The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio General Assembly has passed legislation intended to streamline fights with government over public record requests. The law applies to all levels and types of government in Ohio. The article reports:
“On Sept. 28, the Ohio Court of Claims will begin accepting complaints on the refusal to release records by government at all levels, from townships to the state. The law *** will send complaints to a mediator who will work with citizens and government officials in an attempt to reach a resolution. If no agreement is reached, a special master will rule within seven days whether government was legally correct in denying a records request or broke the law and must hand over the records. *** The appeals process requires but a complaint form, a $25 filing fee and accompanying copies of the records requests and government denials.”
Public record requests area great way to gather information before suing a governmental entity. This new law should help make it easier to obtain such information.