State v. Madison, No. 83-992

CourtCourt of Appeals of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtMARTHA J. BABLITCH
Citation353 N.W.2d 835,120 Wis.2d 150
PartiesSTATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Douglas L. MADISON, Defendant-Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 83-992
Decision Date21 June 1984

Page 835

353 N.W.2d 835
120 Wis.2d 150
STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Douglas L. MADISON, Defendant-Respondent.
No. 83-992.
Court of Appeals of Wisconsin.
Submitted on Briefs Feb. 27, 1984.
Opinion Released June 21, 1984.
Opinion Filed June 21, 1984.

Page 836

[120 Wis.2d 151] Richard A. Perkins, Dist. Atty., Jefferson, for plaintiff-appellant.

Bronson C. La Follette, Atty. Gen., and Marguerite M. Moeller, Asst. Atty. Gen., filed supplement brief for plaintiff-appellant.

Larry E. Rubin, Madison, for defendant-respondent.

Before GARTZKE, P.J., and BABLITCH and DYKMAN, JJ.

MARTHA J. BABLITCH, Judge.

The state appeals from an order dismissing its petition to adjudicate the defendant a habitual traffic offender pursuant to ch. 351, Stats. 1 The trial court dismissed the petition on grounds that the defendant had not been informed at the time he pled guilty to traffic offenses triggering his habitual offender status that mandatory revocation for five years was a consequence flowing from conviction.

We deem the issues to be:

(1) Whether alleged defects in a plea proceeding may be raised in a collateral proceeding;

Page 837

(2) Whether failure to apprise a person pleading guilty to a criminal traffic offense of the collateral consequences of the plea renders conviction on the plea void;

(3) Whether the state is estopped from imposing collateral consequences in this case.

Because we conclude that the failure to warn the defendant of the collateral consequences of his plea does not render the conviction void and subject to collateral attack, and that no grounds for estoppel are disclosed in the record, we reverse.

[120 Wis.2d 152] Prior to the commencement of this proceeding, the defendant pled guilty in Jefferson County Circuit Court, Branch II, to two counts of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) contrary to sec. 346.63, Stats., and one count of failure to stop at the scene of an accident contrary to sec. 346.67, pursuant to a plea agreement dismissing other traffic charges. The plea agreement recited that the defendant understood his driver's license would be revoked for "at least one year." The court accepted his plea and imposed a one-year revocation. The defendant had been convicted of another OWI offense which occurred within five years preceding the other offenses. The defendant had been convicted of another OWI offense which occurred within five years preceding the other offenses. The defendant was not informed at the time of his plea that conviction of the new charges would, in combination with the previous conviction, subject him to mandatory revocation for five years under ch. 351.

Chapter 351, Stats., was created by ch. 333, Laws of 1979, to provide a procedure for revoking the operating privileges of habitual traffic offenders in the interest of highway safety. Section 351.02 defines a "habitual offender" as a person whose driving record shows an accumulation of specified offenses over a five-year period. 2 [120 Wis.2d 153] Under sec. 351.03, the secretary of transportation is required to certify the traffic record of any person whose record falls within that definition to the district attorney of the person's county of residence.

This proceeding was commenced in Jefferson County Circuit Court, Branch III, pursuant to sec. 351.04, Stats., which requires the district attorney receiving a certification from the secretary to file a petition for habitual offender adjudication. The district attorney was the same individual who negotiated the plea bargain on the most recent underlying offenses. The circuit court issued an order to show cause pursuant to the mandatory provisions of sec. 351.05. 3

Page 838

The defendant moved to dismiss the habitual offender proceedings on broad due process grounds, contending that he had no notice or knowledge that his plea exposed him to mandatory five-year revocation under sec. 351.06, [120 Wis.2d 154] Stats., 4 in addition to the penalties mentioned in the plea agreement. The trial court agreed, ruling broadly that the state was "precluded in this particular case from pursuing the habitual traffic offender revocation due to the lack of notice given to the defendant by the Court or State at the time of his conviction for the underlying offenses."

The state contends that the defendant may not collaterally attack the validity of his underlying convictions in a habitual traffic offender proceeding. We agree.

As a general rule a judgment is binding on the parties and may not be attacked in a collateral action unless it was procured by fraud. In re Estate of Boots, 73 Wis.2d 207, 216, 243 N.W.2d 225, 229 (1976); Kriesel v. Kriesel, 35 Wis.2d 134, 139, 150 N.W.2d 416, 419 (1967). This rule was applied to repeater prosecutions in criminal actions in State ex rel. Plutshack v. H & SS Department, 37 Wis.2d 713, 726-27, 155 N.W.2d 549, 556 (1968). The supreme court said:

[T]he validity of former misdemeanor convictions cannot be collaterally attacked in a proceeding for additional punishment under the repeater statute on a subsequent misdemeanor conviction for the reason that the former convictions are valid until reversed. 24B C.J.S., Criminal Law, p. 477, sec. 1961. Such prior misdemeanor convictions may not be subjected to collateral attacks. [120 Wis.2d 155] See State v. Garcia (1966), 3 Ariz.App. 194, 412 Pac.2d 876, 265 Fed.Supp. 951 (involving felony ).

At least two other jurisdictions have applied the rule against collateral attack in habitual traffic offender revocation proceedings under state laws similar to ch. 351, Stats. See e.g. State v. Laughlin, 634 P.2d 49, 51 (Colo.1981); State v. Kamalski, 429 A.2d 1315, 1320 (Del.Super.Ct.1981). Laughlin held that collateral attacks were proscribed because the only issue under the Colorado habitual offender statute was whether the defendant had sustained the requisite number of convictions. The Kamalski holding was based on the principle that only a void judgment may be attacked collaterally. 429 A.2d at 1320-21.

