Wisconsin Circuit Court Access – CCAP WI

What is CCAP WI & Wisconsin Circuit Court Access? The Wisconsin courts are designed to handle a large volume of legal cases. The Court of Appeals can take up to 1200 cases per year. You can imagine the workload that the judges and other court staff have to manage throughout the year.

Thus, it became a need to automate the country court trials. The Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) were started in 1987 to fulfill this requirement. All the paper-based processes and labor-intensive tasks were automated with help of this scalable and cost-effective system.

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA)

Wisconsin’s Open Record Act was passed in 1981. As per this law, the public has the right to collect or view public records unless forbidden by the law in exceptional cases. Thus, a public website called WCCA or Wisconsin Circuit Court Access was created for the general public.

This website has more than 50 million records including criminal records, court records, inmate records, and vital records. All the court case records are well documented and can easily be searched on this website. CCAP manages the WCCA or Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website.

Websites like CCAP, WCCA, etc. are well-known for accessing circuit court data and court record summaries. Apart from these websites, a partner website, WSCCA also provides public access to the cases filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

CCAP WI – Wisconsin Circuit Court Access
Image Credits: wicourts.gov
Wisconsin criminal records

1. Wisconsin Criminal Records

A criminal record documents the violations that a person has made against law enforcement. These records are compiled from convictions, arrest records, and other felonies. A criminal record contains the following information of the convicted person:

  • Felony and Misdemeanor Records
  • Jail and Inmate Records (DOC)
  • Police Records
  • Personal details like name, nationality, birthday, etc.
  • A mug shot with fingerprint details
  • List of distinguished features or physical attributes
  • Description of the crime or offense

All criminal records are available to the general public through the Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Information Bureau. The CIB is responsible for managing and maintaining the historic information in Wisconsin. Currently, more than 1.3 million records have been compiled from various courts in Wisconsin.

2. Wisconsin inmate records

Inmate records consist of details of offenders who have been held across the state prisons, detention facilities, penal institutions, and correctional inmate facilities. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections manages this information. When people search for an inmate record, it shows the following details to the general public:

  • Personal details like name, nationality, birthday, etc.
  • A mug shot
  • Inmate location and registration number
  • Jail transfer information
  • Custody status

Inmate records can be downloaded from the Department of Corrections website. This website consists of the Offender Locator portal which can be used to view these records. But people accessing this information would need to enter the offender’s last name or the ID number to access the records.

Wisconsin inmate records

3. Wisconsin court records

Court records consist of a large variety of documents, hence accessing this information can be challenging. The requestor must enter the courthouse details where the case he or she is trying to access was heard. The court record will show a list of the following documents:

  • Civil Court Records
  • Criminal Court Records
  • Financial Court Records
  • Case files
  • Orders of court
  • Dockets
  • Judgment documentation
  • Witness documentation
  • Jury records and files

All the court records are compiled in an online database and can be accessed through the Wisconsin court’s website. Case searches are easy to do if you have the offender’s name, birth date, or business name with you. If you are unable to find the information, then you will have to reach out to the court clerk to request the information.

4. Wisconsin Vital Records

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is the government agency in charge of vital records for the state.

  • Driving records (without personally identifiable information).
  • Home addresses.
  • Maps, books, and tapes.
  • Air and water quality (pollution reports).
  • Property records, real estate deals, and land deeds.
  • Government budgets and annual reports.
  • Home phone numbers.
  • Police and accident reports.
  • Liens & tax issues.
  • State health and wellness statistics.
  • Company incorporation records.
  • Demographics.
  • Library Research.
  • Personnel records for state agencies.
  • Permits, licenses, and certifications.
  • Government employee salaries.
  • 911 time response logs.
  • Personnel records for state agencies.
  • Grant applications.
  • Settlement agreements.
  • Agency decisions.
  • Name, title, and salary of public employees and officials.
  • Contracts involving government agencies.
Wisconsin Vital Records Search

  • The official judgment and court documents are stored in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for each county. WCCA & WSCCA only reflect this information through their online portal.
  • The confidential court records that are not open to public inspection are not stored on the WCCA or WSCCA website. These records include child protection, juvenile delinquency, civil commitments, termination of parental rights, and guardianship.
  • Each county uses the circuit court case management system to automate historic data. Thus, there can be discrepancies in the court cases available in WCCA & WSCCA.
  • The data is uploaded on an hourly basis. WCCA website maintenance is done every night from 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Central Time.

