Wisconsin Supreme Court accepts nine new cases

Madison, Wisconsin - March 10, 2021

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept nine 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.

2019AP2034 Townsend v. Chartswap
Supreme Court case type:
 Petition for Review
Court of Appeals:  District I
Circuit Court:  Milwaukee County, Judge Paul R. Van Grunsven, reversed
Long caption:  Andrea Townsend, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ChartSwap, LLC, Defendant-Respondent-Petitioner

Issues presented:      

  1. Whether Wis. Stat. § 146.83(3f)(b), which limits the amount that a "health care provider" may charge for providing copies of patient health records, applies to entities that are not "health care providers"?
  2. Whether, under Wis. Stat. § 990.001(9), an agent is directly liable for any conduct that violates any statutory requirement applicable to the principal?

2019AP299 Friends of Black River Forest v. DNR
Supreme Court case type: Petiton for Review and Cross Petition for Review
Court of Appeals:  District I
Circuit Court:  Sheboygan County, Judge L. Edward Stengel and Dane County, Judge Stephen E. Ehlke, reversed
Long caption:  Friends of the Black River Forest and Claudia Bricks, Petitioners-Appellants v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Natural Resources Board, Respondents-Respondents-Cross-Petitioners, Kohler Company, Intervenor-Respondent-Petitioner

Issues presented:      
Kohler presents these issues: 

  1. Does a plaintiff satisfy the "injury-in-fact" prong of the standing test by alleging an injury that will not, and cannot, result from the challenged action until numerous intervening, uncertain, and unrelated events occur?
  2. Does a plaintiff satisfy the "zone of interest" prong of the standing test by alleging a violation of statutes and regulations that expressly grant the Department the power to take such action?
  3. Does a Plaintiff satisfy the "zone of interest" prong of the standing test merely by alleging that an injury is environmental in nature, even where the statute at issue is not?

The Department presents the following issue:

  1. Do the Friends' alleged injuries fall outside the zone of interests of the land-disposition law, so that they lack standing to challenge the Board's land exchange with Kohler?

2019AP664-CR State v. Johnson
Supreme Court case type:  Petition for Review
Court of Appeals:  District IV
Circuit Court:  Waupaca County, Judge Raymond S. Huber Ct. App. reversed
Long caption: State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent, T. A. J., Appellant, v. Alan S. Johnson, Defendant-Respondent-Petitioner

Issues presented:      

  1. Whether an alleged victim in a criminal case has standing under the 2020 Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment to lodge legal arguments in opposition to a defendant's motion for in camera review.
  2. Whether the 2020 Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment applies retroactively to an alleged victim's request for standing to lodge legal arguments in opposition to a pending motion for in camera review which was filed, and pertinent issue litigated, prior to the enactment of the amendment.
  3. Whether Wis. Stat. § 950.105, which provides in relevant part that, "[a] crime victim has a right to assert, in a court in the county in which the alleged violations occurred, his or her rights as a crime victim under the statutes or under article 1, section 9m of the Wisconsin Constitution," confers standing upon the alleged crime victim in this matter.

2019AP1206 Hennessy v. Wells Fargo Bank
Supreme Court case type:  Petition for Review
Court of Appeals:  District I
Circuit Court:  Milwaukee County, Judge William S. Pocan Ct. App. reversed.
Long caption:  Daniel J. Hennessy, Jr. and Jane E. Hennessy, Plaintiffs-Appellants-Petitioners, v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Defendant-Respondent

Issues presented:      

  1. Should Wisconsin modernize its antiquated, illogical approach to interpreting foreign countries' laws by adopting the federal and other states' commonsense approach of allowing judges to consult whatever resources they deem helpful and treating legal interpretation as a question of law?
  2. Did the circuit court correctly extend comity to the Mexican Proceeding by entering a monetary judgment for no specific amount of money in the absence of a judgment for a definite sum of money by the Mexican court?
  3. Where it is undisputed that the Wisconsin Contracts were governed by Wisconsin law and that the Mexican courts did not consider Wisconsin law, did the circuit court err in concluding that the Mexican Judgment intended, sub silentio, to find liability under the Wisconsin Contracts?