The defendant contends that Laughlin and Kamalski are inapplicable because their respective state's habitual traffic offender acts limit the scope of the proceedings to that of taking notice of convictions appearing of record, while sec. 351.03, Stats., appears to require a determination that the individual was "duly convicted" of the underlying offenses. The defendant suggests that this language contemplates a broader inquiry into the validity of the underlying convictions, at least where the convictions were pursuant to a plea bargain. We reject the contention.

Like Colorado and Delaware, Wisconsin provides the defendant notice and an opportunity to dispute the existence of the convictions enumerated in the official traffic record. 5 In each state, the inquiry is limited to determining whether the defendant is the same person as the person named in the record or abstract of convictions, and whether the defendant was in fact convicted

Page 839

[120 Wis.2d 156] of the underlying offenses. 6 In each, officially maintained traffic records constitute presumptive evidence of the underlying convictions. 7

While the opportunity afforded to dispute record convictions would logically entitle the defendant to challenge the number and nature of those convictions, the Wisconsin Statutes do not expressly provide an opportunity to attack their validity in a habitual offender proceeding. The provision of sec. 351.03, Stats., that the certified driver's record constitutes prima facie evidence that an individual defendant was "duly" convicted of the offenses it contains does not implicitly confer the right or duty on the court presiding over such proceedings to determine the validity of those convictions. To so construe the language would turn the limited and relatively simple inquiry contemplated by secs. 351.05 and 351.06 into a quagmire of relitigation of determinations made in other forums. It would also frustrate the legislative purpose to facilitate the removal of habitual traffic offenders from Wisconsin highways, 8 while serving no [120 Wis.2d 157] purpose which is not afforded by direct appeal of convictions or through other means. 9

State v. Ward, 118 N.H. 874, 395 A.2d 511 (1978) offers no support for the defendant's position. In that case the court...

To continue reading

Request your trial
47 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Warren v. Schwarz, Nos. 96-2441
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 27 Agosto 1998
    ...that are merely collateral to their pleas. See State v. Santos, 136 Wis.2d 528, 531, 401 N.W.2d 856 (Ct.App.1987); State v. Madison, 120 Wis.2d 150, 159-161, 353 N.W.2d 835 (Ct.App.1984). Therefore, we must determine whether the requirement that Warren would have to admit his guilt during o......
  • State v. Campbell, No. 2004AP803-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 12 Julio 2006
    ...168 Wis.2d 642, 484 N.W.2d 362 (Ct.App.1992); Schramek v. Bohren, 145 Wis.2d 695, 429 N.W.2d 501 (Ct.App.1988); and State v. Madison, 120 Wis.2d 150, 353 N.W.2d 835 (Ct.App.1984), as authority for his collateral attack on the custody ¶ 52 A party's ability to collaterally attack a judgment ......
  • In re Brianca M.W., No. 2005AP2656.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 13 Marzo 2007
    ...is binding on the parties and may not be attacked in a collateral action unless it was procured by fraud." State v. Madison, 120 Wis.2d 150, 154, 353 N.W.2d 835 (Ct. App.1984); cf. State v. Campbell, 2006 WI 99, ¶¶ 52-55, 294 Wis.2d 100, 718 N.W.2d 649. Wisconsin courts have recognized......
  • State v. Campbell, 2006 WI 99 (Wis. 7/12/2006), No. 2004AP803-CR.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 12 Julio 2006
    ...Wis. 2d 642, 484 N.W.2d 362 (Ct. App. 1992); Schramek v. Bohren, 145 Wis. 2d 695, 429 N.W.2d 501 (Ct. App. 1988); and State v. Madison, 120 Wis. 2d 150, 353 N.W.2d 835 (Ct. App. 1984), as authority for his collateral attack on the custody ¶ 52 A party's ability to collaterally attack a judg......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
47 cases
  • State ex rel. Warren v. Schwarz, Nos. 96-2441
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 27 Agosto 1998
    ...that are merely collateral to their pleas. See State v. Santos, 136 Wis.2d 528, 531, 401 N.W.2d 856 (Ct.App.1987); State v. Madison, 120 Wis.2d 150, 159-161, 353 N.W.2d 835 (Ct.App.1984). Therefore, we must determine whether the requirement that Warren would have to admit his guilt during o......
  • State v. Campbell, No. 2004AP803-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 12 Julio 2006
    ...168 Wis.2d 642, 484 N.W.2d 362 (Ct.App.1992); Schramek v. Bohren, 145 Wis.2d 695, 429 N.W.2d 501 (Ct.App.1988); and State v. Madison, 120 Wis.2d 150, 353 N.W.2d 835 (Ct.App.1984), as authority for his collateral attack on the custody ¶ 52 A party's ability to collaterally attack a judgment ......
  • In re Brianca M.W., No. 2005AP2656.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 13 Marzo 2007
    ...is binding on the parties and may not be attacked in a collateral action unless it was procured by fraud." State v. Madison, 120 Wis.2d 150, 154, 353 N.W.2d 835 (Ct. App.1984); cf. State v. Campbell, 2006 WI 99, ¶¶ 52-55, 294 Wis.2d 100, 718 N.W.2d 649. Wisconsin courts have recognized......
  • State v. Campbell, 2006 WI 99 (Wis. 7/12/2006), No. 2004AP803-CR.
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • 12 Julio 2006
    ...Wis. 2d 642, 484 N.W.2d 362 (Ct. App. 1992); Schramek v. Bohren, 145 Wis. 2d 695, 429 N.W.2d 501 (Ct. App. 1988); and State v. Madison, 120 Wis. 2d 150, 353 N.W.2d 835 (Ct. App. 1984), as authority for his collateral attack on the custody ¶ 52 A party's ability to collaterally attack a judg......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT