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Case of the month archive

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2014

Case Adobe PDF Description Opinion(s) Adobe PDF Case No./ Briefs Adobe PDF Listen to argument
State v. Scull

The general issue in this case is whether the trial court erred in denying defendant Gary Monroe Scull's motion to suppress evidence found by police after they brought a drug-sniffing dog to the front door of his residence without a warrant or probable cause. More specifically, the Wisconsin Supreme Court examines whether the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies because the police obtained a search warrant in good faith –although based, in part, on the prior illegal search with the drug dog.

SC opinion

COA opinion

2011AP2956-CR Audio
Weissman v. Tyson Prepared Foods This wage claim case arises from a class action filed by six workers, including Jim Weissman, against their employer, Tyson Prepared Foods, Inc. (Tyson). Tyson operates a meat processing plant in Jefferson County. The employees contend they are entitled to compensation for the time spent putting on ("donning") and taking off ("doffing") sanitary and protective equipment and clothing and walking to work stations. 

SC opinion

COA opinion

2012AP2196 Audio
Legue v. City of Racine This certification from the District II Court of Appeals arises from a traffic accident in which an officer driving a police squad collided with another vehicle at an intersection in Racine.

SC opinion

COA certification

2012AP2499 Audio
League of Women Voters v. Scott Walker and Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Scott Walker These cases, arising from two Dane County Circuit Court decisions, deal with two closely related aspects of a single, overriding issue: the validity of 2011 Act 23's photo identification requirements under the suffrage provisions in Wis. Const. Art. III. 

SC opinion
SC opinion

COA opinion

2012AP584-AC and 2012AP1652 Audio
State v. Brown This Fourth Amendment case examines the legality of a traffic stop that started as a possible defective tail light violation, and ultimately resulted in charges of felon in possession of a firearm against Antonio D. Brown.

SC opinion

COA opinion

2011AP2907-CR Audio

2013

Case Adobe PDF Description Opinion(s) Adobe PDF Case No./ Briefs Adobe PDF Listen to argument
Robert V. Kimble v. Land Concepts, Inc. This case arises out of a dispute over legal access to a home site in the town of Nasewaupee in Door County. The Supreme Court will examine whether a jury's $1 million punitive damage award, which is 33 times the amount of the compensatory damages award, is sustainable.

SC opinion

COA opinion

2011AP1514 Audio
Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Scott Walker This certification from the Court of Appeals, District IV, examines the constitutionality of various statutory changes made by 2011 Wis. Act 10 and 2011 Wis. Act 32, more commonly referred to respectively as the collective bargaining law and 2011-13 state budget. SC opinion 2012AP2067

Audio a.m.
Audio p.m.

Waller v. American Transmission Co. This bypass involves two prior Court of Appeals' decisions and three circuit court decisions arising from a dispute over the condemnation of property for the location of an electrical transmission line project in Walworth County. The Supreme Court examines Wis. Stat. § 32.06(3m), the uneconomic remnant statute.

SC opinion

 

2012AP805/840 Audio
Showers Appraisal v. Musson Brothers This case involves a lawsuit over water damage that occurred to a privately owned building during a road construction project in Oshkosh in the summer of 2008. The Supreme Court examines whether a private governmental contractor is entitled to sovereign immunity under Estate of Lyons v. CNA Insurance Company, 207 Wis. 2d 446, 558 N.W.2d 658 (Ct. App. 1996) for its efforts to maintain water drainage on the construction site so as to protect the adjacent private property from water damage.

SC opinion

COA opinion

2011AP1158 Audio
State v. Lonkoski This case examines what constitutes interrogation and what constitutes custody under Miranda.

