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Proposed Wisconsin bill would restrict access to court records

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  1. Court Access
A state representative in Wisconsin has proposed legislation that would severely restrict online access to court records, the Milwaukee Journal…

A state representative in Wisconsin has proposed legislation that would severely restrict online access to court records, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Under the bill proposed by Democratic Rep. Marlin Schneider, the public would only have access to cases where a party was found guilty of a criminal charge, liable in a civil case, evicted or the subject of a restraining order or injunction. Currently, any member of the public can access court records online for most civil and criminal case regardless of the final judgments.

Schhneider’s proposal would grant full access to court records for court employees, law enforcement agencies, attorneys, debt collectors, and certain "accredited" journalists — those that are members of the Wisconsin Newspapers Association, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and "any other Wisconsin media organization" designated by the court.

Generally, the news media opposes efforts to accredit or license journalists.