Merkes v. Kuecker, 082919 WICA, 2019AP472

Docket Nº:2019AP472
Opinion Judge:FITZPATRICK, J.
Party Name:Michelle L. Merkes, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Kareen Kuecker, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:August 29, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Wisconsin

Michelle L. Merkes, Plaintiff-Respondent,


Kareen Kuecker, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 2019AP472

Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District IV

August 29, 2019

This opinion will not be published. See Wis.Stat. Rule 809.23(1)(b)4.

APPEAL from a judgment of the circuit court for Grant County No. 2018SC1089 CRAIG R. DAY, Judge. Affirmed.


¶1 In this small claims action, Kareen Kuecker, pro se, appeals a judgment of the circuit court ordering her to give possession of a motorcycle to her sister, Michelle Merkes, unless an agreement was reached by Kuecker and Michelle as to the purchase price of the motorcycle and that price was fully paid before a day specified in the judgment. I affirm.

¶2 A few facts are undisputed. Kuecker and Michelle's father, Robert Merkes, died in October 2018. At the time of his death, Robert owned a motorcycle. After Robert's death, Kuecker took possession of the motorcycle. At the time of trial, the funeral home bill for Robert's funeral had an outstanding balance of approximately $7, 000, for which Michelle is liable. In December 2018, Michelle brought the present small claims action against Kuecker, seeking return of the motorcycle so that the motorcycle could be sold to pay the outstanding funeral home bill. The circuit court found that the motorcycle belonged to Robert's estate, and that ownership of the motorcycle had not been transferred to Michelle for consideration. The court ruled that either Kuecker needed to pay the fair value of the motorcycle, an amount that would go toward the unpaid funeral expenses for Robert that Michelle was financially liable for, or give possession of the motorcycle to Michelle.

¶3 The tenor of Kuecker's brief is that she wants to re-litigate, in this court, the case she lost in the circuit court. However, my review of the circuit court's decision is deferential.

¶4 Kuecker challenges, first, the circuit court's findings of facts. Pro se litigants are "bound by the same rules that apply to attorneys on appeal." Waushara Cty. v. Graf, 166 Wis.2d 442, 452, 480 N.W.2d 16 (1992). Yet, Kuecker's brief sets forth a litany of purported facts she relies on but...

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