2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
November 25, 2013 - Introduced by Representatives Strachota, Bernier,
Kooyenga and Czaja, cosponsored by Senator Grothman. Referred to
Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations.
1An Act to renumber and amend
775.05 (2) and 775.05 (3); to amend
(4) (d), 227.03 (5), 775.05 (4), 775.05 (5) and 775.06 (7); and to create
775.05 (2) (b), 775.05 (2m), 775.05 (3) (b) and 808.085 of the statutes; relating
4to: the procedure for deciding certain claims against the state filed with the
5claims board and making appropriations.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Currently, the claims board is directed to hear claims against the state for
compensation by persons who are convicted of and imprisoned for crimes of which
they claim to be innocent after their release from imprisonment. After a hearing on
a petition, the board must find either that the evidence is clear and convincing that
the petitioner was innocent of the crime for which he or she was imprisoned or that
the evidence is not clear and convincing. The claims board may only award
compensation to a petitioner if it finds that the petitioner did not by his or her act
or failure to act contribute to or bring about the conviction and imprisonment for
which he or she seeks compensation.
This bill provides, in addition, that the claims board shall award compensation
only if the board determines that a petitioner's claim for compensation is one which,
on the basis of equitable principles, this state should assume and pay. Under the bill,
in order to be eligible for compensation, a person must have been wrongfully confined
in a prison or county jail facility. A person who is placed on probation or who is subject
only to electronic monitoring in his or her home is not eligible for compensation. The
bill provides that a finding of innocence is not substantiated based solely on the fact
that a petitioner was found not guilty of the crime of which he or she was convicted.
The bill also directs the claims board, before awarding or recommending the
payment of compensation to a petitioner, to find that the petitioner has presented
clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner did not by his or her act or failure
to act contribute to bring about the conviction and imprisonment for which he or she
seeks compensation. The bill provides that no person may file a claim for wrongful
imprisonment or be paid an award for such imprisonment if the person is convicted
of a crime (an offense that is prohibited by state law and punishable with a fine or
imprisonment, or both) after his or her release from imprisonment.
Currently, the maximum amount that the claims board may award to a
petitioner is $5,000 for each year of imprisonment, not to exceed a total of $25,000.
This bill increases the maximum to $15,000 for each year of imprisonment, not to
exceed a total of $200,000.
Under the bill, if a person's conviction for a crime is reversed, set aside, or
vacated on grounds consistent with the person's innocence, and the person is ordered
released from prison by a trial court, the court is required to grant the person, upon
request, temporary financial assistance, transition assistance from the department
of corrections and local aid agencies, and sealing of all records related to his or her
conviction. If the person pursues a successful petition for wrongful imprisonment,
any temporary financial assistance he or she received upon release from prison is
subtracted from any compensation he or she receives for wrongful imprisonment.
Current law does not specifically address the situation where a petitioner who
would have been entitled to receive compensation for wrongful imprisonment dies
before the claims board awards compensation. This bill provides that if a petitioner
dies before the claims board makes a compensation award, the petitioner's claim for
compensation is extinguished with his or her death. However, the bill permits the
personal representative or special administrator for a petitioner's estate, no later
than one year after the date of the petitioner's death, to petition the board for
reimbursement of any costs, disbursements, or reasonable attorney fees incurred by
the petitioner in pursuing his or her claim, and the bill provides that if the deceased
petitioner qualified to receive an award for wrongful imprisonment but did not
receive an award, the board may pay to the petitioner's estate the amount that the
board finds to have been incurred by the petitioner for costs, disbursements, and
reasonable attorney fees in connection with his or her petition. Under the bill, a
petitioner's estate is not eligible to receive any reimbursement if the claims board
determines that the petitioner died as a direct result of his or her own deliberate or
Currently, the decisions of the claims board with respect to compensation of
innocent persons who are convicted of a crime, compensation of law enforcement
officers who have judgments entered against them for damages resulting from
actions taken in the line of duty, and compensation of state employees who incur legal
expenses in successfully defending criminal charges of mistreatment of a person in
a place of confinement are subject to appeal through the court system in the same
manner as administrative decisions of state agencies. If a court finds that a decision
of the claims board is outside the range of discretion delegated to the board by law,
that a decision of the board is based upon an erroneous interpretation of the law and
a correct interpretation would lead to a different result, or that a decision of the board
is not supported by substantial evidence, the court may reverse the decision and may
remand the matter to the board for further proceedings consistent with its decision.
