Friday, September 18, 2009
Wisconsin Decides Whether Personal Emails Are Public Records
The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear a case in November that decides whether personal emails of public employees are subject to the state's open records laws. The case stems from the request of a private citizen who wanted to know if public school teachers were violating school policy by using work email to discuss school board elections. When asked for email messages "from the computer [the teachers] use[d] during their school work day," teachers objected to providing emails of a purely personal nature. The Court must decide whether the public interest in disclosure trumps the privacy and "reputational" rights of Wisconsin citizens.