PRIVACYLEGISLATION FOR THE STATE OF OHIO
149.43 Availability of public records; mandamus action
(A) As used in this section:
“Public record means any record that is kept by any public office, including, but not limited to state, county, city, village, township, and school district units, except medical records, records pertaining to adoption, probation, and parole proceedings, records pertaining to actions under section 2151.85 of the Revised Code and to appeals of actions arising under that section, records listed in division (A) of section 3107.42 of the Revised Code, trial preparation records, confidential law enforcement investigatory records, records containing information that is confidential under section 4112.05 of the Revised Code DNA Records stored in the DNA database pursuant to section 109.573 of the Revised Code, and records the release of which is prohibited by state or federal law.
“Confidential law enforcement investigatory record” means any record that pertains to a law enforcement matter of a criminal, quasi-criminal, civil or administrative nature, but only to the extent that the release of the record would create a high probability of disclosure of any of the following:
The identity of suspect who has not been charged with the offense to which the record pertains, or of an information source or witness to whom confidentiality has been reasonably promised;
Information provided by an information source or witness to whom confidentiality has been reasonably promised, which information would reasonably tend to disclose the source’s or witness’s identity.
Specific confidential investigatory techniques or procedures or specific investigatory work product;
Information that would endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel, a crime victim, a witness, or a confidential information source.
“Medical record” means any document or combination of documents, except births, deaths, and the fact of admission to or discharge from a hospital, that pertains to the medical history, diagnosis, prognosis, or medical condition of a patient and that is generated and maintained in the process of medical treatment.
“Trial preparation record” means any record that contains information that is specifically compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or in defense of, a civil or criminal action or proceeding, including the independent thought processes and personal trial preparation of an attorney.
All public records shall be promptly prepared and made available for inspection to any person at all reasonable times during regular business hours. Upon request, a person responsible for public records shall make copies available at cost, within a reasonable period of time. In order to facilitate broader access to public records, governmental units shall maintain public records in a manner that they can be made available for inspection in accordance with this division.
If a person allegedly is aggrieved by the failure of a governmental unit to promptly prepare a public record and to make it available to the person for inspection in accordance with division (B) of this section, or if a person who has requested a copy of a public record allegedly is aggrieved by the failure of a person responsible for it to make a copy available to the person in accordance with division (B) of this section, the person allegedly aggrieved may commence a mandamus action to obtain a judgment that orders the governmental unit or the person responsible for the public record to comply with division (B) of this section and that awards reasonable attorney’s fees to the person that instituted the mandamus action. The mandamus action may be commenced in the court of common pleas of the county in which division (B) of this section allegedly was not complied with, in the supreme court pursuant to its original jurisdiction under Section 2 of Article IV, Ohio Constitution, or in the court of appeals for the appellate district in which division (B) of this section allegedly was not complied with pursuant to its original jurisdiction under Section 3 of Article IV, Ohio Constitution.
chapter 1347, of the Revised Code does not limit the provisions of this section (1995 H 5, eff. 8-30-95; 1993 H 152, eff. 7-1-93; 1987 S 275; 1985 H 319, H 238; 1984 H 84; 1979 S 62; 130 v H 187)