COA upholds admission of prior confrontations with police in disorderly conduct trial

State v. Eric L. Vanremortel, 2018AP417, 9/4/19, District 3 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Vanremortel was charged with disorderly conduct for an incident in which he followed the wife of a retired police officer in her car, then repeatedly got out of his own car and shouted at her. The state […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point COA upholds … Continue reading COA upholds admission of prior confrontations with police in disorderly conduct trial

May courts presume a person is competent to agree to commitment for treatment if a doctor opines that he isn’t?

Dane County v. N.W., 2019AP48, 8/29/29, District 4 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity N.W. entered a written stipulation to extend his Chapter 51 involuntary mental commitment. On appeal he argued that due process required the circuit court to conduct a colloquy to determine whether he knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily agreed to the extension […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point May courts … Continue reading May courts presume a person is competent to agree to commitment for treatment if a doctor opines that he isn’t?

Defense win! Court must hold probable cause hearing within 72 hours of detention for violating Ch. 51 settlement agreement

Ozaukee County v. R. C.J. Y., 2019AP297, 8/7/19, District 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity Many Chapter 51 cases are resolved through 90-settlement agreements entered just before or just after the circuit court holds a probable cause hearing. These settlement agreements are governed by §51.20(8)(bg),(bm) and (br). The court of appeals explained that if […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point Defense win! … Continue reading Defense win! Court must hold probable cause hearing within 72 hours of detention for violating Ch. 51 settlement agreement

SCOW to decide whether mental illness and reliance on government benefits warrant recommitment under Chapter 51

Langlade County v. D.J.W., 2018AP145-FT, petition for review granted 7/10/19; case activity Issue:  A doctor opined that David (a pseudonym) is unable to care for himself, and therefore dangerous under Wis. Stat. § 51.20(1)(am), because he lost employment and relies on the assistance of the government and his family for income and housing. As a […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point SCOW to … Continue reading SCOW to decide whether mental illness and reliance on government benefits warrant recommitment under Chapter 51

A new investigative report on the dark side of endless Chapter 51 recommitments

Today Mad in America, a nonprofit that publishes a webzine on science, psychiatry and social justice ran a long article on the dark side of “Assisted Outpatient Treatment” or, as we think of it in Wisconsin, “outpatient recommitments.” Turns out they have a very dark side. Chapter 51 practitioners may find the many studies and […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point A new … Continue reading A new investigative report on the dark side of endless Chapter 51 recommitments

SCOW will review the petitioner’s burden on dangerousness in ch. 51 cases

Marathon County v. D.K., 2017AP2217, petition for review granted 7/10/19; case activity As our prior post noted, the court of appeals upheld D.K. (or “Donald”)’s commitment against his challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. The supreme court has now agreed to decide whether the testimony of the examining physician, who was the sole witness […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point SCOW will … Continue reading SCOW will review the petitioner’s burden on dangerousness in ch. 51 cases

SCOW okays default Chapter 51 recommitments without notice to the subject individual

Waukesha County v. S.L.L., 2019WI66, affirming an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 2017AP1468; 6/12/19; case activity This 4-3 decision is alarming. Waukesha County petitioned to recommit S.L.L., a homeless person, but failed to serve her with notice of the hearing because it had no idea where she was. Since she was not served, she didn’t […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point SCOW okays … Continue reading SCOW okays default Chapter 51 recommitments without notice to the subject individual

A great resource for Chapter 51 lawyers!

In our ongoing effort to improve On Point, we have begun to edit the index of posts on our Archive page so that it is more user-friendly and easier for readers to find the elusive “Defense wins!” on specific issues. Chapter 51 is our guinea pig. Before, the Chapter 51 index on our Archive lumped […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point A great … Continue reading A great resource for Chapter 51 lawyers!

Are Chapter 51 respondents entitled to notice of the dangerousness standard warranting their commitments?

Ozaukee County v. R.T.H., 2018AP1317, 2/27/19, District 2, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity; Marathon County v. C.M.L., 2017AP2220, 2/26/19, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity These two, unrelated decisions highlight a recurring due process violation at Chapter 51 hearings. For an original commitment, the county must prove that the person […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point Are Chapter … Continue reading Are Chapter 51 respondents entitled to notice of the dangerousness standard warranting their commitments?

Good issues for SCOW: Requests for substitute counsel and self-presentation in Chapter 51 cases

Fond du Lac County v. S.R.H., 2018AP1088-FT, 10/17/18, District 2 (1-judge opinion, eligible for publication); case activity At the beginning of a Chapter 51 extension hearing, S.R.H. told the court that he wanted to fire his attorney, and he asked for a new one. When that failed, he asked the court “Your honor, could I […] Source: WI Public Defenders – On Point Good issues … Continue reading Good issues for SCOW: Requests for substitute counsel and self-presentation in Chapter 51 cases