Case Name: WRN v. WPC
Type of Case: Open records law
Court: Washington County Circuit Court
Filed On: September 26, 2022
Current Status: Voluntarily dismissed on October 11, 2022
WILL SUES STATE AGENCY FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE PUBLIC RECORDS TO NEWS COMPANY
September 26, 2022 | WILL filed suit on behalf of Wisconsin Right Now, a Wisconsin-based conservative news outlet that sought public records from the Wisconsin Parole Commission (WPC). Despite having months to fulfill the request, WPC failed to comply with the public records law and did not turn over the requested records.
JUDGE ORDERS STATE AGENCY TO HAND OVER PUBLIC RECORDS TO NEWS OUTLET
October 6, 2022 | Judge Michael Kenitz signed an alternative writ, commanding WPC to immediately release the public records to news outlet, Wisconsin Right Now; or, show up in court, explaining why the commission cannot comply.
The Lawsuit: Wisconsin Right Now staff sent repeated follow-up correspondence to WPC, seeking an update on their request, and never received a response or the remaining records.
As a result, this lawsuit urged WPC to comply with their statutory obligations by turning over the records.
Background: In May of this year, Wisconsin Right Now reporter Jessica McBride submitted a public records request to the Wisconsin Parole Commission seeking a list of all inmates who were paroled over a period of several years, through 2022. The commission initially responded in June with records through the end of 2021, but none from calendar year 2022. The commission stated it would provide records for 2022 once those were pulled together, but provided no timeline for when that request would ultimately be fulfilled.