WisBar Court Review

WisBar Court Review, published by the State Bar of Wisconsin, includes summaries and analysis of decisions from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, as well as other court developments.

Sept. 26, 2023 – Plaintiffs whose driver’s license numbers were disclosed by an insurance company’s website lacked standing to bring a lawsuit under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled in  Baysal v. Midvale Indemnity Co., No. 22-1892 (Aug. 22, 2023).

Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote the majority opinion (2-1), joined by Chief Judge Diane Sykes. Judge Kenneth Ripple dissented.
Disclosed on Websites
Two insurance companies, Midvale Indemnity Company
Continue Reading Disclosure of Driver’s License Number Alone Not Enough for Standing

Sept. 26, 2023 – State law authorizes a city to charge municipalities a monthly license fee for sewage treatment services, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Mary Lane Area Sanitary District v. City of Oconomowoc, 2022AP1649 (Aug. 30, 2023), the Court of Appeals District II held that the license fees were not related to the cost of providing sewage services such that their amount must be tied to the city’s cost in providing the services.Wastewater Treatment AgreementsThe
Continue Reading City Had Authority to Charge Municipalities License Fee for Sewage Treatment

Sept. 26, 2023 – A town ordinance that prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1.25 miles of locations where children gather does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Ex Post Facto clause, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.In Nelson v. Town of Paris, No. 22-2435 (Aug. 16, 2023), the Seventh Circuit also held additional evidence was necessary to determine whether a restriction on a registered sex offender living within 1.25 miles of another
Continue Reading In Seventh Circuit, Split Decision on Sex Offender Registry Ordinance

Sept. 12, 2023 – An inmate’s claim that a prison security official violated the inmate’s due process rights by improperly influencing the official adjudicating charges against him should have survived summary judgment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled in Prude v. Meli, No. 21-1320 (Aug. 7, 2023).Jailhouse LawyerTerence Prude, an inmate at Waupun Correctional Institute (WCI), helped a fellow inmate file a civil rights lawsuit against the prison.Prude’s fellow inmate eventually found an attorney,
Continue Reading District Court Erred by Dismissing Inmate’s Suit Against Prison Official

Sept. 12, 2023 – An airplane insurance policy authorized an insurer to deny coverage because the pilot didn’t have a medical certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when he crashed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.In Jadair International, Inc. v. American National Property and Casualty Company, No.22-3053 (Aug. 9, 2023), the Seventh Circuit also held that Wis. Stat. section 631.11(3), concerning rescission of an insurance policy, did not apply to the
Continue Reading No Coverage Under Insurance Policy Where Pilot Lacked FAA Certificate

Sept. 12, 2023  – The applicable statute of limitations bars a claim for negligent road maintenance that a bicyclist filed against the Town of Cedarburg, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Kornreich v. Town of Cedarburg, No. 2022AP198 (Aug. 16, 2023), a three-judge panel for the Court of Appeals District II ruled that the plaintiff should not have relied on an insurance claims manager’s statement that the plaintiff should disregard a notice of disallowance from the town.Under
Continue Reading Appeals Court: Statute of Limitations Bars Negligence Claim Against Town

Aug. 30, 2023 – A circuit court properly entered a default judgment against a county zoning board of appeals that failed to respond to a complaint seeking an order granting a writ of certiorari, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.

In Kurtzweil v. Sawyer County Zoning Board of Appeals, 2022 AP 1577 (July 25, 2023), the Court of Appeals District III held that a summons and complaint is one of three ways to seek certiorari relief under
Continue Reading Default Appropriate for Failure to Reply to Complaint Seeking Certiorari

Aug. 30, 2023 – An insurer for a company that allegedly damaged a dairy herd by substituting a feed mix component is not entitled to summary judgment because the substitution was not accidental, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Riverback Farms, LLC v. Saukville Feed Supplies, Inc., 2021 AP 670 (July 26, 2023), the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District II also held that physical ailments suffered by the cattle after the substitution were property damage under the
Continue Reading Damage to Cattle From Intentional Diet Substitution Covered by CGL Policy

