Manitowoc Clerk of Circuit Court ‘flooded’ with Avery inquiries

Manitowoc County Clerk of Courts employees

As the “Making a Murderer” Netflix documentary series continues to grow in popularity, more and more people are looking into Steven Avery’s case themselves.

That includes reading documents, exhibits and transcripts from the case and trial, somewhat overwhelming the Manitowoc County Clerk of Courts office.

The clerk of circuit courts in Manitowoc County says they started getting requests for copies from the Avery file about a week ago, and the requests haven’t let up.

It’s gotten to a point where they’re designating part of someone’s day, every day, to just handle the Avery files.

“It’s a lot of information, a lot of documents, so we have to just be careful, but that’s our job as custodians of the records,” said Lynn Zigmunt, Clerk of Circuit Court for Manitowoc County.

Zigmunt doesn’t know exactly how many pages are inside Steven Avery’s homicide case file.

“On a cart right now we have six banker’s boxes. There’s more — post-conviction things, more current things that are happening in the case,” said Zigmunt, “so there might be another one, I think, I’m not positive if it’s just one.”

They’re getting requests from local citizens wanting to look at the files and have had inquiries from across the country.

“All the local news stations of course, Milwaukee, Madison,” recalls Zigmunt, “but it’s on a national level, too. Good Morning America, CNN, Nightline out of New York, it’s all over the place.”

So many requests are coming in, Zigmunt had to make a plan to make sure the clerk’s office can fill those requests and get their regular work done.

They put together a so called “roadmap” to the thousands of documents so people can find out exactly what they need and so the clerks know where it is.

“So somebody doesn’t have access to the whole thing, they’re pulling things out, putting them back in wrong places, and then we have a mess to clean up later,” said Zigmunt, “so we are taking control of it in a more manageable way right from the start.”

The clerk says on Wednesday a woman from Australia requested copies of the trial’s entire transcript, and at $1.25 a page, that’ll cost about $6,000.

She expects things to calm down for their office soon because some people requesting these files will likely put them online for anyone to see.

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