United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JOSEPH B. REINWAND, Petitioner,
SUSAN NOVAK, Respondent.
William C. Griesbach, United States District Court Chief
September 3, 2019, Petitioner Joseph B. Reinwand, who is
currently incarcerated at Columbia Correctional Institution,
filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. Â§ 2254. Petitioner was convicted in Portage County
Circuit Court of first degree murder and sentenced to
mandatory life imprisonment consecutive to any other
give the case prompt initial consideration pursuant to Rule 4
of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, which reads:
If it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any
attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the
petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner. If
the petition is not dismissed, the judge must order the
respondent to file an answer, motion, or other response
within a fixed time . . . .
Rules Governing § 2254 Cases. During my initial review
of habeas petitions, I look to see whether the petitioner has
set forth cognizable constitutional or federal law claims and
exhausted available state remedies.
1984, Reinwand's wife died in her home of a single
gunshot wound to the head. Her death was originally ruled a
suicide, but the investigation was reopened, and in 2014,
Reinwand was charged with first-degree murder for her death.
Before the trial, the State filed a notice of intent to
introduce into evidence, through the testimony of five
witnesses, out-of-court statements made by Dale Meister, who
had been in a romantic relationship with Reinwand's
daughter. Meister was unable to testify because he had been
fatally shot in March 2008. Reinwand was convicted of
first-degree intentional homicide for Meister's death in
2014. The State intended to introduce the following out of
(a) statements by Meister that Reinwand had threatened
Meister and told Meister that he could kill Meister and get
away with it just as he had done with [his wife] many years
earlier, (b) statements by Meister that Reinwand had told
Meister that he had killed in the past and gotten away with
it and could do so again with Meister, (c) statements by
Meister that Meister was scared of Reinwand and told
witnesses that he expected to wind up dead and that Reinwand
would stage it to look like a suicide, (d) statements by
Meister that Meister said if he wound up dead, it would not
be a suicide, and (e) statements by Meister that Reinwand was
upset that Mesiter was checking into whether [his wife's]
death in May of 1984 was truly a suicide.
See State v. Reinwand, No. 2017AP163-CR, ¶ 3,
available at https://wscca.wicourts.gov/
(alterations omitted). The trial court concluded that the
out-of-court statements were not testimonial and therefore
not barred by the Confrontation Clause.
asserts that he should be granted a new trial because the
trial court violated the Confrontation Clause by allowing the
admission of testimony as to Meister's out-of-court
statements. From the face of the petition, the court cannot
conclude that this claim lacks merit. Accordingly, Reinwand
will be allowed to proceed on this claim.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that within 60 days of the date
of this order respondent shall either file an appropriate
motion seeking dismissal or answer the petition, complying
with Rule 5 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, and
showing cause, if any, why the writ should not issue.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that unless respondent files a
dispositive motion in lieu of an answer the parties shall
abide by the following schedule regarding the filing of
briefs on the merits of petitioner's claims: (1)
petitioner shall have 45 days following the filing of
respondent's answer within which to file his brief in
support of his petition; (2) respondent shall have 45 days
following the filing of petitioner's initial brief within
which to file a brief in opposition; and (3) petitioner shall
have 30 days following the filing of respondent's
opposition brief within which to file a reply brief, if any.
respondent files a dispositive motion in lieu of an answer,
this briefing schedule will be suspended and the briefing
schedule will instead be as follows: (1) petitioner shall
have 30 days following the filing of respondent's
dispositive motion and supporting initial brief within which
to file a brief in opposition; and (2) respondent shall have
15 days following the filing of petitioner's opposition
brief within which to file a reply brief, if any.
to Civil L.R. 7(f), the following page limitations apply:
briefs in support of or in opposition to the habeas petition
or a dispositive motion filed by respondent must not exceed
thirty pages and reply briefs must not exceed fifteen pages,
not counting any caption, cover page, table of contents,
table of authorities, and/or signature block.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to the Prisoner
E-Filing Program, the plaintiff shall submit all
correspondence and case filings to institution staff, who
will scan and e-mail documents to the Court. The Prisoner
E-Filing Program is in effect at Columbia Correctional
Institution, Dodge Correctional Institution, Green Bay
Correctional Institution, Oshkosh Correctional Institution,
Waupun Correctional Institution, and Wisconsin Secure Program
Facility. If the plaintiff is no ...