SC opinion

COA opinion

2010AP2809-CR Audio

2012

Case Adobe PDF Description Opinion(s) Adobe PDF Case No./ Briefs Adobe PDF Listen to argument
State v. Neumann This certification involves consolidated appeals that raise issues related to statutory construction, constitutional rights and appropriate jury instructions for persons charged with reckless homicide based on their choice to rely on prayer rather than medical treatment for an ill child. SC opinion

COA certification
2011AP1044-CR/
2011AP1105-CR
Audio
Acuity v. Society Insurance This case examines whether damages arising from faulty construction work performed by a contractor qualifies as an "occurrence" under the terms of a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy. SC opinion

COA opinion
2009AP2432 Oral argument was cancelled and not rescheduled.
Schinner v. Gundrum This case examines the meaning of "occurrence" and "accident" under the terms of a homeowners insurance policy and how they apply to the facts presented here. The Supreme Court is asked to review whether a homeowners insurance policy covers the 21-year-old host of a drinking party who provided alcohol to an underage guest who assaulted another guest. SC opinion

COA opinion
2011AP564 Audio
State v. Brereton This case examines whether a defendant's constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures was violated when police seized his vehicle and covertly installed a sophisticated real-time GPS tracking device. SC opinion

COA opinion
2010AP1366-CR Audio
Wis. Industrial Energy Group v. PSC This certification involves a dispute over the Wisconsin Public Service Commission's (PSC) approval process and whether a certificate of public convenience and necessity was needed for a Wisconsin public utility to construct a wind electric generating facility in Minnesota. SC opinion

CA certification
2010AP2762 Audio
Wis. Dolls v. Town of Dell Prairie This case involves a dispute between the owners of Wisconsin Dolls, an adult-themed resort in the Wisconsin Dells, and the town of Dell Prairie and its town board, over a liquor license.

SC opinion

COA opinion

2010AP2900 Audio
State v. Negrete This case involves an illegal immigrant now facing deportation proceedings because of a crime he was convicted of 18 years ago. The Supreme Court examines whether the fact a transcript of Abraham C. Negrete's plea hearing is no longer available means that a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, pursuant to Sec. 971.08(2), Stats., cannot be granted. SC opinion

2010AP1702 Audio
State v. Tyler T. This case examines the fairly narrow issue of whether it is improper for an assistant district attorney to appear at a waiver recommendation meeting when neither the juvenile nor his attorney was asked to attend. SC opinion

COA opinion
2010AP784 Audio

2011

Case Adobe PDF Description Opinion(s) Adobe PDF Case No./ Briefs Adobe PDF Listen to argument
Fond du Lac Co. v. Helen E.F. This case examines whether a person who has Alzheimer's or similar dementia may also be found to have a mental illness for purposes of a ch. 51 involuntary commitment and whether certain medications constitute "treatment" under the statute. SC opinion

COA opinion
2010AP2061 Audio
State v. Soto This certification examines whether a defendant's statutory right to be physically present during a plea hearing was violated when the court conducted the hearing through video teleconferencing, and whether the issue was properly preserved. More broadly, the Supreme Court examines the effect of Wis. Stat. ch. 885, regarding the use of videoconferencing, on prior law. SC opinion

CA certification
2010AP2273-CR Audio
Hirschhorn v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company This case calls upon the Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide if bat urine and droppings ("guano"), and the associated smell, fit the definition of "pollutant" for purposes of determining whether homeowner's insurance will cover losses related to an accumulation of bat excrement. SC opinion

COA opinion
2009AP2768 Audio
MBS-Certified Pub. Accountants v. Wis. Bell This case arises from a class action lawsuit over the practice of "cramming" in which a telephone company deceptively inserts relatively small, unauthorized charges into a telephone bill. As part of its review, the Supreme Court examines the voluntary payment doctrine and statutory damage claims under §§ 100.207, 100.18, and §§ 946.80-946.88 (Wisconsin Organized Crime Control Act or WOCCA). SC opinion

COA opinion
2008AP1830 Audio
State v. West In this case, the Supreme Court is asked to review statutory and constitutional issues related to Wis. stat. ch. 980, the state's law that allows civil commitment for persons deemed to be sexually violent. SC opinion

COA opinion
2009AP1579 Audio
Lk. Beulah Mgt. Dist. v. Wis. DNR and Lk. Beulah Mgt. Dist. v. Village of East Troy These two cases arise from a dispute between the Lake Beulah Management District (Lake District) and the Village of East Troy (the Village) and the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) over a proposed high-capacity well. Proponents argue the well is needed to support increased development; opponents charge that pumping millions of gallons of water per day will damage the lake and surrounding wetlands. SC opinion
SC opinion

