Wisconsin Open Meetings & Records Law

Civic and legislative leaders of Wisconsin have always felt strongly about the importance of having the public aware of what their governmental bodies are doing. Wisconsin law, with very few exceptions, requires that such meetings be held publicly in places reasonably accessible to members of the public, and that such meetings be open to all citizens at all times. The record of what goes on at these meetings is, with very few exceptions, also open to the public. Reporters in Wisconsin must be familiar with the content and workings of the state’s Open Meetings and Open Records laws to be the public’s eyes and ears.

Several changes were made to Wisconsin’s landmark Open Records and Open Meetings laws during the 2016 legislative session. Learn more about our state’s laws affecting reporters in this section of the WBA Newsroom.

One of the websites often used by reporters for background information is the state’s CCAP (Circuit Court Access) site. In 2017 and 2018 changes have been made by the state legislature regarding the content of the CCAP site. Most notably, many dismissed cases will be removed from WCCA. Felonies, small claims, and numerous other case types will be removed after two years and misdemeanors will be removed after one year. This represents a large number of court records that have already been removed from the system.