Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C. Attorneys at Law — Founded 1908

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RECOVERY OF PROPERTY

In Green Bay, Wisconsin, there are often circumstances where another person has possession of property that is legally yours and refuses to return it.  Such cases may not quite rise to the level a criminal theft but nonetheless, because of a dispute between parties, one party is in possession of property that may not belong to him. The attorneys at the law firm Wanezek & Jaekels, S.C., discuss your rights and often help you recover your property.

Some examples may be business associates parting ways dispute what property belongs to who, an accountant who refuses to return accounting records, a former employee who refuses to return a piece of equipment owned by the employer, and an ex-boyfriend who will not return property (among endless scenarios).

LEGALLY RECOVERING YOUR PROPERTY
Such circumstances can be extremely frustrating to the lawful owner. This is especially the case if law enforcement will not get involved because it is “a civil matter.”   However our civil courts do provide a remedy.  The remedy is a “Writ of Replevin,”  that is, a court order to one party to hand over property, usually with an order to the county sheriff to assist in the recovery.

In Wisconsin, the Small Claims court has jurisdiction to recover property up to a certain value.  Some property of higher value must be put into “high side” court.  Regardless, the process is complex and there are certain specific pleadings requirements.

If you find yourself in such a situation you should consult with Attorney David Daul to advise you on how to recover your property. Attorney Daul and the lawyers at Wanezek & Jaekels can help you legally recover your personal property, assist with conversion claims, and advise you on a variety of legal property issues.

CHILD INJURED WHILE IN INSTITUTIONAL OR GOVERNMENT CARE

It is every parent’s worst nightmare that their child, after having been placed in institutional or governmental care is injured as a result of an intentional assault either by an employee of the State, the institution or another resident/patient.  This type of assault can cause extreme emotional trauma far beyond the physical damage suffered by the child, to both the parents and the child. If such circumstances exist, there may be acute and time sensitive issues involved.

INJURIES & STATE LIABILITY; REQUIREMENTS
Typically, if a person is injured while in a State institution in Wisconsin, a certain formal notice must be given within 120 days pursuant to Wisconsin law.  Parents are entitled to obtain records associated with the assault through “open records” laws in effect in Wisconsin.  Such injuries suffered by a child can often lead to liability on the part of the State or the institution to the child; and to the parents.  There are numerous and complex legal issues that must be addressed early on in order to preserve the rights of the child and the parents in such circumstances.

INJURY SETTLEMENTS, CHILDREN, & GOVERNMENT BENEFITS
Further, if the child’s family is receiving any type of governmental benefit or assistance, receipt of settlement funds may disqualify the family from governmental benefits necessitating the use of certain types of trusts to protect the family. Further, such injuries, when and if they result in settlement, are subject to certain requirements for the settlement of minor claims.  These issues are very complex and complicated and generally require the assistance of an attorney experienced in in handling claims against Wisconsin government bodies, personal injury claims, minor settlements, and other areas of the law.

OUR EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS CAN HELP
If your child and/or your family has experienced a State institutional or government assault, please contact an attorney very experienced in settling such cases by contacting Attorney David Daul at the law firm of Wanezek & Jaekels, S.C., [email protected] or by telephone at 920-437-8191.

PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS / INSURANCE

Most homeowners own a policy of insurance that covers damage to their property in the event of a catastrophic loss, such as fire.  These policies often contain provisions that cover for losses associated with damage to the home or its contents.  One area of constant dispute between homeowners and insurance companies is whether or not the claim is excluded under the language of the policy.

DOES AN “EXCLUSION” LIMIT YOUR COVERAGE?
Your insurance policy will have numerous “exclusions” which will likely exclude some or all of the loss from coverage.  Your insurance carrier will invariably seek the broadest possible application of these exclusions, often in a way that is unreasonable or unfair.  If it is the case that you are in a property damage dispute with your insurance carrier, you should consult the experienced attorneys at Wanezek & Jaekels, S.C. Located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, our law firm is local, experienced and ready to assist you with your insurance related property damage concerns.

Contact Attorney David Daul to discuss the matter in greater detail. Call 1.920.437.8191, or email him to discuss your insurance claim.

FINANCIAL INDUSTRY REGULATORY AUTHORITY (FINRA) ARBITRATION

In some unfortunate situations, you may have experienced substantial financial loss through the actions of your financial adviser not due to fluctuations in the market. Such losses could arise which reflect negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and unsuitability of investments, among others, that have nothing to do with fluctuations in the market.

