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Wisconsin Children's Jury Instructions

The Wisconsin Children's Jury Instructions are created as models, checklists, or minimum standards. Instructions focus on children in need of protection or services (CHIPS) cases and involuntary termination of parental rights (TPR) cases. It may be necessary to modify instructions to accommodate the facts of the case. There is not a model instruction for every situation. Comments or directions in brackets, italics, or parenthesis may describe special conditions for use, or other cautionary or explanatory material.

Cite these instructions as: Wis JI-Children

Browse the jury instructions using the table of contents below, or print the entire instruction set (rev. 2019).

General instructions 10-197

Suggested Order of Instructions: Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) or Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Case (Renumbered Criminal JI-120 in 2016)

Preliminary Instruction: Before Trial (2018) Word PDF

Juror Questioning of Witness (2018) Word PDF

Notetaking Not Allowed (2018) Word PDF

Notetaking Permitted (2018) Word PDF

Confidentiality: Preliminary Instruction (2018) Word PDF

Opening (2018) Word PDF

Remarks and Arguments of Counsel (2018) Word PDF

Objections of Counsel (2018) Word PDF

Ignoring Judge's Demeanor (2018) Word PDF

Impeachment of Witness: Prior Conviction or Juvenile Adjudication (2018) Word PDF

Stricken Testimony (2018) Word PDF

Credibility of Witnesses; Weight of Evidence (2018) Word PDF

Special Verdict Questions: Interrelationship (2018) Word PDF

Witness: Absence (2018) Word PDF

Closing: Short Form (2018) Word PDF

Closing: Long Form (2018) Word PDF

Exhibits (2018) Word PDF

Expert Testimony: General (2018) Word PDF

Expert Testimony: Hypothetical Questions (2018) Word PDF

Burden of Proof: Ordinary (2018) Word PDF

Burden of Proof: Middle (2018) Word PDF

Appropriate Date for Jury's Finding (2016) Word PDF

Five-Sixths Verdict (2018) Word PDF

Supplemental Instruction Where Jury is Unable to Agree (2018) Word PDF

Instruction after Verdict is Received (2018) Word PDF

Child or unborn child in need of protection or services (CHIPS) (UCHIPS) 200-295

Preliminary Instruction (2009) Word PDF

Unborn Child in Need of Protection or Services: Preliminary Instruction (2009) Word PDF

Child Without a Parent or Guardian (2005) Word PDF

Abandonment (2005) Word PDF

Relinquishment of Custody of Newborn Child (2010) Word PDF

Abuse by Physical Injury (2008) Word PDF

Abuse by Methamphetamine Manufacturing (2010) Word PDF

Abuse by Sexual Intercourse or Contact (2010) Word PDF

Abuse by Sexual Exploitation: Violation of Wis. Stat. § 948.05(1)(a) (2010) Word PDF

Abuse by Sexual Exploitation: Violation of Wis. Stat. § 948.05(1)(b) (2010) Word PDF

Abuse by Sexual Exploitation: Violation of Wis. Stat. § 948.05(2) (2010) Word PDF

Abuse by Causing a Child to View or Listen to Sexual Activity: Violation of Wis. Stat. § 948.055 (2010) Word PDF

Abuse: Exposing or Causing a Child to Expose Genitals or Pubic Area: Violation of Wis. Stat. § 948.10 (2010) Word PDF

Abuse: Prostitution: Violation of Wis. Stat. § 944.30 (2010) Word PDF

Abuse: Advisory Verdict as to Perpetrator (2010) Word PDF

Substantial Risk of Physical Abuse (2010) Word PDF

Substantial Risk of Abuse (Methamphetamine Manufacturing) (2010) Word PDF

Substantial Risk of Sexual Abuse (2010) Word PDF

Parent (Guardian) Unable or Needs Assistance to Care for (2015) Word PDF

Parental Inability to Control (Withdrawn in 1997)

Parent (Guardian) Unable or Needs Assistance to Provide Necessary Special Treatment or Care (2015) Word PDF

Parent Fails to Provide Care (2010) Word PDF

Guardian Unable or Needs Assistance to Care for; Unwilling or Unable to Sign Petition (2009) Word PDF

Guardian Unable or Needs Assistance to Provide Special Treatment or Care; Unwilling or Unable to Sign Petition (2009) Word PDF

Placed for Care in Violation of Law (2005) Word PDF

Placed for Adoption in Violation of Law (2005) Word PDF

Inadequate Care During Period of Parental Absence (Missing) (2005) Word PDF

Inadequate Care During Period of Parental Absence (Incarcerated) (2005) Word PDF

Inadequate Care During Period of Parental Absence (Hospitalized) (2005) Word PDF

Inadequate Care During Period of Parental Absence (Institutionalized) (2005) Word PDF

