State ex rel.
Journal/Sentinel v. Arreola,
207 Wis.2d 496 (Ct.App. 1996)
558 N.W.2d 670
 
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State ex rel.
Journal/Sentinel and Anne Bothwell,
Petitioners-Respondents,
v.
Philip Arreola, Chief of Police
City of Milwaukee, Respondent-Appelllant.

Wisconsin Court of Appeals # 95-2856

Oral Argument 9/27/96  Decided 12/17/96

APPEAL from an order of the circuit court for
Milwaukee County:

MICHAEL P. SULLIVAN, Judge.

Affirmed in part and modified in part.

For the respondent-appellant the cause was
submitted on the briefs of Grant F. Langley,
city attorney and Susan E. Lappen, assistant
city attorney.

There was oral argument by Susan E. Lappen.

 
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For the petitioners-respondents the cause was
submitted on the briefs of David M. Lucey and
Paul Bargren of Foley & Lardner of Milwaukee.

There was oral argument by David M. Lucey.

Before
Wedemeyer, P.J., Schudson and Curley, JJ.

WEDEMEYER, P.J.

Police Chief Philip Arreola and the City of
Milwaukee (hereinafter referred to
collectively as "the City") appeal from an
order issuing a writ of mandamus requiring
the City to release certain police documents
pursuant to an open records request made by a
Journal/Sentinel, Inc. reporter.

The City claims the trial court erred in
issuing the writ because the requested
records involve officer personnel records
and, therefore, should not be released on
public policy grounds.

Because the right of the public to have
access to the majority of these records
outweighs any public policy concerns raised
by the City, we affirm in part; and because
some of the concerns raised by the City
outweigh the public's right to access certain
portions of the requested records,
we modify the order in part.

I.  BACKGROUND

Anne Bothwell, reporter for Journal/Sentinel,
Inc., in letters dated September 27, 1994,
and September 29, 1994, made an open records
request for certain information from the
Milwaukee Police Department.

Specifically, Bothwell requested:

Copies of the reports filled out every time a
police officer discharges his or her weapon,
from 1990 to date, and from 1980 to 1985.

I understand the department has recently
created a "use of deadly force" report.

I would like copies of each report that has
been filed since the document was created.

 
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I also realize that, prior to the creation of
the "use of deadly force" report, officers
who discharged their weapons were required
to file a report on the incident.

I'd like a copy of each report filed to
document those incidents.

And in the alternative, Bothwell requested:

Also, if my request for the reports detailing
discharges of weapons and use of deadly force
are (sic) denied, please provide me with the
following information for each year from 1980
to 1985, and from 1990 to the present:

- The number of times police officers
  discharged their weapons

- The number of times those discharges
  resulted in a person being struck by
gunfire
 

- The number of times those shootings
  were fatal

- The number of times those discharges
  resulted in an animal being struck

- The number of times those discharges were
  determined to be accidental

- The date, time and location of each
  occurrence

- The name, age, address, race and sex of
  each person who was shot

- The name, age, sex, race, and length of
  service with the department of the officer
  whose weapon was discharged.

- A brief description of the circumstances
  under which each weapons discharge
  occurred.

The police records custodian denied both
of Bothwell's requests by letters dated
October 14, 1994, and January 4, 1995.

The denial letters indicated that this
information would not be released,
stating in pertinent part:

 
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Please be advised that your request
for copies of the aforementioned
reports is denied.

These are pending ongoing administrative
internal personnel matters.

Open or closed personnel reports and
investigations are not subject to disclosure
pursuant to the Open Records Act.

The Milwaukee Police Department's ability to
conduct thorough confidential internal
investigations, including the gathering
of statements from members of the Department
as a condition of their employment would be
seriously hampered by disclosure of such
investigations. . . .

In addition, we are denying disclosure
as in the case of the

Village of Butler v. Cohen,
163 Wis.2d 819,
472 N.W.2d 579 (Ct. App. 1991).

