2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 48. Children's code.
48.715 Sanctions and penalties.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 48.715 (2017)

48.715 Sanctions and penalties.

(1) In this section, “licensee" means a person who holds a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 to operate a child welfare agency, shelter care facility, group home, or child care center.

(2) If the department provides written notice of the grounds for a sanction, an explanation of the types of sanctions that may be imposed under this subsection and an explanation of the process for appealing a sanction imposed under this subsection, the department may order any of the following sanctions:

(a) That a person stop operating a child welfare agency, shelter care facility, group home, or child care center if the child welfare agency, shelter care facility, group home, or child care center is without a license in violation of s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license in violation of s. 48.69.

(b) That a person who employs a person who has had a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 revoked within the previous 5 years terminate the employment of that person within 30 days after the date of the order. This paragraph includes employment of a person in any capacity, whether as an officer, director, agent or employee.

(c) That a licensee stop violating any provision of licensure under s. 48.70 (1) or rule promulgated by the department under s. 48.658 (4) (a) or 48.67.

(d) That a licensee submit a plan of correction for violation of any provision of licensure under s. 48.70 (1) or rule promulgated by the department under s. 48.658 (4) (a) or 48.67.

(e) That a licensee implement and comply with a plan of correction provided by the department or previously submitted by the licensee and approved by the department.

(f) That a licensee close the intake of any new children until all violations of the provisions of licensure under s. 48.70 (1) and the rules promulgated by the department under s. 48.658 (4) (a) or 48.67 are corrected.

(g) That a licensee provide training for the licensee's staff members as specified by the department.

(3) If the department provides written notice of the grounds for a penalty, an explanation of the types of penalties that may be imposed under this subsection, and an explanation of the process for appealing a penalty imposed under this subsection, the department may impose any of the following penalties against a licensee or any other person who violates a provision of licensure under s. 48.70 (1) or rule promulgated by the department under s. 48.658 (4) (a) or 48.67 or who fails to comply with an order issued under sub. (2) by the time specified in the order:

(a) A daily forfeiture amount per violation of not less than $10 nor more than $1,000. All of the following apply to a forfeiture under this paragraph:

1. Within the limits specified in this paragraph, the department may, by rule, set daily forfeiture amounts and payment deadlines based on the size and type of facility or agency and the seriousness of the violation. The department may set daily forfeiture amounts that increase periodically within the statutory limits if there is continued failure to comply with an order issued under sub. (2).

2. The department may directly assess a forfeiture imposed under this paragraph by specifying the amount of that forfeiture in the notice provided under this subsection.

3. A person against whom the department has assessed a forfeiture shall pay that forfeiture to the department within 10 days after receipt of notice of the assessment or, if that person contests that assessment under s. 48.72, within 10 days after receipt of the final decision after exhaustion of administrative review or, if that person petitions for judicial review under ch. 227, within 10 days after receipt of the final decision after exhaustion of judicial review. The department shall remit all forfeitures paid under this subdivision to the secretary of administration for deposit in the school fund.

4. The attorney general may bring an action in the name of the state to collect any forfeiture imposed under this paragraph that has not been paid as provided in subd. 3. The only contestable issue in an action under this subdivision is whether or not the forfeiture has been paid.

(b) Suspension of the licensee's license for not more than 2 weeks.

(c) Refusal to continue a license or a probationary license.

(d) Revocation of a license or a probationary license as provided in sub. (4).

(4) If the department provides written notice of revocation and the grounds for revocation as provided in sub. (4m) and an explanation of the process for appealing a revocation under this subsection, the department may revoke a license issued under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license issued under s. 48.69 for any of the following reasons:

(a) The department has imposed a penalty on the licensee under sub. (3) and the licensee or a person under the supervision of the licensee either continues to violate or resumes violation of a rule promulgated under s. 48.658 (4) (a) or 48.67, a provision of licensure under s. 48.70 (1), or an order under this section forming any part of the basis for the penalty.

(b) The licensee or a person under the supervision of the licensee has committed a substantial violation, as determined by the department, of a rule promulgated under s. 48.658 (4) (a) or 48.67, a provision of licensure under s. 48.70 (1), or an order under this section.

(c) The licensee or a person under the supervision of the licensee has committed an action or has created a condition relating to the operation or maintenance of the child welfare agency, shelter care facility, group home, or child care center that directly threatens the health, safety, or welfare of any child under the care of the licensee.

(d) The licensee or a person under the supervision of the licensee has violated, as determined by the department, a rule promulgated under s. 48.658 (4) (a) or 48.67, a provision of licensure under s. 48.70 (1), or an order under this section that is the same as or similar to a rule promulgated under s. 48.658 (4) (a) or 48.67, a provision of licensure under s. 48.70 (1), or an order under this section that the licensee or a person under the supervision of the licensee has violated previously.

(e) The licensee has failed to apply for a continuance of the license within 30 days after receipt of the warning under s. 48.66 (5).

