Case: Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm

20-00765 | Wisconsin state trial court

Filed Date: April 21, 2020

Closed Date: June 24, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: On April 21, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislature filed an emergency petition against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to enjoin the Emergency Orders passed in response to COVID-19. On May 13, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin declared Emergency Order 28 unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable. The case is now closed. On April 21, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislature filed an emergency petition for action against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to enjoin the Emerg…

COVID-19 Summary: On April 21, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislature filed an emergency petition against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to enjoin the Emergency Orders passed in response to COVID-19. On May 13, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin declared Emergency Order 28 unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable. The case is now closed.


On April 21, 2020, the Wisconsin Legislature filed an emergency petition for action against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to enjoin the Emergency Orders passed in response to COVID-19. This emergency petition was filed in response to a series of orders passed in response to COVID-19. On March 12, 2020, Governor Tony Evers issued Executive Order 72, which directed DHS to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state. On March 24, “at the direction of” the Governor, the defendant issued Emergency Order 12 requiring Wisconsin citizens to stay at home, prohibiting non-essential travel, and closure of all non-essential businesses. On April 16, the defendant issued Emergency Order 28, which imposed criminal penalties for violations of the order.

Filed in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, the plaintiffs brought this action under state law and argued that the defendant exceeded the department’s authority. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant violated the state’s governing emergency rules by issuing Emergency Order 28 without complying with the rulemaking procedures. The plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that Order 28 was invalid and unenforceable. The plaintiffs also filed a motion for a temporary injunction to enjoin Order 28, with a six-day stay on the injunction to allow DHS to promulgate a new rule. They were represented by private attorneys.

On April 29, Legal Action of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Public Health Association, and other independent organizations filed amicus briefs in support of the defendants. They argued that Order 28 was not a rule and that DHS had statutory authority to support the order. Three independent organizations filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff.

Oral argument was held on May 5. On May 13, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared Emergency Order 28 unlawful, invalid and unenforceable. 942 N.W.2d 900, 391 Wis.2d 497. Specifically, the court found Order 28 to be a rule under Wisconsin statute, and because the defendant did not follow the procedures for rule-making during the promulgation of Order 28, no criminal penalties were to be imposed. The Supreme Court also held that the defendant exceeded their authority. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Averyn Lee (6/14/2020)

People


Judge(s)

Bradley, Ann Walsh (Wisconsin)

Dallet, Rebecca Frank (Wisconsin)

Hagedorn, Brian (Wisconsin)

Kelly, Daniel (Wisconsin)

Roggensack, Patience Drake (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

McLeod, Eric M. (Wisconsin)

Miller, Amy C. (Wisconsin)

Ruhland, Lane E. (Wisconsin)

Walsh, Ryan J. (Wisconsin)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Judge(s)

Bradley, Ann Walsh (Wisconsin)

Dallet, Rebecca Frank (Wisconsin)

Hagedorn, Brian (Wisconsin)

Kelly, Daniel (Wisconsin)

Roggensack, Patience Drake (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

McLeod, Eric M. (Wisconsin)

Miller, Amy C. (Wisconsin)

Ruhland, Lane E. (Wisconsin)

Walsh, Ryan J. (Wisconsin)

Other Attorney(s)

Aubrey, Amanda C (Wisconsin)

Bailey, Carlos (Wisconsin)

Barnett, Lauren C (California)

Bemis, Zachary P (Wisconsin)

Berg, Luke N. (Wisconsin)

Blonien, Barry J (Wisconsin)

Bolinder, Eric R (Virginia)

Daun, Margaret C (Wisconsin)

DeVore, Megan L (Wisconsin)

Dregne, Matthew (Wisconsin)

Esenberg, Richard M. (Wisconsin)

Fassbender, Robert I (Wisconsin)

Fernholz, Matthew M (Wisconsin)

Fish, Corydon J (Wisconsin)

Friedman, James A (Wisconsin)

Gagliardi, Paul V (Wisconsin)

Gants, Brendan B. (District of Columbia)

Glicksman, Benjamin J (Wisconsin)

Goldenberg, Elaine J (District of Columbia)

Greenlee, Robert (Wisconsin)

Guidote, Joesph P. Jr. (Wisconsin)

Held, Robert Bebb (Wisconsin)

Jarchow, Adam M (Wisconsin)

Joos, Melissa Brooke (Wisconsin)

Kerschensteiner, Kristin (Wisconsin)

Kravit, Stephen E (Wisconsin)

Krueger, Elizabeth A (Wisconsin)

Lenz, Maxted M (Wisconsin)

Leonard, Mark A (Wisconsin)

Letteney, Scott R (Wisconsin)

LoCoco, Anthony (Wisconsin)

MacKenzie, Marcia A (Wisconsin)

Mandell, Jeffrey A (Wisconsin)

Matty, Stephen F (Wisconsin)

May, Michael P. (Wisconsin)

Nick, Stephen C (Wisconsin)

Poland, Douglas Maynard (Wisconsin)

Saks, Richard (Wisconsin)

Schmidt-Lehman, Judith (Wisconsin)

Seifter, Miriam (Wisconsin)

Spencer, Tearman (Wisconsin)

Swan, Mary Ann (Wisconsin)

Vebber, Lucas (Wisconsin)

Wakschlag, Shira (District of Columbia)

Yablon, Robert (Wisconsin)

Zisman, Valerie A (Wisconsin)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

20-00765

Docket [Wis. Supreme Ct.]

Wisconsin state supreme court

May 13, 2020

May 13, 2020

Docket

20-00765

Memorandum in Support of Legislature's Emergency Petition for Original Action and Emergency Motion for Temporary Injunction

Wisconsin state supreme court

April 21, 2020

April 21, 2020

Complaint

20-00765

Non-Party Brief of Amici Curiae, IBAW et al., in Support of Emergency Petition for an Original Action and in Support of the Emergency Motion for a Temporary Injunction

Wisconsin state supreme court

April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

20-00765

Non-Party Brief of Legal Scholars as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents

Wisconsin state supreme court

April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

20-00765

Brief of Amici Curiae Disability Rights Wisconsin, The Arc Wisconsin, The Arc, and Disability and Aging Organizations

Wisconsin state supreme court

April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

20-00765

Non-Party Brief and Appendix of the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards and Associated Municipalities and Counties

Wisconsin state supreme court

April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

20-00765

Brief of Amici Curiae 24 Wisconsin Community, Advocacy, Labor, and Membership Organizations

Wisconsin state supreme court

April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

20-00765

Non-Party of the Tavern League of Wisconsin

Wisconsin state supreme court

April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

20-00765

Brief of Non-Party Americans for Prosperity - Wisconsin as Amicus Curiae

Wisconsin state supreme court

April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

20-00765

Amicus Memorandum of Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. in Opposition to Emergency Petition for Original Action and to Motion for Temporary Injunction

Wisconsin state supreme court

April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 25, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Wisconsin

Case Type(s):

Presidential/Gubernatorial Authority

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 21, 2020

Closing Date: June 24, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Wisconsin Legislature

Plaintiff Type(s):

State Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Wisconsin Department of Health Services, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Special Case Type(s):

Appellate Court is initial court

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation