March 25, 2023, 11:05 pm
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General Information About Wisconsin Public Records and Laws
Often times, individuals need to obtain specific information regarding their government or those around them. Under the Wisconsin Public Records Law, which is in Chapter 19 of the Wisconsin Code of Statutes, individuals have the right to obtain most types of data. The law actually specifically states that most types of public information is available for inspection or for copying upon the request of the individual or business who needs or wishes to have it. You do not have to have a specific reason for obtaining it, but you cannot use it for any illegal purpose.
What Types of Public Records Are Available?
There are numerous types of public records available to the general public in this state. Some of the most common Wisconsin public records include the following.
·        Vital statistics, which include the birth and death, certificates of those who were born or died in the state. Burial information may be available, too.
·        Marriage licenses as well as divorce decrees may be available.
·        Data on the sale of property, including title transfers, the current state of taxation and the rate of pay, liens on the property and other data regarding real estate
·        Data regarding the actions of the government to include almost any information relating to the running of the state, county, city or township, except for information that is deemed private or too dangerous to provide.
·        Information regarding the public land, including research and property values
In addition to this information, the Wisconsin public records laws also indicate that individuals cannot obtain some types of information. Information considered to be protected specifically from other sources, including information from medical records, school records or information considered private cannot be made available. In addition, information or records that are a part of an ongoing investigation are not available to the public in most cases.
Obtaining Copies of Public Records
Individuals who wish to obtain Wisconsin public records will need to do so according to the requirements of the law. Individuals will need to submit a written request for any information that is not easily obtainable and the agency will make reasonable efforts to gather this information in a timely fashion.
Most information commonly sought, such as property records and vital statistics remains available on the Internet through a state website search. Third party providers can also provide this information. In some cases, visiting the local office can also help. The following are some of the most sought after public departments.
·        Business information as applicable is available from the Attorney General's Office, Justice Department.
·        For vital statistics, contact the Bureau of Health Information and Policy Vital Statistics.
·        For criminal records that are open to the public, contact the Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Information Bureau, Record Check Unit.
·        The Department of Corrections, Sex Offender Registry Program is maintained in Madison.
·        Court records at a state level are available through the Director of State Courts.
Wisconsin public records provide individuals with information they need and are readily accessible.
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