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Bill Could Mean Big Changes for CCAP Access

Wisconsin Assembly Bill 340, introduced yesterday, could mean some big changes for CCAP. The bill would limit what information is made accessible and when, and it would require many users to register and pay an annual fee.

From the LRB analysis section of the bill:

The information on CCAP is available for free on an Internet Web site. The Web site has no limitations on who has access to the information, although information in certain types of cases is not available to the public. CCAP allows a user to search for all civil and criminal cases in which a person or entity, who is the subject of the search, has been a party...

Under this bill, the director of state courts may only provide case information on CCAP after a court does 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 an injunction against a person.

The bill allows free access to CCAP to Wisconsin judges or other court officials, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and accredited journalists. The bill allows access to CCAP information to any other person who pays a $10 annual fee and registers his or her name and address with the director of state courts. The bill requires the director of state courts to keep a registry and log of each user who pays the annual fee that records the searches each user performs. Under the bill, if a user searches for a person's name on CCAP and subsequently denies the person employment, housing, or another public accommodation, the user must inform the person that he or she searched for the person's record on CCAP. A user who fails to do so may be fined $1,000.

Under the bill, upon the written request of a person whose case information is currently available on CCAP, the director of state courts must remove any information relating to a case that did not result in a finding of criminal guilt or civil liability, an order of eviction, or the issuance of a restraining order against the person.