(4g)

(a) If a person who has been issued a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 to operate a child care center is convicted of a serious crime, as defined in s. 48.686 (1) (c), if a caregiver specified in s. 48.686 (1) (ag) 1. or a nonclient resident, as defined in s. 48.686 (1) (bm), of the child care center is convicted or adjudicated delinquent for committing a serious crime on or after his or her 10th birthday, or if the results of a criminal background check conducted under s. 48.686 indicate that the person, caregiver, or nonclient resident is not eligible to be licensed, certified, or employed or to reside at a child care program, the department shall revoke the license of the child care center immediately upon providing written notice of revocation and the grounds for revocation and an explanation of the process for appealing the revocation.

NOTE: Par. (a) is shown as amended eff. 9-30-18 by 2017 Wis. Act 59. Prior to 9-30-18 it reads:

(a) If a person who has been issued a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 to operate a child care center is convicted of a serious crime, as defined in s. 48.685 (1) (c) 3m., or if a caregiver specified in s. 48.685 (1) (ag) 1. a. or a nonclient resident, as defined in s. 48.685 (1) (bm), of the child care center is convicted or adjudicated delinquent for committing a serious crime on or after his or her 12th birthday, the department shall revoke the license of the child care center immediately upon providing written notice of revocation and the grounds for revocation and an explanation of the process for appealing the revocation.

(b) If a person who has been issued a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 to operate a child care center is the subject of a pending criminal charge alleging that the person has committed a serious crime, as defined in s. 48.686 (1) (c), or if a caregiver specified in s. 48.686 (1) (ag) 1. or a nonclient resident, as defined in s. 48.686 (1) (bm), of the child care center is the subject of a pending criminal charge or delinquency petition alleging that the person has committed a serious crime on or after his or her 10th birthday, the department shall immediately suspend the license of the child care center until the department obtains information regarding the final disposition of the charge or delinquency petition indicating that the person is not ineligible to be licensed to operate a child care center.

NOTE: Par. (b) is shown as amended eff. 9-30-18 by 2017 Wis. Act 59. Prior to 9-30-18 it reads:

(b) If a person who has been issued a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 to operate a child care center is the subject of a pending criminal charge alleging that the person has committed a serious crime, as defined in s. 48.685 (1) (c) 3m., or if a caregiver specified in s. 48.685 (1) (ag) 1. a. or a nonclient resident, as defined in s. 48.685 (1) (bm), of the child care center is the subject of a pending criminal charge or delinquency petition alleging that the person has committed a serious crime on or after his or her 12th birthday, the department shall immediately suspend the license of the child care center until the department obtains information regarding the final disposition of the charge or delinquency petition indicating that the person is not ineligible to be licensed to operate a child care center.

(4m)

(a) For a revocation under sub. (4) (a) or (d), the department shall provide to the licensee written notice of the revocation and the grounds for revocation not less than 30 days before the date of the revocation. The revocation will take effect only if the violation on which the revocation is based remains substantially uncorrected at the end of the 30-day notice period.

(b) For revocations under sub. (4) (b), (c) or (e), the department may revoke the license or probationary license immediately upon written notice to the licensee of the revocation and the grounds for revocation.

(5) The department may deny a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 to any person who has had a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 revoked within the previous 5 years.

(6) The department shall deny, suspend, restrict, refuse to renew, or otherwise withhold a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 to operate a child welfare agency, group home, shelter care facility, or child care center, and the department of corrections shall deny, suspend, restrict, refuse to renew, or otherwise withhold a license under s. 48.66 (1) (b) to operate a secured residential care center for children and youth, for failure of the applicant or licensee to pay court-ordered payments of child or family support, maintenance, birth expenses, medical expenses, or other expenses related to the support of a child or former spouse or for failure of the applicant or licensee to comply, after appropriate notice, with a subpoena or warrant issued by the department or a county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5) and related to paternity or child support proceedings, as provided in a memorandum of understanding entered into under s. 49.857. Notwithstanding s. 48.72, an action taken under this subsection is subject to review only as provided in the memorandum of understanding entered into under s. 49.857 and not as provided in s. 48.72.

(7) The department shall deny an application for the issuance or continuation of a license under s. 48.66 (1) (a) or a probationary license under s. 48.69 to operate a child welfare agency, group home, shelter care facility, or child care center, or revoke such a license already issued, if the department of revenue certifies under s. 73.0301 that the applicant or licensee is liable for delinquent taxes or if the department of workforce development certifies under s. 108.227 that the applicant or licensee is liable for delinquent unemployment insurance contributions. An action taken under this subsection is subject to review only as provided under s. 73.0301 (5) or 108.227 (5) and not as provided in s. 48.72.

History: 1991 a. 275; 1993 a. 375; 1995 a. 27; 1997 a. 27, 191, 237; 1999 a. 9, 32, 186; 2003 a. 33; 2005 a. 344; 2007 a. 20; 2009 a. 19, 76, 185; 2011 a. 258; 2013 a. 36; 2017 a. 59.

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