WI Court of Appeals – District IV
Case Name: Town of Mentor v. State of Wisconsin, et al.,
Case No.: 2020AP1681
Officials: Blanchard, P.J., Kloppenburg, and Graham, JJ.
Focus: Sex Offender Placement – Intervention
This chapter 980 commitment case began in 2001 with the filing of a petition in the circuit court requesting that Charles Montgomery be committed as a sexually violent person. See WIS. STAT. ch. 980 (2019-20). The court ordered Montgomery civilly committed to a secure mental health facility. In June 2020, after Montgomery and the State reached a stipulation that he met the criteria for supervised release, the circuit court issued an order under which Montgomery’s residential placement would be in the Town of Mentor, in Clark County. The court based this decision on a placement report compiled by a temporary county-created committee that identified the residence as suitable for Montgomery’s placement and a supervised release plan written by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The Town filed a motion requesting that the circuit court allow it to intervene in this case as a matter of right. The circuit court denied the motion and the Town appeals.
The Town argues that it is entitled to intervene to advance the position that, under pertinent provisions of chapter 980, Montgomery’s proposed placement in the Town is improper. We conclude that, when the Town’s intervention interest is properly understood, the Town fails to meet at least one of the four required elements to establish entitlement to intervention as a matter of right under WIS. STAT. § 803.09(1). Specifically, the Town fails to show that Montgomery’s placement in the Town may as a practical matter impair its ability to protect its only asserted interest in this case.
The Town also argues that Montgomery does not meet the qualifications for supervised release and that this supports the Town’s motion for intervention. We conclude that the Town forfeited this argument for intervention because it failed to raise it in the circuit court and we decline to disregard forfeiture under the circumstances of this case. Accordingly, we affirm.
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Derek A Hawkins is Corporate Counsel, at Salesforce.[/box]