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Senate panel to debate online records bill Thursday

A bill that would remove case information from the state’s online courts system will be heard by a Senate committee Thursday.

Senate Bill 526, if passed, would require the state courts’ office to remove information about felony cases from the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website within 120 days of being notified that charges were dismissed or that a defendant was found not guilty. The same would go for civil forfeiture cases, though there would be a 90-day timetable.

Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, is sponsoring the bill in the Senate. The bill will be heard by the Committee on Judiciary and Labor, which Grothman chairs, Thursday morning.

The Assembly’s Committee on Corrections held a public hearing for the bill last week. Neither committee has a vote to send it to the floor of its respective chambers.

Supporters of the bill say that it is intended to reduce the harmful effects of having information about a crime easily accessible to potential employers and landlords. Detractors, in turn, have said the bill would create an incomplete database of records that doesn’t accurately portray what happens in courtrooms.

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access, or WCCA, is commonly referred to as CCAP — Consolidated Court Automation Programs – which is a statewide, online case management system for the circuit courts. CCAP operates the WCCA system as its public access component.

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