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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources v. Wisconsin District IV Court of Appeals – Venue

This dispute involves selection of an appellate venues in the Wisconsin court system. The Supreme Court examines the interplay of three statutes: Wis. Stat. §§ 227.53 (pertaining to review of an administrative decision), 801.50(3) (venue in civil actions), and 752.21 (venue in Court of Appeals). The latter two statutes were amended by 2011 Wisconsin Act 61, reviewed here for the first time by the Court.

In Clean Wisconsin Inc. v DNR, 2016AP1688, involving a challenge to a Wisconsin Pollutant System Discharge Permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Department of Justice/DNR correctly filed notice of appeal of the Dane County Circuit Court decision with the Court of Appeals, District II (Waukesha). But on Aug. 31, 2016, District IV (judge Kloppenburg, Sherman, Blanchard) docketed the appeal in District IV “in keeping with [their] current view of the law.”

On April 3, in a 5-2 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court forcefully rejected District IV’s attempts to hijack cases decided in Dane County Circuit Court that are required by statute to go to an appellate district court chosen by the appellants, other than the appeals district in which the circuit court issuing the lower court decision is located.

GLLF Decision Summary (April 5, 2018)