Feed for /constitution/wi PDF
The court of appeals does not have jurisdiction to entertain an original action unrelated to its supervisory or appellate authority over circuit courts. State ex rel. Swan v. Elections Board, 133 Wis. 2d 87, 394 N.W.2d 732 (1986).
The court of appeals is authorized to exercise its supervisory authority over a chief judge who is ruling on a substitution request. James L.J. v. Walworth County Circuit Court, 200 Wis. 2d 496, 546 N.W.2d 460 (1996), 94-2043.
Only the supreme court has the power to overrule, modify, or withdraw language from a published opinion of the court of appeals. Cook v. Cook, 208 Wis. 2d 166, 560 N.W.2d 246 (1997), 95-1963.
A Shift in the Bottleneck: The Appellate Caseload Problem Twenty Years After the Creation of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Garlys. 1998 WLR 1547.
VII,6 Circuit court: boundaries. Section 6. [As amended April 1977] The legislature shall prescribe by law the number of judicial circuits, making them as compact and convenient as practicable, and bounding them by county lines. No alteration of circuit boundaries shall have the effect of removing a circuit judge from office during the judge's term. In case of an increase of circuits, the first judge or judges shall be elected. [1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]
VII,7 Circuit court: election. Section 7. [As amended April 1897, Nov. 1924 and April 1977] For each circuit there shall be chosen by the qualified electors thereof one or more circuit judges as prescribed by law. Circuit judges shall be elected for 6-year terms and shall reside in the circuit from which elected. [1895 J.R. 8, 1897 J.R. 9, 1897 c. 69, vote April 1897; 1921 J.R. 24S, 1923 J.R. 64, 1923 c. 408, vote Nov. 1924; 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]
VII,8 Circuit court: jurisdiction. Section 8. [As amended April 1977] Except as otherwise provided by law, the circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal within this state and such appellate jurisdiction in the circuit as the legislature may prescribe by law. The circuit court may issue all writs necessary in aid of its jurisdiction. [1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]
Although prohibition is not the appropriate remedy to suppress prosecution on an illegal search warrant, the supreme court treated the case as a petition for habeas corpus. State ex rel. Furlong v. Waukesha County Court, 47 Wis. 2d 515, 177 N.W.2d 333.
Certiorari cannot be used to upset the legislative discretion of a city council but the court should review the council's action to determine whether there was a rational factual basis for it. The review is limited to the record consisting of the petition and the return to the writ, plus matters of which the court could take judicial notice. State ex rel. Hippler v. Baraboo, 47 Wis. 2d 603, 178 N.W.2d 1.
A writ of prohibition may not be used to test the admissibility of evidence at an impending trial. State ex rel. Cortez v. Bd. of F. & P. Comm. 49 Wis. 2d 130, 181 N.W.2d 378.
Jurisdiction depends not on whether the relief asked for is available, but on whether the court has the power to hear the kind of action brought. It is not defeated by the possibility that averments in a complaint might fail to state a cause of action, for any such failure calls for a judgment on the merits not for a dismissal for want of jurisdiction. Murphy v. Miller Brewing Co. 50 Wis. 2d 323, 184 N.W.2d 141.
Mandamus is a discretionary writ and the order of a trial court refusing to quash it will not be reversed except for an abuse of discretion. A court can treat it as a motion for declaratory relief. Milwaukee County v. Schmidt, 52 Wis. 2d 58, 187 N.W.2d 777.
Differences between common law and statutory certiorari are discussed. Browndale International v. Board of Adjustment, 60 Wis. 2d 182, 208 N.W.2d 121.
The statutory designation of circuit court branches as criminal court branches does not deprive other branches of criminal jurisdiction. Dumer v. State, 64 Wis. 2d 590, 219 N.W.2d 592.
Circuit court review of a decision of the city of Milwaukee Board of Fire and Police Commissioners was proper via writ of certiorari. Edmonds v. Board of Fire & Police Commrs. 66 Wis. 2d 337, 224 N.W.2d 575.
A judge having jurisdiction of the person and subject matter involved and acting within that jurisdiction and in his or her judicial capacity, is exempt from civil liability. Abdella v. Catlin, 79 Wis. 2d 270, 255 N.W.2d 516.
The circuit courts are constitutional courts with plenary jurisdiction. They do not depend solely upon statute for their powers. However in certain cases with vast social ramifications not addressed by statute, prudence requires the courts to refuse to exercise their jurisdiction. As such, circuit courts are prohibited from exercising jurisdiction regarding sterilization of incompetents. In Matter of Guardianship of Eberhardy, 102 Wis. 2d 539, 307 N.W.2d 881 (1981).
Because courts have exclusive criminal jurisdiction, criminal charges against the defendant were not collaterally estopped even though a parole revocation hearing examiner concluded that defendant's acts did not merit parole revocation. State v. Spanbauer, 108 Wis. 2d 548, 322 N.W.2d 511 (Ct. App. 1982).
While circuit courts possess plenary jurisdiction not dependent upon legislative authorization, under some circumstances they may lack competency to act. Interest of L.M.C. 146 Wis. 2d 377, 430 N.W.2d 352 (Ct. App. 1988).
Challenges to a circuit court's competency are waived if not raised in the circuit court, subject to the reviewing court's inherent authority to overlook a waiver in appropriate cases or engage in discretionary review of a waived competency challenge pursuant to ss. 751.06 or 752.35. Lack of competency is not jurisdictional and does not result in a void judgment. Accordingly, it is not true that a motion for relief from judgment on grounds of lack of circuit court competency may be made at any time. Village of Trempealeau v. Mikrut, 2004 WI 79, 273 Wis. 2d 76, 681 N.W.2d 190, 03-0534.
VII,9 Judicial elections, vacancies. Section 9. [As amended April 1953 and April 1977] When a vacancy occurs in the office of justice of the supreme court or judge of any court of record, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the governor, which shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified. There shall be no election for a justice or judge at the partisan general election for state or county officers, nor within 30 days either before or after such election. [1951 J.R. 41, 1953 J.R. 12, vote April 1953; 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]
VII,10 Judges: eligibility to office. Section 10. [As amended Nov. 1912 and April 1977]
VII,10(1)(1) No justice of the supreme court or judge of any court of record shall hold any other office of public trust, except a judicial office, during the term for which elected. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge who shall not, at the time of election or appointment, be a qualified elector within the jurisdiction for which chosen.
VII,10(2) (2) Justices of the supreme court and judges of the courts of record shall receive such compensation as the legislature may authorize by law, but may not receive fees of office. [1909 J.R. 34, 1911 J.R. 24, 1911 c. 665, vote Nov. 1912; 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]
Sub. (1) prohibits a circuit judge from holding a nonjudicial office of public trust during the full period of time for which he or she is elected to serve in a judicial position, even if the judge chooses to resign before that term would otherwise expire. The period of time constituting the "term for which elected" is set when a judge or justice is elected, and is thereafter unalterable by means of resignation. Wagner v. Milwaukee County Election Commission, 2003 WI 103, 263 Wis. 2d 709, 666 N.W.2d 816, 02-0375.
An "office of public trust" does not refer only to an elective office. "Judicial office," as used in Article VII, should be construed as referring to an office that is located within the judicial branch of government created by that article. Membership on the government accountability board is an office of public trust but is not a judicial office within the meaning of Art. VII, s. 10, and therefore an individual who has resigned from the office of judge may not serve as a member of the board for the duration of the term to which the individual was elected to serve as a judge. OAG 4-08.
Terms of courts; change of judges. Section 11. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977.]
VII,11 Disciplinary proceedings. Section 11. [As created April 1977] Each justice or judge shall be subject to reprimand, censure, suspension, removal for cause or for disability, by the supreme court pursuant to procedures established by the legislature by law. No justice or judge removed for cause shall be eligible for reappointment or temporary service. This section is alternative to, and cumulative with, the methods of removal provided in sections 1 and 13 of this article and section 12 of article XIII. [1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]
VII,12 Clerks of circuit and supreme courts. Section 12. [As amended Nov. 1882, April 2005]
VII,12(1) (1) There shall be a clerk of circuit court chosen in each county organized for judicial purposes by the qualified electors thereof, who, except as provided in sub. (2), shall hold office for two years, subject to removal as provided by law.
VII,12(2) (2) Beginning with the first general election at which the governor is elected which occurs after the ratification of this subsection, a clerk of circuit court shall be chosen by the electors of each county, for the term of 4 years, subject to removal as provided by law.
VII,12(3) (3) In case of a vacancy, the judge of the circuit court may appoint a clerk until the vacancy is filled by an election.
VII,12(4) (4) The clerk of circuit court shall give such security as the legislature requires by law.
