Reginald D., In Interest of, No. 93-2331

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtWILCOX; SHIRLEY S. ABRAHAMSON
Citation193 Wis.2d 299,533 N.W.2d 181
PartiesIn the INTEREST OF REGINALD D., a Person under the age of Eighteen. REGINALD D., Appellant, v. STATE of Wisconsin, Respondent.
Decision Date08 June 1995
Docket NumberNo. 93-2331

Page 181

533 N.W.2d 181
193 Wis.2d 299
In the INTEREST OF REGINALD D., a Person under the age of Eighteen.
REGINALD D., Appellant,
v.
STATE of Wisconsin, Respondent.
No. 93-2331.
Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
Argued March 8, 1995.
Decided June 8, 1995.

Page 183

[193 Wis.2d 302] For the appellant there were briefs and oral argument by James M. Weber, Milwaukee.

For the respondent the cause was argued by David Robles, Asst. Dist. Atty., with whom on the [193 Wis.2d 303] brief was E. Michael McCann, Dist. Atty., Milwaukee.

WILCOX, Justice.

This case comes to this court on certification from the court of appeals pursuant to sec. 809.61, STATS. 1 The overriding issue is whether a juvenile who is detained in a secure detention center, prior to being found delinquent in a jury trial, is entitled to time-served credit towards the subsequent disposition order. 2 We conclude that a juvenile is not entitled to time-served credit in such cases and, therefore, affirm the decision of the circuit court, Judge David A. Hansher.

The facts in this case are not in dispute. On April 28, 1992, Reginald D. was arrested for aggravated battery as a result of an incident where two women were beaten by a group of juveniles. A delinquency petition [193 Wis.2d 304] was filed against Reginald two days later pursuant to sec. 48.12, STATS. Reginald subsequently was held 3 in a secure detention facility between April 29, 1992, and July 2, 1992, when he was released to the "In-House Corrections" program. On August 19, 1992, he was returned to secure custody because of a poor record in the In-House Corrections program. He remained in secure custody until a formal disposition order was entered on January 21, 1993.

The jury trial in the matter was scheduled and commenced on October 5, 1992. However, a mistrial was declared prior to the jury being selected because of the unavailability of the deputy clerk. On October 16, 1992, a hearing was held regarding the applicable statutory time limits under the Wisconsin Children's Code. 4 Reginald and his counsel consented to a waiver of the time limits. Finally, on January 19, 1993, a jury [193 Wis.2d 305] trial was started. The trial continued on January 20 and 21, and concluded with the jury finding

Page 184

Reginald guilty of high risk battery, party to a crime, and battery, party to a crime. The circuit court, as part of its disposition order, placed Reginald at Ethan Allen School for a term of two years. The court denied any credit for time spent in pre-disposition detention.

Reginald then filed a number of post-adjudication motions requesting, among other things, time-served credit for the days spent in pre-disposition secure custody. The motions were heard on July 30, 1993. The circuit court, in a written order, denied all post-adjudication motions, including the request for time-served credit. Reginald appealed to the court of appeals which, in turn, certified the appeal to this court for review.

In resolving this case, we address the following issues:

(1) Whether the Due Process and Equal Protection provisions of the United States and Wisconsin Constitutions require that adults and juveniles be treated similarly with regard to the award of credit for time served in custody prior to sentencing or disposition;

(2) Alternatively, whether the Wisconsin Children's Code, ch. 48, STATS., by not explicitly denying such credit, allows a circuit court discretion to grant credit to a juvenile offender for time served in secure custody prior to disposition.

Resolution of the questions in this case involves statutory construction and constitutional interpretation which this court considers utilizing a de novo [193 Wis.2d 306] standard of review. Szarzynski v. YMCA, Camp Minikani, 184 Wis.2d 875, 883-84, 517 N.W.2d 135, 138 (1994); State v. McManus, 152 Wis.2d 113, 129, 447 N.W.2d 654, 660 (1989); State v. Hermann, 164 Wis.2d 269, 281, 474 N.W.2d 906, 910 (Ct.App.1991).

Pursuant to sec. 973.155(1)(a), STATS., adult offenders have the right to receive credit towards their sentences for time served in pre-sentence custody. 5 Under the Children's Code, however, there currently is no corresponding provision granting credit for time served in secure detention awaiting disposition. Reginald recognizes this distinction and concedes that "[c]urrently, sec. 973.155, STATS., applies only to convicted offenders and, therefore, does not expressly extend to juveniles held in pre-trial custody." Reginald contends, however, that there exists no rational basis for this discrepancy, and it is a violation of due process and equal protection of the laws.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The functional equivalent of this clause is found in Article I, sec. 1, of the [193 Wis.2d 307] Wisconsin Constitution: "All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; to secure these rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." As noted in State ex rel. Sonneborn v. Sylvester, 26 Wis.2d 43, 49-50, 132 N.W.2d 249, 252 (1965), even though Article I, sec. 1, is based on the Declaration of Independence, "there is no substantial difference" between its equal protection and due process protections and that of the Fourteenth Amendment. See also McManus, 152 Wis.2d at 130, 447 N.W.2d at 660 ("This court has held the due process and equal protection clauses of the Wisconsin Constitution are substantial equivalents of their respective clauses in the federal constitution."); Funk v. Wollin Silo & Equipment, Inc., 148 Wis.2d 59, 61 n. 2, 435 N.W.2d 244, 245 n. 2 (1989) ("We have given the equal-protection provision of the Wisconsin Constitution and the

Page 185

parallel clause of the United States Constitution identical interpretation.").

