Sunday, December 8, 2013

State v. Oakley case brief

State v. Oakley case brief summary
629 N.W.2d 200 (2002)

Defendant, the father of nine children, agreed to plea no contest to three counts of intentionally refusing to support his children. The sentencing judge imposed, as a condition of probation, that defendant could not have any more children unless he could show he had the ability to support them and that he was supporting the children he already had. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed. Defendant petitioned the instant court for review.

Defendant, who during the relevant time period paid no child support and was in arrears in excess of $ 25,000, challenged the constitutionality of the condition of his probation that he not father another child unless he could show that he could support that child and his current children. Defendant argued that the condition violated his right to procreate.


  • The instant court held that that the probation condition was not overbroad, as it did not eliminate defendant's ability to exercise his constitutional right to procreate. 
  • Defendant could satisfy the condition of probation by making efforts to support his children as required by law. 
  • The condition was reasonably related to the probationary goal of rehabilitation because it would assist defendant in conforming his conduct to the law. 
  • The condition was narrowly tailored to serve the compelling state interest of requiring parents to support their children as well as rehabilitating those convicted of crimes. 
  • The instant court also concluded that defendant waived any claim of error that the State was impermissibly allowed to withdraw from an earlier plea agreement by entering into a subsequent plea agreement.
The appellate court's decision was affirmed.

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