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State v. Johnson

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
Jul 3, 2013
832 N.W.2d 609 (Wis. 2013)

Summary

In Johnson, 348 Wis.2d 450, 832 N.W.2d 609 (per curiam), reconsideration granted, 353 Wis.2d 119, 846 N.W.2d 1 (per curiam), a similar jumble of opinions required this court to grant a motion for reconsideration to clarify its earlier opinion.

Summary of this case from State v. Lynch

Opinion

No. 2011AP2864–CRAC.

2013-07-3

STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff–Appellant–Cross–Respondent–Petitioner, v. Samuel Curtis JOHNSON, III, Defendant–Respondent–Cross–Appellant.

For the plaintiff-appellant-cross-respondent-petitioner, the cause was argued by Marguerite M. Moeller, assistant attorney general, with whom on the briefs was J.B. Van Hollen, attorney general. For the defendant-respondent-cross-appellant, there was a brief by Michael F. Hart, Craig S. Powell, Geoffrey R. Misfeldt, and Kohler & Hart, S.C., Milwaukee, and Mark D. Richards and Richards & Hall, S.C., Racine, and Stephen J. Meyer and Meyer Law, Madison. The cause was argued by Mark D. Richards.



For the plaintiff-appellant-cross-respondent-petitioner, the cause was argued by Marguerite M. Moeller, assistant attorney general, with whom on the briefs was J.B. Van Hollen, attorney general. For the defendant-respondent-cross-appellant, there was a brief by Michael F. Hart, Craig S. Powell, Geoffrey R. Misfeldt, and Kohler & Hart, S.C., Milwaukee, and Mark D. Richards and Richards & Hall, S.C., Racine, and Stephen J. Meyer and Meyer Law, Madison. The cause was argued by Mark D. Richards.
An amicus curiae brief was filed by Kathleen Quinn, Milwaukee, on behalf of T.S.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Eric J. Wilson and Dustin B. Brown and Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., Madison, on behalf of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

PER CURIAM.

¶ 1 This is a review of an unpublished opinion of the court of appeals that affirmed in part and reversed in part an order of the circuit court. Three issues are presented for review:

State v. Johnson, No. 2011AP2864–CRAC, 2012 WL 1319781, unpublished slip op. (Ct.App. Apr. 18, 2012), affirming in part and reversing in part the circuit court for Racine County, Eugene A. Gasiorkiewicz, J., presiding.

[1] ¶ 2 First, should State v. Shiffra, 175 Wis.2d 600, 499 N.W.2d 719 (Ct.App.1993), be overruled because its holding rests on an erroneous premise that Pennsylvania v. Ritchie, 480 U.S. 39, 107 S.Ct. 989, 94 L.Ed.2d 40 (1987) mandates the pretrial in camera review of privately-held, privileged records? A majority of the court would not overrule Shiffra. Chief Justice Abrahamson, Justice Bradley, Justice Crooks, and Justice Ziegler conclude that Shiffra should not be overruled, observing that this court has reaffirmed or applied Shiffra in a number of cases. JUSTICE ROGGENSACK concluDes that shiffra should not be applied to mental health records that are privately held and privileged.

See, e.g., Johnson v. Rogers Memorial Hosp., Inc., 2005 WI 114, ¶¶ 72–73, 283 Wis.2d 384, 700 N.W.2d 27;State v. Allen, 2004 WI 106, ¶ 31, 274 Wis.2d 568, 682 N.W.2d 433;State v. Green, 2002 WI 68, 253 Wis.2d 356, 646 N.W.2d 298;State v. Rizzo, 2002 WI 20, 250 Wis.2d 407, 640 N.W.2d 93;State v. Solberg, 211 Wis.2d 372, 564 N.W.2d 775 (1997); State v. Speese, 199 Wis.2d 597, 545 N.W.2d 510 (1996).

