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The following explains how the Evansville Police Department releases information. This includes not only to whom it is released, but what information will be released.
The Evansville Police Department has modified the procedure regarding the review and release of open records requests based upon advice from legal counsel. In compliance with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Senne v. Village of Palatine, 695 F.3d 597 (7th Cir. 2012)(cert. denied 2013), and a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Maracich v. Spears, (No 12-25; 2013), many law enforcement agencies have had to alter their procedures for complying with the Wisconsin Public Records law.
These federal cases as well as Article VI, Section2 of the U. S. Constitution, Wis. Stats. 19.36 (1) and 19.35 (1) (a) recognize that the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”), 18 U.S.C. § 2721 et. seq., supersedes state law in determining what records or parts of records can be released to the public.
In order to comply with these decisions interpreting the Federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act, we must move remove/redact from our reports “personal information that identifies an individual “ including the following data elements before copies of such reports may be provided to the public without written consent of the person named therein:
Date of Birth
Address except the 5 digit zip code
Social Security Numbers
Medical or Disability Information
Driver’s license and DOT ID card numbers and physical descriptors
Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)
We wish for you to be aware that your copy of a requested police report may contain significant deletions/redactions in order to comply with Federal law and avoid both civil and criminal penalties. Such penalties also apply to any person who disseminates legally protected personal data items without a permissible use as stated in the Federal DPPA.
A list of such permissible uses is attached and part of our records request form available on this page. Permissible uses are listed in 18 U.S.C. 2721(b). If you qualify for one of the permissible uses, you may complete the form by checking the applicable permissible use box, then sign the form certifying that fact. You will then receive the entire, unredacted copy of the requested document (unless another legal requirement exists requiring redaction). Falsifying this form may result in Federal and/or State civil and/or criminal penalties.
The Evansville Police Department will not release personal information under the DPPA unless it falls under a permissible use. The Evansville Police Department will continue to provide records, as required and allowed, in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes that are not in conflict with DPPA. Any records that are denied are subject to review by mandamus under § 19.37(1), Wis. Stats., or upon application to the Attorney General or a district attorney.
As a result of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision of New Richmond News v. City of New Richmond (2014AP1938; May 10, 2016), the Federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) permissible Exemption #14 applies to traffic Accident/crash requests from newspaper/media outlets. Therefore such traffic accident/crash reports will be provided to the media without redactions provided said media requester selects and certifies permissible Exemption #14 of the DPPA.
Reportable accidents that the Evansville Police Department investigates can also be obtained in un-redacted form from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website by clicking here: CRASH REPORT
There is a $6.00 fee for getting a copy of the accident report from DOT. You will receive the accident report, along with an invoice from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. There may be a delay from the time the accident occurred to when it is available through DOT.
Please note that if the accident is older than 90 days, you will be provided the option to email the Department of Transportation for the accident report. By utilizing this option, the accident report will be mailed to you with an invoice. If the accident is less than 90 days old, you will be given the option to pay on-line and immediately download the accident report. If you have questions, you can contact the traffic crash section of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation at 608-266-8743, then select option 3, then option 1, then option 2.
Records Policy 10.01 Open records Policy 10.04