The Ohio Public Records Act

Posted by ohio1 on November 21st, 2018

The citizens of Ohio are provided the right of public scrutiny of the entire state and public records since long. The Ohio general assembly enacted the first open records law in 1963 and the state’s open meetings law were passed much earlier in 1954.  

The Ohio public records Act provides the complete details on how to request the public records in the state. The Act will also provide information on which of the records are kept protected from disclosure and what should be done when a simple record request is denied by the custodian of the records. This article aims to provide an overview of the basic principles of the public records of Ohio.

Any citizen of the state has the right to request, obtain and inspect the copies of the public record from the assigned public officer of those records. A public office is bound by law to organize, safeguard and maintain the public records in such a manner that they can be produced easily upon request from the public. Moreover, the copies of the records retention schedules must be kept handy so that they are readily available on demand. As soon as a public officer receives a public records request, he needs to produce the same to the requester unless it is exempt from disclosure by the state and federal laws. The requested records must reach the requester in no time and with no cost.  

Unless specifically stated on the record, the person requesting the records need not mention the reason for accessing the record. The person can just provide his name and telephone number and the public officer has to produce the record in front of him. Howbeit, the request made by the person must be clear in terms of the details filled in the request form. The name and address of the person whose record is being accessed, the name of the record like birth record or death record and so on; the place of the event should be state clearly in the request form. This will help the public officer to search for the records easily.

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