2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 48. Children's code.
48.25 Petition: authorization to file.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 48.25 (2017)

48.25 Petition: authorization to file.

(1) A petition initiating proceedings under this chapter shall be signed by a person who has knowledge of the facts alleged or is informed of them and believes them to be true. The district attorney, corporation counsel or other appropriate official specified under s. 48.09 may file the petition if the proceeding is under s. 48.13 or 48.133. The counsel or guardian ad litem for a parent, relative, guardian or child may file a petition under s. 48.13 or 48.14. The counsel or guardian ad litem for an expectant mother or the guardian ad litem for an unborn child may file a petition under s. 48.133. The district attorney, corporation counsel or other appropriate person designated by the court may initiate proceedings under s. 48.14 in a manner specified by the court.

(2) If the proceeding is brought under s. 48.13 or 48.133, the district attorney, corporation counsel, or other appropriate official shall file the petition, close the case, or refer the case back to intake within 20 days after the date that the intake worker's request was filed. A referral back to intake may be made only when the district attorney, corporation counsel, or other appropriate official decides not to file a petition or determines that further investigation is necessary. If the case is referred back to intake upon a decision not to file a petition, the intake worker shall close the case or enter into an informal disposition within 20 days after the date of the referral. If the case is referred back to intake for further investigation, the appropriate agency or person shall complete the investigation within 20 days after the date of the referral. If another referral is made to the district attorney, corporation counsel, or other appropriate official, it shall be considered a new referral to which the time periods of this subsection apply. The time periods in this subsection may only be extended by a court upon a showing of good cause under s. 48.315. If a petition is not filed within the applicable time period set forth in this subsection and the court has not granted an extension, the petition shall be accompanied by a statement of reasons for the delay. The court shall grant appropriate relief as provided in s. 48.315 (3) with respect to any petition that is not filed within the applicable time period specified in this subsection. Failure to object to the fact that a petition is not filed within the applicable time period specified in this subsection waives any challenge to the court's competency to act on the petition.

(3) If the district attorney, corporation counsel or other appropriate official specified in s. 48.09 refuses to file a petition, any person may request the judge to order that the petition be filed and a hearing shall be held on the request. The judge may order the filing of the petition on his or her own motion. The matter may not be heard by the judge who orders the filing of a petition.

(6) If a proceeding is brought under s. 48.13, any party to or any governmental or social agency involved in the proceeding may petition the court to issue a temporary restraining order and injunction as provided in s. 813.122 or 813.125. The court exercising jurisdiction under this chapter shall follow the procedure under s. 813.122 or 813.125 except that the court may combine hearings authorized under s. 813.122 or 813.125 and this chapter, the petitioner for the temporary restraining order and injunction is not subject to the limitations under s. 813.122 (2) (a) or 813.125 (2) and no fee is required regarding the filing of the petition under s. 813.122 or 813.125.

History: 1977 c. 354; 447; 1979 c. 300, 331, 355, 359; 1985 a. 234; 1993 a. 318; 1995 a. 77; 1997 a. 292; 2007 a. 199; 2013 a. 321.

“Good cause" under sub. (2) is determined by first considering the best interests of the child. Additional factors are whether: 1) the party seeking the enlargement of time has acted in good faith; 2) the opposing party is not prejudiced; and 3) the dilatory party took prompt action to remedy the situation. In Interest of F. E. W. 143 Wis. 2d 856, 422 N.W.2d 893 (Ct. App. 1988).

In a case referred by the district attorney of one county to another county, each district attorney had 20 days under sub. (2) to act following the respective referrals by the intake workers of each county. State v. Everett, 231 Wis. 2d 616, 605 N.W.2d 633 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-3444.

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