What is a Petition to Bypass?

Although rare, a party who loses at the circuit court level may ask the State Supreme Court to hear the case, directly, without the case first being heard by the Court of Appeals. This request is referred to as a petition to bypass.

In Wisconsin Courts, for example, Wis. Stat. § 808.05 outlines the three sets of circumstances under which a case may bypass the Court of Appeals:

(1)  Where a party to the action files a petition to bypass and the Supreme Court grants it;

(2)  Where the Court of Appeals certifies the case to the Supreme Court before hearing the matter; or

(3)  Where the Supreme Court decides, on its own motion, to hear a matter directly.

Petitions to bypass are rare because in most cases it is necessary to flesh out the issues at the appellate level before presenting them to the state Supreme Court. Additionally, while an appeal to the Court of Appeals is a matter of right (i.e., the Court of Appeals must consider the cases that are appealed as a matter of right), State Supreme Courts select and hear only a handful of cases every year.

A good candidate for a petition to bypass is a case that presents an issue that meets at least one of the criteria for review for the state Supreme Court. Moreover, a good candidate will present an issue that the State Supreme Court will ultimately want to consider, regardless of how the Court of Appeals may rule.

To speak with a knowledgeable attorney about whether a Petition to Bypass may be appropriate in your case, contact The Alderman Law Firm today for your free consultation by calling 720-588-3529 (CO) or 608-620-3529 (WI).