Governor also OKs legislation to cap attorney fees, use test results to fire teachers
By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel
Dec. 7, 2011
Madison – Homeowners who shoot intruders will have new legal protections, under a bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Scott Walker.
The Republican governor also signed legislation to limit attorney fees in lawsuits – a bill that conservatives said would end frivolous lawsuits but which Democrats said also would end many lawsuits with merit.
Under the intruders bill, courts in most criminal and civil matters would presume that people using deadly force had acted reasonably against anyone unlawfully inside their residence, business or vehicle, whether the trespasser was armed or not.
The proposal is sometimes known as the “castle doctrine,” a reference to the saying that one’s home is one’s castle. The bill passed the Senate and Assembly on bipartisan votes last month.
The legislation is one of 21 bills that Walker signed privately Wednesday after they were passed by the Republican Legislature in October and November.
“By signing the castle doctrine into law, I am standing with those individuals who chose to protect their family and property,” Walker said in a statement.
On Nov. 1, Wisconsin became the 49th state in the country to allow people to carry concealed firearms.