Cincinnati Open Meetings Litigation: Finney Law Firm Files Opposition to City’s Discovery Motion

Finney Law Firm represents Mark Miller in two lawsuits against Cincinnati City Councilmembers Dennard, Landsman, Seelbach, Sittenfeld, and Young. The first involving violations of Ohio’s Open Meetings Act; the second involving violations of Ohio’s Public Records Act. Read about recent filings in the Public Records Act case here.

In the Open Meetings case – before Judge Ruehlman of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas – the Councilmembers recently filed a motion to limit and prevent discovery and publication of any documents produced in discovery. Today we filed our memorandum in opposition to that motion.

The Councilmembers ask the Court to prevent discovery because they claim some of the emails and text messages may contain information embarrassing to themselves or third parties. We point out to the Court that those third parties can easily be invited to state for themselves whether they want the materials released to the public; and that the law requires more than simply reciting the words “risk of embarrassment” before the Court can limit discovery.

Ohio’s Courts, like every other public body, are to be open to the public. By attempting to prevent public access to information produced in discovery, the Councilmembers ask the Court to facilitate their violations of the Open Meetings Act.

The Court has scheduled oral argument for this motion on August 16 at 11 a.m. in Room 300 of the Hamilton County Courthouse.

The Councilmember’s motion can be read here.

Our memorandum in opposition can be read here and below.

[scribd id=383738790 key=key-1gnTG4Ik6Opw29XE8e3I mode=scroll]