¶ 3 Second, if Shiffra is not overruled, has the defendant met his burden under State v. Green, 2002 WI 68, 253 Wis.2d 356, 646 N.W.2d 298, to make an initial showing of materiality entitling him to an in camera review of the privately-held records? A majority of the court concludes that he has met the requisite burden to make an initial showing of materiality. Chief Justice Abrahamson, Justice Bradley, and Justice Crooks conclude that the defendant has satisfied his burden under Green. Justice Roggensack and Justice Ziegler conclude that the defendant has not satisfied his burden.

¶ 4 Third, if Shiffra is not overruled, may the circuit court require production of the privately-held, privileged mental health records in this case for in camera review when the 17–year–old privilege-holder refuses to consent to their release? Chief Justice Abrahamson and Justice Bradley agree with Judge Brown's dissent in the present case at the court of appeals that the circuit court may require production of the records for an in camera review and that Shiffra does not necessarily require the suppression of the privilege-holder's testimony if she refuses to release her records. They would affirm the circuit court's determination in this case, which has already balanced the competing interests, concluding that suppression of the privilege-holder's testimony is neither required nor appropriate as a sanction here. Justice Crooks and Justice Ziegler conclude that the court may not require production, but their rationales differ. Justice Crooks concludes that the privilege-holder may not testify without voluntarily producing the records under Shiffra. He is concerned about the defendant's ability to present a meaningful defense. Justice Ziegler concludes that the privilege-holder may testify because the defendant has not satisfied his burden under Green. Justice Roggensack concludes that the court cannot require production of the privately-held, privileged mental health records, and therefore that the privilege-holder may testify. Thus, under varying rationales, Chief Justice Abrahamson, Justice Bradley, Justice Roggensack, and Justice Ziegler agree that in this case, the privilege-holder may testify and need not produce the records.

State v. Johnson, No. 2011AP2864–CRAC, 2012 WL 1319781, ¶ 24, unpublished slip op. (Ct.App. Apr. 18, 2012) (Brown, J. dissenting). As Judge Brown concluded, “the [psychiatrist's] privilege and the right to present a defense are ... two equally conflicting interests and neither should be given absolute preference over the other.... When there are two competing and compelling societal interests, it is for the court to balance these interests on a case-by-case basis.” Id., ¶¶ 26–27.

Chief Justice Abrahamson and Justice Bradley would not affirm the circuit court's decision to give a curative jury instruction regarding any inferences to be taken from the privilege-holder's invocation of her privilege because Wis. Stat. § 905.13 prohibits such an instruction or other comment by judge or counsel.

¶ 5 As a result of the responses to the above third issue, we determine the following:

¶ 6 First, under varying rationales, a majority of the court concludes that in this case, the circuit court may not require production of the privately-held, privileged mental health records for in camera review.

¶ 7 Second, under varying rationales, a majority of the court concludes that the privilege-holder may testify in this case.

¶ 8 Although there is a majority regarding each issue presented, we limit our writing because of the varied rationales.

¶ 9 Accordingly, the decision of the court of appeals is modified and affirmed. The cause is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings. Upon remand, the circuit court may not require production of the privately-held, privileged mental health records for in camera review. However, upon remand, the privilege-holder may be called to testify in this case.

The decision of the court of appeals is modified and affirmed and, as modified, the cause is remanded to the circuit court. ¶ 10Justices DAVID T. PROSSER, JR. and MICHAEL J. GABLEMAN did not participate.


Summaries of

State v. Johnson

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
Jul 3, 2013
832 N.W.2d 609 (Wis. 2013)

In Johnson, 348 Wis.2d 450, 832 N.W.2d 609 (per curiam), reconsideration granted, 353 Wis.2d 119, 846 N.W.2d 1 (per curiam), a similar jumble of opinions required this court to grant a motion for reconsideration to clarify its earlier opinion.

Summary of this case from State v. Lynch
Case details for

State v. Johnson

Case Details

Full title:STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff–Appellant–Cross–Respondent–Petitioner, v…

Court:Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Date published: Jul 3, 2013

Citations

832 N.W.2d 609 (Wis. 2013)
348 Wis. 2d 450
2013 WI 59

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