April 3, 2020 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has extended an order impacting appellate court operations deadlines impacting cases in Wisconsin.
A previous order, issued on March 17, noted that court functions are essential but the appellate courts, including the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, would be expanding remote working capabilities and reducing employees in physical offices.
However, the order noted that the appellate courts would still be accepting court filings with modified hours through April 3, with instructions on filing documents.
The order also provided information on deadlines expiring before April 3, with tolling for 21 days, with exceptions for certain cases that are listed in the order.
The new order, issued April 2, extends the previous order through May 22, 2020, with a 21-day tolling on deadlines. Specifically, the new order provides information on:
1) Clerk’s office hours and filing procedures. The clerk’s office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each business day to receive filings and parties are encouraged to file documents with the Clerk's office by mail using the post office box (P.O. Box 1688, Madison, WI 53701-1688). “If necessary, parties may also physically file documents at the office of the Clerk, which is located on the second floor of the Tenney Building, 110 E. Main St., Madison, WI. In order to protect the public and the staff of the Clerk's office, only one person at a time shall be allowed to enter the physical office of the Clerk and the person shall follow the directions of the Clerk's staff as to the procedure for filing documents and obtaining file-stamped copies, if requested,” the order states.
2) In-person access to court files. “Ifa person wishes to have in-person access to a court file that is currently in the possession of the Clerk of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals, the person shall submit a request for such access to the Clerk via email to email@example.com, via telephone call, or via written request physically filed with the clerk's office in the same manner as set forth above. The Clerk shall then make reasonable arrangements for the person to receive or to view the requested document or file.”
3) Deadlines and tolling. “All deadlines in all matters pending in the appellate courts of this state that would expire on or before Friday, May 22, 2020 (inclusive) and all deadlines for the filing in the circuit courts of documents under Wis. Stat. §§ (Rules) 809.107, 809.30, and 809.32 that would expire on or before May 22, 2020 (inclusive), shall be tolled for a period of 21 days, except as provided below. (This means that 21 calendar days should be added to whatever the deadline would otherwise be.) This tolling shall include, but not be limited to, deadlines for briefs, motions, responses to motions, docketing statements, statements on transcripts, etc.”
4) Exceptions to deadlines and tolling. Tolling set forth in the preceding paragraph shall not apply to the following matters:
A) Circuit courts. “Deadlines for the filing of any documents in the circuit courts, including the filing of notices of appeal, but the tolling shall apply to deadlines for documents filed under Wis. Stat. §§ (Rules) 809.107, 809.30, and 809.32, as provided above. All deadlines for the filing of notices of appeal in the circuit courts shall not be affected by this order. For circuit court deadlines, parties should consult the appropriate statutes and/or rules, and any orders issued by the circuit court in which the action is pending, including general orders relating to the COVID-19 pandemic;
B) Petitions for review. “Deadlines for the filing of petitions for review in the Supreme Court pursuant to Wis. Stat. §§ 808.10 and 809.62 shall not be extended. Petitions for review must be physically filed in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court within the time period required under Wis. Stat. § 808.10.
However, if the deadline for filing a petition for review falls on or before May 22, 2020 (inclusive), a party may comply with the deadline for filing a petition for review by filing a short statement that the party seeks Supreme Court review of an identified decision of the Court of Appeals, which statement shall be deemed to be a timely petition for review. A party who complies by filing such a short statement shall file a supplemental petition that contains all of the items set forth in Wis. Stat. § (Rule) 809.62(2) within 21 days after the filing of the short statement.
Absent an extension of time granted by the Supreme Court for good cause shown, the failure to file the supplemental petition conforming to Wis. Stat. § (Rule) 809.62(2) within the 21-day period shall subject the petition for review to dismissal. The time period for responses to petitions for review will begin upon the service of a complete petition for review or the service of a supplemental petition pursuant to the provision allowing supplemental petitions above, and the response time period in either situation will be subject to the 21-day tolling as set forth above.”
C) Specific cases. The parties in the following cases which are pending in the Supreme Court have been contacted regarding deadlines for the filing of briefs, motions, or other documents:
· State v. Brooks, No. 2018AP1774-CR;
· Quick Change Kiosk LLC v. Kaul, No. 2018AP947;
· Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Menard, No. 2018AP659-D;
· State v. Dobbs, No. 2018AP319-CR;
· Town of Delafield v. Central Transport Kriewaldt, No. 2017AP2525;
· State v. Muth, No. 2018AP875-CR;
· Bartlett v. Evers, No. 2019AP1376-OA;
· Wisconsin Small Business United, Inc. v. Brennan, No. 2019AP2054-OA;
· Hammer v. Board of Bar Examiners, No. 2019AP1974-BA.
5) Non-emergency motions discouraged. “Non-emergency motions to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court on or before May 22, 2020 (inclusive), are discouraged so that court personnel may focus on essential court functions.
If non-emergency motions are filed during that time period, the parties may expect that a ruling on those motions may be delayed to some degree. If a party truly requires immediate emergency relief from the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, the party shall identify their motion, petition for leave to file an interlocutory appeal, writ petition, original action petition, or other filing with the word "EMERGENCY" on the face of the document. The party shall also at the beginning of the document state the nature and reason for the emergency, shall specify the date by which the emergency relief is needed, and shall identify with specificity the harm the party will suffer if the emergency relief is not granted by the requested date.
The Supreme Court and Court of Appeals shall retain discretion to determine whether the filing represents an emergency sufficient to require immediate action by the court.
6) Oral argument. “Parties in the cases originally scheduled for oral argument in the Supreme Court on March 30, 2020, April 1, 2020, and April 20, 2020, have been contacted and arrangements made to reschedule or waive oral argument.”
The order notes that this order could be modified or extended by a future order. Justice Rebecca Bradley dissented. She said the extension is longer than necessary and extension orders should be coterminous with governor’s Safe at Home Order.
Read the full order.
Recent Supreme Court Orders
The Wisconsin Court System’s website also has a COVID-19 tab at www.wicourts.gov, which includes emergency orders from circuit and appellate courts. In recent weeks, the Supreme Court has issued the following orders:
· Supreme Court Order re Remote Administration of Oaths at Depositions Via Remote Audio-Visual Equipment During the Covid-19 Pandemic (March 25, 2020)
· Supreme Court Order re Admission to the Bar During The Covid-19 Pandemic (March 25, 2020)
· Supreme Court Order re Jury Trials during COVID-19 (March 22, 2020)
· Supreme Court Order re Videoconferencing during COVID-19 (March 22, 2020)
· Supreme Court Order for Cancellation of 3-30-20 and 4-1-20 Arguments (March 22, 2020)
· Supreme Court Temporarily Eases CLE Rules, Lawyers Can Get More On-Demand Credits (March 18, 2020)
· Supreme Court Issues Order on Appellate Court Operations, Deadlines During Pandemic (March 18, 2020)
State up-to-date on court orders and other information by periodically visiting the State Bar of Wisconsin’s COVID-1 Response webpage.
The page includes coronavirus-related CLE programming topics and dates as well as information on recent virtual town hall meetings in numerous practice areas.