The following are specific policy reasons for
nondisclosure of personnel-related material,
in that disclosure would:

(1) Run counter to the legislature's
    recognition in Section 19.85(1) Stats.,
    of the need to keep personnel records
    confidential, to maintain the
    reputational and privacy interests
    of the employee;

(2) Give the requester greater access to
    the records than the employee;

(3) Subvert the municipalities' policy of
    ensuring employees opportunities for
    satisfying careers and fair treatment
    based on value of service;

(4) Impinge upon the officers' ability to
    have and retain competent personnel;

(5) Prevent a reviewer from making candid
    assessments of an officer; and

(6) Run counter to the municipalities'
    interests in maintaining the
    confidentiality of its personnel
    records which are closed under
    Section 230.13(5) Stats.

We are further denying disclosure because
Section 103.13(2) Stats., indicates that this
information should only be turned over upon
the request of the employee or pursuant to a
waiver by the employee.

Release of this information without a waiver
would thwart the public policy of
nondisclosure contained in
Section 103.13(2).

 
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In addition, the State has closed similar
records of state employee discipline
pursuant to Section 230.13(5) Stats.

We believe that, by analogy, this is also
indicative of public policy justifying
their confidentiality.

Federal common law has further established
that these records are confidential.

See
Ballard v. Terrek,
56 F.R.D. 45 (E.D. Wis. 1972).

The City denied Bothwell's alternate records
request as well, stating:

With regards to your request for statistical
information, please be advised that your
request for a copy of this information as
afore described is denied.

Pursuant to ss 19.35(1)(L),

  ". . . this subsection does not require
   an authority to create a new record by
   extracting information from existing
   records and compiling the information
   in a new format."

On January 17, 1995, Journal/Sentinel, Inc.
and Bothwell filed a petition for a writ
of mandamus with the Circuit Court.

The City moved to quash the petition,
but this motion was denied.

The trial court held several hearings
regarding the petition, conducted an in
camera review of a sampling of the requested
records, and eventually issued the writ.

Specifically, the writ ordered that
the City provide Bothwell with:

a.  A copy of each report filed every time
    a police officer discharges his or
    her weapon, from 1990 to date,
    and from 1980 to 1985.

b.  If different, any other report on
    the use of deadly force for the
    same time periods.

c.  If different, any other report filed
    by an officer who discharged his or
    her weapon concerning said discharge
    for the same time periods.

 
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d.  All reports summarizing or detailing
    discharges of weapons or other use
    of deadly force for the periods 1980
    to 1985 and 1990 to present which
    contain all or parts of the
    following information:

(1) The number of times police officers
    discharged their weapons.

(2) The number of times these discharges
    resulted in a person being struck by
    gunfire.

(3) The number of times those discharges
    were fatal.

(4) The number of times those discharges
    resulted in an animal being struck.

(5) The number of times those discharges
    were determined to be accidental.

(6) The date, time and location of
    each such occurrence.

(7) The name, age, address, race and sex
    of each person who was injured as
    a result thereof.

(8) The name, age, address, race, sex and
    length of service of the officer of the
    Department whose weapon was discharged.

(9) A brief description of the circumstances
    under which each such weapon discharge
    occurred.

e.  To the extent the records reflect the
    identity of a person outside the
    Milwaukee Police Department who provided
    information to the Milwaukee Police
    Department on the subjects requested and
    who requested, at the time of providing
    such information, that his or her
    identity be kept confidential, the
    information pertaining to such person
    may be expunged prior to production.

The City now appeals.

 
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II.  DISCUSSION

The City claims the records requested
involve documents generated and maintained
solely for the purposes of personnel
evaluation and discipline.

As a result, the City maintains that public
policy concerns outweigh the general right of
the public to have access to these records.

In response, Journal/Sentinel, Inc. and
Bothwell claim that the records are not
personnel records and that the public's
right to access this information outweighs
any public policy concerns.

