How to Request Public Records in Wisconsin

Thinking of filing a public records request but aren’t sure where to start? Wisconsin Watch has compiled a helpful primer.  Here’s a selection:

First, determine what you want to know and who has that record. The person in charge of keeping and managing these documents at an agency or department is known as the “custodian” of public records. It doesn’t hurt to call the agency to find out who that custodian is.

In crafting your request, it may be best to use a simple template. A particularly good one for state and local entities can be found on the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council’s website, as the top offering under “Resources.” (For federal records, you need to file what’s called a “FOIA request,” which stands for “Freedom of Information Act.”)

After you’ve filed your request with the record-keeping entity, you wait. Usually, the custodian will acknowledge your request pretty quickly and may tell you when you can expect your records.

See the full article for additional guidance.