Ignore the Rules at Your Peril

A appellate case reminds us that a failure to follow the rules can be fatal to your case, regardless of the merits. In Lukszus v. City of Milwaukee, Richard Lukszys filed a petition for a writ of certiorari seeking judicial review of a City Pension Board decision. The procedures for certiorari review are somewhat complicated, and the deadlines for filing are absolute. Although Mr. Lukszys filed a petition for writ of certiorari within the deadline, the petition was not signed by the circuit court, as required, and his case was dismissed. He appealed, and the appellate court upheld the dismissal.

The bottom line is, if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly the government, there are specific procedures you must follow, and you must not delay. Sit on your rights and you may lose them. (I’m reminded of a bumper sticker I once saw: “Ignore your rights, and they’ll go away.”).

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