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Ohio FOIA procedures
Each state varies slightly in the procedures used to gain access to public documents. This article serves to describe specifically the steps used in Ohio. To read the history and details of Ohio’s sunshine laws please see Ohio Open Records Law
How to request public records in Ohio
It is important to note that all government divisions are required to adopt a public records policy and nominate a keeper of the records. They are also required to give a copy of their public records policy to their particular custodian and he or she must sign that they have received it. Further the law requires that "The public office shall create a poster that describes its public records policy and shall post the poster in a conspicuous place in the public office and in all locations where the public office has branch offices" Records requests should be directed at the official records custodian for the department in possession of the desired records.
Purpose and use
Nothing in the Ohio law requires a statement of purpose. In fact records requests need not even be submitted in writing and can be made anonymously. According to statute, there are no restrictions to the use of records nor can intended use play a role in denying a request.
Who may request public records?
- See also: How much do public records cost?
Ohio law allows for individuals to choose the method and medium in which they would like to receive their requested record. The department can charge fees to cover the cost of producing the record based on their request. Ohio law does not elaborate on whether or not fees may be charged for the labor of searching for and compiling documents.
- See also: Request response times by state
The Ohio law does not specify a time limit on open records request.
- Ohio Revised Code Chapter 149.43, Public Records
- Open Government Guide to Ohio
- Ohio Open Records Act, Buckeye Institute
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