COMPLAINTS AGAINST FINANCIAL ADVISERS
The agreement that you sign with your financial adviser will probably provide that your dispute must be resolved through an arbitration through a government agency known as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). This process requires you to submit a complaint through FINRA and then submit to an arbitration by an impartial third party to resolve your claims with your investment adviser. The process is usually mandatory, does not provide you with a right to a jury, and further does not provide you with a right to an appeal. Therefore, you only have one opportunity to get your claims framed correctly and put before FINRA for resolution. Your financial adviser will have extremely skilled lawyers to defend the claim and you would be at a substantial disadvantage if you attempted to prosecute your rights without legal assistance.

CONTACT WANEZEK & JAEKELS FOR HELP
Our firm has handled many of these types of claims with very good results for our clients. If you have complaints involving loss of worth of your portfolio which you believe is not related to market fluctuations, please consult with Attorney David Daul who has substantial experience in these matters to discuss the matter in greater detail.

Initial consultations are always free. Call attorney Daul at 920.437.8191, or email him today: [email protected].

CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

In some unfortunate situations, citizens are the victims of police brutality, neglect or abuse while confined in a State institution or suffer some other harm at the hands of a State or Federal employee.

REMEDIES FOR CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Fortunately, the law provides a remedy for persons who suffer such abuse.  The law in this area is extremely technical and the government often enjoys immunity from suits.  However, if the involved claims are properly drafted and supported by facts, immunity may be unavailable to the government and you may be entitled to damages for the injury suffered.  Examples of such situations may involve failure to render proper medical care while confined, allowing a child to be assaulted while in a state care facility, and police brutality, among other examples.

LOCAL ATTORNEY CAN HELP
Please consult with Green Bay attorney David Daul of Wanezek & Jaekels, S.C., if you have a case which you feel merits consultation or otherwise wish to pursue.

If you have possible civil rights claim, or another claim against a Wisconsin governmental body, call 920.437.8191, or email attorney Daul at [email protected].

MAKE SURE TO PRESERVE YOUR APPEAL RIGHTS

For practicing attorneys, it is well known that in order to preserve your right to appeal a particular issue, you must bring that issue to the attention to the circuit court. This is called the forfeiture rule. However, pro se litigants typically are not knowledgable about the procedural aspects of the legal system and probably wouldn’t be aware of that fact. However, application of the forfeiture rule is no different for pro se litigants. In Townsend v. Massey, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals found that one does not preserve legal arguments on appeal by simply raising a related issue at the trial court level, even if the person appealing is a pro se litigant. Because of this forfeiture rule, it is even more important to ensure that you have capable legal representation at the trial court and appellate court levels. Contact our firm for assistance with all of your legal needs. The experienced attorneys at Wanezek & Jaekels can help you determine your appellate rights.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The Americans with Disabilities Act, Title III provides that public accommodations be accessible to Americans with disabilities. Title III covers businesses and nonprofit service providers that are generally accessible to the public. Businesses cannot discriminate through exclusion, segregation and unequal treatment. They buildings must be in code with architectural standards and must remove barriers in existing buildings when it is reasonable. The act covers both physical and mental disabilities, but requires documentation of them. It is unfortunate that discrimination occurs in today’s society. Our firm has extensive experience in resolving these disputes. In some instances relief through the Department of Justice can be obtained through an administrative complaint. However in more complex matters you may wish to file a law suit in Federal Court alleging a violation of the law. Attorneys usually work on a contingency fee arrangement, allowing the claimant to pursue these actions. Attorney David D. Daul handles these claims and would be happy to provide you with a free consultation.

SMALL CLAIMS LIMIT IN WISCONSIN INCREASED TO $10,000

For civil actions, classification of the lawsuit depends upon the amount of money sought by the plaintiff.  A lawsuit would be brought in small claims court when the amount claimed by the plaintiff was $5,000.00 or less.  If the amount claimed by the plaintiff was greater than $5,000.00, the case would be in large claims court.  Small claims court provides for a process in which cases can be handled much more efficiently and under a shorter time frame. 

Recently, Governor Walker signed a bill into Wisconsin law which increases the small claims limit from $5,000.00 or less to $10,000.00 or less.  This limit of $10,000.00 applies to cases filed on or after July 1, 2011.  The increase of the limit for small claims cases does not apply to third-party complaints, personal injury claims, or tort claims. 

