Wisconsin Supreme Court accepts seven new cases

Madison, Wisconsin - December 17, 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 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.

2019AP1404-CR State v. Burch
Supreme Court case type: Certification
Court of Appeals: District III
Circuit Court: Brown County, Judge John Zakowski
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. George Steven Burch, Defendant-Appellant

Issues presented:

  1. Would a reasonable person consider the scope of consent to search a cell phone to be limited by the person's discussion with law enforcement, or would a reasonable person properly consider a subsequent discussion about police extracting "the information" from the cell phone as showing the person had consented to police searching the phone in its entirety?
  2. May a reasonable person consider the broad scope of the consent form signed by Burch despite the officer's initial request to review only the text messages on the phone?
  3. After police downloaded information from the cell phone, what portion of Burch's data could it lawfully retain?
  4. If the police department was permitted to retain some or all of the downloaded material, how long could it do so?
  5. Did the status of the original investigation that produced the download affect the ability of police to lawfully retain the downloaded material?
  6. Did the police have any obligation to return the downloaded material to Burch, and if so, when?

2019AP1272-CR State v. Lickes
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District IV
Circuit Court: Green County, Judge James R. Beer, reversed
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Jordan Alexander Lickes, Defendant-Respondent-Petitioner

Issues presented:

  1. Does the expungement statute's requirement that a probationer have "satisfied the conditions of probation" also mean that the probationer must perfectly comply at all times with each and every rule of probation set by the probation agent?
  2. When a circuit court chooses to hold a hearing and exercise discretion to determine whether a probationer who violated a rule set by his agent has nevertheless "satisfied the conditions of probation" so as to qualify for expungement, should the appellate court review the circuit court's decision for an erroneous exercise of discretion?
  3. When a circuit court makes factual findings concerning whether a probationer violated a condition of probation rendering him ineligible for expungement, must the appellate court uphold the finding in the absence of clear error?

2019AP2073 Fond du Lac County v. S.N.W.
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District II
Circuit Court: Fond du Lac County, Judge Dale L. English, affirmed
Long caption: In the matter of the mental commitment of S.N.W.: Fond du Lac County, Petitioner-Respondent, v. S.N.W., Respondent-Appellant-Petitioner

Issues presented:

  1. Did the circuit court lack competency to proceed with the final hearing due to the 48-hour rule violation?
  2. If the circuit court retained competency, did it err in admitting the tardy report and its author's testimony?
  3. Was the evidence presented at S.N.W.'s final hearing sufficient to prove him dangerous?
  4. Is this appeal moot?

2019AP1983-CR State v. Beyer
Supreme Court case type: Certification
Court of Appeals: District IV
Circuit Court: Dane County, Judge William E. Hanrahan
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Jacob Richard Beyer, Defendant-Appellant.

Issue presented: Whether the guilty-plea-waiver rule applies when a defendant pleads not guilty to an offense, but stipulates to the inculpatory facts supporting each element of the offense, and explicitly agrees to a finding of guilt at a hearing before the circuit court at which no witness testifies.

2019AP1200 Schwab v. Schwab
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District I
Circuit Court: Milwaukee County, Judge Michael J. Dwyer, reversed
Long caption: In re the marriage of: Kathy Schwab, n/k/a Siech, Petitioner-Respondent-Petitioner v. Paul Schwab, Respondent-Appellant

Issues presented: Does Wis. Stat. § 893.40 deprive the circuit court of its inherent and statutory contempt power under Wis. Stat. ch. 785 when one party brings a contempt action to enforce a vested property right, which was not obtainable until after 20 years from the entry of the judgment?

2020AP1718-OA Fabick v. Evers1 (argued Nov. 16, 2020)
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Original Action
Court of Appeals: District IV
Long caption: Jere Fabick, Petitioner, v. Tony Evers, in his Official Capacity as the Governor of Wisconsin, Respondent

Issues presented: Whether Governor Tony Evers violated Wis. Stat. § 323.10 when he issued multiple and successive executive orders declaring a state of emergency beyond 60 days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020AP1742 Tavern League v. Palm (argued Dec. 17, 2020)
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District III
Long caption: Tavern League of Wisconsin, Inc., Sawyer County Tavern League, Inc. and Flambeau Forest Inn LLC, Plaintiffs v. Andrea Palm and Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Defendants-Respondents-Petitioners, Julia Lyons, Defendant-Respondent, THE MIX UP, INC (D/B/A, MIKI JO'S MIX UP), Liz Sieben,
Pro-Life Wisconsin Education Task Force, Inc., Pro-Life Wisconsin, Inc. and Dan Miller, Intervenors-Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Issues presented: Did the court of appeals err in concluding that Emergency Order 3 is invalid because it was not promulgated as a rule pursuant to Wis. Stat. ch. 227?

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:

19AP1532-CR State v. Lecker

19AP486-CR State v. Crawford

19AP708-CR State v. Blanchard

19AP629 Jama v. Gonzalez–Justice Ann Walsh Bradley and Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet dissent. Justice Jill J. Karofsky did not participate.
20AP160-CR State v. Engen–Justice Jill J. Karofsky did not participate.

19AP280-CR State v. Lussier

18AP1746-CR State v. McNair

18AP152 State v. Boruch–Justice Ann Walsh Bradley did not participate.

19AP197 J.W. v. R.B.

16AP752-CRNM State v. Williams
18AP2155-2156-CR State v. Nicolai
19AP36-37-CR State v. Lathon
19AP126-CR State v. Foster
19AP157-CR State v. Jew
19AP504 State v. Shipp
19AP1014-CR State v. Rivera-Diaz
19AP1056 State v. Anderson
19AP1292-CR State v. Cantrell
19AP1770-CR State v. Taylor
19AP2049-CRNM State v. Myles
20AP302-W Brown v. Hepp
20AP962 State v. K.A.B.
20AP1109 State v. D.Q.

18AP2269-CR State v. Dieter
19AP802-CR State v. Nichols

17AP1607-CRNM State v. Ducksworth
20AP1761-OA O'Bright v. Lynch–Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack concurs. Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet, and Justice Jill J. Karofsky dissent.

18AP2427-CR State v. Harper
19AP1144-CR State v. Levanduski

20AP1749-OA Lindoo v. Evers

19AP738-CR State v. Hardaway
20AP93 Rock County v. R.J.

19AP1366 Fabian v. Fabian

19AP968-CR State v. McGee

19AP293 State v. Stephens

19AP1621 Galston v. Castonia

1 Petition for leave to commence an original action granted on 10/28/20.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

Back to current headlines