Headlines archive

Supreme Court accepts five new cases

Madison, Wisconsin - May 30, 2007

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept five new cases. The Court also acted to deny review in a number of cases. The case numbers, issues, and counties of origin are listed below. Court of Appeals opinions/certification memos that are available online for the newly accepted cases are hyperlinked.

2004AP3239 Wis. Dept. of Revenue v. Menasha Corp.
This case stems from a dispute over whether mass-marketed software customized for use by the Menasha Corp. qualifies for a sales tax exemption under Department of Revenue rules that apply to custom computer program purchases.

The Department of Revenue has asked the Supreme Court if judicial deference to the Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission’s legal interpretation of Department rules is appropriate in cases where the Commission does not address the Department’s prior construction of its rules.

More specifically, did the Commission conclude incorrectly that Menasha Corp.’s purchase was exempt from sales tax, even if the Commission’s construction of Wis. Admin. § Tax 11.71 was properly accorded due weight? In a published decision, the District IV Court of Appeals reversed the circuit court’s judgment and affirmed the decision of the Commission, which found the purchase qualified for the exemption. From Dane County

2005AP1473/2006AP174-75 WIREdata Inc. v. Village of Sussex
This litigation concerns the scope of 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. Six years ago, WIREdata, a subsidiary of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Multiple Listing Service, cited the open records law in asking three municipalities to provide access to data bases containing property assessment information. The company wanted the data “to assist real estate agents.”

WIREdata asked for the information to be provided in the same format used by the municipalities’ private contractors. The municipalities denied WIREdata this access, but eventually provided the company with information in a portable document file (PDF) format. The municipalities characterized the intended use as marketing and re-sale of the requested information.

Both parties have asked the Supreme Court to review the matter, and the Supreme Court is expected to consider, among other things: if the municipalities in effect denied the request; if third-party consultants are proper recipients of open records requests; if any of the requested information should be confidential, and what fee, if any, should apply to such requests. From Ozaukee County

2005AP2311-CR State v. Douglas J. Plude
This appeal asks the Supreme Court to review the homicide conviction of Douglas J. Plude, who allegedly drowned his wife by holding her face in a toilet bowl. At trial, the jury heard conflicting evidence about whether Genell Plude’s death was the result of suicide or homicide. It was stipulated that she had a fatal dose of a drug called Fioricet-Codeine in her system.

The Supreme Court has been asked to consider:

  1. whether the state’s expert witness’s false statements concerning his credentials were material to a jury finding Plude guilty;
  2. if the state’s expert witness’s testimony is credible as a matter of law;
  3. if the state can withhold access to exculpatory evidence contained on a computer hard drive and instead provide access to portions of the information on compact discs, and if a defendant should be compelled to stipulate to information before having a chance to explore the computer records and;
  4. if the failure by either the coroner or the register of deeds in turning over the official death certificate is harmless error.

From Vilas County


2006AP499-CR State v. Leonard J. Quintana
In this case, the Supreme Court is expected to consider the constitutionality of Wis. Stat. § 939.632, the “violent crimes in a school zone” penalty enhancer, and whether the forehead falls within the definition of “other bodily member” under Wis. Stat. § 940.21, the mayhem statute.

Leonard Quintana is accused of striking his wife on the head three times with a hammer, causing lacerations and a skull fracture in the area of her forehead. The beating allegedly occurred in the couple’s Wausau home, located within 1,000 feet of Newman Catholic High School.

The state sought to add a school-zone penalty enhancer onto charges of mayhem and aggravated battery faced by Quintana. He also faces charges of first-degree reckless injury and one count of solicitation of first-degree intentional homicide. Quintana wants the Supreme Court to review a published District III Court of Appeals’ opinion, which reversed the circuit court’s order dismissing the mayhem charges and school-zone penalty enhancers. From Marathon County

2006AP974-CR State v. Arias
This certification request from the District IV Court of Appeals in Waukesha, involves questions about the constitutionality of a dog sniff of the exterior of a vehicle at the tail end of a traffic stop. The stop, which started with a police officer’s suspicion of traffic violations, ultimately resulted in the discovery of cocaine and a switchblade stashed in the cushions of the front seat.

