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Wisconsin Appeals Court Orders Appointment of Examiner in Commitment Case

Prisoner Dennis Thiel had appealed the denial of his petition for supervised release under Wisconsin Statute Chapter 980 (2003-04) (the Act), wherein the court had previously ordered that an examiner be appointed to take another look at petitioner’s commitment suitability. State v. Thiel, 277 Wis.2d 698, 691 N.W. 2d 388 (Wis. App. 2004).

The state had argued that Thiel “has waived his objection [to the Act] by failing to raise it earlier,” Greene v. Hahn, 277 Wis.2d 473, 689 N.W.2d 657 (Wis.App. 2004), but the court did not agree. The court noted that the Greene case was distinguishable, since in that case it was actually raised and decided by the circuit court in a hearing on a stay pending appeal, and that they had the option of ignoring the waiver rule as being “one of administration.”

The court went on to say that Thiel was clearly prejudiced by the absence of a court examiner, who presumptively would have been a more object analyzer of the facts raised by Thiel in his petition attacking his current commitment under the Act. “We therefore reverse the order of the circuit court, and we remand the case for a redetermination, directing the court to appoint its own examiner, as required by Thiel, 277 Wis. 2d, Paragraph 29.” See: In re the Commitment of Dennis R. Thiel, State of Wisconsin v. Dennis R. Thiel, Wisconsin Court of Appeals, Case No. 2005AP2959.

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Related legal case

In re the Commitment of Dennis R. Thiel, State of Wisconsin v. Dennis R. Thiel