2011 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 946. Crimes against government and its administration.
946.87 Civil remedies.


946.87 Civil remedies.


(1) After making due provision for the rights of innocent persons, any circuit court may enjoin violations of s. 946.83 or 946.85 and may issue appropriate orders and judgments related thereto, including, but not limited to:


(a) Ordering any defendant to divest himself or herself of any interest in any enterprise which is involved in the violation of s. 946.83 or 946.85, including real property.


(b) Imposing reasonable restrictions upon the future activities or investments of any defendant related to enjoining violations of s. 946.83 or 946.85, including, but not limited to, prohibiting any defendant from engaging in the same type of endeavor as the enterprise in which he or she was engaged in violation of s. 946.83 or 946.85.


(c) Ordering the dissolution or reorganization of any related enterprise.


(d) Ordering the suspension or revocation of a license, permit or prior approval granted to any related enterprise by any agency of the state, county or municipality.


(e) Ordering the dissolution of a corporation organized under ch. 180 or 181, or the revocation of a certificate authorizing a foreign corporation to conduct business within the state, upon finding that the board of directors or a managerial agent acting on behalf of the corporation, in conducting the affairs of the corporation, has authorized or engaged in conduct in violation of s. 946.83 or 946.85 and that, for the prevention of future criminal activity, the public interest requires the action under this paragraph.




(a) All property, real or personal, including money, used in the course of, intended for use in the course of, derived from, or realized through, conduct which has resulted in a conviction for violation of s. 946.83 or 946.85 is subject to civil forfeiture to the state. The state shall dispose of all forfeited property as soon as commercially feasible. If property is not exercisable or transferable for value by the state, it shall expire. All forfeitures or dispositions under this section shall be made with due provision for the rights of innocent persons. The proceeds realized from the forfeitures and dispositions shall be deposited in the school fund.


(am) Notwithstanding par. (a), property described in par. (a) is subject to forfeiture if the person who violated s. 946.83 or 946.85 has not been convicted, but he or she is a defendant in a criminal proceeding, is released, pending trial, on bail, as defined in s. 969.001, and fails to appear in court regarding the criminal proceeding. However, before making the final determination of any action under this section, the court must determine that the party bringing the action can prove the person committed the violation of s. 946.83 or 946.85.


(b) Any injured person has a right or claim to forfeited property or the proceeds derived therefrom superior to any right or claim the state has under this section in the same property or proceeds. This paragraph does not grant the person priority over state claims or rights by reason of a tax lien or other basis not covered by ss. 946.80 to 946.88.


(3) The attorney general or any district attorney may institute civil proceedings under this section. Notwithstanding s. 59.42 (2) (b) 4., in counties having a population of 500,000 or more, the district attorney or the corporation counsel may proceed under this section. A corporation counsel in a county having a population of 500,000 or more or a district attorney may institute proceedings under this section only with the prior written approval of the attorney general. In any action brought under this section, the circuit court shall proceed as soon as practicable to the hearing and determination. Pending final determination of any action under this section, the circuit court may at any time enter such injunctions, prohibitions or restraining orders or take such actions, including the acceptance of satisfactory performance bonds, as the court deems proper. At any time pending final determination of a forfeiture action under sub. (2), the circuit court may order the seizure of property subject to forfeiture and may make such orders as it deems necessary to preserve and protect the property.


(4) Any person who is injured by reason of any violation of s. 946.83 or 946.85 has a cause of action for 2 times the actual damages sustained and, when appropriate, punitive damages. The person shall also recover attorney fees and costs of the investigation and litigation reasonably incurred. The defendant or any injured person may demand a trial by jury in any civil action brought under this section.


(5) The burden of proof under this section is that of satisfying or convincing to a reasonable certainty by a greater weight of the credible evidence that the property is subject to forfeiture under this section.


(6) A final judgment or decree rendered in favor of the state in any criminal proceeding under ss. 946.80 to 946.88 shall stop the defendant from denying the essential allegations of the criminal offense in any subsequent civil action or proceeding.

946.87 - ANNOT.

History: 1981 c. 280; 1989 a. 121 ss. 108, 110m; Stats. 1989 s. 946.87; 1993 a. 280; 1995 a. 201.

946.87 - ANNOT.

State courts have concurrent jurisdiction over federal civil RICO actions. Tafflin v. Levitt, 493 U.S. 455, 107 L. Ed. 2d 887 (1990).

946.87 - ANNOT.

A WOCCA double damage civil action is penal in nature and does not survive the death of a defendant, but a claim against the deceased defendant's employee does survive. Schimpf v. Gerald, Inc. 2 F. Supp. 2d 1750 (1998).

946.87 - ANNOT.

Reaching deep pocket under RICO. Poker. 72 MLR 511 (1989).

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