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Termination of Parental Rights-Plea Withdrawal

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//November 20, 2023//

Termination of Parental Rights-Plea Withdrawal

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//November 20, 2023//

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WI Court of Appeals – District I

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. B. M.

Case No.: 2023AP001137

Officials: White, C.J.

Focus: Termination of Parental Rights-Plea Withdrawal

B.M. appeals from the order terminating her parental rights to her son, F.E. She argues that the circuit erroneously exercised its discretion when it denied her postdisposition motion for plea withdrawal without an evidentiary hearing. She asserts that her due process rights were violated because the circuit court informed her in the plea colloquy of the wrong statutory standard for the dispositional phase of the termination of parental rights (TPR) proceedings.

B.M.’s postdisposition motion made a prima facie showing of a plea colloquy defect based on the circuit court’s duty to explain the statutory standard in the dispositional phase and that she did not understand the actual standard. Accordingly, the appeals court reverses the order denying the postdisposition motion and remands with directions for the circuit court to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the State can prove her no contest plea was nonetheless entered knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily Reversed and remanded.

Decided 11/14/23

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