State v. Eesley

In State v. Eesley, 225 Wis. 2d 248, 254, 591 N.W.2d 846 (1999), the court addressed the question whether a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum constituted a "detainer" within the meaning of Wis. Stat. 976.05 and concluded it did not. Therefore, the court held, the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD) and its protections were never triggered. Id. at 267. The court in Eesley first observed that "detainer" was not defined in the statute and it therefore looked to the legislative history of the federal legislation on which Wis. Stat. 976.05 was based. That showed, the court said, that detainer was intended to be defined as "notification filed with the institution in which a prisoner is serving a sentence, advising that he is wanted to face pending criminal charges in another jurisdiction." Id. at 258. The court then discussed a number of differences between a detainer and a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum: (1) a detainer is filed by the prosecutor or law enforcement personnel whereas the writ may only be issued by a court; (2) the writ requires that the prisoner be immediately brought before the court, whereas a detainer merely puts the officials of the institution in which the prisoner is confined on notice that the prisoner is wanted in another jurisdiction for trial upon release from the current confinement; (3) a detainer is not enough to effectuate a transfer of the prisoner, whereas the writ is; (4) the writ is executed immediately, whereas a detainer may remain lodged indefinitely against a prisoner. See Easley, 225 Wis. 2d at 258-59. The court in Eesley next considered the purposes of the IAD, as set forth in Wis. Stat. 976.05(1): "The first is to protect prisoners by 'encouraging the expeditious and orderly disposition of such outstanding charges against a prisoner and determination of the proper status of any and all detainers based on untried indictments, informations or complaints.' The second purpose is to provide 'cooperative procedures' to effectuate a more uniform and efficient system of interstate rendition." (State v. Eesley, 225 Wis. 2d at 261.) The court also considered the purpose of the IAD as expressed in federal case law and legislative materials. The purpose is to address problems that arose due to the specific characteristics of detainers lodged against prisoners while confined in another jurisdiction: the custodial officials' knowledge of the detainer might have an adverse effect indefinitely on the prisoner's status, conditions of confinement, and chances for parole, but the prisoner had no means to resolve the charges underlying the detainer. See id. at 260. The court decided that the problems the IAD was intended to address did not arise from a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum because it was executed immediately. See id. at. 261. The court also considered that this type of writ had a long history in Wisconsin of which the legislature was presumably aware, and the use of the word "detainer" therefore showed that the legislature did not intend to include this writ. See Easley, 225 Wis. 2d at 262.