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Sufficiency of Evidence-Guardianship Placement

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//December 4, 2023//

Sufficiency of Evidence-Guardianship Placement

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//December 4, 2023//

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WI Court of Appeals – District III

Case Name: Douglas County v. J. M.

Case No.: 2022AP002035

Officials: Hruz, J.

Focus: Sufficiency of Evidence-Guardianship Placement

James appeals an order continuing his protective placement pursuant to WIS. STAT. ch. 55. James argues that Douglas County presented insufficient evidence for the circuit court to issue the order. Specifically, James contends the County’s evidence was insufficient as a matter of law because it was required to present testimony from a medical professional, and it failed to do so. James separately argues that the County violated his due process rights by failing to present testimony from a qualified medical professional. Alternatively, he argues that the evidence was insufficient because the County failed to present testimony from anyone with personal knowledge of James’ needs or care.

The appeals court agrees with the County that no statute or binding precedent requires a medical professional to testify in order for a circuit court to continue a protective placement when there is a prior guardianship order, admitted evidence in the record that the ward suffers from an incapacity, and the court previously found that the ward suffers from an incapacity. Thus, the lack of testimony by a medical professional did not violate James’ due process rights. The appeals court further concludes that the record before the court in this proceeding was sufficient for the court to order that James’ protective placement be continued.

Affirmed.

Decided 11/28/23

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