State v. ZimbalAnnotate this Case
When a defendant follows a circuit court’s instruction to defer filing a request for substitution of a judge until after counsel is appointed, strict compliance with the twenty-day deadline for filing a request for substitution after remittitur is not warranted.
Here Defendant made a timely request for substitution of a judge pursuant to Wis. Stat. 971.20(7) after his cases were remitted to the circuit court following the successful appeal of the denial of his Bangert motion to withdraw his pleas and vacate his conviction. The circuit court instructed Defendant that the filing of a motion for substitution should be deferred until after an attorney was appointed. Seventeen days after an attorney was appointed, Defendant’s trial counsel formalized the substitution request. The circuit court denied the postconviction motion. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that Defendant did not timely invoke his right to substitution of a circuit court judge. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded to the circuit court to vacate the judgments of conviction and for a new trial, holding that, under the unique circumstances of this case, Defendant’s motion for substitution of judge was timely filed because the circuit court in essence extended the deadline until after Defendant’s trial counsel was appointed.