This bill deletes the procedure for judicial review of these decisions of the claims
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
20.505 (4) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
(d) Claims awards.
A sum sufficient for payment of awards made 3
by the claims board or department of administration under ss. 16.007, 775.05 (2m)
and 775.11, awards of financial assistance under s. 808.085,
awards made by an act of the legislature arising from a claim filed with the claims 6
board which are not directed by law or under s. 16.007 (6m) to be paid from another 7
227.03 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
This chapter does not apply to proceedings of the claims board,
10except as provided in ss. 775.05 (5), 775.06 (7) and 775.11 (2)
301.051 of the statutes is created to read:
12301.051 Wrongful conviction; transition plan.
Not more than 5 days after 13
a court issues an order for a plan requested by an inmate pursuant to 808.085 (1) (a), 14
the department shall create a transition to release plan for the inmate. The plan shall 15
do all of the following:
Provide the inmate with a written list of community resources available to 17
the inmate upon his or her release from prison, including temporary housing and 18
emergency shelters, food banks, education and job assistance, and health care
services in the county into which the inmate will be released. The department shall 2
maintain up-to-date lists with contact information for each county in the state.
Provide the inmate with an individual counseling session with a person 4
trained by the department or the county into which the inmate will be released to 5
assist inmates in the transition to release from prison.
Schedule an appointment, set for not later than 2 weeks after the inmate's 7
date of release, for the inmate to meet with a social worker or aid program 8
administrator for the county into which the inmate will be released.
775.05 (2) of the statutes is renumbered 775.05 (2) (a) and amended 10
(a) Any Except as provided in par. (b), any
person who is imprisoned 12
as the result of his or her conviction for a crime in any court of this state, of which 13
crime the person claims to be innocent, and who is released from imprisonment for 14
that crime after March 13, 1980, may petition the claims board for compensation for 15
such imprisonment. Upon receipt of the petition, the claims board shall transmit a 16
copy thereof to the prosecutor who prosecuted the petitioner and the judge who 17
sentenced the petitioner for the conviction which is the subject of the claim, or their 18
successors in office, for the information of these persons. In this paragraph,
19"imprisoned" means confined in a prison, as described in s. 302.01, a county jail, a
20rehabilitation facility established by s. 59.53 (8), a Huber facility under s. 303.09, or
21a county house of correction under s. 303.16. A person is not imprisoned, for the
22purposes of this section, if he or she is placed on probation with no period of
23confinement imposed, or if he or she is confined in a correctional institution under
24s. 301.046 (1) and the institution is the prisoner's place of residence.
775.05 (2) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a person who is convicted of a 2
crime after his or her release from imprisonment. A person who is ineligible to 3
petition for compensation under this paragraph is also ineligible to receive any 4
award of compensation that has not been paid.
775.05 (2m) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) Except as provided in par. (b), if a person who files a petition 7
under sub. (2) dies before the claims board awards compensation to the person, the 8
person's claim for compensation is extinguished with his or her death. No later than 9
one year after the date of death of a person whose claim is extinguished under this 10
paragraph, the personal representative or special administrator for the estate of 11
such a person may petition the claims board for payment of any costs, disbursements, 12
and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the deceased person in pursuing a claim 13
under sub. (2). If the board determines that the deceased person qualified for 14
payment of an award under this section but did not receive an award, the board may 15
pay to the petitioner's estate the amount that the board finds to have been incurred 16
by the petitioner for costs, disbursements and reasonable attorney fees in connection 17
with his or her petition.
