Wisconsin Supreme Court accepts seven new cases

Madison, Wisconsin - September 30, 2020

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept seven new cases, and the Court acted to deny review in a number of other cases. The case numbers, counties of origin and the issues presented in granted cases are listed below. More detailed synopses will be released at a later date. More information about pending appellate cases can be found on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Access website. Published Court of Appeals opinions can be found here, and the status of pending Supreme Court cases can be found here.

2019AP447-CR State v. VanBeek
Supreme Court case type: Certification
Court of Appeals: District II
Circuit Court: Sheboygan County, Judge Kent R. Hoffmann
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Heather Jan VanBeek, Defendant-Appellant

Issue presented: Whether a consensual encounter becomes an unconstitutional seizure under the Fourth Amendment when an officer requests and takes an individual's driver's license to the officer's squad car without reasonable suspicion.


2018AP2318-CR State v. Johnson
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District II
Circuit Court: Walworth County, Judge Kristine E. Drettwan, reversed and cause remanded with directions
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent-Petitioner v. Alan M. Johnson, Defendant-Appellant

Issue presented:

  1. Was Johnson entitled to a jury instruction for perfect self-defense based on his testimony concerning his motivation for trespassing with a loaded firearm in K.M.'s house, despite the fact that K.M. was unarmed, shot five times, and Johnson could not recall anything about the shooting other than that K.M. "lunged" at him?
  2. Was Johnson entitled to submission of the lesser-included offense of second-degree reckless homicide under the above circumstances?
  3. Did the circuit court erroneously exercise its discretion in excluding evidence of alleged child pornography1 Johnson found on K.M.'s computer before he killed K.M.?

2019AP488 Kemper Indep. Ins. Co. v. Islami
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District II
Circuit Court: Waukesha County, Judge William Domina, affirmed
Long caption: Kemper Independence Insurance Company, Plaintiff-Respondent v. Ismet Islami, Defendant-Appellant-Petitioner

Issues presented:

  1. What degree of endangerment must exist for innocent victims of abuse to support application of the public policy limitations on insurance contracts under Wis. Stat. § 631.95(2)(f)?
  2. Whether the Wisconsin marital property act, Wis. Stat. § 766.01(7) and (8), which provides that a judgment of legal separation effectuates "dissolution" of marriage as a matter of law, applies to property insurance.
  3. Whether the public policy of the state of Wisconsin prohibits a property insurer from denying payment to an "innocent insured" victim of arson pursuant to the seminal supreme court decision in Hedtcke v. Sentry Insurance Company, 10 Wis. 2d 461, 326 N.W.2d 727, 739 (1992).
  4. Whether the language of the "intentional loss" clause in the subject policy, which specifically severs and preserves recovery rights under the policy to "innocent insureds," supersedes conflicting language of the "concealment or fraud" clause.
  5. Whether the wording of the "concealment or fraud" clause of the subject homeowner's policy is ambiguous, when viewed in isolation.
  6. Whether the superseding Wisconsin endorsement conditions E. and G. prohibit application of the "concealment or fraud" condition relied upon by Kemper to void coverage.

2019AP411-CR State v. Chambers
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District I
Circuit Court: Milwaukee County, Judge Jeffrey A. Wagner, affirmed
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent v. Decarlos K. Chambers, Defendant-Appellant-Petitioner

Issue presented: Whether the Court of Appeals had erred in affirming the trial court's Decision and Order in denying Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief.


2018AP1782 Graef v. Cont'l Indem. Co
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District III
Circuit Court: Marinette County, Judge James A. Morrison and Judge David G. Miron, reversed
Long caption: Francis G. Graef, Plaintiff-Respondent-Petitioner, v. Continental Indemnity Company, Defendant-Appellant, ABC Insurance Company, Defendant
Francis G. Graef, Plaintiff-Respondent-Petitioner v. Applied Underwriters, Inc., Defendant Appellant, ABC Insurance Company, Defendant

Issue presented: Does the exclusive remedy statute (Wis. Stat. § 102.03(2)) bar a claim for severe injury resulting from an attempted suicide against a worker's compensation insurer which wrongfully withheld depression-curing medication when the insurer denies all liability for compensating that injury under the worker's compensation act?


2019AP435-CR State v. Genous
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District I
Circuit Court: Milwaukee County, Judge Dennis R. Cimpl, reversed
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent-Petitioner, v. James Timothy Genous, Defendant-Appellant

Issue presented: Do the following facts contribute to reasonable suspicion of illegal drug activity: a brief encounter in a car between two or more people, an officer's belief that one or more people is a known drug user, the time of day or night, and the car's headlights turning off right before the encounter and turning back on right afterward?


2019AP1767-CR State v. Christen
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District IV
Circuit Court: Dane County, Judge Nicholas McNamara, affirmed
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Mitchell L. Christen, Defendant-Appellant-Petitioner

Issue presented: Does the consumption of a legal intoxicant void the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to carry a firearm for the purpose of self-defense?


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:

18AP778 Roberts v. Roberts
18AP1275-CRNM State v. Strong

18AP1877-1888 MidCountry Bank v. Bork

19AP1084 Oaks v. Stouff

19AP272 Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. v. Wis. Elections Commission
19AP1389-OA Vos v. Kaul – Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley dissents.

19AP1140 State v. Weyker

18AP2079-CR State v. Robinson

17AP895 State v. Wendling
19AP24-CR State v. Jackson

Green Lake
18AP2171-CR State v. New

18AP1685 Martinez v. Regent Insurance Company

18AP1638-CR State v. Henderson

La Crosse
20AP1204-OA Alexander v. La Crosse County Circuit Court

18AP1037 Marathon County v. R.J.O.
19AP81-CR State v. Stauner – Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley dissents.

20XX798 Marinette County HHS v. J.D.

18AP801-CR State v. Johnson – Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet did not participate.
18AP1279-CRNM State v. McClinton
18AP1627 State v. Hopgood
19AP17-19AP18 -CR State v. Chambers
19AP270-CR State v. Perry
19AP290-CR State v. Tran
19AP389-CR State v. Baier
19AP464-CR State v. Cornejo
19AP494 State v. Stinson
19AP598-599-CR State v. Carter
19AP649-CR State v. Lovies
20AP258-W Conley v. Court of Appeals, District I
20AP680-W Ferguson v. City of Milwaukee Attorney's Office – Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet did not participate.
20AP751-W Bach v. Circuit Court for Milwaukee County

19AP1261-CR State v. Schumacher

18AP2340-CR State v. Lasecki

18AP2111 State v. Nicholson
19AP781 State v. Ward
19AP855 State v. D.I.G. – Justice Ann Walsh Bradley dissents.

18AP2225-CR State v. Beach

19AP764-766-CR State v. Statler
19AP992-CR State v. Alphonse

20AP203-W Jackson v. Circuit Court of Vernon County

19AP682-CR State v. Schoonover
19AP869 Pulera v. Town of Richmond

2020AP251-W Borowski v. Circuit Court for Washington County – Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley dissents.

18AP1711-CR State v. Bryson
18AP2167 City of Waukesha v. Green
19AP341 State v. Oswald
20AP592 Waukesha County HHS v. S. S.
20AP1161-W Stephens v. Evers

19AP573 A.C.-E. v. I.M. – Justice Ann Walsh Bradley and Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet dissent.

19AP840-CR State v. Netzer

1 The State disputed that there was actual pornography on KM's computer.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

Back to current headlines