Actually, your response quite quite prompt!
In answer to your questions:
No - this was not a default judgment. The judgment was entered following a full trial before a municipal court.
The parties are in Wisconsin. The underlying (void) judgment results from a municipal citation.
Direct appeal is no longer an option, for time has tolled. So - based on review of the law - I suspect I am limited (force to resort) to collateral attack before a higher court (State circuit court) for, perhaps, injunctive relief, etc.
I have already moved the municipal court to vacate this civil judgment, but was cut very short. Appealed that ruling to circuit court - but failed to serve opposing side (the municipal court had said it would serve notice to its subcontractor attorney.... but no proof exists that it did). So reviewing court dismissed for lack of service.
I believe is it void for at least two (2) reasons:
First reason is based on Wis. Stat. 802.06(4)
Which governs pleadings, motions, and pretrial practice.
I filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. This was filed approx 100 days prior to the trial being held.
This immediately obligated the court to hear and decide the motion (sometime before entering judgment).
The court proceeded to trial, conviction, and sentencing without EITHER:
a) calling the matter for argument
b) making any explicit finding during trial (in fact, the words "jurisdiction" and "motion" were never spoken at the trial.
c) nor did the court enter any order deferring the motion hearing to any particular time.
The second reason goes to the jurisdictional challenge itself, as it is commonly held that "jurisdiction once, challenged, must first be decided" before a court obtains necessary jurisdiction to proceed to adjudication. There is ample federal case law which states this in a variety of ways.
Thus, the court proceeded without all necessary jurisdiction. The judgment is therefore void.
No. Civil. A municipal citation - a ticket.
Yes. I understand those things. The municipality has subject matter jurisdiction (although I've read such jurisdiction can be lost for a number of reasons... but that is not the issue here).
Again, this was not a default judgment. I appeared to argue my motion... the court instead proceeded directly to trial.
The point now is that I filed a pretrial motion to dismiss, challenging personal jurisdiction. This placed the burden on the municipality to prove jurisdiction (when in pretrial status). The court was required by law (the 802.06(4) I referred you to) to hear and decide that motion BEFORE trial.
The court did not do so.
Further, by failing to make a ruling on the motion, the court denied me my right to appeal that ruling.... having made no ruling, there was no decision to appeal.
The court simply assumed jurisdiction.... and proceeded.
The court proceeded to trial in the face of the statutory mandate requiring it first hear and decide the jurisdictional challenge - where the municipality had the burden of proof.
They don't have to prove personal jurisdiction when the act complained of occurred in their jurisdiction - what the citation or ticket was for.They just have to prove subject matter jurisdiction.
What was the ticket or citation for?
I feel we're wandering into the weeds, Fred...
Wisconsin Statutes governing Municipal Courts:
800.01(2) The municipal court has jurisdiction over a defendant when any of the following conditions is met:
Wisconsin Statutes, section 802.06:(2) How presented.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).