Wisconsin appeals court: Officials have to provide requested electronic records

Steven Elbow:

Wisconsin public officials can’t charge exorbitant fees for hard copies of records that can be easily and cheaply produced in more user-friendly electronic form, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.

“The ruling rejects the excuses conjured up by the custodians in this case to deny access to records in electronic form and clearly establishes that electronic records contain additional information beyond what is provided with printed paper copies,” reads a statement from Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and editor of The Progressive.

The decision from the 2nd District Court of Appeals hands Lueders a victory in a lawsuit he filed in 2016 against state Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, who responded to an open records request for constituent contacts by producing 1,500 paper copies of emails and charging a per-page fee.