VII,12(5) (5) The supreme court shall appoint its own clerk, and may appoint a clerk of circuit court to be the clerk of the supreme court. [1881 J.R. 16A, 1882 J.R. 3, 1882 c. 290, vote Nov. 1882; 2003 J.R. 12, 2005 J.R. 2, vote April 2005]
VII,13 Justices and judges: removal by address. Section 13. [As amended April 1974 and April 1977] Any justice or judge may be removed from office by address of both houses of the legislature, if two-thirds of all the members elected to each house concur therein, but no removal shall be made by virtue of this section unless the justice or judge complained of is served with a copy of the charges, as the ground of address, and has had an opportunity of being heard. On the question of removal, the ayes and noes shall be entered on the journals. [1971 J.R. 30, 1973 J.R. 25, vote April 1974; 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]
VII,14 Municipal court. Section 14. [As amended April 1977] The legislature by law may authorize each city, village and town to establish a municipal court. All municipal courts shall have uniform jurisdiction limited to actions and proceedings arising under ordinances of the municipality in which established. Judges of municipal courts may receive such compensation as provided by the municipality in which established, but may not receive fees of office. [1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]
A municipal court has authority to determine the constitutionality of a municipal ordinance. City of Milwaukee v. Wroten, 160 Wis. 2d 207, 466 N.W.2d 861 (1991).
VII,15 Justices of the peace. Section 15. [Amended April 1945; repealed April 1966; see 1943 J.R. 27, 1945 J.R. 2, vote April 1945; 1963 J.R. 48, 1965 J.R. 50, vote April 1966.]
VII,16 Tribunals of conciliation. Section 16. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977.]
VII,17 Style of writs; indictments. Section 17. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977.]
VII,18 Suit tax. Section 18. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977.]
VII,19 Testimony in equity suits; master in chancery. Section 19. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977.]
VII,20 Rights of suitors. Section 20. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977.] See Art. I, sec. 21.
VII,21 Publication of laws and decisions. Section 21. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977.] See Art. IV, sec. 17.
VII,22 Commissioners to revise code of practice. Section 22. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977.]
VII,23 Court commissioners. Section 23. [Repealed April 1977; see 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977.]
VII,24 Justices and judges: eligibility for office; retirement. Section 24. [As created April 1955 and amended April 1968 and April 1977]
VII,24(1)(1) To be eligible for the office of supreme court justice or judge of any court of record, a person must be an attorney licensed to practice law in this state and have been so licensed for 5 years immediately prior to election or appointment.
VII,24(2) (2) Unless assigned temporary service under subsection (3), no person may serve as a supreme court justice or judge of a court of record beyond the July 31 following the date on which such person attains that age, of not less than 70 years, which the legislature shall prescribe by law.
VII,24(3) (3) A person who has served as a supreme court justice or judge of a court of record may, as provided by law, serve as a judge of any court of record except the supreme court on a temporary basis if assigned by the chief justice of the supreme court. [1953 J.R. 46, 1955 J.R. 14, vote April 1955; 1965 J.R. 101, 1967 J.R. 22 and 56, vote April 1968; 1975 J.R. 13, 1977 J.R. 7, vote April 1977]
VIII ARTICLE VIII.
finance
VIII,1 Rule of taxation uniform; income, privilege and occupation taxes. Section 1. [As amended Nov. 1908, April 1927, April 1941, April 1961 and April 1974] The rule of taxation shall be uniform but the legislature may empower cities, villages or towns to collect and return taxes on real estate located therein by optional methods. Taxes shall be levied upon such property with such classifications as to forests and minerals including or separate or severed from the land, as the legislature shall prescribe. Taxation of agricultural land and undeveloped land, both as defined by law, need not be uniform with the taxation of each other nor with the taxation of other real property. Taxation of merchants' stock-in-trade, manufacturers' materials and finished products, and livestock need not be uniform with the taxation of real property and other personal property, but the taxation of all such merchants' stock-in-trade, manufacturers' materials and finished products and livestock shall be uniform, except that the legislature may provide that the value thereof shall be determined on an average basis. Taxes may also be imposed on incomes, privileges and occupations, which taxes may be graduated and progressive, and reasonable exemptions may be provided. [1905 J.R. 12, 1907 J.R. 29, 1907 c. 661, vote Nov. 1908; 1925 J.R. 62, 1927 J.R. 13, vote April 1927; 1939 J.R. 88, 1941 J.R. 18, vote April 1941; 1959 J.R. 78, 1961 J.R. 13, vote April 1961; 1971 J.R. 39, 1973 J.R. 29, vote April 1974]
While a sale establishes value, the assessment still has to be equal to that on comparable property. Sub. (2) (b) requires the assessor to fix a value before classifying the land. It does not prohibit the assessor from considering the zoning of the property when it is used for some other purpose. State ex rel. Hensel v. Town of Wilson, 55 Wis. 2d 101, 197 N.W.2d 794.
The fact that land purchased for industrial development under s. 66.521, Stats. 1969, [now s. 66.1103] and leased to a private person is not subject to a tax lien if taxes are not paid does not violate the uniformity provision. State ex rel. Hammermill Paper Co. v. La Plante, 58 Wis. 2d 32, 205 N.W.2d 784.
