District 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity
S.G. argued that the circuit court failed to address 2 of the 6 “best interest” factors in §48.426(3) when it terminated her parental rights to her 3 sons. According to the court of appeals, the record proves otherwise.
S.G. says the circuit court failed to consider (1) the ages of her children as required by §48.426(3)(b) and (2) whether they had substantial relationships with
Continue Reading Circuit court applied all “best interests” factors, TPR affirmed

State v. L.T.H., 2022AP56 & 2022AP57, District 1, 7/19/22 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity
L.T.H. challenges the circuit court’s refusal to terminate her grounds trial from that of the father of one of her children, its decision to allow evidence of her own experience with the child welfare system when she was a child, its refusal to allow her to testify at the dispositional hearing, and its decision to terminate her parental rights. The court of
Continue Reading Challenges to termination of parental rights rejected

State v. M.B., 2022AP89, District 1, 7/19/22 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity
M.B. entered a no contest plea to failing to assume parental responsibility and to her daughter being in continuing need of protection or services. During the plea colloquy, the circuit court suggested she had the “same trial rights” at the dispositional phase as at the grounds phase. (¶¶3-4). This, M.B. argues, was a flaw in the colloquy because it misstated the correct
Continue Reading Mother’s no-contest plea to TPR grounds was valid; so was court’s decision to terminate her rights

Rock County Human. Servs. v. A.P., Appeal nos. 2022AP248-249; 7/14/22, District 4; (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity
This is one more in a long line of appellate decisions affirming a default finding of grounds for terminating a parent’s rights without a finding that the parent had behaved egregiously as required by Dane Cnty. DHS v. Mable K., 2013 WI 28, ¶71, 346 Wis. 2d 396, 828 N.W.2d 198. The difference here is that the court
Continue Reading COA affirms default in TPR, violates rules of appellate procedure

July 17, 1962, witnessed an event that changed the course of Wisconsin history.  That day, Shirley Schlanger Abrahamson signed the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Roll of Attorneys. At age 28, she could finally fulfill her childhood dream of practicing law. She ultimately became Wisconsin’s first woman justice and first woman chief justice.  When she retired from the legal profession 57 years later, she was the longest-serving state supreme court justice in Wisconsin and the nation.

In honor of the occasion,
Continue Reading 60th Anniversary of C.J. Abrahamson’s Admission to Practice in Wisconsin

Nancy Kindschy v. Brian Aish, 2020AP1775, petition for review of a published court of appeals decision granted 6/22/22; case activity (including briefs)
Issues (from the petition for review):

Whether Wis. Stat. §813.125, as construed by the Court of Appeals to prohibit speech from a public sidewalk intended to persuade listeners to cease their sinful conduct (participation in abortion) and repent immediately before something bad happens and they no longer have time to repent, violates the First Amendment of the
Continue Reading SCOW takes up harassment injunction against anti-abortion protester

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, USSC No. 20-843, 6/23/22 reversing N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Beach (2nd Cir. unpublished); Scotusblog page (including briefs and commentary)
You can read tons of analysis of, and commentary on, of this precedent-demolishing (and establishing) case at Scotusblog (and many, many other places). SCOTUS abandoned its previous balancing approach to assessing gun regulations under the Second Amendment in favor of a history-only approach (with that “history,”
Continue Reading Some (brief) notes on Bruen