The trial court ruled:

Okay, well, there is no more awesome
power exercised by government than
that of the police.

The police have literally the power
of life and over citizens they are to
protect, but the power of the police
in our republic is limited.

Ours is a representative form of government,
and in recognition of that fact, the
Wisconsin legislature has said at
Section 19.31 of Wisconsin statutes:

  "In recognition of the fact that a
   representative government is dependent
   upon an informed electorate, it's
   declared to be the public policy of this
   State that all persons are entitled to
   the greatest possible information
   regarding the affairs of government and
   the official acts of those officers and
   employees who represent them. . . . .

   To that end, Sections 19.32 to 19.37
   shall be construed in every instance
   with a presumption of complete public
   access consistent with the conduct of
   governmental business.

   The denial of public access generally
   is contrary to public interest and
   only in an exceptional case may
   access be denied. . . . . . . . "

 
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Now, this public policy statement must apply,
I think, with utmost vigor to the situation
at hand where the information sought concerns
the police exercise of its most extreme
power, the use of deadly force. . . . You
can't take a matter like police discharging
its weapons and call it personnel records
and hide it from the public.

I just don't think that's right.

The police chief, then, has to either make
those records available to a reasonable
extent or he has to create some other records
that the public has access to so the public
knows whose firing the weapons, who is firing
them, when they are being fired, and the
general circumstances around them. . . .

. . . Generally, you should deny access to
the personnel files, but here there is no
other way, it seems, for the public to know
what's happening with the firing of weapons
in this city, and I think the public in this
city has an overriding concern in having that
information available to it, and it
overrides, unfortunately, the chief's
interest in keeping his personnel files
private. . . .

. . . I have to agree with the plaintiff in
this case, and I will issue the writ of
mandamus and make that writ absolute on the
points that you have requested, that is, the
P-10 information where it is available, any
statistical data that the department has
concerning these things and before the P-10
information was extant, the old PI   old PI-4
form. [1]

That is the order of the Court.

 
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The review in this case involves
interpretation of statutes as applied to
undisputed facts.

Accordingly, we will apply the de novo
standard of review.

Bitters v. Milcut, Inc.,
117 Wis.2d 48, 49,
343 N.W.2d 418, 419 (Ct. App. 1983).

According to the open records law,
Section 19.31, Stats.,

  "shall be construed in every
   instance with a presumption
   of complete public access,
   consistent with the conduct
   of governmental business."

See also Sections 19.32-.37, Stats.

Case law construing this statute provides,
"`The general presumption . . . is that
public records shall be open to the public
unless there is a clear statutory exception,
unless there exists a limitation under the
common law, or unless there is an overriding
public interest in keeping the public record
confidential.'"

Mayfair Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc. v.
Baldarotta,
62 Wis.2d 142, 156,
469 N.W.2d 638, 643 (1991).

The instant case primarily presents an issue
with respect to the third factor.

Although both parties spend a significant
amount of time attempting to label the
requested records as "personnel records"
or as records that are not considered
personnel records, this categorization
is not dispositive.

Even if these records are construed to be
personnel records, they are not automatically
exempt from disclosure.

The issue of whether records which are
labelled "personnel" should be disclosed has
been addressed repeatedly in the case law.

 
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Village of Butler v. Cohen,
163 Wis.2d 819,
472 N.W.2d 579 (Ct. App. 1991),

this court held that public policy favoring
nondisclosure of personnel records outweighed
the presumption of disclosure.

Similarly, in

Pangman & Associates v. Stigler,
161 Wis.2d 828, 839,
468 N.W.2d 784, 788 (Ct. App. 1991),

and in

Pangman & Associates, S.C. v. Zellmer,
163 Wis.2d 1070, 1083,
473 N.W.2d 538, 543 (Ct. App. 1991),

requests for personnel records of police
officers made pursuant to the open records
law were denied and the records were not
released.

