Issues (from petition for review):
Does Wisconsin Open Records Law require the records custodian of a local law enforcement agency to produce federal immigration detainer hold documents (I-247s) received from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), despite the specific prohibition contained in 8 C.F.R. §236.6.
In the alternative, does the balancing test set forth under the Wisconsin Open Records Law weigh in favor of the non-production of these same federal immigration detainer hold documents received by a local law enforcement agency from ICE?
An I-247 is a document issued by ICE. It asks a local law enforcement agency to detain an inmate for an additional 48 hours after the inmate would otherwise be released from prison. Sheriff Clarke, the petitioner, argues that 8 C.F.R. §236.6, which prohibits disclosure of information relating to a detainee, applies only when the detainee is in federal custody, not state or local custody. Requiring local law enforcement agencies to produce these documents, he argues, would compromise active law enforcement investigations and force the disclosure of sensitive and confidential information about detainees.
As you might imagine, there’s more to the story. Voces requested the documents in order to make sure that Sheriff Clarke is complying with state and federal law and is not detaining someone illegally. The court of appeals sided with Voces. See our prior post.