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Case Digests

Sovereign Immunity

This appeal is another chapter in concurrent federal and state litigation challenging the construction of a $500 million, 100-mile power line in southwestern Wisconsin.

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Court Error – Sentence Modification – Criminal Procedure Rule 36

The district court modified David McClain’s two federal prison sentences under Rule 36 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and McClain appeals. He contends that the changes—which added 18 months of prison time and required him to re-enter federal prison after he had been released—were not merely clerical.

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Court Error – Failure to State Claim

Dane County sued Mary Jo Johnson and TCOB2 Irrevocable Trust, seeking injunctive relief and forfeitures for the alleged conveyance of property by Johnson to the Trust in violation of County ordinances governing minimum lot sizes and the preparation of certified survey maps.

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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Michael Martin appeals a judgment of conviction for sexual assault of a child under the age of thirteen in violation of WIS. STAT. § 948.02(1)(e) (2019-20) following a jury trial.

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Postconviction Motion – Surcharge Reduction

The issue in this appeal is how many images are “associated with” William C. MacDonald’s crime of possession of child pornography for purposes of assessing the statutorily mandated surcharge of $500 per image.

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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Victor H. Benitez appeals an order denying his WIS. STAT. § 974.06 (2019-20) postconviction motion for a new trial and postconviction discovery, entered following an evidentiary hearing.

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Due Process Violation

Carson D. Combs appeals from an order of the circuit court granting eviction and issuing a writ of restitution in an action filed by his landlord, Morris S. Reece.

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Court Error – Claim Preclusion

Troy Lasecki appeals an order dismissing his claims against Bryan Nowak arising out of the dissolution of an LLC in which he and Nowak were the only members.

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Wisconsin Consumer Act – Summary Judgment

Jeanne Fransway appeals a summary judgment dismissing her claims against Markquart Automotive Inc. for violations of the Wisconsin Consumer Act (“WCA”), WIS. STAT. chs. 421-427 (2019-20).

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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Larry L. Jackson appeals his judgment of conviction for first-degree intentional homicide, as a party to a crime with the use of a deadly weapon, and for possession of a firearm by a felon.

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Public Records – Public Interest Balancing Test

The Estate of Ceasar Stinson and Stinson’s spouse, Chipo Samvura (collectively, “the Estate”), appeal a circuit court order which restrains the Milwaukee County Sheriffs’ Office (MCSO) from releasing an internal affairs file.

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Attorney Disciplinary Proceedings

We review a report filed by Referee Robert E. Kinney, accepting a stipulation executed by Attorney Sandra J. Zenor and the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), in which Attorney Zenor pled no contest to four counts of professional misconduct and agreed that the allegations of the OLR's complaint were established by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence.

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Termination of Parental Rights

B.B. and E.B. appeal orders entered by the circuit court terminating their parental rights after a jury found that their children were in continuing need of protection or services. B.B. and E.B. argue that, throughout the grounds phase of the proceeding, the guardian ad litem improperly invoked the children’s best interests in her arguments to the jury and in the testimony she elicited from witnesses.

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Insurance Claim – Coverage – Jurisdiction

Adam Kodra sued Harold Fredd, Fredd’s business, Northern Precision Rifles, and Fredd’s purported homeowner’s insurer, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, alleging that Fredd’s negligence in customizing Kodra’s rifle caused the injuries that Kodra suffered when he subsequently fired the rifle and it exploded.

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Statutory Interpretation – Patient Health Care Records Access

Beatriz Banuelos appeals the circuit court’s dismissal of her complaint alleging that the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority (UW Health) unlawfully charged her fees for providing, at her request, electronic copies of her patient health care records.

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Sentence Modification

John G. Dahlk appeals pro se from a postconviction court order denying his motions for sentence modification and resentencing.

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