A judge has ruled that Wisconsin health officials went too far trying to recoup Medicaid payments from dozens of independent nurses who care for severely disabled patients in their homes.

Waukesha County Judge Kathryn Foster made her ruling in late September. She found the state Department of Health Services exceeded its authority when it asked the nurses to return Medicaid payments for not fully complying with the rules in documenting the care they provided.

Nurses say state auditors became aggressive starting in 2012, asking them to pay back $7,000 to $142,000 or more each because of paperwork mistakes.

The state maintains auditors conducted proper reviews of the independent nurses, who bill Medicaid directly for their services.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the state has until Nov. 11 to appeal.