None of these cases, however, stands for
the proposition that records categorized
as "personnel" records are entitled to
a blanket exemption from disclosure.

This issue   whether all disciplinary or
personnel records of public employees are
exempted from the open records law   was
specifically addressed and decided by our
supreme court in

Wisconsin Newspress, Inc. v.
Sheboygan Falls School District,
199 Wis.2d 769,
199 Wis.2d 768,
546 N.W.2d 143 (1996).

In Wisconsin Newspress, our supreme court
rejected the notion that all disciplinary or
personnel records of public employees are
entitled to a blanket exemption from
the open records law.

Id.,

199 Wis.2d at 775,
546 N.W.2d at 145.

The court held that whether personnel records
are subject to disclosure must be examined on
a case-by-case basis.

199 Wis.2d at 781,
546 N.W.2d at 147.

Here, the City conceded that personnel
records are not automatically exempt from
disclosure during oral argument, but
nonetheless suggests that the City's
interests in not disclosing this information
outweighs the public's interest in accessing
the requested information.

In reviewing the instant case, we apply
a balancing test to determine whether
the City is correct. [2]

 
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199 Wis.2d at 781,
546 N.W.2d at 147.

We must determine whether the public policies
favoring disclosure, including the
presumption of openness as described in
Section 19.31, Stats., are outweighed by the
public policies favoring nondisclosure,

199 Wis.2d at 781,
546 N.W.2d at 147.

at

199 Wis.2d at 782,
546 N.W.2d at 148,

such as those raised by the City:

(1)  disclosure would adversely affect the
     police department's ability to conduct
     effective investigations;

(2)  disclosure would impinge on officers'
     reputational and privacy interests;

(3)  disclosure would give the requester
     greater access to the records
     than the employee has;

(4)  disclosure would impinge on the
     department's ability to attract
     and retain competent personnel;

(5)  disclosure would discourage victims and
     witnesses from providing information.

 
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In applying the balancing test,
we weigh each of these countervailing
interests seriatim. [3]

We emphasize that the information that is
subject to disclosure must be reviewed
on a case-by-case basis, and will
not be identical in every case.

Accordingly, our analysis in the instant
case is limited to the case at bar.

 
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As challenges to the open records law are
presented, the trial court should determine
what information is subject to disclosure
after an in camera inspection.

We emphasize the importance of this procedure
and the need to have each case individually
examined rather than setting forth any
absolutes applicable to all instances
of apparent conflict. [4]

We turn now to an examination of the
countervailing interests raised by the City.

The City suggests that disclosing the reports
would hamper the police department's ability
to conduct effective investigations.

We are not persuaded that this concern
justifies blanket withholding of all
the information requested.

First, this concern is countered by the fact
that Journal/Sentinel, Inc. (as argued both
in its brief and at oral argument) is looking
for solely factual information.

 
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Factual material gathered in connection with
an investigation of police conduct is
generally subject to public inspection.

See

State ex rel. Youmans v. Owens,
32 Wis.2d 11,
144 N.W.2d 793 (1966).

Further, any impact on investigations
if solely factual information is
disclosed would be remote.

These incidents are occurring in public.

Limiting the disclosure to only the facts
should not impact on an officer's ability
to conduct an investigation.

This concern, however, may justify
withholding certain portions of
the documents at issue.

The portions of the reports that are not
purely factual information may legitimately
be withheld in order to maintain the
effectiveness of ongoing investigations.

That is, any supervisory opinions containing
recommendations or concerns made for future
action or criticisms of past actions may
legitimately be withheld.

These portions of the forms, which required
supervising officers to render an opinion
regarding the investigation should be
withheld because supervisors might be less
than candid if they know that the documents
are subject to public disclosure.

Moreover, the need to conduct thorough
investigations and maintain the integrity of
the investigations relative to supervisory
opinions outweighs the presumption that all
public records should be disclosed.

See

Zellmer,
163 Wis.2d at 1082,
473 N.W.2d at 543.