Reginald's due process argument is one of substantive concerns rather than procedural ones. Governmental action violates "substantive due process" when the action in question, while adhering to the forms of law, unjustifiably abridges the Constitution's fundamental constraints upon the content of what government may do to people under the guise of the law. This court has recognized that "due process requires that the means chosen by the legislature bear a reasonable and rational relationship to the purpose or object of the enactment; if it does, and the legislative purpose is a proper one, the exercise of the police power is valid." McManus, 152 Wis.2d at 130, 447 N.W.2d at [193 Wis.2d 308] 660. Further, "[t]he police power of the state is the inherent power of the government to promote the general welfare. It covers all matters having a reasonable relation to the protection of the public health, safety or welfare." State v. Interstate Blood Bank, Inc., 65 Wis.2d 482, 490, 222 N.W.2d 912, 916 (1974) (citations omitted).

Reginald's substantive due process argument is brief--he argues that the juvenile system must comport with the essentials of due process and fair treatment. 6 By not allowing credit for pre-disposition time served in secure custody, Reginald asserts that the State is violating fundamental fairness since it grants pre-sentence credit for adult offenders. Hence, Reginald's argument is that the inaction of the legislature on this point violates due process. We agree with Reginald's general assertion that the juvenile system must comport with the essentials of due process and fair treatment. There can be no dispute that juveniles charged in a delinquency petition are afforded certain constitutional and statutory rights. We are not persuaded,[193 Wis.2d 309] however, that denying juveniles credit for pre-disposition time served in secure detention results in a violation of substantive due process. On the contrary, the legislature's decision not to allow credit is an appropriate police power function and bears a rational relation to the promotion of the safety and general welfare of juveniles. Simply put, denying time-served credit here is not "unfair" in the classic sense of substantive due process.

Equal protection, like due process, requires that there exist reasonable and practical grounds for the classifications drawn by the legislature. McManus, 152 Wis.2d at 130, 447 N.W.2d at 660. In McManus, we also explained:

Equal protection does not deny a state the power to treat persons within its jurisdiction differently; rather, the state retains broad discretion to create classifications so long as the classifications have a reasonable basis. The fact a statutory classification results in some inequity, however, does not provide sufficient grounds for invalidating a legislative enactment. Where, as here, a suspect classification is not alleged, the legislative enactment "must be sustained unless it is 'patently arbitrary' and bears no rational relationship to a legitimate government interest." "If the classification is reasonable and practical in relation to the objective, that is sufficient and doubts must be resolved in favor of the reasonableness of the classification."

Id. at 131, 447 N.W.2d at 660-61 (citations omitted); see also Georgina G. v. Terry M., 184 Wis.2d 492, 518, 516 N.W.2d 678, 686 (1994) (where legislative scheme does not affect a fundamental right and is not based on a suspect class, statute is constitutional unless it is not [193 Wis.2d 310] rationally...

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43 practice notes
  • State v. Wood, No. 2007AP2767-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • March 19, 2010
    ...of the law.'" Dane County Dep't of Human Servs. v. P.P., 2005 WI 32, ¶ 19, 279 Wis.2d 169, 694 N.W.2d 344 (quoting Reginald D. v. State, 193 Wis.2d 299, 307, 533 N.W.2d 181 (1995)). An individual's substantive due process rights protect against a state action that is arbitrary, wrong, or op......
  • State v. Dubose, No. 2003AP1690-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 14, 2005
    ...as that accorded under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. ¶59 As this court explained in Reginald D. v. State, 193 Wis. 2d 299, 306-07, 533 N.W.2d 181 The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides "nor shall any State deprive any person of life......
  • State v. Hager (In re Commitment of Hager), No. 2015AP330 & 2015AP1311
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • April 19, 2018
    ..."adher[es] to the forms of law." State v. Laxton, 2002 WI 82, ¶ 10 n.8, 254 Wis. 2d 185, 647 N.W.2d 784 (quoting Reginald D. v. State, 193 Wis. 2d 299, 307, 533 N.W.2d 181 (1995) ). Procedural due process requires that government action "be implemented in a fair manner." Id. (citing United ......
  • State v. Hamdan, No. 01-0056-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 15, 2003
    ...state's police power. A state may permissibly exercise its police power in order to promote the general welfare. Reginald D. v. State, 193 Wis. 2d 299, 308, 533 N.W.2d 181 (1995). However, the state's police power is subject to limitations, and is not to be used in an unreasonable or excess......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
43 cases
  • State v. Wood, No. 2007AP2767-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • March 19, 2010
    ...of the law.'" Dane County Dep't of Human Servs. v. P.P., 2005 WI 32, ¶ 19, 279 Wis.2d 169, 694 N.W.2d 344 (quoting Reginald D. v. State, 193 Wis.2d 299, 307, 533 N.W.2d 181 (1995)). An individual's substantive due process rights protect against a state action that is arbitrary, wrong, or op......
  • State v. Dubose, No. 2003AP1690-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 14, 2005
    ...as that accorded under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. ¶59 As this court explained in Reginald D. v. State, 193 Wis. 2d 299, 306-07, 533 N.W.2d 181 The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides "nor shall any State deprive any person of life......
  • State v. Hager (In re Commitment of Hager), No. 2015AP330 & 2015AP1311
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • April 19, 2018
    ..."adher[es] to the forms of law." State v. Laxton, 2002 WI 82, ¶ 10 n.8, 254 Wis. 2d 185, 647 N.W.2d 784 (quoting Reginald D. v. State, 193 Wis. 2d 299, 307, 533 N.W.2d 181 (1995) ). Procedural due process requires that government action "be implemented in a fair manner." Id. (citing United ......
  • State v. Hamdan, No. 01-0056-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 15, 2003
    ...state's police power. A state may permissibly exercise its police power in order to promote the general welfare. Reginald D. v. State, 193 Wis. 2d 299, 308, 533 N.W.2d 181 (1995). However, the state's police power is subject to limitations, and is not to be used in an unreasonable or excess......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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