2005 - 2006 LEGISLATURE
April 27, 2005 - Introduced by Representatives Krawczyk, Van Roy, Ott, Vos, Nass,
LeMahieu, Gunderson, Hines, Owens, Ballweg, Lamb
and F. Lasee,
cosponsored by Senators Cowles and A. Lasee. Referred to Committee on
Corrections and the Courts.
AB390,1,3 1An Act to renumber 971.20 (2); to amend 971.20 (10); and to create 971.20 (2)
2(b) of the statutes; relating to: substitution of judges by the state in criminal
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, there are two methods by which a judge who is scheduled
to handle a case is replaced: disqualification and substitution. A judge is required
to disqualify himself or herself in a case if the judge may be considered to have an
interest in the matter, such as if the judge is related to a party, has previously been
involved with the case as counsel, or has a significant financial or personal interest
in the outcome.
Substitution is the method by which parties in the case may have a judge who
is scheduled to handle a case taken off the case without having to give a reason. Each
party in a civil case and the defendant in a criminal case generally have a right to
one substitution, except that additional substitution rights occur in certain cases if
there is a successful appeal or if the judge who handles a preliminary hearing is
assigned to handle the trial.
This bill retains the provisions relating to the disqualification of a judge, but
provides that in a criminal trial the state has the right to substitution if the county
in which the trial is held has at least three circuit court judges.

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:
AB390, s. 1 1Section 1. 971.20 (2) of the statutes is renumbered 971.20 (2) (a).
AB390, s. 2 2Section 2. 971.20 (2) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
AB390,2,53 971.20 (2) (b) In any criminal action that is tried in a circuit having at least 3
4branches, the district attorney has a right to only one substitution of a judge, except
5under sub. (7). The right of substitution shall be exercised as provided in this section.
AB390, s. 3 6Section 3. 971.20 (10) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB390,2,87 971.20 (10) Form of request. A request for substitution of a judge may be made
8in the following form:
AB390,2,1111 .... County
AB390,2,1212 State of Wisconsin
AB390,2,1313 vs.
AB390,2,1414 ....(Defendant)
AB390,2,1615 Pursuant to s. 971.20 the defendant (or defendants) or the district attorney
16request (s) a substitution for the Hon. .... as judge in the above entitled action.
AB390,2,1717 Dated ...., .... (year)
AB390,2,1818 ....(Signature of defendant or defendant's attorney)
AB390,2,19 19or district attorney
AB390, s. 4 20Section 4. Initial applicability.
1(1) This act first applies to actions commenced on the effective date of this
AB390,3,33 (End)