Accordingly, with respect to these described
portions of the reports, we conclude that the
City's concern does outweigh the public's
right to access this information.

The remaining portions of the requested
forms, however, are not impacted by this
concern and, therefore, must be made
available.

 
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The City's main argument for blanket
withholding is that the officers'
reputational and privacy interests need to be
protected and that disclosing the requested
reports would harm those interests.

The City suggests that recent case law
demonstrates that our supreme court has
placed a high priority on protecting
reputational and privacy interests.

See

Woznicki v. Erickson,
202 Wis.2d 178,
549 N.W.2d 699 (1996).

We do not disagree that Woznicki, which held
that the open records law does not provide a
blanket exemption for public employee
personnel records, emphasized the importance
of protecting an individual's privacy and
reputational interests.

Woznicki v. Erickson,
202 Wis.2d 180-181,
549 N.W.2d 700 (1996).

Nevertheless, Woznicki is very different from
the instant case and we are therefore not
wholly persuaded by the City's arguments
of its application in this regard.

The instant case, unlike Woznicki,
involves police officers who are
discharging weapons in public places.

When individuals accept positions as police
officers, they necessarily relinquish
certain privacy rights and must be
subject to public scrutiny.

See

Wisconsin State Journal v.
University of Wisconsin-Platteville,
160 Wis.2d 31, 41,
465 N.W.2d 266, 270 (Ct. App. 1990).

As a result of their public employment,
police officers have a lower
expectation of privacy.

Wisconsin Newspress,
199 Wis.2d at 788,
546 N.W.2d at 150.

Moreover, in Woznicki, the reports at issue
were a teacher's personnel file and personal
phone records, which had been subpoenaed by
the district attorney.

Woznicki v. Erickson,
202 Wis.2d 181,
549 N.W.2d 701 (1996).

The reports at issue here are factual
reports documenting police officers'
use of deadly force.

The public has a compelling interest in
monitoring the use of deadly force by police
officers and such interest outweighs the
police officers' expectation of privacy with
regard to discharging their weapons while
working as police officers.

 
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As aptly stated by the trial court:

There is no more awesome power exercised by
government than that of the police.

The police have literally the power of life
and death over citizens they are to protect,
but the power of the police in our republic
is limited. . . .

    "In recognition of the fact that a
     representative government is dependent
     upon an informed electorate, it's
     declared to be the public policy of this
     State that all persons are entitled to
     the greatest possible information
     regarding the affairs of government and
     the official acts of those officers and
     employees who represent them. . . . . .

     To that end, Sections 19.32 to 19.37
     shall be construed in every instance
     with a presumption of complete public
     access consistent with the conduct of
     governmental business.

     The denial of public access generally is
     contrary to public interest and only in
     an exceptional case may access be
     denied. . . . "

This public policy statement must apply . . .
with utmost vigor to the situation at hand
where the information sought concerns the
police exercise of its most extreme power,
the use of deadly force. . . .

We conclude, therefore, that under the facts
of this case, the public policy favoring the
right of inspection of public records and
documents is not outweighed by any
privacy/reputational concerns.

We do accept the City's argument, however,
that police officers have a right to keep
their home addresses private.

Accordingly, any forms containing an
officer's home address should have the
address redacted before disclosure.

 
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We also reject the City's claim that the
records should not be disclosed because
disclosure would give the requestor
greater access to the records than
is available to the employee.

This argument is circular.

If the records are available to a requestor
under the open records law, then the employee
is also entitled to inspect the records.

Once the records are made public, it makes
no difference who the requestor is.

The City next claims that disclosing this
information would make it more difficult to
attract and retain competent police officers.

We reject this argument as well.

As noted by Journal/Sentinel, Inc., the City
fails to support this argument with any
facts nor does it demonstrate how
this eventually would occur.

Regardless, we conclude that the likelihood
of such a result is remote   too remote to
overcome the policy favoring disclosure of
public records.