Wisconsin law gives the right to citizens of the state to access public records. All the records from local and county sources are organized centrally into a single database. The general public can request to view court cases and records by requesting for the same. Some of the court records that you can find on its website are:

The entire data containing court record summaries have been digitized through CCAP.

In July 2001, the Circuit Court Automation Program was merged with the Office of Information Technology Services to create WI CCAP (Consolidated Court Automation Programs) is the information technology branch of the Wisconsin courts.

It supports and manages all the IT-related functions like software updates, hardware maintenance, data storage, and management of the circuit court’s caseload. Since legal cases are sensitive information, CCAP is also given the task of managing data security and accessibility to the Wisconsin Court System. This product is developed by Court Data Technologies, a private sector company.

CCAP is a state-funded program that comes under the Director of State Courts. It supports the IT needs of all the Wisconsin courts including appellate courts. CCAP is responsible for keeping computer technology up-to-date with the latest innovative trends for improved efficiency. It also provides training and technical support to the court staff including clerks and judges.

CCAP also helps the clerks of circuit court with jury management and finance management functions as well. The entire IT portfolio of Wisconsin courts is managed by CCAP so that the judiciary can run efficiently.

CCAP has a lot of data like court orders, case files, etc. in its case management system. Mining or searching the data can be a daunting task. To address this issue, CCAP has given Wisconsin court case data access to companies like Court Data Technologies, to create a specialized interface to search and visualize this data.

These third-party companies have processed the raw data to generate patterns, trends, and insights. They have also created an analytics framework around the data and built predictive models. These models help the defense attorneys in reviewing analogous cases to create a set of possible outcomes for the case they are currently working at.

Some details about the data available on WCCA & WSCCA are as follows:

Everything you need to know about Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA) Oversight Committee

The WCCA oversight committee is appointed by the director of state courts. It serves as an advisory board on policy issues related to the WCCA website. The original committee was convened in 2000. In 2000, this committee created a policy that defines the records that can be open for public access through the WCCA.

This committee met again in 2005 wherein significant changes were made to WCCA. Clarifying language and summary pages were added so that the general public can understand the case information easily. The timeline of case availability on WCCA was also reduced. Moreover, caution was released against the use of court cases for job discrimination.

In 2016, this committee met again to consider improvements to WCCA based on feedback and comments received from website users. All the meeting minutes and agenda of committee meetings can be accessed through this link.

There are certain rules and limitations that the oversight committee has put on data usage. Take a look.

  1. Discrimination against a job applicant because of an arrest or conviction record will be considered a violation of state law. For more details on this law you can refer to this link.
  2. Any court-related information displayed on websites other than WCCA is not under WCCA’s jurisdiction.
  3. Court case information on the WCCA website cannot be removed. Such requests won’t be entertained.
  4. WCCA data is available through a REST interface on a subscription basis
  5. The data on the WCCA website is entered by the official record-keepers, the clerks of circuit court in each county. A correction request needs to be made to update any incorrect data.
  6. The WCCA website does not necessarily display all the information in a case file that is available for public viewing. If confidentiality clause applies to a case, then documents of that case won’t be available for public viewing.

Wisconsin court system overview

The state of Wisconsin has a state Supreme Court, a state Court of Appeals, two federal district Courts, and Trial Courts. The Circuit Courts and the Courts of Appeals were created in 1978.

The Supreme Court consists of 7 justices, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has 16 judges, and the Wisconsin Circuit Court has 253 judges in 72 counties. All the judges and justices are elected in nonpartisan elections.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court justices serve for a term of 10 years, while judges of other courts serve for a term of 6 years. The judges can run for re-election if they wish to get elected again.

