Oct. 22, 2018 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has decided to consider whether a circuit court should have suppressed the results of a blood sample where the defendant withdrew her consent to be tested before the lab analyzed the blood.
The supreme court accepted review of this OWI consent case and six others recently, including another one to determine if a police officer unlawfully extended a routine traffic stop when the officer asked a motorist if he was carrying any weapons.
State v. Randall
Fitchburg police arrested Jessica Randall for operating while intoxicated (OWI). She submitted to a blood test but two days later, sent a letter to the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene stating that she was revoking her consent to the blood test.
The lab disregarded the letter and the test revealed an illegal blood alcohol concentration. The state charged Randall with OWI, third offense. In court, Randall challenged the results of her blood test, arguing that she revoked her consent.
The Dane County Circuit Court ruled in favor of Randall, and an appeals court affirmed, concluding Randall had a right to withdraw consent and clearly did so. The state argued that consent can only be withdrawn before the test is taken. Now, the supreme court may decide whether consent to a blood draw can be withdrawn after it is taken.
State v. Wright
In another Fourth Amendment case, the supreme court may determine whether police violated John Wright’s constitutional rights when they stopped his car for a headlight, then asked him if he had a concealed carry permit and if he had any weapons.
Police found a firearm in the glove compartment and he was arrested. Ultimately, he moved to suppress the firearm on the ground that police lacked reasonable suspicion to question him about that – the questions were unrelated to the purpose of the stop, transforming an initially lawful stop into an unreasonable seizure.
The Milwaukee County Circuit Court agreed with Wright, concluding police unlawfully extended the stop by asking about firearms without reasonable suspicion.
“Based on the lack of any articulable facts supporting an actual fear that Wright posed a threat to officer safety, we conclude that police impermissibly expanded the scope of Wright’s traffic stop,” wrote Appeals Court Judge Joan Kessler.
Cattau v. National Insurance Services of Wisconsin Inc.
In this case, the supreme court will review a case brought by former teachers and administrators from the Neenah School District for damages from the federal tax noncompliance of a retirement plan, administered and delivered by two entities.
The circuit court dismissed the claims on the pleadings, concluding the plaintiffs failed to plead sufficient facts to support their claims for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent and strict responsibility misrepresentation against the plan administrators.
Teske v. Wilson Mutual Ins. Co.
In this case, the supreme court will consider whether claim preclusion barred a negligence action that stemmed from a multi-vehicle traffic accident after some parties reached settlement agreements based on auto insurance policies.
Town of Rib Mountain v. Marathon County
In this case, the supreme court will review whether the county can implement a uniform addressing system in all unincorporated areas of Marathon County, which would require the Town of Rib Mountain to rename 61 of its 202 roads. The town argues the county can only implement such a system in unincorporated areas that qualify as “rural.”
A circuit court ruled in favor of the county, but an appeals court reversed the circuit court’s judgment denying Rib Mountain’s claims for declaratory and injunctive relief.
L.G. v. Aurora Residential Alternatives
In this case, the supreme court will examine whether an order denying a motion to compel arbitration is immediately appealable by state statute, Wis. Stat. section 808.03(1), or under the Federal Arbitration Act. Section 808.03(1) says “a final judgment or final order of a circuit court” is appealable as a matter of right.
Fitzgerald v. Circuit Crt. for Milwaukee County
In this case, the supreme court will review what triggers an automatic stay for cases involving involuntary medication orders, which are subject to an automatic stay pending appeal. The court will consider whether the order or a notice of appeal triggers the stay.