ACCESS TO GREEN BAY POLICE DEPARTMENT TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORTS
At the direction of the Office of the City Attorney, the Green Bay Police Department has temporarily removed all traffic accident reports from our website, pending the outcome of a decision issued by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Senne v. Vill. of Palatine, 695 F.3d 597, (7th Cir. 2012 en banc, cert. pet. filed 11/5/2012). The Senne decision held that under the provisions of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) personal identifying information derived from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), including an individual’s date of birth, driver’s license number, social security number, home address, home telephone number, photograph, and medical or disability information is prohibited from disclosure to the public unless one of 14 DPPA exceptions apply. The DPPA preempts any conflicting state law that regulates the dissemination of motor vehicle record information. Collier v. Dickinson, 477 F.3d 1306, 1312, n. 3 (11th Cir. 2007).
The exceptions to the prohibition to disclosure under the DPPA are found at 18 U.S.C. § 2721(b). The DPPA does allow release of records, with the exclusion of personal and highly restricted personal information, derived from the DMV records. All non-personal information contained within records can be released to a requesting third party. For example, personal information does not include factual information as to where, when or how an accident occurred.
Accordingly, in compliance with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision and advice from the City Attorney’s Office, the Green Bay Police Department, like many other police departments across the state, can no longer make available accident reports that include personal information prohibited from disclosure by the DPPA unless an exception applies.
The Green Bay Police Department has attached, for your assistance, a link that provides a form to be filled out by requesters who believe they fit within one of the DPPA exceptions:
If no DPPA exception applies, any member of the public may obtain a traffic accident report with personal identifying information redacted from:
Green Bay Police Department
Attn: Records / Accident Reports
307 S Adams Street
Green Bay WI 54301