COA opinion

COA opinion
2008AP3170
2009AP2021
Audio
Audio
Jessica Siebert et al v. Wis. American Mutual Insurance Co. This case examines insurance coverage in a situation where a woman lent her father's car to a man who said he was running an errand. Instead, he picked up a woman who was then injured in an accident on the way to a party. SC opinion

COA opinion
2009AP1422 Audio
E-Z Roll Off v. County of Oneida This case involves allegations that Oneida County helped a waste-hauling company engage in monopolistic behavior by selectively charging reduced dumping fees at a county-run landfill. The Supreme Court is asked to examine the notice requirements of Wis. Stat. § 893.80(1) for filing claims against a county. SC opinion

COA opinion
2009AP775 Audio
State v. Beauchamp In this case, the Supreme Court examines whether "dying declarations" made under the circumstances presented here constitute a permissible exception to the confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The confrontation clause generally guarantees a criminal defendant's right to confront an accusing witness in court. SC opinion

COA opinion
2009AP806-CR Audio

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2010

Case Adobe PDF Description Opinion(s) Adobe PDF Case No./ Briefs Adobe PDF Listen to argument
Brown County DHS v. Brenda B. In this termination of parental rights case, the Supreme Court examines a trial court's discretion in denying a motion to withdraw a no contest plea without an evidentiary hearing. SC opinion

COA opinion
2010AP321 Audio
Curt Andersen, et al v. DNR In this case, the Supreme Court examines issues arising from a dispute between environmental advocates and the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) over re-issuing a wastewater discharge permit for a paper manufacturing plant in Green Bay. A decision by the Supreme Court could have broad statewide implications for industries regulated by the permits. SC opinion

COA opinion
2008AP3235 Audio
State v. Janet A. Conner In this case, the Supreme Court examines provisions of Wisconsin's stalking statute, Wis. Stat. § 940.32(2m)(b) to determine what acts may constitute a course of conduct and whether the defendant in this case received adequate notice of the course of conduct elements of the statute. SC opinion

COA opinion
2008AP1296-CR Audio
State v. Patrick R. Patterson This reckless homicide case involves the death of a 17-year-old girl, who died as a result of a drug overdose. The primary issues before the Supreme Court are whether contributing to the delinquency of a child resulting in death is a lesser-included offense of first-degree reckless homicide under Wis. Stat. § 939.66(2), and whether a defendant can be found guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a 17-year-old, even though 17-year-olds cannot be prosecuted as juveniles. SC opinion

COA opinion

2008AP1968 Audio
State v. David A. Dearborn In this case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is asked to examine the search-incident-to-arrest doctrine and how it applies to a vehicle search in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Arizona v. Gant, 129 S. Ct. 1710 (2009). SC opinion

COA opinion

2007AP1894-CR Audio
State v. Michael A. Sveum In this criminal case, the Supreme Court is asked to consider whether a defendant's constitutional rights or Wisconsin Statutes were violated when police placed a global positioning system (GPS) device on his vehicle and recorded its movements. SC opinion

COA opinion

2008AP658 Audio
Zarder v. Humana Insurance Co. In this case, the Supreme Court is asked to clarify the meaning of "hit-and-run" in an uninsured motorist policy, and in an insurance statute, as applied to the facts of this case. SC opinion

COA opinion

2008AP919 Audio
State v. Pinkard This criminal case examines the law as it relates to the "community caretaker" function of police and constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure SC opinion

COA opinion

2008AP1204 Audio

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2009

Case Adobe PDF Description Opinion(s) Adobe PDF Case No./ Briefs Adobe PDF Listen to argument
McConkey v. Van Hollen In this certification, the District IV Court of Appeals asks the Supreme Court to review issues arising from a state constitutional amendment passed by voters on Nov. 7, 2006.  The ballot measure read, in part, "that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state." SC opinion

