June 18, 2015
In the continuation of our objective to ease public understanding of basic legal concepts, we today provide this quick tip on Ohio Public Records Law.
The most common mistake we find that citizen activists make in public records requests is to ask questions; to ask that public bodies provide information.
Ohio law gives no obligation to public officials to answer questions of members of the public, or to in a general sense provide “information.” Rather, Ohio’s public records law requires that public officials provide “public records,” which are either (i) existing documents or (ii) reports of data from existing public databases.
So, when crafting your request to a public body, be sure to ask for records, not answers to questions.