The Chief Justice is the administrative head of the judicial system and serves as the chair of the court. The other justices serve as members and advisors to the Chief Justice. To make the administration of the courts easy, the Circuit Courts are divided into nine judicial administrative districts.

The Chief judge, selected by the Supreme Court, supervises the judicial process in these courts. To assist the Chief Justice, each district has a district court administrator who is employed by the Director of State Courts Office.

A court case moves through the courts in the following steps:

  • Any organization, individual, government body, or group of people can file a civil case in the Circuit Court. After the case hearing and proceeding, the circuit court rules in favor of one party.
  • If the losing party is unsatisfied with the decision, they can move to the Court of Appeals. The case is then reviewed using the transcripts of the circuit court proceedings.
  • The losing party in the Court of Appeals can file a Petition for Review in the Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear the case. The Supreme court decides on the cases it wants to re-open.
  • In some cases, the Supreme court can decide to review a case in the Court of Appeals via a direct review channel. Votes from at least four judges are needed to take a case on Direct Review.

The mission of the Wisconsin Court System is to deliver justice fairly and impartially by following the law guidelines.

WI CCAP

The value system of the US government is based on the principles of republicanism and federalism. The power is shared between the state and the federal governments.

The Federal government of the United States is a federal republic in North America that comprises a federal district, 50 states, 5 self-governing territories, and several other island possessions. It has three distinct branches: legislature, judicial, and executive.

The legislative branch makes the laws, the judicial branch interprets the laws, and the executive branch enforces the laws. The duties and powers of these three branches are vested by the US Constitution in Congress, the president, and the federal courts.

The justice system in the United States is famous for being transparent so that the public’s confidence in the system isn’t shattered. Efforts have been taken to digitize the court proceedings and documents so that citizens can trust the way the judiciary works and enforces the laws.

Federal Judiciary

The Federal Judiciary is one of the three branches of the federal government of the United States. Under Article III of the constitution, the Judiciary explains and applies the laws in the country. The federal judges are appointed by the president with the consent of the Senate.

All the federal courts are governed by the federal government, while the state and territorial courts of each individual US state come under the state government. But the various state courts have the freedom to operate in ways that are different from those defined by the federal government. The federal court system has three levels:

  • District or trial courts
  • Circuit courts – the first level of appeal
  • Supreme court of the United States – the final level of appeal

FAQs – Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP)

Some of the common questions that are asked about Wisconsin Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) are answered below. Take a look.

What is Wisconsin CCAP?

Wisconsin CCAP is the Information Technology branch of the Wisconsin court that maintains and manages the records of all the case proceedings and verdicts to be easily accessed as and when needed.

How do I look up someone’s criminal record in Wisconsin?

All the criminal records are available to the people through the Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Information Bureau. To find someone’s criminal record, you can do a name-based search on WCCE’s website.

You can search cases either by name or by name and date of birth.
The search will display all the criminal cases or records documented against that person.

Are criminal complaints public records in Wisconsin?

Adult criminal history or complaint information is considered a public record in Wisconsin. So, anyone making a request to access the details can get the information through the WCCA website. A nominal fee might be imposed to cover the cost of reproducing the court documents and police reports.

How do I find court records?

Court order details can be viewed and downloaded from the Wisconsin court’s website. You would need at least the name or date of birth of the person whose court records you are trying to download. If you wish to get hard copies, then you will have to request them from the court’s clerk.

Are criminal case files public records?

Yes, the criminal cases are considered public records. An offender’s details like name, nationality, mug shots, crime description, etc. can be viewed or downloaded from Wisconsin’s WCCA website.

What is Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP)

Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) is Wisconsin state Supreme court case management system

The bottom line

We hope that all these details have given you a fair idea about how Wisconsin’s court systems work and how you can view or download specific court records. WCCA is the one-stop solution for you to access any kind of court record which is open for people to view.

You can also reach out to companies like Court Data Technologies if you have an on-time need or an ongoing court data requirement. If you still have any more questions or suggestions related to Wisconsin’s court system, you can drop us a comment. Happy searching!