Police officers must necessarily expect close
public scrutiny, especially with respect to
incidents involving discharge of weapons or
use of deadly force. [5]

Accordingly, it is difficult to ascertain a
situation where qualified individuals would
choose not to work as police officers merely
because the public has the right to inspect
the factual information related to deadly
force incidents.

This concern is insufficient to override the
strong public interest in disclosure of the
factual reports at issue.

 
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The City next claims that disclosing the
requested reports will discourage victims
and witnesses from providing information.

Again, we disagree.

There is no evidence to support
this assertion.

Moreover, in those situations where
victims/witnesses request that their
statements be kept in strict confidence,
confidentiality can be maintained.

The trial court's writ already contains such
a provision for redacting statements made in
confidence and Journal/Sentinel, Inc. accedes
that the public is not entitled to this
information.

Therefore, we conclude that this concern is
insufficient to outweigh the public's
compelling interest in accessing the records.

Any confidentiality issues can be carefully
determined, as needed, by a
document-by-document in camera inspection.

In reviewing each of the City's proposed
countervailing interests, we are not
persuaded that they justify a blanket
withholding of the records at issue.

The records sought in this case involve
records of the police exercise of its most
extreme power, the use of deadly force.

The public has a particularly strong interest
in monitoring a police department's overall
use of deadly force.

Having applied the balancing test by
addressing all of the City's concerns
regarding withholding the records, we
conclude that the public's particularly
strong interest in accessing the majority of
this information is not outweighed by any of
the concerns set forth by the City.

We do, however, conclude that certain
portions of the records may be withheld
because the countervailing interests raised
by the City do outweigh the public's right to
access a certain portion of the documents.

 
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As noted, the public is entitled to
inspection of all the factual information
regarding the use of deadly force.

We interpret this information to include:

(1)  who discharged a weapon;

(2)  when it was discharged;

(3)  the general circumstances
     surrounding the incident; and

(4)  the name and identifying information of
     any victims or witnesses, provided the
     individuals have not requested
     confidentiality.

We conclude, however, that the public is not
entitled to inspect those portions of the
reports containing supervisory statements
regarding conclusions, recommendations or
other comments regarding potential or
actual disciplinary actions.

We also conclude that officers' home
addresses should not be subject
to disclosure.

These items must be redacted because the
privacy concerns attached to such outweigh
the public's right to access this limited
information.

III.  CONCLUSION

In sum, we hold that the trial court's order
is affirmed, subject to the following
modifications:  police officers' home
addresses should be redacted from the forms
and any supervisory conclusions,
recommendations or other comments regarding
disciplinary action should also be redacted
from the forms prior to disclosure.

By the Court.

Order affirmed in part and
modified in part.

[1]
   These forms are also known as "In the
   Matter of" forms and "Use of Force" forms.

   The "matter of" forms, used prior to the
   middle of 1993, are simply a narrative
   description of the event at issue, a
   recounting of the investigating officers'
   findings, and a conclusion by the
   supervisor as to what actions should be
   taken with respect to the officer who
   discharged the weapon.

   The "use of force" reports, which replaced
   the earlier documents, include both a
   pre-printed form with space for a
   description of the incident, the location,
   the officers involved, the suspect and
   the witnesses.

   These forms also provide a narrative
   detailed description of the incident
   with a specific place for the commanding
   officer's recommendation.

[2]
   Our review included an in camera
   inspection of the sampling of
   the requested records.

   The general procedure set forth for
   reviewing open records cases involves a
   two-step procedure:

   First, we must decide if the trial court
   correctly assessed whether the custodian's
   denial of access was made with the
   requisite specificity. Second, we
   determine whether the stated reasons
   are sufficient to permit withholding,
   itself a two-step analysis.

   Here, our inquiry is:

   (1)  did the trial court make a factual
        determination supported by the
        record of whether the documents
        implicate the public interests in
        secrecy asserted by the custodians
        and, if so,

   (2)  do the countervailing interests
        outweigh the public interest
        in release.

