Open Records Requests
The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) is organized into four branches: Policy, Innovation, and Engagement; Environmental Health; Community Health; and Clinical Services.
The public should submit all public records requests to the MHD Open Records Custodian. The Open Records Custodian for the MHD is the Commissioner of Health, who has designated an MHD staff member to act as the Open Records Custodian on their behalf. The Open Records Custodian and Deputy Commissioners’ are responsible for deciding whether requested records can be disclosed to the public and for ensuring that record requests are processed appropriately.
The MHD can only respond to requests for MHD records. All other requests should be directed towards the appropriate City Department.
To obtain access to public records maintained by the City of Milwaukee Health Department, requests may be made orally or in writing during regular business hours, between 8 a.m. and 4:45p.m., Monday through Friday, holidays excluded.
If no other copy fee is set by law, the standard charge for each side of a black and white photocopied page is $0.25, for each side of a color photocopied page is $0.50. If a record is in a form that cannot be photocopied, you may be charged the actual cost of producing a copy. Reproduction costs will not be charged on a per page basis if MHD provides electronic copies of records that already exist in electronic format or if MHD converts paper records to electronic format.
MHD will not charge for the cost of reviewing records for possible redaction or removal of confidential information. If a fee for locating a record is set by law, you will be charged that fee; otherwise, if the cost of searching for and identifying responsive records exceeds $50, an hourly charge will be imposed for staff time at the hourly rate of salary and benefits for the lowest paid employee capable of performing the task. However, the hourly rate of salary and benefits for the lowest paid employee capable of performing the task cannot exceed $30. In rare cases, an employee with special skills may be necessary to conduct a search at a higher rate. In addition, if copies are mailed or shipped to you, you may be asked to pay for the actual cost of the mailing or shipping.
Pursuant to Wis. Stat. 19.35(3)(f), the City of Milwaukee Health Department requires prepayment for requests if the total cost exceeds $5.00. Upon receipt of your check, the City of Milwaukee Health Department will begin locating and copying the records for you. If, after locating the records, it is found that MHD overestimated the cost, the difference will be refunded to you. If it is found that MHD underestimated the cost, MHD will bill you for the additional amount.
Record Access and Rights
If you are denied access to a record, you must be informed of the legal basis for the denial. If your request was in writing, you may appeal the denial by bringing an action for mandamus in the circuit court of the county in which the record is held. You may also submit a written request to that county's district attorney or to the state attorney general to bring a mandamus action.