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Two Months May Be a Reasonable Time Period to Respond To Voluminous Public Record Requests

In the case of Easton Telecom Servs., L.L.C. v. Woodmere, 2019-Ohio-3282, an Ohio appellate court held that a two month period was not an unreasonable amount of time for a public office to respond to voluminous public record requests.

In this case, a telecommunications company made a public records request seeking over a thousand pages of documents from several different departments of a village. The village took over two months to fully compile, redact, and produce digital copies of the records for the company. The company initiated legal action against the village seeking statutory damages and attorney fees as a result of the village’s delay in complying with the public records request.

The Ohio appellate court found that R.C. 149.43 does not set a timeline to respond to public records requests but, rather, only requires a response within a reasonable time. The appellate court further found that a “reasonable time” will vary depending on the facts and circumstances of each request and, in this case, two months was reasonable given the size of the request.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always changing like the Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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