Wisconsin Supreme Court accepts five new cases

Madison, Wisconsin - February 2, 2021

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept five 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.

2018AP1476-CR State v. Dodson
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District I
Circuit Court: Milwaukee County, Judge M. Joseph Donald and Judge Carolina Stark, affirmed
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent v. Octavia W. Dodson, Defendant-Appellant-Petitioner

Issue presented:
Did the sentencing court violate Mr. Dodson's Second Amendment right by considering his status as a lawful gun owner an aggravating factor at sentencing?

2019AP691-CR State v. Lira

Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District I
Circuit Court: Milwaukee County, Judge Frederick C. Rosa, affirmed in part, reversed in part
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent-Petitioner v. Cesar Antonio Lira, Defendant-Appellant

Issues presented:

  1. Should Lira's award of credit be reversed because, under the terms of Wis. Stat. § 973.155, Lira's Oklahoma custody was not connected to the conduct for which he was sentenced in Wisconsin?
  2. Should State v. Brown, 2006 WI App 41, 289 Wis. 2d 823, 711 N.W.2d 708, be overruled because it misinterpreted the interplay between Wis. Stat. §§ 973.15(5) and 973.155?
  3. Should this award of credit to Lira be vacated because it is contrary to Wis. Stat. § 973.155(1)(a) and case law interpreting the statute?

2019AP1565-CR State v. Mulhern
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District III
Circuit Court: Pierce County, Judge Joseph D. Boles, reversed
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent-Petitioner v. Ryan Hugh Mulhern Defendant-Appellant

Issues presented:

  1. The manifest purpose of Wisconsin's rape shield statute is to bar evidence that is generally irrelevant and that otherwise operates to harass or humiliate sexual assault victims or to prevent them from reporting these crimes and participating in these prosecutions. Given that purpose, must the rape shield bar relevant evidence of the victim's lack of sexual conduct that the victim offers to corroborate her claim of sexual assault, that is not prejudicial to her or to the defendant, and that causes none of the harms that the statute protects against?
  2. Here, the State elicited testimony from the victim that she did not have sex the week before defendant-appellant Ryan Mulhern sexually assaulted her. The State introduced that statement to corroborate the victim's claims by establishing that Mulhern was the probable source of unidentified DNA found in her vagina the day after the assault. Assuming that the rape shield law barred the victim's statement, is the error harmless, given that the admitted evidence was relevant, non-prejudicial, and admitted in violation of a statute designed to protect victims?

2019AP1365 Duncan v. Asset Recovery Specialists, Inc.
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District IV
Circuit Court: Dane County, Judge Stephen E. Ehlke, reversed
Long caption: Danelle Duncan, Plaintiff-Appellant v. Asset Recovery Specialists, Inc., Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Greg Strandlie, Defendants-Respondents-Petitioners

Issues presented:

  1. Was the repossession of Duncan's vehicle from the ground floor, open door, multivehicle parking garage and separate parking space proper under Wis. Stat. § 425.206(2)(b), based on the circuit court's determination that the parking garage was not a "dwelling used by Duncan as a residence?"
  2. Was the Dismissal of Plaintiff's Wis. Stat. § 425.107 "Unconscionable Behavior" claim on Summary Judgment by the circuit court proper?
  3. Whether a plaintiff may bring an affirmative claim under Wis. Stat. § 425.107, or whether that section is limited to being raised only defensively in response to a suit by a merchant or creditor?

2018AP2319-CR State v. Garcia
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals: District II
Circuit Court: Racine County, Judge Michael J. Piontek, reversed
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent-Petitioner v. Manuel Garcia, Defendant-Appellant

Issue presented:
Did the Court of Appeals err when it reversed Garcia's conviction based on the legal conclusion that the introduction at trial of inculpatory statements Garcia made to police violated his rights under Miranda1 because Garcia himself did not testify, despite the fact that the circuit court admitted the statements under the "opening the door" exception, elucidated by this Court in Brecht,2 and not the impeachment exception discussed in Harris?3

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:

19AP1124-CR State v. Murphy

19AP654-CR State v. Parks

10AP2339-CRNM/ State v. Cowins
19AP902-CR State v. Conley
19AP1503-CR State v. Cuesta
19AP1553 Kalscheuer v. Kalscheuer
19AP2036 Wahoske v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company
19AP2270-CR State v. Swapsy

Fond du Lac
19AP587 State v. Brantner
19AP680-CR State v. Kienbaum
20AP958-CRNM State v. Neumann

19AP548-CR State v. Henyard
19AP757-CR State v. Blackshear
20AP607-CR State v. Cursey

La Crosse
19AP1730-CR State v. Yang

18AP999-CR State v. Bucki

19AP707-CR State v. Burns
19AP846 Kosobucki v. Kosobucki

20AP942-W Nichols v. Circuit Court for Marinette County

18AP2285-CR State v. Scarbrough
19AP667 Doe v. Foley—Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley dissent.
19AP768 State v. Taylor—Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack did not participate.
19AP1123-CR State v. Maghfour
19AP1798-CR State v. Tolbert
19AP2127-CR State v. Bunn
19AP2228 State v. M.E.
20AP1057 State v. J.M.-W.
20AP1194 State v. C.A.A.
20AP1278-W Newson v. Hepp
20AP1947-W Holloway v. Hermans

18AP672 Lauer v. Lauer

19AP94 Sierra v. Boston
19AP1178-CR State v. Brown

18AP2369-CR State v. Mao

St. Croix
19AP482-CRNM State v. Rasmussen

19AP2027-CR State v. Risch

18AP1752-CR State v. Doege
21AP56-W Stoller v. Court of Appeals, District II

18AP1897 State v. Geyser—Justice Ann Walsh Bradley and Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet dissent. Justice Brian Hagedorn did not participate.
19AP1254-CR State v. Stetina
19AP1371-CR State v. Krull
20AP1979-W Washington v. Buesgen

1 Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).
2 State v. Brecht, 143 Wis. 2d 297, 421 N.W.2d 96 (1988)
3 Harris v. New York, 401 U.S. 222 (1971)

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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