Parental Neglect, Refusal, or Inability to Provide (2012) Word PDF

Substantial Risk of Neglect, Refusal, or Inability to Provide (2012) Word PDF

Emotional Damage (2008) Word PDF

Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Impairment (2005) Word PDF

Unborn Child in Need of Protection or Services (2009) Word PDF

Habitual Truancy (Withdrawn in 1997)

Delinquent Act (Under Age of 12) (Withdrawn in 1997)

Involuntary termination of parental rights (TPR) 300-375

Preliminary Instruction (General) (2009) Word PDF

Consideration of Child's Best Interests in Termination Proceedings (2015) Word PDF

Separate Parents and Separate Verdicts in Termination Proceedings (2016) Word PDF

Relinquishment (2005) Word PDF

Abandonment (60 days) (2006) Word PDF

Abandonment: Left Without Provision for Care (2009) Word PDF

Abandonment: When Child Under One Year (2005) Word PDF

Abandonment: Placement and Failure to Visit or Communicate for Three Months (2018) Word PDF

Abandonment: Left With Another Person and Failure to Visit or Communicate for Six Months (2018) Word PDF

Continuing Need of Protection or Services (Withdrawn in 2011)

Continuing Need of Protection or Services [Wis. Stat. § 48.415(2)(a)] (2018) Word PDF

Continuing Need of Protection or Services (April 21, 2006, and where 2017 Wis. Act 256 does not apply) [Wis. Stat. § 48.415(2)(a)] (2018) Word PDF

Continuing Need of Protection or Services (Before April 21, 2006, and where 2017 Wis. Act 256 does not apply) [Wis. Stat. § 48.415(2)(a)1] (2018) Word PDF

Continuing Need of Protection or Services: Three or More CHIPS Orders (2011) Word PDF

Continuing Parental Disability (2011) Word PDF

Continuing Denial of Periods of Physical Placement or Visitation (2016) Word PDF

Abuse: Pattern of Abusive Behavior and Felony Conviction (2016) Word PDF

Abuse: Pattern of Abusive Behavior and Prior Removal by Court Order (Removal of Abused Child from Parent's Home) (2011) Word PDF

Failure to Assume Parental Responsibility (Where Paternity Determined Since Petition Was Filed) (Withdrawn in 2011)

Failure to Assume Parental Responsibility (2018) Word PDF

Failure to Assume Parental Responsibility: Knowledge of Paternity [Wis. Stat. § 48.415(6)(a)] (2018) Word PDF

Failure to Assume Parental Responsibility: Incarcerated Parent [Wis. Stat. § 48.415(6)(a)] (2018) Word PDF

Incestuous Parenthood (2011) Word PDF

Homicide or Solicitation to Commit Homicide of Parent (2011) Word PDF

Parenthood as a Result of a Sexual Assault (Where a Judgment of Conviction or Adjudication of Delinquency Exists) (2011) Word PDF

Parenthood as a Result of a Sexual Assault (Where No Judgment of Conviction or Adjudication of Delinquency Exists) (2011) Word PDF

Commission of a Felony Against a Child (2016) Word PDF

Prior Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights (2011) Word PDF

Indian child welfare cases: CHIPS and involuntary termination of parental rights 410-424

CHIPS (Out-of-Home Care Placement): Verdict [Wis. Stat. § 48.028(4)(d)] (2015) Word PDF

CHIPS (Out-of-Home Care Placement): Serious Emotional Damage or Serious Physical Damage [Wis. Stat. § 48.028 (4)(d)1.] (2010) Word PDF

CHIPS (Out-of-Home Care Placement): Active Efforts [Wis. Stat. § 48.028 (4)(d)2.] (2013) Word PDF

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights: Verdict [Wis. Stat. § 48.028(4)(e)] (2018) Word PDF

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights: Serious Emotional Damage or Serious Physical Damage [Wis. Stat. § 48.028 (4)(e)1.] (2018) Word PDF

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights: "Active Efforts" [Wis. Stat. § 48.028 (4)(e)2.] (2018) Word PDF

Special materials SM-1-SM-2

Analysis of effective dates of juvenile legislation and jury instructions on the new elements (1997) Word PDF

Use of summary judgments, jury waivers, stipulations, and directed verdicts in termination and CHIPS proceedings (2015) Word PDF


The Wisconsin Children's Jury Instructions are created and edited by the Wisconsin Juvenile Jury Instructions Committee of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference. Instructions include contributions from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, and are used with its permission.

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