Statutory Interpretation Parcel Transfer.


Byline: Derek Hawkins

WI Supreme Court

Case Name: Melvin DeWitt, et al. v. Earl G. Ferries, et al.

Case No.: 2018 WI 117

Focus: Statutory Interpretation Parcel Transfer

The Petitioners, collectively the DeWitts, seek to transfer a one-acre parcel of property to the Town of Forest. They assert that the parcel is a cemetery where they believe their relatives are buried and that the parcel is neglected or abandoned. The circuit court agreed and issued an order transferring the one-acre parcel to the Town to manage as a town cemetery, pursuant to Wis. Stat. 157.115(1)(c) (2015-16).

The court of appeals, however, disagreed. It determined that the DeWitts failed to prove a statutory requirementthat "there exists no association or group with authority to transfer ownership and operation of the cemetery . . . ." Finding this failure dispositive, the court of appeals reversed the circuit court's order transferring the parcel to the Town.

The DeWitts now seek review of the unpublished per curiam decision of the court of appeals. They contend that the court of appeals erred because the evidence they presented supports the circuit court's conclusion that the parcel meets the statutory requirements for the transfer of a cemetery to the Town. The DeWitts further advance that even if the requirements of chapter 157 are not met, the one-acre parcel is...

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