Posts Tagged Rep. Marlin Schneider

Rep. Marlin Schneider Amends AB-340 (CCAP Bill)

On December 2, 2009, Rep. Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) made an amendment to AB-340.  Referred to as Assembly Substitute Amendment 1 to 2009 AB 340, this revised bill essentially would create two versions of the CCAP database.  Schneider’s amendment appears to be — based on its timing at least — a partial response to the Apartment Association of SE Wisconsin’s critical response to a memo that Schneider sent to other members of the Wisconsin legislature and staff on November 20, 2009.  The problem with Rep. Schneider’s amendment, if it is indeed a response to the AASEW’s criticisms, is that it ignores everything that the AASEW attempted to explain to him.

The original AB 340 can be read in its entirety at  www.DefeatAB340.org.  This site also contains background information on the sponsors of AB 340, responses from across Wisconsin to Schneider’s bill, and Schneider’s earlier attempts to restrict CCAP and prevent landlords from legally screening rental applicants.

Version #1 

Under the amended AB 340, the first version of CCAP would remain exactly as we now know it.  It would continue to provide data on pending cases and completed cases that were resolved by stipulated dismissal, acquittal, or motion.  It would also continue to provide information as to all original criminal charges filed even if those charges were later reduced or dismissed. 

However, this fully transparent version of CCAP would be restricted to only a “chosen few,” namely:

1.   Justices, judges, magistrates, court commissioners, and other employees of state, federal, or municipal courts and agencies who require access to court documents and records during the course of their employement.

2.   Law enforcement officers.

3.   Attorneys and their employees.

4.   Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Assoc., the Wisconsin Broadcaster’s Assoc., and any other Wisconsin media organization designated by the director of state courts.

5.   A debt collector licensed under Sec. 218.04, Wis. Stats.

Version #2

The second version of CCAP would be a redacted version (just as was set forth in the original AB 340) and would exclude any and all information about any civil or criminal case that had not yet been resolved by: (1) a finding of guilt, (2) a finding of liability, (3) an order of eviction, or (4) the issuance of a restraining order or injunction.

Under the revised AB 340, a person would still be able to request that the director of state courts remove all CCAP information relating to that individual’s case if it did not result in a finding of guilt, liability, eviction judgment, or TRO/Injunction, or if it was reopened, vacated, set aside or overturned on appeal.  Thus, even the “chosen few” detailed above would still not have access to this information if an affected individual made a request to remove it from CCAP.

The revised AB 340 appears to have eliminated the requirement that all users must register with the Director of State Courts and pay a $10 fee.  However, still intact in the amended bill is the requirement that a person who has been denied employment, housing, or a public accomodation, be informed that said decision was made after reviewing information contained on CCAP.  The intentional failure to comply with this section could result in a $1,000 fine.

The revised AB 340 is not an improvement over its predecessor.  Yes, I guess it does allow a select few to access most of the information currently contained on CCAP but what about those individuals who are not included?  Landlords, employers, moms and dads, and everyone else excluded from accessing the info on the “real CCAP” are still being prevented from using CCAP to obtain information that falls under Wisconsn’s open records law.

I wonder just how much time Rep. Schneider and his staff spent drafting the revised AB 340?  Since  the revised version still ignores Wisconsin’s open records law and still hinders a landlord’s ability to properly – and legally – screen a prospective renter, I hope that they didn’t spend too much time on it because I still don’t think it will pass. 

What are your thoughts about this revised version of AB 340?  Let me know your thoughts by sending a “comment.”

Tags: ,

UPDATE ON AB-340 (CCAP BILL)

As many of you know a public hearing was held on AB340 – the proposed bill by Rep. Marlin Schneider that would restrict who can use CCAP and what information would be contained on CCAP — at the State Capitol in Madison last week.

Several board members from the AASEW (Dave Ohrmundt and Richard Bishop) and the head of Milwaukee RING (Brian Fleming) attended the hearing to make sure that landlords’ voices were heard.  We appreciate you guys taking the time out of your busy schedules to attend.

A fellow landlord-tenant law blogger from the Wausau area (Dr. Rent a/k/a John Fischer) also attended the public hearing and even testified wrote a recent blog post on the bill and the hearing that gives you his views on the proposed bill and what his thoughts are regarding if it will succeed.  Dr. Rent writes a great blog and if you enjoy my blog you should also sign up for his blog.

Arguments were presented both for and against the propsoed legislation.  On a practical level I thought it was very telling the the director of state courts (who under the proposed bill would be in charge of registering CCAP users and monitoring their searches) felt that the cost and time involved would be a huge undertaking.  It might have been a good idea for the bills’ sponsors to have spoken with the director of state courts and attempted to get him on their side prior to the public hearing.

