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Municipalities – judicial review


Municipalities – judicial review


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Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Municipalities – judicial review

A party may appeal a traffic forfeiture disposition based on a docket entry, rather than a written final order, when a municipal court decision has been appealed to a circuit court.

“A committee note to the statute assists us in determining legislative intent. The note indicates that the exceptions to the general requirement of a written decision for traffic forfeiture and municipal ordinance cases were added in a response to the high volume of cases being appealed from docket entries shortly after the formation of the court of appeals, and the widespread practice of counties to not enter a separate judgment in those types of cases. See Judicial Council Committee note, 1979, WIS. STAT. § 808.03; see also 1979 Wis. Laws, ch. 187, § 1. This court continues to see a significant number of appeals from docket entries in traffic forfeiture and municipal ordinance cases, including those that were prosecuted initially in municipal court such as this case. That suggests that docket entries are still widely used in lieu of written orders in such cases without distinction as to whether the cases originated in municipal or circuit court. Thus, to the extent that the intent behind the statute is to accommodate the actual practice of the circuit courts, the broadest interpretation of the phrase ‘prosecuted in circuit court’ best effectuates that purpose.”

Jurisdiction confirmed.

Recommended for publication in the official reports.

2011AP1440 Village of McFarland v. Zetzman

Dist. IV, Dane County, McNamara, J., Per Curiam.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Hyland, John D., Madison; For Respondent: West, Erin A., Madison


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