City of Waukesha v. Schessler

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtFOWLER
Citation239 Wis. 82,300 N.W. 498
PartiesCITY OF WAUKESHA v. SCHESSLER et al.
Decision Date04 November 1941

239 Wis. 82
300 N.W. 498

CITY OF WAUKESHA
v.
SCHESSLER et al.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Nov. 4, 1941.


Appeal from an order of the County Court of Waukesha County; David W. Agnew, Judge.

Reversed.

Actions by the city of Waukesha in the municipal court of the eastern district of Waukesha county against Harold Schessler, William Schessler and Lawrence Schmidt under an ordinance of the city. Upon conviction the defendants appealed to the county court. The actions were there consolidated. Upon motion of the plaintiff the county court dismissed the appeals for want of jurisdiction. From the order of dismissal the defendants appeal. The facts are stated in the opinion.

Max Raskin, of Milwaukee (E. Ace Bernstein, of Milwaukee, of counsel), for appellants.

John C. Love, City Atty., of Waukesha, for respondent.


FOWLER, Justice.

The defendants were convicted in the municipal court of the eastern district of the county of Waukesha of disorderly conduct upon complaints based upon an ordinance of the city of Waukesha forbidding such conduct and sentenced to imprisonment in the House of Correction of Milwaukee county. The ordinance provided that any person found guilty of its violation should “be subject to a fine of not less than one dollar or more than fifty dollars, or to imprisonment not to exceed sixty days or to both such fine and imprisonment.” The defendants appealed their convictions to the county court of Waukesha county under the provision of the act governing appeals from the municipal court to the county court which reads as follows: “Appeals from judgments rendered in said court in civil actions shall be taken *** in the

[300 N.W. 499]

same manner as appeals from judgments of justices of the peace.” Ch. 279, Laws 1921.

Sec. 306.01, Stats., reads as follows: “Appeals in justice court. Any party to a final judgment rendered by a justice of the peace *** may appeal therefrom to the circuit court or other court having jurisdiction of the appeal in the cases and manner hereinafter provided.”

Appeals from a justice court judgment in Waukesha county go to the county court. Sec. 7, Ch. 99, Laws 1891.

The instant appeals to the county court were taken in the manner prescribed by the statute next above quoted. The city moved in the county court for dismissal of the cases on the ground that the court was without jurisdiction, claiming that the appeals do not go to the county court but to the Supreme Court under a provision of the Municipal Court Act which reads as follows: “The judgments of the municipal court in bastardy and criminal cases tried before it may be examined and reviewed by the supreme court in the same manner as judgments of the circuit court. To carry out its jurisdiction the said municipal court shall have all the powers of circuit courts, and the municipal judge shall have the same powers in all matters pertaining to the jurisdiction of said municipal court, as circuit judges.”

It appears from the two appeal provisions of Ch. 279 that the point upon which the case turns is whether the action in the municipal court is a “civil action” or a “criminal case.”

[1][2]Art. VII, sec. 17 of the State Constitution seems to require us to hold the instant case a civil action. The section reads in part: “The style of all writs and process shall be, ‘The state of Wisconsin;’ all criminal prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the...

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7 practice notes
  • Dane County v. McGrew, No. 2003AP1794.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 19 July 2005
    ...§ 7, which assures certain rights to criminal defendants. McGrew concedes that this is a civil action. See City of Waukesha v. Schessler, 239 Wis. 82, 85-86, 300 N.W. 498 (1941) ("By no process of reasoning . . . can any action except one prosecuted by the state be considered a criminal act......
  • Neely v. State, No. 77-499-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • 31 October 1978
    ...County, 258 Wis. 256, 45 N.W.2d 673 (1951); In re Cooper's Will, 253 Wis. 550, 34 N.W.2d 667 (1948); City of Waukesha v. Schessler, 239 Wis. 82, 300 N.W. 498 2 See Frankfurter, "A Note on Advisory Opinions," 37 Harv.L.Rev. 1002 (1924). 3 Cf. State ex rel. Jackson v. Coffey, 18 Wis.2d 529, 1......
  • State ex rel. McStroul v. Lucas
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 14 October 1947
    ...thereof. Every other is a civil action.’ In relation to those constitutional and statutory provisions we said in Waukesha v. Schessler, 239 Wis. 82, 85, 300 N.W. 498, 499. ‘Counsel for the city claims that the action (a prosecution for disorderly conduct in violation of an ordinance) is qua......
  • Madison Teachers Inc. v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Com'n, No. 82-579
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • 25 October 1983
    ...which it is directly involved. See In re Will of Coopers, 253 Wis. 550, 557, 34 N.W.2d 667, 670-71 (1948); City of Waukesha v. Schessler, 239 Wis. 82, 87, 300 N.W. 498, 500 2 Section 111.70(3)(a)5, Stats., provides: (3) Prohibited Practices and their Prevention. (a) It is a prohibited pract......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Dane County v. McGrew, No. 2003AP1794.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 19 July 2005
    ...§ 7, which assures certain rights to criminal defendants. McGrew concedes that this is a civil action. See City of Waukesha v. Schessler, 239 Wis. 82, 85-86, 300 N.W. 498 (1941) ("By no process of reasoning . . . can any action except one prosecuted by the state be considered a criminal act......
  • Neely v. State, No. 77-499-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • 31 October 1978
    ...County, 258 Wis. 256, 45 N.W.2d 673 (1951); In re Cooper's Will, 253 Wis. 550, 34 N.W.2d 667 (1948); City of Waukesha v. Schessler, 239 Wis. 82, 300 N.W. 498 2 See Frankfurter, "A Note on Advisory Opinions," 37 Harv.L.Rev. 1002 (1924). 3 Cf. State ex rel. Jackson v. Coffey, 18 Wis.2d 529, 1......
  • State ex rel. McStroul v. Lucas
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 14 October 1947
    ...thereof. Every other is a civil action.’ In relation to those constitutional and statutory provisions we said in Waukesha v. Schessler, 239 Wis. 82, 85, 300 N.W. 498, 499. ‘Counsel for the city claims that the action (a prosecution for disorderly conduct in violation of an ordinance) is qua......
  • Madison Teachers Inc. v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Com'n, No. 82-579
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • 25 October 1983
    ...which it is directly involved. See In re Will of Coopers, 253 Wis. 550, 557, 34 N.W.2d 667, 670-71 (1948); City of Waukesha v. Schessler, 239 Wis. 82, 87, 300 N.W. 498, 500 2 Section 111.70(3)(a)5, Stats., provides: (3) Prohibited Practices and their Prevention. (a) It is a prohibited pract......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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