WI Assembly Introduces Another CCAP Bill Which Would Alter Access to Court Records

Last month, the Wisconsin Assembly introduced another bill which would affect access to CCAP. Tony Chan, chair of Government Relations for the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin had this report:

On January 22, 2010, 2009 ASSEMBLY BILL 663 was introduced by Representatives Marlin D. Schneider, Kelda Helen Roys and Annette Polly Williams, and Frederick Kessler. It was referred to Committee on State Affairs and Homeland Security. This bill is similar to AB 340 introduced by Representatives Schneider, Kessler and A. Williams on July 8, 2009.
Currently the Wisconsin state courts maintain a consolidated electronic system known as the Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP). It contains information about civil and criminal cases filed in the circuit courts in this state, including information about the parties and their attorneys; documents filed; and deadlines, decisions, and outcomes of cases. The information on CCAP is available for free on an Internet Web site.
Assembly Bills 340 and 663 are similar in that they both restrict the public access to court records except for a permissible group of users such as judges, attorneys, the media, debt collectors, and employees of state and federal law enforcement agencies. Amendment 2 to A.B. 663 broadens the list of authorized court record viewers to real estate brokers, landlords, and employees or agents of a financial institution.
A.B. 663 also requires the director of state courts to maintain two separate CCAP databases.
One for the listed permissible users and another for the general public. The “general public” database will provide case information only after a court has done one of the following: 1) makes a finding that a person is guilty of a criminal charge; 2) makes a finding that a person is liable in a civil matter; 3) orders a person to be evicted; or 4) issues a restraining order or injunction against the person.
In addition, A.B. 340 requires the public to pay a $10 annual fee and registers his or her name and address with the director of state courts.
The bill status is available on the Wisconsin Legislature’s website.