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2017

Supreme Court brings Justice on Wheels to Jefferson County

Madison, Wisconsin - August 23, 2017

The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear oral argument in three cases at the Jefferson County Courthouse on Sept. 20 as part of its Justice on Wheels outreach program.

Jefferson is the 28th county outside Dane County where the Supreme Court has held argument since the Justice on Wheels program began in 1993. Justice on Wheels gives people outside the Madison area, including students, teachers, and the general public, an opportunity to observe the Court at work, without having to travel to the state Capitol.

During oral argument, lawyers present the strong legal reasons for the Court to decide in their client’s favor. Justices have an opportunity to respond or ask questions directly of the lawyers during carefully timed presentations.

Local attorneys from the Jefferson County Bar Association will take a few minutes prior to each argument to introduce the audience to some of the legal issues, the process used to decide a case, and the role of the courts in interpreting the law. Only cases that present novel legal questions of statewide importance are accepted for Supreme Court review.

Seats to watch the Court's hearings are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling the Court at (608) 266-1298 or e-mailing Sara Foster, sara.foster@wicourts.gov, by Sept. 5. Cases will be heard in Branch 2 of the Jefferson County Courthouse, 311 S. Center Ave., Jefferson.

Argument in each case is expected to last about an hour, with attorney-provided introductions starting at approximately 9:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. A brief description of each case is listed below. Additional information is available on the Wisconsin court system’s website at www.wicourts.gov/supreme/sc_oralargs.jsp. Prior to hearing the cases, at 8:45 a.m., the Court will open its visit with a welcome ceremony attended by local judges, other officials and community leaders.

Also as part of Justice on Wheels, the Supreme Court sponsors an essay contest for local fifth graders. The contest is a fun way for students to learn about the Wisconsin and U.S. constitutions. Contest rules have been sent to each Jefferson County fifth-grade teachers. If you would like more information, contact Supreme Court Marshal Tina Nodolf at tina.nodolf@wicourts.gov.

Since 1993, Justice on Wheels has brought the Wisconsin Supreme Court to the following counties: Brown, Eau Claire, Marathon, Milwaukee, La Crosse, Douglas, Rock, Kenosha, Sauk, Dodge, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Racine, Fond du Lac, Walworth, Waushara, St. Croix, Winnebago, Iowa, Washington, Columbia, Green, Sheboygan, Waukesha, Grant and Bayfield.

Below is a brief summary of some of the issues involved in each case to be heard in Jefferson. Educational materials for teachers, students and others who are interested in learning about the judicial branch of government can be found on the Wisconsin court system website at: www.wicourts.gov/courts/resources/index.htm

9:30 a.m.: 15AP1610-CR State v. Ginger M. Breitzman
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District I
Circuit Court: Milwaukee County, Judge Rebecca F. Dallet, affirmed
Issues presented: This case examines whether the First Amendment precludes a disorderly conduct charge for profane statements from one family member to another within the home and whether the circumstances presented here would support a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for not making such an argument at trial court.

11 a.m.: 2015AP583 Movrich v. Lobermeier
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District III (District I judges)
Circuit Court: Price County, Judge Patrick J. Madden, affirmed
Issues presented: This case, involving a dispute among siblings and neighbors over the installation of a pier, examines the state’s Public Trust Doctrine. The Supreme Court reviews three issues:

  • Does the doctrine allow the respondent upland lot owners (Movriches) to install a dock onto or over a portion of the Sailor Creek Flowage bed, the record title to which bed is privately owned in fee by the petitioners (Lobermeiers), not by the state of Wisconsin in trust, as in instances of a natural lake?
  • Does the doctrine allow the respondent upland lot owners (Movriches) to directly access the water of the Sailor Creek Flowage from their upland lot where the record title to the flowage bed is privately owned in fee by petitioners (Lobermeiers), not by the state of Wisconsin in trust, as in instances of a natural lake?
  • Does the doctrine, in addition to bestowing the public with various recreational rights to and uses of navigable water, also effect the transfer of private property interests in instances of privately owned flowage bed?

2 p.m.: 2016AP173-CR State v. Grandberry
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District I
Circuit Court: Milwaukee County, Judge Janet C. Protasiewicz, affirmed
Issues presented: This case examines laws related to the concealed carry and transport of weapons. The Supreme Court reviews:

  • As a matter of law, is there sufficient evidence to convict a person for carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), contrary to Wis. Stat. § 941.23, if the firearm is being transported in a vehicle in full compliance with the safe transport statute, Wis. Stat. § 167.31?
  • Is the CCW statute void for vagueness as applied to a person like Brian Grandberry who transports a firearm in a vehicle in full compliance with the safe transport statute?

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