The Housing Authority Act, in granting tax exemptions to bonds, does not violate this section. State ex rel. Warren v. Nusbaum, 59 Wis. 2d 391, 208 N.W.2d 780.
A law requiring a reduction in rent due to property tax relief does not violate the uniformity clause. It is not a tax law. State ex rel. Bldg. Owners v. Adamany, 64 Wis. 2d 280, 219 N.W.2d 274.
The denial of equal protection claimed by the taxpayer, by reason of the exclusion from the "occasional sale" exemption of sellers holding permits was properly held by the trial court to be without merit. Ramrod, Inc. v. Dept. of Revenue, 64 Wis. 2d 499, 219 N.W.2d 604.
The income and property tax exemptions provided in the Solid Waste Recycling Authority Act bear a reasonable relation to a legitimate end of governmental action and therefore do not violate the Wisconsin Constitution, since the exemptions allow for reduction in user charges and in the cost of capital needs, thereby benefiting the state's citizens by promoting use of the Authority's facilities. Wisconsin Solid Waste Recycling Auth. v. Earl, 70 Wis. 2d 464, 235 N.W.2d 648.
Negative-aid provisions of school district financing, as mandated by 121.07 and 121.08, Stats. (1973), are violative of the rule of uniform taxation. Buse v. Smith, 74 Wis. 2d 550, 247 N.W.2d 141.
Improvements tax relief provisions of 79.24 and 79.25, 1977 stats., are unconstitutional as violative of uniformity clause. State ex rel. La Follette v. Torphy, 85 Wis. 2d 94, 270 N.W.2d 187 (1978).
A tax exemption with a reasonable, though remote, relation to a legitimate government purpose was permissible. Madison General Hospital Asso. v. Madison, 92 Wis. 2d 125, 284 N.W.2d 603 (1979).
The tax Increment Law, s.66.46 [now s. 66.1105] does not violate the uniformity rule. Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity House v. Menomonie, 93 Wis. 2d 392, 288 N.W.2d 85 (1980).
A contract by which a landowner agreed to petition for annexation to a city, not to develop land, and to grant water rights to the city in exchange for reimbursement of all property taxes violated the uniformity rule. Cornwell v. City of Stevens Point, 159 Wis. 2d 136, 464 N.W.2d 33 (Ct. App. 1990).
For purposes of the uniformity clause, there is only one class of property, property that is taxable, and the burden of taxation must be borne as nearly as practicable among all property, based on value. Noah's Ark Family Park v. Village of Lake Delton, 210 Wis. 2d 301, 565 N.W.2d 230 (Ct. App. 1997). Affirmed 216 Wis. 2d 387, 573 N.W.2d 852 (1998), 96-1074.
To prove a statute unconstitutional due to a violation of the uniformity clause, a taxpayer must initially prove that his property has been overvalued while other property has been undervalued. Norquist v. Zeuske, 211 Wis. 2d 241, 564 N.W.2d 748 (1997), 96-1812.
Sections 70.47 (13), 70.85, and 74.37 provide the exclusive method to challenge a municipality's bases for assessment of individual parcels. All require appeal to the board of review prior to court action. There is no alternative procedure to challenge an assessment's compliance with the uniformity clause. Hermann v. Town of Delavan, 215 Wis. 2d 370, 572 N.W.2d 855 (1998), 96-0171.
The uniformity clause is limited to property taxes, recurring ad valorem taxes on property, as opposed to transactional taxes such as those imposed on income or sales. Telemark Development, Inc. v. DOR, 218 Wis. 2d 809, 581 N.W.2d 585 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-3133.
The supreme court has rejected challenges alleging violations of the rule of uniformity when the claim was based on comparing one taxpayer's appraised value to the value assigned to an inadequate number of other properties in the assessment district. A lack of uniformity must be established by showing general undervaluation on a district-wide basis if the subject property has been assessed at full market value. Allright Properties, Inc. v. City of Milwaukee, 2009 WI App 46, 317 Wis. 2d 228, 767 N.W.2d 567, 08-0510.
Comparing the value attributed to only one component of the real property in a uniformity challenge is an analytical method without support in statutes or relevant case law. Taxes are levied on the value of the real property; not separately on the components of land, or improvements, or other rights or limitations of ownership. Allright Properties, Inc. v. City of Milwaukee, 2009 WI App 46, 317 Wis. 2d 228, 767 N.W.2d 567, 08-0510.
