Appeals Court Favors Newspaper Against Juneau County Officials

A Wisconsin appeals court has ruled in favor of a small Juneau County newspaper that used a public-records act to request documents from the county.

The Juneau County Star-Times had requested invoices of bills stemming from a legal investigation of a Sheriff’s Department employee. The law firm that represented the county’s insurance company responded with heavily redacted invoices.

The newspaper sued the county, alleging that too little information was released. The county responded by questioning whether the public-records law applies to the insurer’s lawyers.

A circuit court ruled in favor of the county, but the appeals court has overturned that decision.

In a ruling released on Thursday, the appeals court says the invoices were created as a result of direct legal representation of the county.