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Can you imagine how many people have been discriminated against by the use of the website to be judge and jury, over and over and over again over the years of the website's existence.
Check out WI's AB340 bill to shut the website down to the general public. Yippie!!!!!
The website mentions that it's cannot be used to penalize or discriminate with which would be illegal.
Also if you read the bill, it doesn't shut down access to the website. At most it charges access to the general public for only $10/yr. That doesn't resolve your concerns and merely makes it harder for the poorer folks to get answers about someone. Like it or not, employers and landlords will still go through background checks regardless if it costs them an extra $10. They will just pass on the costs. Sure there should be penalties for misusing the system but these are public records. Access to those records is a citizen's right in a democracy.
I'm going to be writing to my reps to kill this bill.
What exactly is the problem here? Do those of you who have such a problem w/CCAP have records? I'm thinking that's exactly it. I for one am glad I can look up & see if someone has any misdemeanors or felonies out there. Why would you NOT want to know that about a potential roommate, employee, boyfriend/girlfriend?
Yes, you're correct in that the bill would now require a fee. Guess I was wishfully thinking that it would be really a great thing if they did shut it down since I've seen so much misues of the website. Also, I still can't help but wonder why US Citizen's data should be shown all around the world. I guess somewhere in my upbringing I thought that this country was a country of forgiveness and second chances in life. Contrary to the Second Chance act that was signed into law by the President in the fall of 2007, this state with it's open courts website that posts everything, PRIOR TO CONVICTION, which doesn't allow a person their just right of "due process" without being harrassed by co workers, class mates, health care workers, and neighbror, somehow just simply ignores the "Second Chance" concept. DA!!!
The concept of paying one's debt to society and getting on with one's life is not a concept that exists in WI. I know if first hand. People use the website to sabotoge and harrass. I've lived it. I've seen it first hand and have experienced it in absolutely every aspect of my personal and career life. I realize that it's nice for landlords to check out their potential tenants but it's not right for the landlord to enter a tenants apartment without permission simply because the website went live and an incident from eitht years earlier from a neighboring county was one of the first posting on the website because he/she was being made an example of despite that person's need to be protected because of major case having taken place in that DA's county that he thought that that person had a part of the situation. Hard to explain herein. The person was in fear for his/her life because of another case but the DA posted the data despite the consequences or safety of the person. It was a national story which involved a guy being beaten to unconsciousness, a rope and weight place around his neck and thrown into a pulp vat to drown. The town is a mill town and very hostile. Again, not just in this situation many, many others have experience harrassement by the use of the website. I guess that shouldn't be such a difficult concept to comprehend????? DA!
Freedom, it sounds like you were royally screwed and I'm sorry for you. I wish the CJ system would allow for second chances and in the 70s there was a movement toward rehabilitation but the general consensus has since shifted away from that. Wisconsin still is more progressive than many states especially in the deep south. Texas is probably the worst from what I hear. Anybody found guilty of a sex offense is the modern pariah. In Florida they can't even live anywhere except under bridges. Websites showing where sex criminals live are required everywhere and are a thousand times worse than CCAP.
I still think you are trying to blame the information instead of the people who unlawfully misuse the information. Banning the information will not resolve anything. Don't kill the messenger. Harrassment can be fought in other ways.
Just a short note. I believe there were possibly 4 counties in 1992 and 93 that were considered test coounties. Vilas was one of them. I know, because i was involved in wiring the the offices together and installing the necessary boxes to link to the state. Temp people were hired to input data from the courts records, and Sheriffs dept. register in probate and clerk of courts. Vilas was live with the state, in 1993. Other counties came online the test counties resolved all the issues.
There are other things on CCAP - not crimes only, which I'd be fine with.
You are divorced.
You are in arrears with your child support.
Your ex-spouse can literally litter (say that 3x fast!) the CCAP files with all manner of things - I know because I worked for an attorney - it is a tool used by divorce attorneys quite well to gain power in custody disputes, etc. (To be clear, the damage in court would happen w/out CCAP - with CCAP, more damage is done if your employer or landlord checks CCAP and sees all the things your ex filed to make you look like a bad guy/girl. The issue that no one understands, is that this is a Civil matter - Divorce, Custody - not a Criminal matter).
Your psycho neighbor files a restraining order on you because your dog looked at him funny when you took him for a walk. Sure the order is dismissed *but* it still shows on CCAP...the assumption that you did something wrong.
What bothers me about CCAP, you ask? I am not a criminal, yet I highly suspect I have been treated like one, because of an incident wherein I needed to protect myself - now I look bad. I'll explain that in a moment.
Here is what, generally, I don't dig:
#1 - Criminal matters are fine to be shown on CCAP but ONLY if the person was convicted - not when charges are dismissed.
#2 - Civil matters *such as divorce, custody, judgments against you* should not be accessible unless you have cause *or* you are willing to pay *or* you go down to the courthouse yourself. Those are not criminal offenses.
Personally, my being upset with this is that I had no choice but to file a restraining order and as is typical, the ex-bf filed one too. Mine was granted; his was denied - but guess what? At first glance, it looks like we are BOTH guilty, which is not the case.
You can check with any domestic violence advisor and this is so typical of an abuser to follow up with his own "version" of events, to make it seem that he is not an abuser, that it's just a fight. It wasn't, so I want to make those points clear.
How do you think potential employers view that? I mean, let's be real - not every HR person can actually understand law and knows the difference between civil and criminal matters.
To it's credit CCAP has attempted to educate readers, but I think 90% of America is as dumb as the day is long...they see something they consider "bad" they stop looking. I mean, ANYONE can file a harassment order or restraining order. One has to be intelligent enough to read the entirety if the order was dismissed or not - which most employers, landlords, et al will not or simply cannot, because even if a civil matter looks bad, they can't seem to understand that it is not a *criminal* matter. To them, it's "bad" and that's it.
Just for me, I feel penalized by a system I used to protect myself. And, legal or not, no potential employer will be honest and say, "Gee, we can't hire you because you look like you and this guy had restraining orders." The world is not that honest, you know what I mean?
My bottom line is that CCAP is messing up people's lives, however well-intentioned it may be. We aren't criminals, at least I'm not...is it really necessary for everyone who is bored to know about my civil matters?
CCAP should be there for those who a) have a reason to use it b) pay a premium c) law enforcement, etc.
It should not, however inadvertently, give the impression of wrong-doing when one has not done anything wrong.
P.S. I also kind of agree with the other poster, wherein a person's time served is done, over, why must they be punished over & over? Anyone who has a reason to know this person's background should have access.
P.S.P.S. To the other poster: Yes, we live in a democracy where public records are public records, but let's see how cheery you are when you get a judgment against you - and everyone at work knows. Or you go thru a messy divorce/custody battle...and you are the gossip everyone's talking about. It sucks.
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