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Wisconsin Supreme Court accepts one new case

Madison, Wisconsin - August 14, 2012

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept one new case. The Court also acted to deny review in a number of cases. The case numbers, issues, and counties of origin are listed below. The Court of Appeals' opinion for the newly accepted case is hyperlinked.

2010AP425 State v. Starks
This criminal case examines pleading standards and procedures arising from a defendant's claims of ineffective assistance of both trial and post-conviction counsel.

Specifically, the Supreme Court reviews whether Tramell E. Starks's pro se § 974.06 motion claiming ineffective assistance of counsel is procedurally barred as a successive motion under Wis. Stat. § 974.06(4) because Starks had previously filed a pro se motion to modify his sentence to vacate a DNA surcharge. The Court also reviews whether Stark's allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel satisfy the "sufficient reason" requirement of § 974.06(4).

Some background: Starks was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, as party to a crime, and possession of a firearm by a felon. A jury convicted him of the possession charge and of first-degree reckless homicide, a lesser-included offense of the intentional-homicide charge. Starks was sentenced to a total of 36 years' initial confinement and 19 years' extended supervision. Starks, through counsel, pursued and lost a direct appeal. Starks discharged his appellate counsel and filed a pro se motion for reconsideration with the Court of Appeals, which the court denied. Starks then filed a pro se § 974.06 motion with the circuit court. The circuit court refused to accept the motion due to Starks's non-compliance with the local rules, but granted him leave to re-file the motion within the limitations of the local rules. Starks then filed with the circuit court a pro se motion to vacate a DNA surcharge. The circuit court denied the motion as time-barred. Starks then filed with the circuit court a § 974.06 motion claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel, and ineffective assistance of post-conviction counsel for failing to raise the alleged ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

The circuit court took up Starks's § 974.06 motion on its merits. It rejected each of Starks's contentions of trial counsel ineffectiveness, and thus held that Starks's post-conviction counsel was not ineffective for failing to raise these issues. Starks appealed. The court of appeals ruled that Starks's § 974.06 motion was barred by the successive motion bar under § 974.06(4) and State v. Escalona-Naranjo, 185 Wis. 2d 168, 517 N.W.2d 157 (1994). The court ruled that Starks could have raised his ineffectiveness claims at the same time as the motion to vacate the DNA surcharge. The Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL) has filed a non-party brief amicus curiae in support of Starks' pro se petition for review. WACDL argues that the Court of Appeals' interpretation of § 974.06(4) is unreasonable because it conflicts with the rationale of Escalona-Naranjo and with an unpublished appellate decision, State v. Matamoros, 2011 WI App 19, 331 Wis. 2d 487, 795 N.W.2d 62 (Table), Case No. 2009AP2982, unpub. slip op. (Ct. App. 2010). From Milwaukee County.

Review denied: The Supreme Court denied review in the following cases. As the state's law-developing court, the Supreme Court exercises its discretion to select for review only those cases that fit certain statutory criteria (see Wis. Stat. § 809.62). Except where indicated, these cases came to the Court via petition for review by the party who lost in the lower court:

2011AP1999 State v. Hammersley

2011AP38-39-CR State v. Jacobson

2011AP1086 Heck v. Heck

2010AP2638 Lawton & Cates v. Alswager
2010AP2812 State v. Moran
2011AP43 State v. Reese
2011AP970 Dane Co. v. Ezekiel G.
2011AP1833-W Lacy v. Cir. Ct. Dane Co.
2011AP2012-CR State v. Sonin
2012AP844-W Hagberg v. Pugh
2012AP899-W Schroedl v. Pugh

Eau Claire
2011AP462 State v. Robinson
2011AP2593-CR State v. Robertson

Fond du Lac
2011AP933 State v. Thiel
2011AP935 Amcore Bank v. Heus Mfg.

2011AP2470-CR State v. Adams
2011AP2647-W Jacobs v. Day - Justice Ann Walsh Bradley did not participate.

2011AP742-CR State v. O'Neill

2011AP945-CR State v. Wendt

2007AP2187-CRNM State v. Thompson
2011AP531-CR State v. Zalazar
2011AP1702-CR State v. Fields
2011AP2332 State v. Adsit

2011AP506 Stamper v. McDonald Family Holdings I
2012AP288-W Maus v. Cir. Ct. for Langlade Co.

2011AP2200 Orzel v. Schwarz

2010AP2232-CR State v. McDermott
2010AP2395 State v. One 1994 Ford
2010AP2404-CR State v. Brown
2010AP2544-CR State v. White
2010AP2559-CR State v. Young
2010AP2612-CR State v. Green
2010AP2681-CR State v. Hernandez
2010AP2834 State v. Brooks
2010AP3017-CR State v. Xolot
2011AP284 State v. Nash
2011AP308 Porter v. Cockroft
2011AP630-CR State v. Powell
2011AP791-CR State v. Lark-Holland
2011AP870-W Brown v. Baenen
2011AP1063-CR State v. Cooley
2011AP1174 Milw. Police Supervisors v. City of Milw.
2011AP1196-CR State v. Fayne
2011AP1527-W Tucker v. Tegels
2011AP1597-98-CRNM State v. Shelton
2011AP1783 Milw. Police Assoc. v. City of Milw.
2011AP2184-W Horton v. Pugh
2012AP454 State v. Elizabeth M.

2011AP359 Est. of Hammersley v. Wis. Mut. Ins.

2011AP2008 City of Appleton Police Dept. v. LIRC
2011AP2306 State v. Frank

2011AP1004 State v. Anderson

2010AP251-CR State v. Davis
2011AP188-CR State v. Bunch

2011AP640-CR State v. Henning
Rock 2011AP770-CR State v. Phiffer

2011AP1144-CR State v. Conaway

2010AP2831 Integrity Const. Group v. Neary

2010AP3027-CR State v. Reid
2011AP1232-CR State v. Metz
2012AP708-W Balliette v. Smith
2012AP870-W Blunt v. Smith

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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