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Incorporated Exhibits Become a Part of a Public Record

In the case of State ex rel. Ames v. Portage Cty. Bd. of Commrs., Slip Opinion No. 2023-Ohio-3382, the Ohio Supreme Court held that the city’s failure to attach an exhibit that was incorporated into a public record by the language of the public record constituted a violation of R.C. 149.43(B)(2).

In this case, the relator argued that the city failed to attach the exhibit with the public records that were requested and that this failure entitled the relator to statutory damages. In response, city argued that the relator did not request the exhibit after the exhibit was erroneously not included, but instead the relator moved directly to a writ of mandamus. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed with the relator.

In support of its decision in favor of the relator, the Ohio Supreme Court explained that an exhibit can become a part of the public record when it is incorporated into the public record by the language of the public record. The Ohio Supreme Court further explained that the failure to produce the record was a violation of R.C. 149.43(B)(2), but remanded the matter back to the appellate court to determine if the relator is entitled to statutory damages.

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 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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