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Involuntary Commitment

By: Derek Hawkins//February 16, 2022//

Involuntary Commitment

By: Derek Hawkins//February 16, 2022//

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WI Supreme Court

Case Name: Waukesha County v. E.J.W.,

Case No.: 2021 WI 85

Focus: Involuntary Commitment

The petitioner, E.J.W., seeks review of an unpublished, authored decision of the court of appeals affirming the circuit court’s order extending his involuntary commitment. He argues that the circuit court incorrectly determined that his jury trial demand was untimely.

Pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 51.20(11)(a), “A jury trial is deemed waived unless demanded at least 48 hours in advance of the time set for final hearing.” E.J.W. did not request a jury trial before the first time set for his final hearing, but that hearing was adjourned and rescheduled. He demanded a jury trial more than 48 hours before the rescheduled date, and he argues that this request was timely under § 51.20(11)(a) so as to entitle him to a jury trial.

We conclude that E.J.W.’s jury demand was timely. Wisconsin Stat. § 51.20(11)(a) does not limit the filing of a jury demand to only the first time that a final hearing is set. Rather, we determine that when a final hearing is rescheduled, § 51.20(11)(a) allows a jury demand to be filed up until 48 hours prior to a rescheduled final hearing.

Accordingly, we reverse the decision of the court of appeals.



Dissent: ZIEGLER, C.J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROGGENSACK and REBECCA GRASSL BRADLEY, JJ., joined.

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Derek A Hawkins is Corporate Counsel, at Salesforce.


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