Friday, March 19, 2010

Decision in 'State v. Wood' 2010 WI 17

Wisconsin Supreme Court decision today in this case (2007AP2767-CR) on certification from the Court of Appeals. See Argument.

Opinion by Justice Crooks, joined by Justices Prosser, Roggensack, Ziegler, and Gableman.
¶4 We are satisfied that Wis. Stat. §971.17(3)(c) and AD-11-97 comport with the due process provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution for two reasons. First, we conclude that due process does not require a finding of dangerousness to issue an order compelling involuntary medication of a person committed under Wis. Stat. ch. 971. Even if due process required such a finding, there would be no violation because the statutory language of Wis. Stat. § 971.17(3)(c), along with [Mendota Mental Health Institute Administrative Directive] AD-11-97, effectively provide for such a finding. Second, we conclude that due process requires periodic review of the compelled involuntary medication order, and that Wis. Stat. § 971.17(3)(c) and AD-11-97 satisfy that requirement as well. ... Accordingly, we hold that Wis. Stat. § 971.17(3)(c), along with AD-11-97, comport with substantive and procedural due process facially and as applied here. We also affirm the circuit court's orders compelling involuntary medication and denying Wood's motion for relief from the involuntary medication order.
Dissent by Chief Justice Abrahamson, joined by Justice Bradley.
I disagree with the majority opinion in three respects: (1) I conclude that a finding of present dangerousness is required. Section 971.17(3)(c) does not require this finding and therefore is facially unconstitutional as a matter of substantive due process. (2) I conclude, as does the majority opinion, that procedural due process requires periodic review of the medication decision. Section 971.17(3)(c) does not provide periodic review of the medication decision. Accordingly, I conclude that the statute is facially unconstitutional as a matter of procedural due process. (3) I conclude that the Administrative Directive, a nonbinding internal statement of policy, cannot and does not repair the substantive and procedural constitutional defects of § 971.17(3)(c).
See 2009-2010 Term of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.


Wisconsin Supreme Court affirms involuntary medication order, by Deborah G. Spanic, State Bar of Wisconsin


Judging Friday’s SCOWIS Decisions, by Daniel Suhr, Marquette University Law School Faculty blog