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WISCONSIN BLUE BOOK 1997 - 1998 ... the legislature intended the courts to use their equitable powers to continue the policy direction of the visitation statutes, that is, to exercise their powers for the best interest of the child when a triggering event justifies state intervention. (689) The majority went on to hold that the law does not support the biological parent's absolute rights in their children, but rather requires the court to respect parental autonomy and at the same time serve the best interest of the child. It concluded that the case should be remanded to the trial court where the plaintiff would have the burden of proof regarding four elements: her relation- ship with the child; the defendant's consent to that relationship; the plaintiff's assumption of ob- ligations regarding the development of the child; and the length of time the child and plaintiff were involved in a bonding, dependent relationship. In addition, the majority said the plaintiff must prove that a significant triggering event had occurred that justified state intervention, in this case that the parent interfered substantially with the plaintiff's parent-like relationship with the child and that the plaintiff sought court-ordered visitation within a reasonable time after the par- ent's interference. In concurring and dissenting opinions, Justice Roland Day, Justice Donald Steinmetz and Jus- tice Jon Wilcox concurred with the majority that the plaintiff had no cause of action for custody, but dissented regarding the right to visitation, arguing that Chapter 767 is the only vehicle for a nonparent to obtain visitation rights. They said that the courts have consistently held that par- ents have the right to decide who may visit their children and compelling circumstances must exist before a court will interfere with a parent's decision. Their dissents said that Chapter 767 only applies if there is an action affecting the family or if the family is dissolving. In this case, neither of these criteria were met, so, they concluded, the courts have no right to interfere with the parental decision regarding visitation. 584
Statistics Statistical information on Wisconsin: agriculture, associations, commerce and industry, con- servation and recreation, education, employment and income, geography and climate, history, local and state government, military and veterans affairs, news media, population and vital statis- tics, post offices, social services, state and local finance, transportation Local Government in Wisconsin: Milwaukee Mass Transit at the Turn of the Century State Historical Society, #WHi (X3) 51162