Court affirms right to get records in electronic form

Bill Lueders

Wisconsin’s District II Court of Appeals Wednesday morning released a decision affirming the right of requesters to receive records in electronic form. The court affirmed an earlier circuit court ruling that reached the same conclusion.

This was a case that Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council Co-Vice President Christa Westerberg filed on behalf of FOIC President Bill Lueders in 2016. He called it a major win for records requesters in Wisconsin.

The decision was unanimous and recommended for publication.

“The ruling rejects the excuses conjured up by the custodians in this case to deny access to records in electronic form and clearly establishes that electronic records contain additional information beyond what is provided with printed paper copies,” Lueders wrote. “It should end all doubt that requesters who ask for records in electronic form — often the simplest way to provide them — are entitled to receive records in electronic form.”