Wisconsin

This page provides a breakdown of all major developments and right to counsel law that the NCCRC knows for this state, sorted by subject area. Click on either tab below to see the aspect it describes.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

The WI Supreme Court held that courts must make a case-by case determination of whether to appoint counsel in abuse/neglect cases.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children in abuse/neglect cases have a right to counsel in certain circumstances, and otherwise appointment is discretionary.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Adult Protective Proceedings - Proposed Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the subject of an adult protective proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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All Basic Human Needs

Legislation

Wisconsin legislature creates access to civil legal services study committee

04/18/2016

The Wisconsin legislature has created a study committee to examine how to expand access to counsel in civil cases.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC supported the prior petitions to the Court urging it to expand access to counsel.

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The WI Supreme Court held that trial courts have the inherent power to appoint counsel in any civil case.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Court Rule or Initiative

Wisconsin advocates petition WI Supreme Court for right to counsel rules

12/05/2014

WI advocates have filed two petitions asking the WI Supreme Court to establish civil right to counsel rules and pilot projects.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon The NCCRC testified in support of the original petition, attended Access to Justice Commission meetings that discussed the petition, and provided input on the substance of the new petition.

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Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for minors seeking to bypass the parental consent requirements for an abortion.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Child Support Enforcement (Civil Contempt)

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for the respondent in a civil contempt proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The WI Supreme Court found a federal (and possibly state) constitutional right to counsel in civil contempt cases where the state is a party.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent persons for various types of civil commitment proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Wisconsin case addresses right to counsel for confinement of pregnant women

12/04/2014

A Wisconsin case raises the issue of right to counsel when pregnant women are civilly committed for alleged child endangerment.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC helped frame the right to counsel component of the complaint.

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Domestic Violence - Alleged Victim

Pilot

Wisconsin launches DV representation pilot project

09/26/2015

In Wisconsin, a pilot started in 2015 in Winnebago County to provide representation to DV victims in family law cases.

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Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel upon request for the subject of a guardianship proceeding, or in some other circumstances.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for a defendant in a civil contempt proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

The WI Supreme Court found a federal (and possibly state) constitutional right to counsel in civil contempt cases where the state is a party.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Paternity - Defendant/Respondent

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for an indigent respondent in certain paternity proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Quarantine/Sterilization/Innoculation

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel - quarantine

There is a right to counsel for the subject of a TB quarantine.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Confinement

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent subjects of a sexually violent persons civil commitment proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Litigation

Right to counsel

The WI Supreme Court held that those subjected to sexually violent person confinement have a constitutional right to counsel for their appeal.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children in adoption cases have a right to counsel in certain circumstances, and otherwise appointment is discretionary.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children in termination cases have a right to counsel in certain circumstances, and otherwise appointment is discretionary.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

Read more about this

Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent parents have a right to counsel in contested adoption cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Indigent parents have a right to counsel in termination of parental rights cases.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

Other Subject Areas

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel - expectant mothers

There is a right to counsel for expectant mothers for whom protection/services is ordered.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

Read more about this

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