State ex rel. Bilder v. Town of Delavan, 112 Wis. 2d 539, 334 N.W.2d 252 (1983)

A police chief sued the Town of Delavan regarding his suspension for alleged misconduct while in office. A newspaper sought access to the court file. In a unanimous opinion, Abrahamson held that newspapers have a protectible legal interest in opening court documents for public examination. Pleadings and exhibits on file with the circuit court fall within Wis. Stats. §59.14, which reflects a basic tenet of democracy–people have the right to know about the operations of their government, including the judicial branch. There are limited exceptions to this rule, but the police chief did not meet them.