2019AP96 Friends of Frame Park v. City of Waukesha
Supreme Court case type: Petition for Review
Court of Appeals:  District II
Circuit Court:  Waukesha County, Judge Michael O. Bohren, reversed
Long caption: Friends of Frame Park, U.A., Plaintiff-Appellant v. City of Waukesha, Defendant-Respondent-Petitioner

Issues presented:      

  1. Is the test to be applied to determine if a litigant is entitled to attorney's fees under Wis. Stat. § 19.37(2)(a) of the Public Records Law whether the legal custodian properly withheld records under an exception to that law initially, regardless of whether commencement of an action was a cause of the release of the records?
  2. May a draft contract which is the subject of negotiation between a municipality and a private entity be withheld from disclosure under the Public Records Law pursuant to Wis. Stat. §§ 19.35(1)(a) and 19.85(1)(e) where the contract has not yet been presented to the municipality's governing body for review, and before it meets in closed session to do so?

2019AP1033 Sauk County v. S.A.M.
Supreme Court case type:  Petition for Review
Court of Appeals:  District IV
Circuit Court:  Sauk County, Judge Patrick J. Taggart; Court of Appeals, dismissed
Long caption: In the matter of the mental commitment of S. A. M.: Sauk County, Petitioner-Respondent v. S. A. M., Respondent-Appellant-Petitioner

Issues presented:      

  1. Whether S.A.M.'s appeal of his recommitment was moot because the commitment expired before S.A.M. filed his notice of appeal.
  2. Whether Sauk County failed to meet its burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that S.A.M. was dangerous.
  3. Whether S.A.M. was denied procedural due process because he did not receive particularized notice of the basis for his recommitment, including which of the standards of dangerousness was being alleged.
  4. Whether this court has the authority, through its "superintending and administrative authority over all courts" (Wis. Const. art. VII, § 3(1)) and/or its authority to "regulate pleading, practice, and procedure in judicial proceedings in all courts" (Wis. Stat. § 751.12(1)), to require the Court of Appeals to expedite the disposition of appeals under Wis. Stat. ch. 51, or in some other manner to ensure that appellants under Wis. Stat. ch. 51 receive an appeal that addresses the merits of the appellants' contentions?

2020AP370 Waukesha County v. E.J.W.
Supreme Court case type:  Petition for Review
Court of Appeals:  District II
Circuit Court:  Waukesha County, Judge Paul Bugenhagen Jr., affirmed.
Long caption: In the matter of the mental commitment of E.J.W.: Waukesha County, Petitioner-Respondent, v. E. J. W., Respondent-Appellant-Petitioner

Issue presented: When a final hearing is adjourned for good cause to facilitate the appointment of new counsel, is the deadline to file a jury demand reset to 48 hours in advance of the new time set for the hearing under Wis. Stat. § 51.20(11)?

2019AP1320 Brey v. State Farm
Supreme Court case type:  Petition for Review
Court of Appeals:  District IV
Circuit Court:  Monroe County, Judge Richard A. Radcliffe, reversed.
Long caption: Elliot Brey and Estate of Ryan B. Johnson, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Defendant-Respondent-Petitioner, Channing H. Mathews, Craig A. Mathews and Sentry Insurance, A Mutual Company, Defendants.

Issue presented:       

  1. Does the definition of "underinsured motorist coverage" in Wis. Stat. § 632.32(2)(d) void underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance policy provisions requiring that an insured sustain a bodily injury in order for UIM benefits to be collectable, thereby overruling the prior Court of Appeals decision in Ledman v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 230 Wis. 2d 56, 601 N.W.2d 312 (Ct. App. 1999)?