The Supreme Court has been asked to determine if a dog sniff of a stopped vehicle constitutes a “search” under the Wisconsin Constitution, and if the dog sniff impermissibly extended the amount of time required for a traffic stop. From Clark County

Review denied: The Supreme Court denied review in the following cases. Supreme Court review is a matter of judicial discretion, not of right, and will be granted only when special and important reasons are presented. As the state’s law-developing court, the Supreme Court exercises its discretion to consider for review only those cases that fit certain criteria, but these criteria neither control nor fully measure the court’s discretion (see Wis. Stat. (rule) § 809.62). Except where indicated, these cases came to the Court via petition for review by the party who lost in the lower court.

Correspondence memos


  • 2006AP000350 Marriage of: Redcay

Petition for Original Action Memo


  • 2007AP000825-OA Weigel v. OLR
    Justice Louis B. Butler Jr. did not participate.

Petitions for review


  • 2006AP002000-CR State v. Delaruelle
  • 2006AP002475 Brown Co. DHS v. Jeffrey J.S.
  • 2006AP002705-CRNM State v. Rhone


  • 2006AP001767-CR State v. Yaeger


  • 2005AP000483 State v. Stevenson
  • 2005AP002770 Coady v. Cross Country Bank & Applied Card Sys.
    Justice Patience Drake Roggensack dissents.
  • 2006AP000502 Todd v. Apex Property
  • 2006AP002247 Trevino v. Frank


  • 2006AP1158 State v. Starkweather

Fond du Lac

  • 2005AP2347 State v. Feldmann
  • 2006AP1870 TPR to Logan and Keagan B.: Fond du Lac County v. Tammy B.
  • 2006AP1871


  • 2006AP660-CR State v. Warfield
  • 2006AP2812-CR State v. Latta

La Crosse

  • 2005AP2602-CR State v. Dahlby


  • 2006AP2312-W State ex. rel. O’Grady v. Marathon County


  • 2004AP2753-CR State v. Wooten
  • 2004AP3349 State v. Cornelius
  • 2005AP1112-CR State v. Espino
    Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson dissents.
  • 2005AP1172-CR State v. Meeks
  • 2005AP1663-CR State v. Davis
  • 2005AP2683 State v. Howard
  • 2005AP3146 State v. Collins
  • 2006AP426 Murphy v. Cincinnati Ins.
  • 2006AP909 State v. Curtis
  • 2006AP1075 Tallmadge v. Boyle
    Justice Louis B. Butler Jr. did not participate.
  • 2006AP1221-CR State v. Bond
  • 2006AP1912-CRNM State v. Olivera
  • 2006AP2123-CR State v. Brandt
    Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson dissents.
  • 2006AP2729 State v. Jimenez


  • 2006AP180-CR State v. Marlyn J.J.


  • 2005AP426 Appleton Papers v. Agricultural Ins. Co.
    Justice Jon P. Wilcox did not participate.
    Justice Patience Drake Roggensack dissents.
  • 2006AP646 State v. Voigt
  • 2006AP2358-CR State v. Nordquist


  • 2005AP2776 Marriage of: Motte
    Justice Jon P. Wilcox and Justice Patience Drake Roggensack dissent.


  • 2006AP828-CR State v. Sanchez


  • 2005AP1739 State v. Jackson
  • 2006AP605-CR State v. Wetter
  • 2006AP1093 State v. Tran


  • 2006AP574-CR State v. Tomporowski


  • 2005AP1419 State ex. rel. Swinson v. Frank
  • 2005AP2836 WWF Co. v. Hodgell


  • 2006AP1856 Waukesha v. Matuszek


  • 2006AP1608 Waupaca Co. DHS v. Ty A.H.


  • 2005AP1773 State ex. rel. Tyler v. Smith
  • 2006AP276 Snyder v. Eberts

For more information contact:
Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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