Reassessing one property at a significantly higher rate than comparable properties using a different methodology and then declining to reassess the comparable properties by that methodology violates the uniformity clause. U.S. Oil Co., Inc. v. City of Milwaukee, 2011 WI App 4, 331 Wis. 2d 407, 794 N.W.2d 904, 09-2260.
Comparing a taxpayer's appraised value to lower values assigned to a relatively small number of other properties has long been rejected as a claimed violation of the uniformity clause. Lack of uniformity must be established by showing a general undervaluation of properties within a district when the subject property has been assessed at full market value. Great Lakes Quick Lube, LP v. City of Milwaukee, 2011 WI App 7, 331 Wis. 2d 137, 794 N.W.2d 510, 09-2775.
A partial exemption from property taxation, proposed for land conveyed to The National Audubon Society, Inc., probably is unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment and the rule of uniformity. 61 Atty. Gen. 173.
Competitive bidding for the issuance of a liquor license violates this section. 61 Atty. Gen. 180.
A bill providing for a tax on all known commercially feasible low-grade iron ore reserve deposits in Wisconsin, would appear to violate the uniformity of taxation provisions of sec. 1. 63 Atty. Gen. 3.
A law providing that improvements to real property would be assessed as of the date of completion of the improvements would be unconstitutional. 81 Atty. Gen. 94.
VIII,2 Appropriations; limitation. Section 2. [As amended Nov. 1877] No money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation by law. No appropriation shall be made for the payment of any claim against the state except claims of the United States and judgments, unless filed within six years after the claim accrued. [1876 J.R. 7, 1877 J.R. 4, 1877 c. 158, vote Nov. 1877]
The creation of a continuing appropriation by one legislature does not restrict a subsequent legislature from reallocating the unexpended, unencumbered public funds subject to the original appropriation. Flynn v. Department of Administration, 216 Wis. 2d 521, 576 N.W.2d 245 (1998), 96-3266.
Although there is no specific clause in the constitution establishing the public purpose doctrine, the doctrine is firmly accepted as a basic tenet of the constitution, mandating that public appropriations may not be used for other than public purposes. Courts are to give great weight and afford very wide discretion to legislative declarations of public purpose, but are not bound by such legislative expressions. It is the duty of the court to determine whether a public purpose can be conceived that might reasonably justify the basis of the duty. Town of Beloit v. County of Rock, 2003 WI 8, 259 Wis. 2d 37, 657 N.W.2d 344, 00-1231.
Funds may not be used to construct a project that has not been provided for in either the long-range building program or specifically described in the session laws. 61 Atty. Gen. 298.
The constitution does not preclude grants of state money to private parties for the purpose of affording disaster relief under the Disaster Relief Act of 1974. An appropriation by the legislature is required, however, to provide the state funding contemplated by the Act. Federal advances under the Act are limited by Art. VIII, sec. 6. 64 Atty. Gen. 39.
VIII,3 Credit of state. Section 3. [As amended April 1975] Except as provided in s. 7
VIII,3(2)(a)(a), the credit of the state shall never be given, or loaned, in aid of any individual, association or corporation. [1973 J.R. 38, 1975 J.R. 3, vote April 1975]
VIII,4 Contracting state debts. Section 4. The state shall never contract any public debt except in the cases and manner herein provided.
The Housing Authority Act does not create a state debt even though it calls for legislative appropriations in future years to service payment of notes and bonds. State ex rel. Warren v. Nusbaum, 59 Wis. 2d 391, 208 N.W.2d 780.
An authority's power to issue notes and bonds does not constitute the creation of a state debt or a pledge of the state's credit in violation of art. VIII, since the creating act specifically prohibited the authority from incurring state debt or pledging state credit, and the provision of the act recognizing a moral obligation on the part of the legislature to make up deficits does not create an obligation legally enforceable against the state. Wisconsin Solid Waste Recycling Auth. v. Earl, 70 Wis. 2d 464, 235 N.W.2d 648.
This section restricts the state from levying taxes to create a surplus having no public purpose. Although the constitutional provision does not apply directly to municipalities, the same limitation applies to school districts because the state cannot delegate more power than it has. Barth v. Monroe Board of Education, 108 Wis. 2d 511, 514-15, 322 N.W.2d 694 (Ct. App. 1982).
Because operating notes are to be paid from money in the process of collection, notes are not public debt. State ex rel. La Follette v. Stitt, 114 Wis. 2d 358, 338 N.W.2d 684 (1983).
Loading...
Loading...
Wisconsin Constitution updated by the Legislative Reference Bureau. Published March 22, 2014. Click for the Coverage of Annotations for the Annotated Constitution. Report errors at (608) 266-3561, FAX 264-6948.