In the Works…
These days, in between interactions with constituents and day to day business in the capitol, I am circulating a bill to change what is recorded on the Wisconsin Circuit Court Website, also known as CCAP. Senator Grothman and I are concerned about what is being recorded and will be urging our fellow lawmakers to look into the unnecessary information that is readily accessible for the public to view. The information we believe is unnecessary is: cases involving a civil forfeiture; misdemeanor or felony if the case has been dismissed or the defendant has been found not guilty, or if the conviction has been overturned on appeal and dismissed. The criminal charges would not appear on the CCAP website only if the charges are not “read in”, meaning they can be considered at sentencing on other charges against the defendant.
This all comes down to privacy. Technology has made it so much easier to find information about people. Trying to find the balance between protecting people’s privacy and still allowing the public access to court records is essential. For instance, if someone was falsely accused of a crime 20 years ago, it can show up on the CCAP website and make an innocent person look like someone he or she is not. This could lead to missed employment opportunities and defamation of character.
More news about this bill and its progress will be forthcoming.