Category Archives: Wisconsin


Proposal to Limit Access to Wisconsin Court Records

Wisconsin offers free online access to the state’s court records, both criminal and civil, through the Wisconsin Court System and known as Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA).  Court records are public information and Wisconsin does a good job making this information readily available to the public in a timely manner and free of charge.

A Wisconsin Representative, Marlin Schneider of Wisconsin Rapids, wants to change this.  Mr. Schneider has introduced a bill whereby the WCCA would only show information if a case either shows a conviction or finding of civil liability. Additionally, under his bill, only judges, police, attorneys and … Read More

New Database Makes Car Fraud Data Accessable to Public

In the market for a used car? In addition to checking out all those little mechanical issues like brakes, the engine, etc., you may also consider checking on the history of the car. A history check can include not only prior owners, but whether or not you are about to purchase a stolen vehicle. As a result of a recently concluded lawsuit, it is now easier for everyday people to check the fraud status of a vehicle.

A database called the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) finally became available for public access on January 30, 2009. Apparently Congress … Read More

The Role of Community Property in Divorce

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According to many sources, the divorce rate in America is approximately 50%. It is a staggering number, especially when you consider that many of these cases, there is often a correlated draining legal component. While the length of a divorce proceeding will vary from case to case and state-to-state, one constant nagging portion of the divorce procedure is the splitting of property. One of the most controversial property division laws occurs in community property states. States that follow these laws include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Two important words to understand in the division … Read More

Wisconsin Bills Limit Public Records Access

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Two bills in the Wisconsin Assembly would change the state’s open records law. Assembly Bill 522 requires that open records requests intended for law enforcement agencies go directly to the agency that initiated the documents. Supporters of this bill say that it doesn’t change what documents are available but only where the requests must be made. Critics say the bill’s wording is vague and would limit what documents are available. This bill has been delayed pending changes to  it’s wording.

 A second Assembly Bill, AB418, seeks to limit public access to the state’s court records database. The bill proposes … Read More

Wisconsin Legislative Bill Seeks to Limit Online Court Records

 Recently introduced Wisconsin State Assembly Bill 418 seeks to restrict online access to criminal records through the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website. This site is a search-able online database of court records. The bills authors feel that this site has been misused to discriminate against people with criminal records. Under this bill, access to the court site would be limited to court officials, “legitimate journalists” and individuals who formally request access from the state. Opponents of the bill, including Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, state that this would limit Wisconsin’s policy of public access. While there is bipartisan opposition … Read More

American Bar Association Moves to Limit Court Record Access

An article  in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reports that the American Bar Association proposed resolutions and a bill in the Wisconsin Legislature are designed to restrict public access to criminal court records in Wisconsin and across the nation. One proposal urges local, state and federal governments to seal criminal case records which did not result in convictions, as well as sealing records of both misdemeanor and felony convictions after a specific period of time of law abiding conduct by the subject. Access would be restricted to court officials, law enforcement personnel, attorneys and accredited journalists. Opponents to these proposals, including … Read More