Jail house “lawyer” wins $1,000 from State in Public Records case

The Ohio Supreme Court today issued its decision in State ex rel. Carr. v. London Corr. Inst.  There, an inmate had sought under Ohio Public Records Law a copy of a single document, a memo from the prison Chaplain to the mail room staff “listing ministries that regularly send religious material to inmates.”

The records request was quite specific: it “identified the author and recipient and specified a two-month time frame during which the memorandum was sent.”

Despite this specificity, the prison’s response was a rote rejection, stating that the request was overbroad and burdensome.  Amazingly, in this opinion, the 12th District Court of Appeals sided with the prison.

The Ohio Supreme Court today overturned that decision in this 6-1 opinion, with only Justice Lanzinger adopting the reasoning of the 12th Circuit.

The well-written Dispatch article on the case is here.

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