2021AP265-CQ St. Augustine School v. Taylor
Supreme Court case type:  Certified Question
Court of Appeals:  United States 7th Circuit
Long caption:  St. Augustine School, Joseph Forro and Amy Forro, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Carolyn Stanford Taylor, in her official capacity as Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Evers, in his official capacity as Superintendent of Public Education, terminated 2/14/20 and Friess Lake School District, Defendants-Appellees

Issues presented:      

  1. For purposes of determining whether two or more schools are "private schools affiliated with the same religious denomination" for purposes of Wis. Stat. 121.51, must the state superintendent rely exclusively on neutral criteria such as ownership, control, and articles of incorporation, or may the superintendent also take into account the school's self-identification in sources such as its website or filings with the state.
  2. The Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment may bear upon our interpretation of Wis. Stat. § 121.51 and its inclusion of "private schools affiliated with the same religious denomination."  In meeting the query of the certified question, should we revisit this court's decisions in State ex rel. Vanko v. Kahl, 52 Wis. 2d 206, 188 N.W.2d 210 (1971) and Holy Trinity Community School, Inc. v. Kahl, 82 Wis. 2d 139, 262 N.W.2d 210 (1978).

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:

19AP1355-CR State v. Young
20AP1515-1516-CR State v. Casteel

19AP710-CR State v. Brantner

19AP367-369-CR State v. Reynolds

20AP1125 VanDaalwyk v. Baus Family Dental Clinic

19AP1789 State v. Johnson
20AP188-CR State v. Bonfiglio

19AP1052 Kalscheuer v. Job
19AP1578-CR State v. Friar
19AP1598 State v. Moore
19AP1765-CR State v. Gehde
19AP2176-CRNM State v. Williams—Justice Jill J. Karofsky did not participate.
20AP1032 John Doe 1 v. MMSD—Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley dissents.

19AP888-CRNM State v. Page
19AP980 Kedinger v. State
19AP2268 Arrowhead Systems v. Grant Thornton LLP
20AP31 Village of Lomira v. Benninghoff
20AP1002 City of Beaver Dam v. Tomko

19AP1409-CR State v. Guyton
20AP6-CR State v. Pringle

Fond du Lac
18AP1109 State v. Glass
18AP2160 State v. Parker
19AP1251-CR State v. Brown

19AP1907 Rural Mutual Insurance Co. v. Kuhn North America

Green Lake
18AP1945-CR State v. Young

18AP1665 State v. Mass
19AP445-CR State v. Harden
19AP648-CR State v. Rose
20AP979-W Turner v. Beth
20AP1348-W DeRosch v. Evers
2021896-W Lopez-Quintero v. Circuit Court of Kenosha County

19AP2252 Kitzerow v. Thorne

16AP1747-CRNM State v. Luckett
17AP376-CRNM State v. Dawson
17AP2205-CRNM State v. Gordon
18AP164-CR State v. Wiley
18AP494-CR State v. Willis
18AP591-CR State v. Simmons
19AP205 State v. Freeman
19AP1078 State v. Gray
19AP1312 Petitioner v. Collins
19AP1449-W Woods v. Boughton
19AP1517-18-CR State v. Tobar
19AP1750-CR State v. Randolph
19AP1808-W DuBose v. McDermott—Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack did not participate.
19AP1826-CR State v. Jackson
19AP1930 Siddique v. Harbach
19AP1943-CR State v. Hooks
19AP1992-W Mitchell v. Winkleski
19AP2424 Vallejos v. Kramschuster
20AP1379-W Chestnut v. Circuit Court for Milwaukee County

18AP2446-CR State v. Locke

19AP646-CR State v. Posey

19AP974 Lowe's Home Centers, LLC v. Village of Plover—Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack and Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley dissent.  Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler did not participate.
20AP1239-FT Portage County v. L.E.

19AP194-CR State v. Nelson
19AP517-CR State v. Plencner
19AP1171 Turner v. Richardson
19AP1937-CR State v. Miller
19AP1951-CR/19AP1952-CR State v. Sanders
20AP288-CR State v. Watson

19AP993-CR State v. Palmer

19AP953 Ritger v. Estate of Dahm

19AP1990-CR State v. Barton

19AP1398-CR State v. Johnson

18AP1322-1323-CR State v. Schwerdtfeger
18AP1726-CR State v. O'Toole
19AP955 Minter v. Noback

20AP491 Washington County v. Springer

18AP2289-CR State v. Stevlic
20AP570 Waukesha County v. H.M.B.
20AP14-CR State v. Lesniewski
20AP820-FT Waukesha County v. L.J.M.

19AP1504-CR State v. Dominick
19AP2321-CR State v. Burkett

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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