News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for June 30th, 2016

New Process for Appealing Records Request Denials

file foldersIn May, the Ohio Legislature passed new legislation to promote access to public records and it was signed into law yesterday, June 29, 2016. The new measure, SB 321 Court of Claims-procedure for hearing denials of access to public records, streamlines the process for individuals appealing denials of their public records requests. Under the new law, if a person’s public records request is denied, they may file a complaint with the Court of Claims to begin a mediation process, for a fee of only $25. When a complaint is filed, the matter is referred to a Special Master in the Court of Claims for mediation. If mediation fails, the Special Master recommends a finding to the Court, which will then issue a binding result, can be appealed by either side. The appeal will go to the appellate court where the dispute occurred. SB 321 also enables an individual to collect attorney fees if the Court determines that the government body acted in bad faith when denying the records request. Under existing law, the process to appeal records request denials involved expensive and lengthy litigation. For more information check out the Ohio Legislative Service Commission’s Fiscal Note and Bill Analysis.