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Parental Rights

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

Parental Rights

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

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WI Court of Supreme Court

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. A. G.

Case No.: 2022AP000652

Officials: Rebecca Grassl Bradley, J.

Focus: Parental Rights

The Supreme Court upheld the circuit court’s decision to reject Father’s request to withdraw his plea of no contest regarding one of the grounds stated in the State’s petition to terminate Father’s parental rights to his daughter. The Court concluded that Father had knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently entered his no contest plea.

The State’s petition for termination, as per Wis. Stat. 48.415, asserted two grounds: that Father’s daughter continued to require protection or services as a child in need (CHIPS), and that Father had not assumed parental responsibility for his daughter. Father pled no contest specifically to the CHIPS ground. Subsequently, Father filed a motion to withdraw his plea. The circuit court denied the motion, but the court of appeals reversed the decision based on the State’s insufficient evidence to validate the plea. The Supreme Court overturned the court of appeals’ ruling, determining that (1) Father had knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently pleaded no contest to the CHIPS ground for terminating his parental rights, and (2) therefore, the court of appeals had erred in allowing Father to withdraw his plea.

Reversed

Decided 06/30/23

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