The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has just filed a lawsuit against the Town of Hayward for ignoring Wisconsin law, and refusing to notice and hold a special town meeting rightfully and legally requested by residents of the town.
The Quotes: WILL Associate Counsel, Skylar Croy, stated, “Residents deserve to be heard and the town of Hayward is ignoring their legal obligations to the people that entrusted them and elected them to office. As promised, WILL has acted on behalf of our clients and filed a lawsuit in court this week.”
WILL Client, Brenda Dettloff, added, “The Town of Hayward cannot ignore their legal obligations to their constituents. I am proud to stand with citizens of the Town of Hayward on both sides of the aisle to give them on unified voice. We will continue to fight together to have our voices heard.”
Background: Hayward held its annual town meeting in April, and pursuant to a somewhat obscure statute, was not required to provide public notice (Wis. Stat. § 60.11(5) (2021–22)). Since no notice was provided, the town took advantage of this statute and passed three controversial resolutions.
Our client, Ms. Dettloff, and other citizens have on three occasions taken the time out of their busy schedules to knock on doors to collect signatures, and submitted the required petition for a “special town meeting,” which gives the power to the people to reconsider resolutions under Wis. Stat. §§ 60.12(1)(b) and 60.14(b). Their latest petition met basic requirements, plainly stating the time, date, and purpose of the proposed special town meeting, which is all that is required by statute. The town clerk is still refusing to organize the meeting.
Last week, WILL sent a demand letter asking the Town of Hayward to follow their legal obligation and give public notice for a special meeting. The town clerk still refused to notice the meeting, violating her plain legal duty, so WILL has filed a petition for a writ of mandamus.
- Summons, Petition for Writ of Mandamus, & Exhibits, August 2023