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Adequacy of Award

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//July 10, 2023//

Adequacy of Award

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//July 10, 2023//

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WI Court of Supreme Court

Case Name: Derrick A. Sanders v. State of Wisconsin Claims Board

Case No.: 2021AP000373

Officials: Rebecca Grassl Bradley, J.

Focus: Adequacy of Award

The supreme court overturned the court of appeals’ decision, which had reversed the circuit court’s judgment affirming the State Claims Board’s decision to grant the Appellant $25,000 in compensation after determining that the Appellant was innocent of the crime he was imprisoned for. The Supreme Court held that Wis. Stat. 775.05(4) does not require the Board to assess adequacy.

Initially, the Appellant pleaded no contest to first-degree intentional homicide and served around twenty-six years in prison. After his second guilty plea was invalidated, the Appellant filed a petition with the State Claims Board, seeking compensation exceeding $5.7 million. The Board granted the maximum amount permitted under Wis. Stat. 775.05(4). The Appellant sought a judicial review, arguing that the Board should have evaluated the adequacy of the awarded sum. Although the circuit court upheld the decision, the court of appeals reversed it. Ultimately, the Supreme Court overturned the court of appeals’ ruling, stating that the court had imposed a procedure on the statute that the legislature did not authorize.

Decided 06/30/23

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