COA opinion

2008AP1868 Audio
Pawlowski v. American Family and Nancy L. Seefeldt In this strict liability case involving a dog bite, the Supreme Court has been asked to review statutes and case law to clarify the statutory keeper provisions of Wis. Stat. § 174.02. SC opinion

COA opinion

2007AP2651 Audio
State v. Lange In this case, the state has asked the Supreme Court to review how the standards for determining probable cause should apply to an arrest for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. SC opinion

COA opinion

2008AP882-CR Audio
State v. Baron This is the second time this case, which involves e-mail messages and the state's identity theft statute, Wis. Stat. § 943.201, has reached the Supreme Court. The defendant filed a petition to bypass, which was denied Nov. 5, 2007; a petition for review was granted July 25, 2008 after the Court of Appeals decision. SC opinion

COA opinion

2007AP1289-CR Audio
Tammi v. Porsche This certification from the U.S. District Court for the 7th Circuit asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to clarify issues related to the state's "lemon law." A decision could affect consumers, auto manufactures and the sale of motor vehicles throughout the state. SC opinion 2008AP1913-CQ Audio
State v. Jordan L. Gajewski This case involves a high school student who was convicted of third-degree sexual assault after allegedly having intercourse with a high school student at a party. The Supreme Court is expected to clarify how 'ineffective assistance of counsel' claims are to be analyzed. SC opinion

COA opinion

2007AP1849-CR Audio

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2008

Case Adobe PDF Description Opinion(s) Adobe PDF Case No./ Briefs Adobe PDF Listen to argument
State v. Mark H. Tody, Jr. This case arises from Mark H. Tody Jr.'s conviction for operating a motor vehicle without consent as party to a crime. Tody asks the Supreme Court to review several issues stemming from the fact the trial judge's mother served on the jury that found him guilty. SC opinion

COA opinion

2007AP400-CR Audio
State v. Kramer This case, which involves a conviction for intoxicated use of a motor vehicle (OWI), examines the "community caretaker" function of a police officer, who was checking on a vehicle pulled to the side of the road. SC opinion

COA opinion

2007AP1834-CR Audio
State v. Jordan A. Denk This case involves a police search. The Supreme Court is expected to determine whether police were acting lawfully when they seized an item that (1) was not inside the automobile that they were searching, and (2) belonged to a passenger who had not been arrested. SC opinion

COA certification

06AP1744-CR Audio
State ex rel. Hipp v. Murray This case examines whether judges have exclusive authority to issue subpoenas to produce witnesses in John Doe proceedings. The state has asked the Supreme Court to review a Court of Appeals' decision, which could alter the way John Doe subpoenas have historically been handled. SC opinion

COA opinion

2007AP230-W Audio
WIREdata Inc. v. Village of Sussex This litigation, which includes cases involving the villages of Sussex and Thiensville and the city of Port Washington, concerns the state's open records law and its application to requests for access to large data bases created by private contractors on behalf of municipalities. The Supreme Court has been asked to consider a number of issues about the scope, timing, procedure, cost and format of electronic records involved in open records requests. SC opinion

COA opinion

2005AP1473/
2006AP174-75
Audio

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2007

Case Adobe PDF Description Opinion(s) Adobe PDF Case No./ Briefs Adobe PDF Listen to argument
WRA, Inc. v. Town of West Point This certification from the District IV Court of Appeals could affect the state's Smart Growth statute and examines whether towns in Wisconsin have the authority to place moratoriums on new development of land while updating land-use plans. SC opinion