(b) No person's estate is eligible to receive a payment under par. (a) if the claims 19
board determines that the person died as a direct result of his or her own deliberate 20
or negligent action.
775.05 (3) of the statutes is renumbered 775.05 (3) (a) and amended 22
(a) After hearing the evidence on the petition, the claims board shall 24
find either that the evidence is clear and convincing that the petitioner was innocent 25
of the crime for which he or she suffered imprisonment, or that the evidence is not
clear and convincing that he or she was innocent. A finding of innocence under this
2paragraph is not substantiated based solely on the fact that the petitioner was found
3not guilty of the crime of which he or she was convicted. The claims board shall award
4compensation to the petitioner if the board determines that the petitioner's claim for
5compensation is one which, on the basis of equitable principles, the state should in
6good conscience assume and pay.
775.05 (3) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
(b) After hearing the evidence on the petition, the claims board shall 9
also find that the petitioner either has or has not presented clear and convincing 10
evidence that the petitioner did not by his or her act or failure to act contribute to 11
bring about the conviction and imprisonment for which he or she seeks 12
775.05 (4) of the statutes is amended to read:
If, pursuant to sub. (3),
the claims board finds that the petitioner was 15
innocent and should be compensated,
and that he or she the claims board finds that
did not by his or her act or failure to act contribute to bring about the 17
conviction and imprisonment for which he or she seeks compensation,
claims board shall find the amount which will equitably compensate the petitioner, 19
not to exceed $25,000 $200,000
and at a rate of compensation not greater than $5,000 20$15,000
per year for the imprisonment. Compensation awarded by the claims board 21shall may
include any amount to which the board finds the petitioner is entitled for 22
attorney fees, costs and disbursements. The claims board shall subtract any moneys
23received by the petitioner under s. 808.085.
If the claims board finds that the amount 24
it is able to award is not an adequate compensation,
it shall submit a report
specifying an amount which it considers adequate to the chief clerk of each house of 2
the legislature, for distribution to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2).
775.05 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
The claims board shall keep a complete record of its proceedings in 5
each case and of all the evidence. The findings and the award of the claims board
6shall be subject to review as provided in ch. 227.
775.06 (7) of the statutes is amended to read:
The claims board shall keep a complete record of its proceedings in 9
each case and of all the evidence. The findings, conclusions, determination and
10award shall be subject to review as provided in ch. 227.
808.085 of the statutes is created to read:
12808.085 Wrongful conviction; relief.
If a court acts under s. 808.08 to 13
release a person from confinement in a prison, the person may petition the court for 14
any or all of the following:
(a) A court order directing the department of corrections to create a transition 16
to release plan.
(b) A financial assistance award not to exceed 133 percent of the federal poverty 18
level for up to 14 months, or while proceedings under s. 775.05 are pending, 19
whichever is shorter.
(c) Sealing of all records related to the case. Records sealed under this section 21
shall be accessible to the person but may not be available for public inspection or 22
through the consolidated court automation program case management system.
The court shall, within 10 days after it receives the petition under sub. (1), 24
grant the relief sought if the person's criminal conviction was reversed, set aside, or
vacated for reasons not inconsistent with the person's innocence of the crime for 2
which he or she was convicted.
If a person who is granted relief under this section is subsequently convicted 4
of the same charges for which he or she was granted relief, or if his or her conviction 5
is reinstated, the person shall repay any financial assistance award granted under 6
this section and all records related to the case shall be unsealed.
To the extent it is not contrary to or inconsistent with federal law, financial 8
assistance a person receives pursuant to this section may not be included as income 9
for the purpose of determining whether the person is indigent under rules 10
promulgated under ch. 977 or for the purpose of determining the person's eligibility 11
for any program for which the department of health services or the department of 12
children and families provides services, benefits, or other assistance under ch. 49.
(1) This act first applies with respect to claims for compensation of innocent 15
persons filed on the effective date of this subsection.