for publication in the official reports.
from an order of the circuit court for Dane County: No.
2017CV2538, ELLEN K. BERZ, Judge.
Lundsten, P.J., Sherman and Kloppenburg, JJ.
In this appeal from a domestic abuse injunction order, Robert
Evans argues that an unlawful "email volunteer
system" was used to assign a substitute judge. As used
here, an "email volunteer system" is a method of
assigning a substitute judge to a case by sending an email to
the other judges and assigning the first responding available
judge to the case. We conclude that Evans fails to show that
the use of an email volunteer system violates any statute. We
also conclude that, to the extent that Evans is arguing that
the use of an email volunteer system violates Wisconsin
Supreme Court Rules setting forth administrative duties of
the chief judge, we lack authority to review such
non-judicial actions. Accordingly, we affirm.
On October 13, 2017, a court commissioner granted a petition
for a domestic abuse temporary restraining order against
Evans and scheduled an injunction hearing to be held before
Judge Rhonda Lanford on October 20, 2017.
On the day of the injunction hearing, Evans filed a request
for substitution of judge. At the hearing, Judge Lanford
granted Evans's request for substitution of judge,
stating, "Judge [Ellen] Berz is available to hear this
right now." Evans objected, stating his belief that
"there would need to be a random selection of the
judge." After a brief recess, Judge Lanford explained
that she talked with the court administrator and confirmed
that when substitutions are requested in domestic abuse
injunction hearings, "[a] judge is assigned whoever is
available to do it .... An e-mail was sent out randomly, and
the first person who responds and is available is assigned.
That was Judge Berz, and Judge Berz is waiting in Branch 11
to hear this case." Evans again objected to the method
by which Judge Berz was assigned as a substitute judge.
That same day, the parties appeared before Judge Berz. When
Evans again objected, Judge Berz explained that "the
chief judge's and court administrator's office was
contacted and [the original judge] was told that an email
should go out to all of the judges to find out who was
available at this last-minute request, and whoever answered
first," was assigned the case. Judge Berz informed Evans
that she answered first. Judge Berz then granted Evans's
request for a continuance and scheduled the hearing for four
days later, October 24, 2017.
On October 24, 2017, Judge Berz held the injunction hearing
and granted the injunction. Evans appeals.
The sole issue on appeal is whether the email volunteer
system used in this case to assign a substitute judge is
unlawful. Evans argues that the email volunteer system
"directly contravenes" the statutes and the supreme
court rules. As we explain, Evans fails to point to any
language in the statutes that supports his argument, and we
lack authority over his challenge based on the supreme court
Argument Based on the Statutes
Evans's statutory argument requires that we interpret
various statutory provisions. "The purpose of statutory
interpretation is to discern the intent of the
legislature." Juneau Cty. v. Associated Bank,
N.A., 2013 WI.App. 29, ¶16, 346 Wis.2d 264, 828
N.W.2d 262. When we interpret a statute, we begin with the
statute's plain language, because we assume that the
legislature's intent is expressed in the words it used,
and we give statutory language "its common, ordinary,
and accepted meaning." Id.; State ex rel.
Kalal v. Circuit Court for Dane Cty., 2004 WI 58,
¶¶44-45, 271 Wis.2d 633, 681 N.W.2d 110.
"[S]tatutory language is ...