2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 48. Children's code.
48.30 Plea hearing.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 48.30 (2017)

48.30 Plea hearing.

(1) Except as provided in s. 48.299 (9), the hearing to determine whether any party wishes to contest an allegation that the child or unborn child is in need of protection or services shall take place on a date which allows reasonable time for the parties to prepare but is within 30 days after the filing of a petition for a child or an expectant mother who is not being held in secure custody or within 10 days after the filing of a petition for a child who is being held in secure custody.

(2) At the commencement of the hearing under this section the child and the parent, guardian, legal custodian, or Indian custodian; the child expectant mother, her parent, guardian, legal custodian, or Indian custodian, and the unborn child's guardian ad litem; or the adult expectant mother and the unborn child's guardian ad litem; shall be advised of the rights specified in s. 48.243 and shall be informed that a request for a jury trial or for a substitution of judge under s. 48.29 must be made before the end of the plea hearing or is waived. Nonpetitioning parties, including the child, shall be granted a continuance of the plea hearing if they wish to consult with an attorney on the request for a jury trial or substitution of a judge.

(3) If a petition alleges that a child is in need of protection or services under s. 48.13 or that an unborn child of a child expectant mother is in need of protection or services under s. 48.133, the nonpetitioning parties and the child, if he or she is 12 years of age or older or is otherwise competent to do so, shall state whether they desire to contest the petition. If a petition alleges that an unborn child of an adult expectant mother is in need of protection or services under s. 48.133, the adult expectant mother of the unborn child shall state whether she desires to contest the petition.

(6)

(a) If a petition is not contested, the court, subject to s. 48.299 (9), shall set a date for the dispositional hearing which allows reasonable time for the parties to prepare but is no more than 10 days after the plea hearing for a child who is held in secure custody and no more than 30 days after the plea hearing for a child or an expectant mother who is not held in secure custody. Subject to s. 48.299 (9), if all parties consent, the court may proceed immediately with the dispositional hearing.

(b) If it appears to the court that disposition of the case may include placement of the child outside the child's home, the court shall order the child's parent to provide a statement of income, assets, debts, and living expenses to the court or the designated agency under s. 48.33 (1) at least 5 days before the scheduled date of the dispositional hearing or as otherwise ordered by the court. The clerk of court shall provide, without charge, to any parent ordered to provide a statement of income, assets, debts, and living expenses a document setting forth the percentage standard established by the department under s. 49.22 (9) and the manner of its application established by the department under s. 49.345 (14) (g) and listing the factors that a court may consider under s. 49.345 (14) (c).

(c) If the court orders the child's parent to provide a statement of income, assets, debts and living expenses to the court or if the court orders the child's parent to provide that statement to the designated agency under s. 48.33 (1) and that designated agency is not the county department or, in a county having a population of 750,000 or more, the department, the court shall also order the child's parent to provide that statement to the county department or, in a county having a population of 750,000 or more, the department at least 5 days before the scheduled date of the dispositional hearing or as otherwise ordered by the court. The county department or, in a county having a population of 750,000 or more, the department shall provide, without charge, to the parent a form on which to provide that statement, and the parent shall provide that statement on that form. The county department or, in a county having a population of 750,000 or more, the department shall use the information provided in the statement to determine whether the department may claim federal foster care and adoption assistance reimbursement under 42 USC 670 to 679a for the cost of providing care for the child.

(7) If the petition is contested, the court, subject to s. 48.299 (9), shall set a date for the fact-finding hearing which allows reasonable time for the parties to prepare but is no more than 20 days after the plea hearing for a child who is held in secure custody and no more than 30 days after the plea hearing for a child or an expectant mother who is not held in secure custody.

(8) Before accepting an admission or plea of no contest of the alleged facts in a petition, the court shall:

(a) Address the parties present including the child or expectant mother personally and determine that the plea or admission is made voluntarily with understanding of the nature of the acts alleged in the petition and the potential dispositions.

(b) Establish whether any promises or threats were made to elicit the plea or admission and alert unrepresented parties to the possibility that a lawyer may discover defenses or mitigating circumstances which would not be apparent to them.

(c) Make such inquiries as satisfactorily establishes that there is a factual basis for the plea or admission of the parent and child, of the parent and child expectant mother or of the adult expectant mother.

(9) If a circuit court commissioner conducts the plea hearing and accepts an admission of the alleged facts in a petition brought under s. 48.13 or 48.133, the judge shall review the admission at the beginning of the dispositional hearing by addressing the parties and making the inquiries set forth in sub. (8).

(10) The court may permit any party to participate in hearings under this section by telephone or live audiovisual means.

History: 1977 c. 354, 355, 447; 1979 c. 300, 331, 355, 359; 1985 a. 321, 332; 1987 a. 151; 1987 a. 403 s. 256; Sup. Ct. Order, 158 Wis. 2d xvii (1990); 1993 a. 163, 474, 481; 1995 a. 77, 225, 404, 417; 1997 a. 3, 252, 292; 1999 a. 103; 2001 a. 61; 2007 a. 20; 2009 a. 94; 2013 a. 170; 2015 a. 172.

The time limits under sub. (1) are mandatory. In Interest of Jason B. 176 Wis. 2d 400, 500 N.W.2d 384 (Ct. App. 1993).

A court's failure to inform a juvenile of the right to judicial substitution does not affect its competence and warrants reversal only if the juvenile suffers actual prejudice. State v. Kywanda F. 200 Wis. 2d 26, 546 N.W.2d 440 (1996), 94-1866.

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