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Defendant’s consent to a blood draw was not given freely and voluntarily under the Fourth Amendment, and the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule did not apply in this case. Defendant submitted to a blood draw after a law enforcement officer stated the consequences of refusing to submit to a test. The information given to Defendant, however, was not accurate. The circuit court granted Defendant’s motion to suppress the results of the blood test obtained under Wisconsin’s implied consent law. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded to the circuit court to reinstate its order suppressing the evidence, holding (1) the State did not prove by clear and convincing evidence that Defendant’s consent to the blood draw was freely and voluntarily given under the Fourth Amendment and thus valid; and (2) the exclusionary rule’s deterrent effect will be served by suppressing evidence of Defendant’s blood test. View "State v. Blackman" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for possession with intent to deliver non-narcotic controlled substances as a repeat offender, holding that the trial court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress. A search of Defendant’s person revealed illegal drugs in Defendant’s possession. The search was warrantless but allegedly consensual. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, arguing that the officer extended the traffic stop without reasonable suspicion, and therefore, his consent was void. The circuit court denied the motion after a suppression hearing. Defendant filed a postconviction motion arguing that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at the suppression hearing. The circuit court denied the motion. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress and the denial of his postconviction motion. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the officer did not extend Defendant’s traffic stop because the request to perform a search of his person was part of the stop’s mission; (2) Defendant was lawfully seized at the time of the request, and Defendant provided his consent to the search freely and voluntarily; and (3) trial counsel did not perform deficiently. View "State v. Floyd" on Justia Law

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Applying Wis. Stat. 70.47(7)(aa) and Wis. Stat. 74.37(4)(a) in a manner that required submission to a tax assessor’s search as a precondition to challenging the revaluation of their property violated Plaintiffs’ due process rights. Plaintiffs brought this case claiming that the assessment of their real property was excessive and that sections 70.47(7)(aa) and 74.37(4)(a), as applied, were unconstitutional because they conditioned their right to challenge the assessor’s valuation of the property on submission to a search of the interior of their home. The circuit court granted summary judgment for the Town. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that sections 70.47(7)(aa) and 73.37(4)(a) were unconstitutionally applied to Plaintiffs. View "Milewski v. Town of Dover" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Frederick Wells, holding that North Highland, Inc. failed present sufficient evidence to support either its claim of conspiracy to breach a fiduciary duty or its claim of misappropriation of a trade secret. North Highland alleged that Wells conspired to breach a fiduciary duty that a former North Highland employee owed to the company and that Wells misappropriated a trade secret. The court of appeals affirmed the circuit court order, concluding that North Highland failed to set forth facts establishing that there was a conspiracy or that a trade secret was misappropriated. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the record was insufficient to support a conspiracy claim or a misappropriation of a trade secret claim. View "North Highland Inc. v. Jefferson Machine & Tool Inc." on Justia Law

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Appellant pleaded no contest to operating after revocation, causing death, contrary to Wis. Stat. 343.44(1)(b) and (2)(ar)4. After a hearing, the sentencing court sentenced Appellant to the maximum sentence of six years. Appellant filed a postconviction motion, arguing that section 343.44(2)(ar)4 is ambiguous and unconstitutional. The court of appeals affirmed but remanded the case to the circuit court for resentencing. The Supreme Court affirmed and remanded to the circuit court for a new sentencing hearing, holding (1) any ambiguity in the statutory scheme is clarified by the statutes’ legislative history; (2) the statutory scheme does not violate Defendant’s rights to either due process or equal protection; and (3) section 343.44(2)(b) is mandatory, and the record failed to demonstrate that the circuit court considered the required factors enumerated in the statute. View "State v. Villamil" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The circuit court’s finding that Defendant consented to a blood draw was not clearly erroneous, and Defendant’s consent was voluntary. Defendant was convicted of operating while intoxicated, third offense. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress the results of a blood test, arguing that it was an unconstitutional search because he did not consent to having his blood drawn. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, under the totality of the circumstances, Defendant voluntarily consented to the blood draw. The dissent argued that neither a driver’s obtaining a Wisconsin operators license nor a driver’s operating a motor vehicle in Wisconsin is a manifestation of actual consent to a later search of the driver’s person by a blood draw. View "State v. Brar" on Justia Law

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Colorado v. Bertine, 479 U.S.C. 367 (1987), does not require officers to follow “standard criteria” when conducting a community caretaker impoundment. Defendant, a suspected in the armed robbery of a bank, was arrested under an outstanding probation warrant. Police officers chose to impound the car in which Defendant was found. Officers then conducted an inventory search of the seized vehicle at the police station, a search that turned up several items held for safekeeping. The State then charged Defendant with armed robbery. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained from the search and seizure of the car. The circuit court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the officers possessed a bona fide community caretaker justification for impounding Defendant’s car; and (2) the warrantless seizure of Defendant’s car after his arrest was constitutionally reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. View "State v. Asboth" on Justia Law

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Appointing a registered agent under Wis. Stat. 180.1507 does not signify consent to general personal jurisdiction in Wisconsin. Plaintiffs filed this suit against Defendant, alleging that Defendant fraudulently misrepresented the quality of mortgages underlying certain securities. Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. The circuit court dismissed the complaint, concluding that Wisconsin courts could not exercise general jurisdiction over Defendant. The court of appeals reversed, holding that by maintaining a Wisconsin agent to receive service of process, Defendant subjected itself to the general jurisdiction of Wisconsin courts and actually consented to personal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Defendant’s compliance with section 180.1507 did not, on its own, confer general jurisdiction in Wisconsin. View "Segregated Account of Ambac Assurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc." on Justia Law

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An employee is not eligible for benefits under Wis. Stat. 102.42(1m) if the disability-causing treatment was directed at treating something other than the employee’s compensable injury. Plaintiff suffered from a soft-tissue strain, which was work-related, and a degenerate disc disease, which was not work-related. In the belief that it was necessary to treat her soft-tissue strain, Plaintiff underwent surgery, which, in actuality, was treating the unrelated degenerative disc disease. The procedure left Plaintiff with a permanent partial disability. Plaintiff filed a workers’ compensation claim, which the * Commission denied. The circuit court affirmed. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that, based on its interpretation of section 102.42(1m), an employee need only have a good faith belief that the treatment was required. The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals and affirmed the Commission’s order dismissing Plaintiff’s claim for disability benefits, holding that Plaintiff’s claim must be allowed because her surgery treated her pre-existing condition, not her compensable injury. View "Flug v. Labor & Industry Review Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals that affirmed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Appleton Area School District’s Communications Arts 1 Materials Review Committee (CAMRC) and the Appleton Area School District Board of Education on Plaintiff’s complaint that CAMRC failed to comply with the open meetings law. The circuit court concluded that CAMRC was not subject to the open meetings law. The Supreme Court held that CAMRC was a “state or local…committee…created by…rule” and therefore met the definition of “governmental body” under the open meetings law, Wis. Stat. 19.82(1). Accordingly, CAMRC was subject to the terms of the open meetings law. View "State ex rel. Krueger v. Appleton Area School District Board of Education" on Justia Law

Posted in: Education Law