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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the decision of the circuit court denying the State’s motion to recall A.L.’s juvenile delinquency proceedings, holding that the court of appeals correctly reversed the circuit court’s decision. Specifically, the Court held (1) a circuit court can resume suspended juvenile delinquency proceedings to reexamine the competency of a juvenile who was initially found not competent to proceed under Wis. Stat. 938.30(5)(d) and not likely to become competent within the statutory time frame; and (2) the circuit court retains competency over juvenile delinquency proceedings even after an accompanying juvenile in need of protection or services order has expired. View "State v. A.L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Juvenile Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals ruling that the allegations in Abbott Laboratories’ complaint against Ixthus Medical Supply, Inc. alleged a potentially covered advertising injury and, as a result, triggered West Bend Mutual Insurance Company’s duty to defend under the commercial general liability policy West Bend issued to Ixthus, holding that the court of appeals properly concluded that West Bend had a duty to defend Ixthus. The circuit court concluded that, although the allegations in Abbott’s complaint fell within the initial grant of coverage, the “knowing violation” exclusion applied, thereby eliminating any duty West Bend had to defend. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the knowing violation exclusion did not apply. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the allegations in the complaint fell within the initial grant of coverage; and (2) neither the knowing violation nor the “criminal acts” exclusions applied to remove West Bend’s duty to defend because the complaint alleged at least one potentially covered claim unaffected by either exclusion. View "West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. v. Ixthus Medical Supply, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the circuit court ordering the arbitration of a private construction dispute stayed, holding that the circuit court lacked the authority to issue the order staying the arbitration. In this private construction dispute, the circuit court ordered arbitration stayed until the court could decide an insurance coverage dispute between one of the contractors connected to the arbitration and the contractor’s insurer. CityDeck Landing LLC petitioned the Supreme Court for a supervisory writ asking the Court to exercising its superintending constitutional authority to vacate the circuit court’s order. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that the circuit court exceeded its jurisdiction by putting the private arbitration on hold. View "State ex rel. CityDeck Landing LLC v. Circuit Court for Brown County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the termination of Father’s parental rights and remanded this case to the circuit court to conduct a new trial, holding that denying a defendant an opportunity to present his case-in-chief is a structural error, one that is so intrinsically harmful as to require automatic reversal. After the State petitioned the circuit court to terminate Father’s parental rights, the case went to trial. Immediately after the State rested and before giving Father an opportunity to present his case the circuit court decided that Father was an unfit parent. On appeal, the State admitted error but argued that the circuit court’s decision was subject to a harmless-error review. The court of appeals agreed with the State and concluded that the circuit court’s error was harmless. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the circuit court erred when it decided Father was an unfit parent before he had an opportunity to present his case; and (2) the error was structural, and the case must be remanded for a new trial. View "State v. C.L.K." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed as modified the decision of the court of appeals affirming the circuit court’s denial of Appellant’s postconviction motion, holding that trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance and that there was no Brady violation in the proceedings below. Appellant was convicted of sixteen felonies based on allegations that he had repeated sexual contact with two juveniles and exposed them to pornography. Appellant filed a postconviciton motion asserting, among other things, ineffective assistance of counsel claims and a claim that the State violated its obligations under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). The circuit court denied the postconviction motion. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed as modified, holding (1) even if trial counsel’s performance was deficient, there was no prejudice to Defendant; and (2) the State did not violate Defendant’s due process rights under Brady when it failed to disclose impeachment evidence about a government witness’s pending charges. View "State v. Wayerski" on Justia Law

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In this longstanding dispute over which adjoining landowner must pay to construct and maintain partition fencing between their properties the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals, holding that the City of Watertown is responsible for conducting a statutorily-prescribed procedure for resolving fence-related disputes. Wis. Stat. 90.03 assigns responsibility for partition fences to all adjoining property owners. Chapter 90 contains a detailed procedure for quantifying costs and allocating them amongst the adjoining owners (the Enforcement Procedures). Plaintiffs brought this complaint against the City asserting that Chapter 90 authorizes cities to engage Chapter 90’s Enforcement Procedures to determine and locate the cost of constructing and maintaining the fencing. The circuit court granted declaratory relief for Plaintiffs. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Chapter 90 unambiguously authorizes cities to administer the Enforcement Procedures. View "White v. City of Watertown" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision affirming the circuit court’s dismissal of Koss Corporation’s claim that Park Bank acted in bad faith in processing transactions initiated by Sujata Sachdeva and affirmed the dismissal of Park Bank’s third-party claims, holding that Park Bank was not liable to Koss Corporation. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Park Bank on Koss Corporation’ Uniform Fiduciaries Act (UFA) claim. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Wis. Stat. 112.01(1)(c) describes the term “good faith” as honest bank acts, even when negligently done, and “bad faith” pursuant to section 112.01(9), an intentional tort, may be shown by acts evidencing bank dishonesty; and (2) Koss Corporation failed to offer evidence of bank dishonesty on the part of Park Bank, and therefore, Park Bank was not liable for the intentional tort of bad faith. View "Koss Corp. v. Park Bank" on Justia Law

Posted in: Business 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 grant of summary judgment to Steadfast Insurance Company giving Steadfast the right to recover from Greenwich Insurance Company, holding, among other things, that Greenwich breached its duty to defend. Steadfast’s right to recover from Greenwich was based on the two insurer’s relationships with Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), which was sued for alleged negligent maintenance and operation of Milwaukee’s sewerage system. After MMSD tendered its defense to the insurers, Steadfast accepted the tender but Greenwich did not. Steadfast then sued Greenwich to recover the defense costs it paid to MMSD. The Supreme Court held (1) both Greenwich and Steadfast were primary and successive insurers in regard to MMSD; (2) Greenwich breached its contractual duty to defend MMSD; (3) Steadfast had a contractual duty to defend MMSD that was not abrogated by Greenwich’s breach of its contractual duty to defend MMSD, and therefore, defense costs are allocated between Steadfast and Greenwich; and (4) Steadfast is entitled to recover attorney fees from Greenwich. View "Steadfast Insurance Co. v. Greenwich Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance 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 order dismissing Petitioner’s complaint against the Village of Sister Bay alleging that some summer concerts held in a public park were a public and private nuisance, holding (1) the court of appeals erred in failing to view each concert as a new nuisance prompting a new notice of injury period; but (2) Petitioner’s written notice of injury was not timely filed. On appeal, Petitioner asserted that it should not be barred from bringing future nuisance actions against the Village because it failed to complain within 120 days as required by Wis. Stat. 898.80(1d)(a) about a noise nuisance from the date the first concert was held in 2014. The Supreme Court held (1) contrary to the decision of the court of appeals, each concert alleged to be a nuisance constitutes a separate event for purposes of filing a written notice of injury; but (2) Petitioner’s written notice of injury, which was not served within 120 days after the date of the last concert alleged to be a nuisance, was not timely filed. View "Yacht Club at Sister Bay Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Village of Sister Bay" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals, holding that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) did not have the authority to unilaterally amend the pier permit of Philip and Terrie Myers. After the Myers were granted a permit by the DNR and built a pier at their waterfront property. Later, the DNR issued a formal permit amendment requiring the Myers to significantly change their pier. The Myers declined to comply with the permit amendment and filed a petition for judicial review. The circuit court denied the petition, concluding that the DNR had the authority to amend the pier permit. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the DNA lacked authority to amend the Myers’ permit. View "Myers v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources" on Justia Law