Because of this change, it is expected that a shift of cases will likely occur from large claim cases to small claims cases.  This new law will likely provide for a quicker and more efficient resolution of greater number of plaintiffs’ claims. 

If you have a right to assert a claim against another for damages, our office can help you recover the amount you are entitled to receive.  Call us for a free initial consultation. 

RIGHT OF REDEMPTION IN FORECLOSURE ACTION

A foreclosing party can reduce a mortgagors’ right to redeem property from twelve months to six months if the foreclosing party waives the right to receive a deficiency judgment. When two mortgages exist, foreclosing on one mortgage and seeking money on the other mortgage will not impact the foreclosing party’s right to a six month redemption period.

 This is what the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District III, held in Harbor Credit Union v. Samp, 2010AP974(Feb. 17, 2011). In that case, Harbor Credit Union held two mortgages on the same property. The first mortgage was the result of a loan in the approximate amount of $275,000.00. The second mortgage was the result of a loan in the approximate amount of $125,000.00. The mortgagor defaulted on his obligations on the loans and in March 2009 Harbor Credit Union brought a foreclosure action on the first mortgage. Harbor Credit Union elected to waive the right to receive a deficiency judgment on the first mortgage and the redemption period was shortened from twelve months to six months. In June 2009, the circuit court granted Harbor Credit Union a judgment of foreclosure, with a redemption period of six months and no deficiency judgment. The circuit court did not say anything about the second mortgage other than it was junior to the first mortgage.

In December 2009, Harbor Credit Union initiated a seperate action seeking a money judgment only on the second mortgage. Two weeks later, more than six months after the foreclosure judgment on the first mortgage was entered, a sheriff’s sale was conducted and Harbor Credit Union submitted the only bid on the property for $411,000.00 and thereafter moved the court for confirmation of the sale. Harbor Credit Union submitted that there was no deficiency on the first mortgage and the money judgment on the second mortgage would also be satisfied from the proceeds of the sale. The circuit court confirmed the sale but the mortgagor wished to redeem the property the same day by paying the sale amount. The court held open the mortgagors’ right to redeem until the end of that day and then confirmed the judgment.

The mortgagor did not redeem that same day but later filed a motion to vacate the order confirming the sale claiming that the money judgment that Harbor Credit Union received on the second mortgage amounted to a deficiency judgment and therefore Harbor Credit Union was not allowed a six month redemption period. The cicuit court denied the mortgagors’ motion and he appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed by concluding that a money judgment obtained on a second mortgage does not amount to a deficiency judgment for purposes of the foreclosure action.

INSURANCE COMPANY VIOLATES DUTY TO CONDUCT A FAIR INVESTIGATION RESULTING IN PUNITIVE

In Woelfel v. Homestead Mutual Insurance, Docket: 2009AP002104 03-02-11, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals examined a case where it was alleged that an insurance company failed to properly investigate the case of a collapsing feed silo.  Neighbors heard a loud “boom” or “whoosh” when the feed silo collapsed.  An investigator for the farmers insurance company performed a cursory investigation and determined that the silo collapsed due to structural problems.  The court found that the investigation was so bad that it amounted to no investigation at all.  The investigator reach flatly unsupportable conclusions as to the cause of the collapse and quickly determined–conveniently– that the collapse was “not covered” under the policy.  A more diligent investigation would have determined that the collapse was due to an explosion and fire.  Evidence establishing an explosion caused the collapse was ignored by the insurance company.  The trial court found that the claim was covered and further as a punishment for the sham “investigation” it awarded punitive damages of $700,000 in addition to damages for loss of the silo.  The court found that the insurance company had gone into “pre-denial” mode before even visiting the site for inspection.  On appeal the court of appeal upheld the trial court ruling finding that the insurance company conducted its investigation in such a way as to prevent it from learning the true facts upon which the claim was based.

 Often times when an insurance claims for property damages arise the insurance company will retain and employ independant “experts” with substantial credentials.  However many times these experts do work exclusively for insurance companies and predictably often render opinions that result in a determination of “no coverage” under the applicable insurance policy.  You are entitled to retain your own independent expert to determine causation.  Our firm routinely deals with such cases.  Don’t let the insurance company white wash an investigation.  If you believe your claim is covered but the insurance company and its “expert” are telling you otherwise do not hesitate to call David or Warren at our office.

Obtain Legal Help You Can Rely On

To get in touch with one of our attorneys about your case, call our firm at (920) 437-8191 or fill out the form below.