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At issue was at which point in time Defendant was considered “in custody” for purposes of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). The circuit court denied Defendant’s motion to suppress incriminating statements made to law enforcement officers, concluding that Defendant was not in custody at the time the statements were made. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, in light of the totality of the circumstances of this case, Defendant’s confession did not transform his status to that of “in custody.” Rather, Defendant was not in custody until detectives took his cell phone, approximately ten minutes after his confession, and instructed him to remain in the interview room. Because Defendant was not in custody until this point, which was after his alleged request for counsel, his Fifth Amendment right to counsel did not attach. View "State v. Bartelt" on Justia Law

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At issue was at which point in time Defendant was considered “in custody” for purposes of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). The circuit court denied Defendant’s motion to suppress incriminating statements made to law enforcement officers, concluding that Defendant was not in custody at the time the statements were made. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, in light of the totality of the circumstances of this case, Defendant’s confession did not transform his status to that of “in custody.” Rather, Defendant was not in custody until detectives took his cell phone, approximately ten minutes after his confession, and instructed him to remain in the interview room. Because Defendant was not in custody until this point, which was after his alleged request for counsel, his Fifth Amendment right to counsel did not attach. View "State v. Bartelt" on Justia Law

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The lower courts properly denied Defendant’s motion to withdraw the guilty plea he entered to one count of child enticement because the plea colloquy comported with both Wis. Stat. 971.08 and State v. Bangert, 389 N.W.2d 12 (Wis. 1986). The circuit court summarily denied Defendant’s plea withdrawal motion, finding that Defendant failed to establish a defect in the plea colloquy and that no evidentiary hearing was required. The court of appeals affirmed. On appeal, Defendant argued that the circuit court’s failure to tell him the legal definition of “sexual contact” at his plea hearing violated the statutory requirement that a pleading defendant must understand the nature of the charge. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant failed to establish any deficiency in his plea colloquy because sexual contact is not an element of the crime of child enticement and the record showed that Defendant understood the nature of the charge. The Supreme Court rejected the State’s request to change the Bangert requirements. View "State v. Hendricks" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Plaintiffs sued Creekside Tree Service, Inc. and its insurer, Selective Insurance Company of South Carolina, after Plaintiffs’ wife and mother was killed when a tree branch cut by Creekside fell on her while she was walking on a public path through the property of Conference Point Center. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Creekside on the ground that the recreational immunity statute, Wis. Stat. 895.52, barred claims against it. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Creekside, as the entity hired by Conference Point to complete a tree-trimming project, was not protected from liability as an “agent” of Conference Point under Wis. Stat. 895.52(2)(b); and (2) Creekside was not entitled to recreational immunity as an occupier of the Conference Point property such that it was a statutory “owner” of the property at the time of the accident. View "Westmas v. Selective Insurance Co. of South Carolina" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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At issue was whether the public interest that elections remain free from voter intimidation and coercion in this certification election was sufficient to outweigh the public interest in favor of openness of public records. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court that granted summary judgment to Madison Teachers, Inc. (MTI) on its claim that the public records law was violated by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC). WERC denied MTI’s requests, made at various times during the 2015 certification elections, for names of Madison Metropolitan School District employees who had voted as of those dates based on the WERC chairman’s determination that the public interest that elections remain free from voter intimidation and coercion outweighed the public interest. In reversing the circuit court, the Supreme Court held that the chairman lawfully performed the balancing test in concluding that the public interest in elections free from voter intimidation and coercion outweighed the public interest in favor of openness of public records. View "Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Scott" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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In this appeal from Defendant’s judgments of conviction for three crimes related to his domestic violence toward his then-girlfriend, the Supreme Court held (1) the recently amended language in Wis. Stat. 904.04(2)(b)1 allows admission of other-acts evidence with greater latitude than under an analysis pursuant to State v. Sullivan, 576 N.W.2d 30 (Wis. 1998); and (2) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of Defendant’s other acts because the court applied the correct legal standard, and admission was a conclusion that a reasonable judge could reach based on the facts of the record. View "State v. Dorsey" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals affirming the circuit court’s judgment entered in favor of Plaintiffs regarding their asserted right to install a pier and to access the Sailor Creek Flowage directly from their shoreline property. Defendants, who owned the waterbed of the Flowage where Plaintiffs’ property met the water, appealed, arguing that the presence of navigable water over their property did not affect their right to prohibit Plaintiffs from installing a pier into or over the portion of the waterbed of the Flowage that Plaintiffs owned. The Supreme Court held (1) Plaintiffs’ private property rights are not sufficient to place a pier into or over the waterbed of the Flowage without Defendants’ permission based on the rights attendant to their shoreline property; (2) the public trust doctrine conveys no private property rights, regardless of the presence of navigable water; and (3) as long as Plaintiffs are using the flowage waters for purposes consistent with the public trust doctrine, their own property rights are sufficient to access and exit the Flowage directly from their shoreline property. View "Movrich v. Lobermeier" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals affirming the circuit court’s judgment entered in favor of Plaintiffs regarding their asserted right to install a pier and to access the Sailor Creek Flowage directly from their shoreline property. Defendants, who owned the waterbed of the Flowage where Plaintiffs’ property met the water, appealed, arguing that the presence of navigable water over their property did not affect their right to prohibit Plaintiffs from installing a pier into or over the portion of the waterbed of the Flowage that Plaintiffs owned. The Supreme Court held (1) Plaintiffs’ private property rights are not sufficient to place a pier into or over the waterbed of the Flowage without Defendants’ permission based on the rights attendant to their shoreline property; (2) the public trust doctrine conveys no private property rights, regardless of the presence of navigable water; and (3) as long as Plaintiffs are using the flowage waters for purposes consistent with the public trust doctrine, their own property rights are sufficient to access and exit the Flowage directly from their shoreline property. View "Movrich v. Lobermeier" on Justia Law

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Although Wis. Stat. 103.465 explicitly refers to a covenant not to compete, the plain meaning of the statute is not limited to covenant in which an employee agrees not to compete with a former employer. Plaintiff imposed a non-solicitation of employees provision as part of Defendant’s employment agreement. The provision prohibited Defendant from soliciting, inducing, or encouraging any employee of Plaintiff to terminate his or her employment or to accept employment with a competitor, supplier or customer of Plaintiff. Plaintiff claimed that Defendant engaged in actions that violated the non-solicitation of employees provision. The circuit court concluded that the provision was reasonable and enforceable under section 103.465. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant’s non-solicitation of employees provision was a restraint of trade governed by section 103.465 and was unenforceable under the statute because it did not meet the statutory requirement that the restriction be “reasonably necessary for the protection of the employer.” View "Manitowoc Co. v. Lanning" on Justia Law

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A defendant may not seek expunction after sentence is imposed where both the language of Wis. Stat. 973.015 and State v. Matasek, 846 N.W.2d 811, require that the determination regarding expunction be made at the sentencing hearing. Defendant in this case pled no contest to crimes relating to an incident of shoplifting. After the judgments of conviction were entered and the sentence was imposed, Defendant filed a postconviction motion for sentence modification seeking entry of amended judgments of conviction finding that Defendant was eligible for expunction. The circuit court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a defendant may not seek expunction after sentence is imposed. View "State v. Arberry" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law