Open Records Requests


The Wisconsin Open Records Law governs public requests for government information. The declared policy of the Open Records Law is to entitle the public to the “greatest extent possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those officers and employees who represent them” in order to ensure an informed electorate. The Open Records Law further indicates that providing the public with such information is an “essential function of a representative government and an integral part of the routine duties of officers and employees whose responsibility it is to provide such information.”


The statutes that comprise the Open Records Law are set forth in ss. 19.31 to 19.39, Stats. Much of the material in a County office qualifies as a public “record” under Wisconsin’s Open Records Law. This material is required to be available for inspection and copying by the public, including the news media.  The general rule under the Open Records Law is that all records held by a County Office are open to the public unless a specific provision in the law allows the records to be kept confidential.

Requesting and Responding

You may request an open record by contacting the Department who is the "Custodian" of this record.  The request should be reasonably specific in nature - the custodian should not have to guess at the request.  Please be aware that associated copy or distribution fees may apply.  Requests should be made during normal office hours, which are generally 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

A response to a record request must be made “as soon as practicable and without delay” under the law. [s. 19.35 (4) (a), Stats.].  In practical terms, a custodian may need some amount of time to retrieve and inspect the record before formulating a response. The Attorney General has indicated that 10 working days is a reasonable time period for a simple request for easily identifiable records.  Complex or extensive requests may take considerably longer.

Request a Record​