Analysis: Many Wisconsin court clerks charge for copying

WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Many court clerks in Wisconsin are charging citizens for court records — even though a 2014 attorney general's opinion says people are allowed to use their own cellphones to photograph court records for free.

That's the finding of an analysis by USA Today Network-Wisconsin.

Making copies of court records generally costs $1.25 per page in Wisconsin. That fee is more than 12 times higher than what is charged for records in the federal courts.

Adams County clerk of court Kathleen Dye is among the 24 clerks who said they don't let citizens photograph court records. Dye contends that allowing photography could damage the original court document.

Open-government advocates are critical of not allowing people to take their own photos of court documents.