Public Record Requests

Public Records Policy

Public records are defined as including: any document – paper, electronic, or other format – that is created or received by, or comes under the jurisdiction of a public office that documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office.

Department Record Keepers will prepare and make available for inspection and/or copying “public records,” as defined in ORC 149.011 and 149.43, upon the request of any member of the general public during regular business hours, with the exception of published holidays. Public records shall be organized and maintained in a manner where they can be made available for inspection and/or copying in accordance with public records law.

Public records shall be made available for inspection and/or copied within a “reasonable period of time.” “Reasonable” takes into account the volume of records requested, the proximity of the location where records are stored, and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.

Requests for public records may be written or oral. If a public records request is made orally and cannot be immediately fulfilled, then the person receiving the request will write down the request on a Request Form. A Request Form need not be completed for standard and customary requests that are fulfilled at the time of the request. Standard and customary oral requests are requests for a specific, readily accessible record which can be immediately fulfilled.

It is the policy of the City that all public requests be responded to, as appropriate, in a reasonable amount of time given the nature of the request and the circumstances of the request. 

If a Requestor makes an ambiguous or overly broad request or has difficulty in making a request for copies or inspection of public records such that the employee taking the request or the person responsible for the requested public record cannot reasonably identify what public records are being requested, the employee or the person responsible for the requested public record may deny the request but shall provide the Requestor with an opportunity to revise the request by informing the Requestor of the manner in which records are maintained by the public office and accessed in the ordinary course of the public office’s or person’s duties.

The Ohio Revised Code 149.43 provides a legal means for addressing complaints in these disputes.