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Mootness: Release of Sought-After Open Record

Portage Daily Register v. Columbia Co. Sh. Dept., 2008 WI App 30

Issue/Holding:

¶8        We will generally not consider issues that are moot on appeal. See Hernandez v. Allen, 2005 WI App 247, ¶10, 288 Wis. 2d 111, 707 N.W.2d 557. However, the present appeal is not moot because our ruling will have the practical effect of determining the Register’s right to recover damages and fees under Wis. Stat. § 19.37(2)(a) [4] based upon the Sheriff’s Department’s denial of its request. Moreover, we make exceptions to the general rule in cases where the issue is of great public importance; the identical issue arises frequently and a decision is needed to guide trial courts; the issue will likely arise again and should be resolved; the issue is likely of repetition yet evades review; or it involves a statute’s constitutionality. See State v. Leitner, 2002 WI 77, ¶14, 253 Wis. 2d 449, 646 N.W.2d 341. We view the issue in the present case as sufficiently important and capable of evading review that it warrants revieweven if it were moot. Thus we proceed to the merits of the parties’ arguments.

 

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