Aug. 29, 2023 – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled that a statute that prohibits misleading advertising is not limited to advertisements made to Wisconsin residents.In State v. Talyansky, 2022 AP 788 (July 25, 2023), the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District I also held that the statute does not require the state to prove that customers who received the misleading advertising suffered a monetary loss.Complaints About Salvage YardAlfred Talyansky’s family founded Mid City Auto Salvage (Mid City) in
Continue Reading Prohibition of Fraudulent Ads Not Limited to Wisconsin Residents

Aug. 18, 2023 – A man who died unloading a trailer was operating a motor vehicle, and the two-year statute of limitations applied to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by his estate, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Estate of Kevin Wiemer v. Zeeland Farm Services, Inc., 2022 AP 1436 (Aug. 8, 2023), the Court of Appeals District III held that because the lawsuit was filed 30 months after the man’s death, the circuit court erred by
Continue Reading Lawsuit Over Trailer Death Subject to Motor Vehicle Statute of Limitations

August 15, 2023 – An attorney who wrote a book about a 2005 murder that his client was convicted of committing has successfully defended a defamation claim brought by the client’s husband, under a decision issued by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.In Sidoff v. Merry, 2022 AP 1871 (Aug. 3, 2023), a three-judge panel ruled that David Sidoff was considered a “limited public figure” and could not meet his burden to prove that his wife’s attorney published allegedly
Continue Reading Defamation Appeal Fails Against Attorney Who Wrote Book on Murder Case

Aug. 15, 2023  – A suspect who said “So, y’all can get a public pretender now?” during a police interrogation did not unequivocally invoke his Fifth Amendment right to counsel and is not entitled to habeas corpus relief, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled in Jones v. Cromwell, No. 22-2084 (July 28, 2023).
Fatal Hit-and-Run
The Milwaukee County District Attorney filed a criminal complaint naming Johnny L. Jones as the defendant in a
Continue Reading Casual Question About Attorney Not Enough to Invoke Right To Counsel

Aug. 15, 2023 – The warrantless seizure of a man on his front porch on suspicion that he’d been involved in a hit-and-run collision violated the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, a three-judge panel for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District IV has ruled in State v. Cundy, 2022 AP 540 (July 13, 2023).Fender BenderA man called the Mayville Police Department on July 2, 2019, to report a hit-and-run collision. About 15 minutes earlier, the man said, he’d seen
Continue Reading Warrantless Seizure on Front Stoop Violates Fourth Amendment

Aug. 2, 2023 – An invasion of privacy claim brought by a union member against his employer in state court is pre-empted by federal law, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Toboyek v. Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, 2022AP1536 (July 18, 2023), the Court of Appeals District 1 also held that the union member’s claim for negligent hiring and training was subject to the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA).Mask Non-complianceWisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS) hired Brian Toboyek in
Continue Reading Union Members’ Invasion of Privacy Claim Pre-empted by Federal Law

Aug. 2, 2023 – A police officer’s complaints about his new chief, aired before a city’s police and fire commission, were made in his public capacity and as such were not protected by the First Amendment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.

In Fehlman v. Mankowski, No. 22-1467, (July 26, 2023), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit also held that Fehlman’s speech was not considered private just because Wisconsin law
Continue Reading Cop’s Complaints to Police Commission Not Protected Speech

Aug. 2, 2023 – A felon who found himself mistakenly in possession of a firearm was not entitled to present an innocent possession defense because he didn’t immediately seek to return the firearm to the police, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled in U.S. v. Sorensen, No. 22-1801 (July 11, 2023).Stalled CarWhen Steven Sorensen couldn’t start his car on March 5, 2021, he went to the apartment of a friend who repairs cars.
Continue Reading Failure to Immediately Turn Over Gun Precludes Innocent Possession Defense