Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA WI)

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA WI) is a website that gives you access to some of Wisconsin’s circuit court data. Court officials in the counties where the case files are deposited into the Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) case management system access case report on the website. According to Wisconsin open records legislation sections 19.31-19.39 of the Wisconsin Statutes, the court record summaries produced by the system are all public documents.

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA WI)

Wisconsin circuit court access (WCCA)

The Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA WI) was founded in 1999 in response to an increase in requests for court data from district attorneys, sheriffs’ agencies, and other court business partners. The WCCA has aided title companies, abstractors, the media, and the general public. The Director of State Courts appoints the WCCA Oversight Committee as a policy advisory body for the WCCA website. It has progressively evolved into a well-trafficked website. The portal now receives roughly a million data queries every day. In addition, the site continues to raise privacy issues.

In 2000, the WCCA Oversight Committee met for the first time, and then again in 2005. The 2000 Committee set the policy for which records should be accessible via WCCA. The 2000 Committee set the policy for what records should be accessible through WCCA. The 2005 Committee expanded on that work, looking into important access issues and making significant changes to WCCA, including clarifying language to make case information more understandable, recommending the length of time cases should be displayed on WCCA, and restricting access to certain data, such as birth date information. The Committee met again in 2016 to examine and perhaps alter earlier decisions in light of feedback, comments, and concerns received since the last meeting.

The information on the WCCA website is limited in numerous ways, as detailed below-

  • Case information is uploaded on the WCCA website every hour unless there is planned maintenance or the site is experiencing technical problems. The information on the WCCA website about such changes is correct. The WCCA program may be offline every night from 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Central Time for maintenance.
  • Records that aren’t open to the public aren’t displayed on the WCCA website. Confidential court papers include adoptions, juvenile delinquency, child protection, parental rights termination, guardianship, and civil responsibilities.
  • The clerk’s office houses each county’s official judgment and lien docket. For this reason, though WCCA is not the official judgment and lien docket, it properly replicates the data file into the circuit court case management system.
  • Each county took its time implementing the circuit court case management system and deciding whether or not to convert or backload current cases. Indoctrinated occurrences may show less information.

The information available to the general public include-

  1. The WCCA only applies to those elements of the case files generated by the Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) that are open records and otherwise accessible to the public.
  2. The WCCA does not include information from closed records that would otherwise be unavailable to a person under the law due to specified legislative exclusions, such as juvenile court records, guardianship proceedings, and other similar case types or records.
  3. CCAP is not obligated to make all information in a case file that is a potential public record available on WCCA, nor is it obligated to build new records or programs for extracting or assembling the information on WCCA.
  4. The Open Records Law prohibits record custodians from requiring either the identification of a requester or the intended use of the material obtained [Wis. Stats. 19.35(1)(i),]. As a result, before enabling public access to the WCCA website, WCCA does not demand identity or a stated purpose.
  5. There is no price to view material on the WCCA website. For requests for mass distribution of data in a specific format, WCCA may charge a service fee or assess user fees. 
  6. The WCCA reserves the right to limit the number of documents searched in a single request.
  7. The WCCA database includes information as it exists in the CCAP database at a certain point in time. WCCA is not responsible for later entries that update, edit, rectify, or remove material in the CCAP database because the information is continually changing. Prior requesters will not be notified of updates, adjustments, corrections, or removals by WCCA. All users must assess if information acquired from WCCA previously is still accurate, current, and comprehensive. 

The WCCA does not include-

  • Any criminal conviction record that has been purged by the circuit court. When a court orders the expungement of a record, the underlying CCAP database is changed to delete the record. The prior record will no longer exist when database modifications are uploaded to WCCA. The WCCA does not mention records that have been purged (or otherwise altered). In the same way, as WCCA would ordinarily report “null” searches, requests for such documents just report that no record has been discovered. The fact that requests made before the expunction will display the conviction while those made after the expunction will not reveal the conviction is not the responsibility of the WCCA.
  • For non-criminal instances, the “day” from the date of birth field.
  • In traffic proceedings, the driver’s license number.
  • “Additional text” boxes for any data entered before July 1, 2001. The WCCA only contains data from the CCAP database for counties that use all or part of the CCAP system. Extraneous activities are not generally recorded in the CCAP database or circuit court files, hence they are not included in the WCCA. Governor pardons, appellate rulings, and administrative agency rulings are examples of extraneous activities.

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