No Neuralizer for Nemec: When your alma mater backs off in a suit over open records.

Last week, we noted that Alex Nemec’s alma mater sued him over a set of documents he legally obtained as part of a court ruling. The record keeper at UW-Oshkosh inadvertently sent him copies of the unredacted reports, leading the state’s Department of Justice to file a motion, asking the courts to reopen the matter. Even more, the professor who is the subject of these documents, Willis Hagen, asked the court to force Nemec to “name names” of anyone he might have shared this information with.

The degree to which the state was basically asking Nemec to forget everything he learned in those unredacted documents and never disclose anything about the content within had both First Amendment and privacy issues, as Nemec’s lawyer noted at the time.

On Friday, the state backed off:

32V3931-78 Notice of Withdrawal of Motion to Reopen F-S 10-26-18_Page_132V3931-78-Notice-of-Withdrawal-of-Motion-to-Reopen-F-S-10-26-18_Page_2.jpg

Nemec emailed me Friday to let me know his lawyer had forwarded him this. The upshot is that the state has decided against pursuing the reopening of the case and pursuing the injunction, so he can continue to report as he sees fit based on what he learned, without fear of a neuralizer:

(Next time, Alex… Next time…)

Nemec said the only issue left at hand is if Hagen wishes to pursue his request to “name names,” which would require him to file a motion on his own. If he does, Nemec said, it will come before the judge on Nov. 21.

We’ll keep you posted.

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