Ohio Public Records Request is Valid

[LFC Comments: Congratulations to Rosanna Miller for filing with the Court of Claims and winning her case against the Ohio Department of Health.]

The Ohio Public Records Act (PRA) requires copies of public records to be made
available to any person upon request. The state policy underlying the PRA is that open government serves the public interest and our democratic system. To that end, the public records statute must be construed liberally in favor of broad access, with any doubt resolved in favor of disclosure of public records.

State ex rei. Rogers v. Dept. of Rehab. & Corr., 155 Ohio St.3d 545, 2018-0hio-5111, 122 N.E.3d 1208, 1J 6.

This action is filed under R.C. 2743.75, which provides an expeditious and
economical procedure to enforce the PRA in the Court of Claims. Requester Rosanna Miller alleges that respondent Ohio Department of Health, Vital Statistics, violated the PRA [Public Records Act] by failing to provide her with access to public data from Ohio death certificates concerning Covid-19 death.

Ohio Sunshine Law expert Brian Ames’ comments: What Rosanna Miller is requesting is an extraction of data from a database. This is part of the design function of a database. All that would be required is to query the database for the fields requested. She did not request that any additional fields be created, only that the data in existing fields be produced. The special master  (Court of Claims) made the right call.

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Categories: Community Activism

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