2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
January 25, 2016 - Introduced by Representatives Jacque, Gannon, Horlacher
and Steffen. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
1An Act to amend
971.20 (10) of the statutes; relating to: substitution of judges
2in criminal matters.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill eliminates the right of a defendant to substitute a judge in a criminal
proceeding without explanation or reason. Current law generally allows a defendant
one such substitution.
The bill requires a defendant who wishes to substitute a judge in a criminal
proceeding to indicate in writing his or her reasons for the substitution request.
Under the bill, the reasons for requesting a substitution must be one or more of the
1. The judge was engaged as counsel in the action prior to being appointed or
elected as a judge;
2. The judge is otherwise interested in the action;
3. The judge is related to either party to the action;
4. The judge is a material witness in the action; or
5. The defendant has reason to believe that he or she cannot obtain a fair and
impartial trial on account of the judge's bias, prejudice, or interest of the judge.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
971.20 (10) of the statutes is amended to read:
971.20 (10) Form of request.
A request for substitution of a judge may shall
3specify the reason for the request, shall be in writing, and shall
be made in the 4
STATE OF WISCONSIN
State of Wisconsin
Pursuant to s. 971.20 the defendant (or defendants) request (s) a substitution 12
for the Hon. .... as judge in the above entitled action. The reason (s) for this request
13(is/are) the following (must select one): ...
141. The judge was engaged as counsel in the action prior to appointment or
15election as a judge.
162. The judge is otherwise interested in the action.
173. The judge is of kin or related to either party to the action.
184. The judge is a material witness in the action.
195. The party filing the affidavit has cause to believe that on account of the bias,
20prejudice, or interest of the judge he or she cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial.
Dated ...., .... (year)
....(Signature of defendant or defendant's attorney)
(1) This act first applies to actions commenced on the effective date of this 2