   Milwaukee Journal v. Call,
   153 Wis.2d 313, 317,
   450 N.W.2d 515, 516 (Ct. App. 1989)

   The first step of this test was not
   challenged   that is, neither party
   disputes that there is adequate factual
   support for the trial court's
   determination that the police record
   custodian's denial of access
   was made with the requisite specificity.
 

   We concur with this determination.

   Accordingly, we need to address only the
   second step of the procedure 
   the balancing test.

[3]
   Those countervailing interests raised by
   the City not specifically addressed in the
   text of this opinion are summarily
   rejected for the reasons explained below.

   The City's claim that disclosing these
   records would affect how a police officer
   handles a situation involving a firearm is
   raised for the first time on appeal and,
   therefore, we need not address it.

   Pangman & Assocs., S.C. v. Zellmer,
   163 Wis.2d 1070, 1085,
   473 N.W.2d 538, 544 (Ct. App. 1991)

   "It is not for appellate courts to
    hypothesize or consider reasons for
    not permitting inspection which were
    not presented by the custodian."

    In its initial denial, the City raised
    two additional concerns:

    (1) that disclosure would run counter to
        the municipalities' interests in
        maintaining the confidentiality of
        its personnel records which are
        closed under Section 230.13(5),
        Stats..; and

   (2)  that disclosure would violate
        Section 103.13(2), Stats.

   We conclude that neither justifies
   withholding the records.

   First, Section 230.13(5), Stats., was
   repealed and is no longer current law.

   See 1989 Act 31, Section 2522-24.

   Second, the City argues that Section
   103.13(2), Stats., indicates that this
   information should only be turned over
   upon the request of the employee or
   pursuant to a waiver by the employee.

   Although this statute does provide
   employees with the right to inspect their
   own personnel records, it does not
   prohibit the disclosure
   granted in the instant case.

   We also reject the City's argument that
   federal law supports withholding of the
   requested information.

   The City's argument in this regard rests
   solely on the
   Ballard v. Terrak,
   56 F.R.D. 45 (E.D. Wis. 1972) case.

   We have previously rejected the
   applicability of Ballard,

   see

   Pangman & Assocs., S.C.,
   163 Wis.2d at 1083-84,
   473 N.W.2d at 544, and

   see no reason for Ballard to
   persuade us here.

   The City's reliance on

   Village of Butler v. Cohen,
   163 Wis.2d 819,
   472 N.W.2d 579 (Ct. App. 1991),

   is also misplaced.

   Cohen involved a much different
   factual scenario than presented
   in the instant case.

   The subject records in Cohen involved a
   request for a complete personnel file,
   not for records solely with respect
   to deadly force issues.

   Accordingly, Cohen is not controlling
   in the instant case.

[4]
   To avoid an opinion that is heavily
   overwritten, we address only dispositive
   issues which were specifically raised
   under the facts presented.

   We decline to address any and all
   additional issues that although
   not raised in the instant case,
   may surface in future cases.

   State v. Blalock,
   150 Wis.2d 688, 703,
   442 N.W.2d 514, 520 (Ct. App. 1989)

   (cases should be decided on the
   narrowest possible grounds);
 

   see generally,
   1 John H. Wigmore,
   Evidence in Trials at Common Law
   Section 8a at 617 (3d ed. 1983)

   (discussing avoidance of
   "overconsideration of every point
   of law raised in the briefs").

[5]
   We note that other situations have
   received similar treatment:

   personal injury lawsuits,
   1983 civil rights claims, and
   coroner's inquests.

   See

   Tyner v. City of Jackson,
   105 F.R.D. 564 (S.D. Miss. 1985);

   Diamond v. City of Mobile,
   86 F.R.D. 324 (S.D. Ala. 1978);

   Wood v. Breier,
   54 F.R.D. 7 (E.D. Wis. 1972).

 
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