Wisconsin State Public Defender

The Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office (SPD) has been providing "justice for all" since 1977, and is an independent, executive-branch state agency that ensures Wisconsin meets its constitutional requirement of providing legal representation to the indigent.

The mission of the Wisconsin State Public Defender is to zealously represent clients, protect constitutional rights, and advocate for an effective and fair criminal justice system.  Our commitment is to treat our clients with dignity and compassion.  Vision statement:  The Wisconsin State Public Defender Office will lead the way in protecting justice for all.

The agency provides legal representation to the indigent throughout the state in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties.  Organizationally, the SPD has 37 local trial offices, 2 appellate offices and a central administrative office.  The agency utilizes staff attorneys as well as contract private attorneys (to handle conflict and overflow cases).

The SPD's website provides resources to clients and potential clients, private attorneys who are certified to take SPD case appointments, individuals involved in the criminal justice system, and the public interested in the state agency that delivers on Wisconsin's constitutional requirement regarding indigent defense.

SPD Main Telephone number: 608-266-0087

Latest from Wisconsin State Public Defender - Page 2

Milwaukee County v. D.C.B., 2021AP581, 10/12/21, Distract 1 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity Before a circuit court enters an order to recommit a person under Chapter 51, it is supposed to make specific factual findings with reference to
Continue Reading Another Ch. 51 recommitment reversed due to a circuit court’s violation of D.J.W.

City of Port Washington v. Sandra J. Koziol, 2021AP449-450-FT, 10/6/21, District 2 (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Each year, Wisconsin’s municipal courts resolve close to half of a million cases, including traffic offenses, OWIs, and other
Continue Reading Court of appeals takes hard line on appeals from municipal court decisions

La Crosse County DHS v. B.B. and E.B., 2020AP2030 & 2020AP2031, District 4, 9/30/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity B.B. and E.B. challenge the order terminating their parental rights, arguing that the guardian ad litem improperly invoked the
Continue Reading GAL didn’t improperly argue best-interests standard at TPR trial; Zoom disposition hearing didn’t violate parent’s right to be present

State v. D.W., 2021AP1290, District 1, 9/28/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The circuit court properly exercised its discretion in terminating D.W.’s parental rights because the court considered all the relevant factors under § 48.426(3) in reaching its decision. In deciding to
Continue Reading Termination of parental rights supported by appropriate exercise of discretion