State v. Doe, 083019 WICA, 2017AP2163-CR

Docket Nº:2017AP2163-CR
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. John Doe, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before Brash, P.J., Brennan and Dugan, JJ.
Case Date:August 30, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Wisconsin

State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent,


John Doe, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 2017AP2163-CR

Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District I

August 30, 2019

This opinion will not be published. See Wis. Stat. Rule 809.23(1)(b)5.

APPEAL from a judgment and an order of the circuit court for Milwaukee County: JEFFREY A. WAGNER, Judge. Affirmed.

Before Brash, P.J., Brennan and Dugan, JJ.

Per curiam opinions may not be cited in any court of this state as precedent or authority, except for the limited purposes specified in Wis.Stat. Rule 809.23(3).


¶1 John Doe appeals a judgment convicting him of second-degree sexual assault. He also appeals the circuit court's order partially denying his motion for sentence modification. Doe argues that: (1) there are new factors that warrant sentence modification; (2) the circuit court misused its discretion when it reduced his sentence by one year; and (3) he received ineffective assistance of counsel. We reject these arguments. Accordingly, we affirm.

¶2 As a preliminary matter, we address why the record and this court's file are sealed and the appellant's identity is shielded. The public policy of this state generally favors open records. See State ex rel. Bilder v. Township of Delavan, 112 Wis.2d 539, 553-54, 334 N.W.2d 252 (1983). However, the circuit court has inherent power to "limit public access to judicial records when the administration of justice requires it." Id. at 556. The party seeking to close the records bears the burden of showing that the administration of justice so requires, and it is generally the circuit court that should initially decide if the reasons asserted suffice. See id. at 556-57. Here, the circuit court sealed the record and docket entries to protect the defendant's safety without objection by the State. See Wis. Stat. 801.21 (2017-18).1

¶3 When the circuit court seals record items, they remain under seal when they are transmitted to this court on appeal. See Wis. Stat. § 801.21(9). After the appellate record was transmitted to this court under seal, the appellant moved this court to seal this court's file in addition to the already sealed record. The State did not object. Because the circuit court had previously sealed the record and docket entries without State objection, and the State...

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