Q1 Report - Issue Spotlight: Redactions

In Wisconsin, Eviction filings remain an online public record even if the action is dismissed before the hearing date or at the hearing because the landlord does not appear. An eviction judgement may stay on CCAP for 20 or more years.

Tenants with an eviction record face significant barriers in housing stability. Their rental applications may be rejected, they may be required to pay a higher security deposit, or a landlord may only offer a month-to-month tenancy instead of a longer-term agreement. Difficulty finding housing after an eviction may compel someone to stay in an unsafe home, stay in a home with unhealthy living conditions, or move in with a relative or friend.

Moving may result in greater commuting costs, job loss, losing a support network, and general instability. These hardships are exacerbated for households with children, or individuals with language barriers, disabilities, immigration concerns, or health complications. Redaction is a legal tool available to reduce the barriers and hardships from an eviction filing.

Since its founding in 2021, EDDP attorneys have represented 303 households to redact their names from CCAP, 166 of which were households represented by UW law students and clinic faculty through their three fall 2022 redaction clinics. This legal advocacy by the EDDP legal partners has a widespread social impact. It supports housing stability for our neighbors. It also benefits the larger community. Housing stability is linked to higher rates of individual health and wellbeing, and a community’s economic development and poverty rates.