COA opinion

2006AP2761 Audio
Richards v. Badger Mutual Insurance Co. This insurance liability case stems from a fatal automobile accident and wrongful death lawsuit that was filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. SC opinion
06AP1114-CR Audio
State v. Michelle R. Popenhagen This case examines whether a person has a protected right to privacy of bank records under Wisconsin law and how state law interacts with federal law regarding the question. SC opinion
06AP1114-CR Audio
State ex rel. Jose Castaneda v. Woody Welch, et al. This case could determine the scope of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission’s rulemaking authority. SC opinion
04AP3306 Audio
State v. Jeffrey Allen House This is an appeal by a man who was convicted of conspiracy to deliver cocaine. The issue before the Wisconsin Supreme Court is whether the circuit court should have suppressed evidence that was gathered from a wiretap that the defendant alleges was illegal. SC opinion
05AP2202-CR Audio
Kristie L. M., et al v. Dennis E. M. The issue raised in this case is whether the lower courts infringed on a parent’s constitutional right to have a relationship with a child by expanding the definition of “severe” bruising to include any bruising. SC opinion
05AP1034 Audio
State ex rel. Jose Castaneda v. Woody Welch, et al. This case could determine the scope of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission’s rulemaking authority. SC opinion
04AP3306 Audio
State v. Robert E. Post This case examines the legality of a traffic stop, and whether there was reasonable suspicion to investigate when an officer observed a vehicle weaving within its own lane. SC opinion

COA opinion

05AP2778 Audio
State of Wisconsin v. Edward Bannister In its petition for review, the state has asked the Supreme Court to clarify whether the corroboration rule operates as a rule of admissibility or a rule of substantive evidence. SC opinion

COA opinion

05AP767-CR Audio

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2006

Case Adobe PDF Description Opinion(s) Adobe PDF Case No./ Briefs Adobe PDF Listen to argument
Shannon E.T. v. Alicia M.V.M. The case involves a man who hopes to establish that he is the father of a stillborn baby so he can pursue a wrongful death claim based upon the stillbirth. The circuit court dismissed his case, and the Court of Appeals affirmed this decision but under different reasoning. Now the Supreme Court will clarify whether the law permits an unmarried man who claims to be the father of a stillborn baby to seek a legal order establishing himself as the father for purposes of filing a wrongful death claim. SC opinion

COA opinion

05AP77 Audio
City of Milwaukee v. Ruby Washington This case involves a woman with infectious tuberculosis (TB) who was confined in the Milwaukee County jail to keep her from spreading the disease after she refused to follow her treatment regimen. The Supreme Court will clarify whether the circuit court had the authority to order confinement in this type of facility. SC opinion

COA opinion

05AP3141 Audio
Karl McNeil v. Brandon Hansen This case involves a man who was injured while working on a vehicle at an oil change shop. The Supreme Court is expected to determine whether the man’s co-worker, who was standing outside the vehicle but set it in motion by leaning in and turning the key, was operating the vehicle under the meaning in the Worker’s Compensation Statute. SC opinion

COA certification

05AP423 Audio
State v. David Allen Bruski This case involves a police search of a travel bag. The Supreme Court is expected to determine if the search was legal. SC opinion

COA opinion

05AP1516-CR Audio
Jo-El Hanson v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company This is a personal injury case arising out of a car crash. The woman who was injured sought medical treatments, including a surgery that allegedly was not medically necessary. The Supreme Court is expected to clarify whether there is a difference between unnecessary surgery and surgery that is badly performed for purposes of allowing the accident victim to recover compensation for medical expenses. SC opinion

COA opinion

04AP2065
Audio
State v. Brian Hibl This is a so-called “accidental confrontation” case involving an encounter that occurred by chance rather than as a part of a police investigation. The Supreme Court is expected to clarify the admissibility of this type of eyewitness identification. SC opinion

COA opinion

04AP2936-CR

Audio
Lina M. Mueller v. McMillian Warner Insurance Company This case began with an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Those in a position to render aid to the victim claimed not to have immediately recognize her injuries. The Supreme Court is expected to clarify the circumstances under which a person who comes to the aid to an injured person at or near the scene of an accident is immune from civil liability under the Good Samaritan law. SC opinion

COA opinion

05AP121 Audio
State v. Scott K. Fisher This is a ‘concealed carry’ case. The Supreme Court will decide if the law that prohibits carrying concealed weapons may be enforced against a business owner who kept a loaded gun in the console of his vehicle for security while making night deposits. SC opinion
04AP2989-CR Audio
State v. Mark D. Jensen This case stems from a Kenosha County homicide investigation. The question before the Supreme Court is whether a voice mail message and a letter that the victim left behind, and that implicate the defendant, were properly barred from evidence. SC opinion 04AP2481-CR Audio

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