WI Court of Supreme Court
Case Name: Walworth County v. M.R.M.
Case No.: 2022AP000140-FT
Officials: Rebecca Frank Dallet, J.
Focus: Jury Trial Request
The Supreme Court overturned the circuit court’s decision that denied the appellant’s request for a jury trial when his involuntary commitment was extended by twelve months in Walworth County. The Court held that the ruling in Waukesha County v. E.J.W., 966 N.W.2d 590 (Wis. 2021), should be applied retroactively to the appellant’s case and that the denial of the jury demand was incorrect.
The appellant had been involuntarily committed and forcibly medicated for six months following a mental health crisis. Subsequently, Walworth County sought to extend the appellant’s commitment for an additional twelve months. The appellant filed a jury demand at least forty-eight hours before the rescheduled final hearing, but the circuit court deemed it untimely. The Supreme Court’s decision in E.J.W. established that a jury demand is considered timely if filed at least forty-eight hours prior to a rescheduled final hearing. The appellant argued on appeal that E.J.W. should apply retroactively. The Supreme Court agreed, ruling that E.J.W. should be applied retroactively and that the appropriate remedy for the circuit court’s denial of the jury demand was not a remand but a reversal.