January 2017 Email Metadata (Information Technology, Wisconsin)

Matt Chapman filed this request with the Information Technology, Wisconsin of Milwaukee, WI.
Multi Request January 2017 Email Metadata
Est. Completion None
No Responsive Documents


From: Matt Chapman

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Wisconsin Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

For all accounts managed by your department, please provide me the following information for all emails sent during January, 2017:

1. From address
2. To address
3. bcc addresses
4. cc addresses
5. Time
6. Date

Please note that I am not requesting the contents of each email.

I am more than happy to provide documentation or tips for extracting this information from your mail server if needed. Documentation that I have available include methods using excel, powershell, msaccess, Office 365 eDiscovery tools, and the direct extraction from an exchange database using forensic analysis tools.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days.


Matt Chapman

From: Information Technology, Wisconsin

Mr. Chapman,

I received your public records request which was faxed to me and dated 7/5/2018. This email is to inform you that the Department of Administration-Information and Technology Management Division is not the legal custodian of the records you are requesting, per Wis. Stat. section 19.33. Your request should be made to the individual city departments who are the custodian of the records.

Nancy A. Olson
Chief Information Officer | City of Milwaukee | Department of Administration – Information and Technology Management Division | Phone 414.286.8710 | Fax 414.286-2113 |Nancy.Olson@milwaukee.gov<mailto:Nancy.Olson@milwaukee.gov>

The City of Milwaukee is subject to Wisconsin Statutes related to public records. Unless otherwise exempted from the public records law, senders and receivers of City of Milwaukee e-mail should presume that e-mail is subject to release upon request, and is subject to state records retention requirements. See City of Milwaukee full e-mail disclaimer at www.milwaukee.gov/email_disclaimer

From: Matt Chapman

Hi - I respectfully disagree, as I am not requesting the emails themselves - only their metadata. The metadata itself is managed and operated by the IT department through your technical and business contracts with Microsoft and its implementation of Outlook 365 throughout your city. I would like to kindly ask that you reconsider your position that you are not the custodians of the inherently technology bound information respondent to my request.

Additionally, please understand that sending a request to each individual department will be egregiously expensive. Also, in your further determination of who is the custodian of the email metadata, you should consider that many of the requests that I will be sending will ultimately be sent to your department for processing simply due to a lack of technical skills and systems access throughout the city of Milwaukee.

Thank you for your understanding -
Matt Chapman
Free Our Info, NFP

From: Information Technology, Wisconsin

Mr. Chapman,

The only court in Wisconsin that has analyzed a record request for Metadata determined that Metadata is not a “record” that is subject to disclosure under the Public Records Law. See McKellar v. Prijic, No. 09-CV-61 (Wis. Cir. Ct. Outagamie County, July 29, 2009). The court determined that the intent and purpose of the Public Records Law are not served by the release of metadata, and that it is thus not part of the public record. But putting that aside, it does not change the fact that I am not the custodian of the records you seek. The Information and Technology Division (ITMD) may manage the systems that house the e-mails of the individual departments, but no one in ITMD is the legal custodian of those records. Statutorily, the custodian of the records are the individuals set forth in Wis. Stat. § 19.33. An individual department’s record custodian is usually the head of the department, or someone within the department that has been designated to act as the record custodian in a department head’s place. There is nothing in Wis. Stat. § 19.33 that permits a department head to designate an individual outside their department, such as a member of ITMD, to act as a records custodian in their stead. Therefore, if you want records of who sent and received e-mails in each City of Milwaukee department, and when, you will have to go to the individual custodians of those records.

Nancy A. Olson
Chief Information Officer | City of Milwaukee | Department of Administration – Information and Technology Management Division | Phone 414.286.8710 | Fax 414.286-2113 |Nancy.Olson@milwaukee.gov<mailto:Nancy.Olson@milwaukee.gov>


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