WJI is partnering with ACLU-Wisconsin, Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee to provide information about how to navigate municipal courts if you are a defendant charged with an ordinance violation.
A new ACLU video with important tips and information is below. Please watch it if you are dealing with municipal tickets now or you might possibly get a ticket in the future.
WJI and its partners also are developing a special WJI web page to help people figure out who to contact and where to go when they have municipal court dates in Milwaukee County. The Milwaukee County Municipal Courts page is here and is listed in the tabs at the top of this website.
The new page includes a copy of the partners' Municipal Court "Know Your Rights" card. Funding for the card was provided by the Wisconsin Law Foundation.
WJI and its partners will add to the page as we get new or updated information and as municipalities improve the information they provide to the public.
Legal Action attorney Kori Ashley will be the guest speaker at the March 27 Wisconsin Justice Initiative Salon. Ashley is the first lawyer the City of Milwaukee retained to represent indigent defendants in Milwaukee Municipal Court. Her position is new, needed, and funded for only a limited time. Join us to learn about this lawyer's adventures in Milwaukee Municipal Court.
The Salon will be at noon on Wednesday, March 27, at Riverfront Pizzeria, 509 E. Erie St. A lunch buffet will be available. The buffet will include a pasta dish, pizza, salad, and garlic bread. Vegetarian options will be available. The cost of the buffet is $14. Please make your reservation by 5 p.m. Monday, March 25. (Sorry, no refunds for cancellations made after that time.)
Click here to reserve your seat!
The number of felony cases opened in Circuit Court statewide continued its steady upward march last year, while the number of felony cases opened in Milwaukee County rose 5 percent, but still did not hit the total opened in the peak years of 2011 and 2012, according to state court statistics.
Source: Wisconsin Court System
The figures count cases, not individual charges. The statistics reflect the top charge filed in a case.
In 2011, Milwaukee County accounted for 18 percent of all felony cases in the state (6,121 of 33,103); in 2018, Milwaukee County accounted for 14 percent of state felony cases (6,008 of 43,166).
The number of Milwaukee County felony cases opened last year was down 2 percent, or 113 cases, from the number opened in 2011; statewide, the number of felony cases was up 30 percent, or 10,063, over the same time period.
The reported number of 2017 Milwaukee County felony cases may be several hundred cases low due to a coding error that caused guns and weapons cases to be under-counted.
By Gretchen Schuldt
Gov. Tony Evers is proposing to grant a $30-an-hour pay hike followed by automatic pay increases to private attorneys who accept State Public Defender appointments to represent poor defendants in court cases, according to the governor's budget proposal.
"Wisconsin has the lowest reimbursement rate for private bar attorneys that represent indigent criminal defendants," the budget notes. "Under our system of due process, everyone has a constitutional right to legal representation yet the low reimbursement rate has caused major concerns as to whether all Wisconsinites are being properly represented."
The proposed budget would increase from $40 per hour to $70 per hour paid to the private attorneys. The increase would take effect Jan. 1, 2020. After that, the amount paid would be adjusted to reflect inflation.
The initiative would cost $25.6 million over the two years of the biennium, according to the budget.
As expected, the proposed budget would legalize medical marijuana and eliminate penalties associated with small amounts of recreational marijuana. Below are related excerpts from the budget.
The state would, under the budget, do the following (we'll be adding to the list in future posts.):
You can show your support or opposition Evers' proposals by contacting your legislators. Hey, don't know who they are, exactly? You can find out by visiting the Legislature's home page here and typing your address in the box on the right side of the page.
Help WJI advocate for justice in Wisconsin