This case examines whether copies of certain emergency detention statements generated and retained by the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) are subject to Wis. Stat. § 19.35, the state’s open records law, or if they are confidential treatment records under Wis. Stat. § 51.30 (4).
Some background: Milwaukee Police Chief Nanette Hegerty seeks review of a Court of Appeals' decision, which reversed a circuit court order. The circuit court order denied a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by attorney Michael Watton, who sought to compel the police department to produce documents addressing Sidney Gray’s emergency detention. The city produced the requested records, excluding the retained emergency reports.
Watton represents the estate and family of Frank Moore II, who was shot and killed by Gray the day after Gray was released from police custody. Watton asserts that Gray’s release was the result of negligence by MPD.
The trial court concluded that the MPD-retained emergency detention reports, produced when Gray was taken to the Milwaukee County Mental Health Center, were confidential under Wis. Stat. § 51.30(4) as "treatment records," and therefore exempt from disclosure under the open records statute.
In reversing, the Court of Appeals [2007 WI APP 267] concluded that the trial court misconstrued the relevant statutes. From Milwaukee County.
Monday, January 28, 2008
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has granted review in this case. (2006AP3092)