Two recent articles written about the hearing and AB340 in general were published.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote an article on the hearing and the Racine Journal Times also had a good piece on the proposed legislation.  Columnist, Patrick McIlheran, of the Journal Sentinel also wrote a recent piece on Schneider’s proposed CCAP bill.

The Wisconsin State Journal also published an editorial regarding AB-340.

I was also interviewed for an article by the Wisconsin Law Journal about the proposed CCAP legislation. This article does not focus on how AB340 will affect landlords but rather how it might affect lawyers ability to screen their own clients and related issues.

Tags: , ,

AASEW’s Response to Rep. Schneider’s CCAP Legislation Can Be Found at www.DefeatAB340.org

For those of you that have been following my blog, you are well aware that State Rep. Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) has introduced yet another bill attempting to restrict the public’s access to CCAP.  This new bill also will remove certain information from even being included on CCAP.  My prior blogs on this topic can be read here, here and here.

The Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin (AASEW), a collection of landlords and rental property managers, are strongly opposed to Schenider’s new bill which is entitled AB 340,  and have decided to do something about it.  The AASEW has created a web page that can be found at www.DefeatAB340.org or by clicking here, which contains links to the actual bill as well as links to your state senators and representative so that you can contact them and convey your displeasure with this bill.

Please visit the AASEW’s web page and consider contacting your elected officials to express your views as to AB 340.  You should also forward the link to anyone and everyone you know that may be affected by this legislation. 

If passed, this bill will affect more than just landlords.  Parents, employers, day care providers and more, will be unable to use CCAP without paying an annual fee and having their CCAP searches recorded by the state.  Additionally, you will be unable to learn whether a person has been charged with a crime, found liable in a civil lawsuit, or had an eviction action filed against them – until after the case has been resolved, which is often months or years after the action was filed.

The bill will also allow a person who has information contained on CCAP but which did not result in a convictions or judgment (even if this was the result of a stipulated dismissal) to remove all reference to that information from CCAP.  The concept of open records will be hurt severly should AB 340 pass.

Please do your part to insure that AB340 fails.

Tags: , , , ,

CCAP LEGISLATION INTRODUCED YESTERDAY

State Rep. Marlin Schneider has introduced his newest piece of legislation yesterday - Assembly Bill 340.   Schneider’s newest bill will once again interfere with a landlord’s ability to properly screen his/her applicants through CCAP.

First, AB-340 will require most users of CCAP to register and pay an annual fee.  Second, It will also require you to inform an applicant if you denied them rental as a result of information you obtained from CCAP and if you fail to do so you can be fined $1,000.  Finally, and what bothers me most, is that no pending cases (criminal or civil) will appear on CCAP until after the case has been concluded.  So if the person that just applied to rent from you is doing so becasue their current landlord recently filed an eviction against them — you will not be able to learn this from CCAP — until it may be too late.  You also may not learn until after you have already accepted them as a tenant, that a recent applicant was just charged with the manufacture and distribution of a controlled substance.

You can read AB-340 in its entirety here.

If you would like to read my earlier blog posts on this topic go here and here.

No matter what you do I hope that you will consider contacting both your state representative and state senator and express your strong opposition to this piece of legislation.

Tags: , ,

REP. SCHNEIDER IS ATTACKING CCAP AGAIN

State Representative Marlin Schneider from Wisconsin Rapids is up to it again.  I just received word that Marlin Schneider has circulated a proposed bill (LRB 2267/3) which would require users of the Consolidated Court Automation Program, better known as CCAP, to pay an annual fee to use this computerized open records management system.

Even worse, Schneider’s legislation proposes that no legal court proceeding be posted on CCAP until after there has been a determination of guilt (in criminal actions) or liability (in civil action).

CCAP is the single most important screening tools for landlords in Wisconsin in my opinion.

As many of you know, back in 2008, Mr. Schneider — who does not like CCAP or the concept of open records in general and feels that both are deteriorating one’s privacy rights – drafted a proposed bill that would have prevented landlords and many other groups (except for a select few like law enforcement and the court system) from being able to use CCAP.  That legislation was killed.

Then earlier this year, upset at his loss the year before, Mr. Schneider attempted to attack CCAP from a different angle when he tried to make people who have been arrested or convicted of a crime protected classes that could not be discriminated against in housing.  Mr. Schneider voluntarily withdrew that bill saying that it was not what he expected it to be.  This withdrawl came after a mass campaign by the AASEW to get landlords to write to their legislators and demand that they not support the bill.

Now we have this.  When oh when will Mr. Schneider retire?

As I learn more about this issue I will post it to this blog.

Tags: ,