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Public Offices Have No Duty to Create Public Records

In the case of State ex rel. Barr v. Wesson, Slip Opinion No. 2023-Ohio-3080, the Ohio Supreme Court held that the warden’s assistant did not have to create a public record when the warden’s assistant did not respond to the inmate’s request for specific public records and later claimed that such records did not exist and were not maintained by the prison.

In this case, the inmate argued that a public record had to be created because the warden’s assistant told the inmate that the warden’s assistant would provide an answer to the public record request but then failed to. In response, the warden’s assistant argued that the record that was requested did not exist, and the warden’s assistant was under no obligation to create such a record. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed with the warden’s assistant.

In support of its decision in favor of the warden’s assistant, the Ohio Supreme Court explained that the warden’s assistant had no obligation to create the record that was requested if it did not already exist.

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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