130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 113  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
H. B. No. 113


Representative Lundy 

Cosponsors: Representatives Hagan, Gentile, Goyal, Williams, Szollosi, Clyde, Okey, Phillips, O'Brien, Murray, DeGeeter, Ramos, Foley, Driehaus, Pillich, Budish, Antonio, Yuko, Patmon, Milkovich, Gerberry, Stinziano, Letson, Boyd, Fende, Slesnick, Ashford, Celeste, Fedor, Garland, Mallory, Sykes 



A BILL
To amend sections 121.22 and 149.43 of the Revised Code to enact "The Taxpayer's Right to Know Act," specifying that records of public-private partnerships that perform or assist with state functions are public records, and that such entities must conduct official business in open meetings.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 121.22 and 149.43 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 121.22.  (A) This section shall be liberally construed to require public officials to take official action and to conduct all deliberations upon official business only in open meetings unless the subject matter is specifically excepted by law.
(B) As used in this section:
(1) "Public body" means any of the following:
(a) Any board, commission, committee, council, or similar decision-making body of a state agency, institution, or authority, and any legislative authority or board, commission, committee, council, agency, authority, or similar decision-making body of any county, township, municipal corporation, school district, or other political subdivision or local public institution;
(b) Any committee or subcommittee of a body described in division (B)(1)(a) of this section;
(c) A court of jurisdiction of a sanitary district organized wholly for the purpose of providing a water supply for domestic, municipal, and public use when meeting for the purpose of the appointment, removal, or reappointment of a member of the board of directors of such a district pursuant to section 6115.10 of the Revised Code, if applicable, or for any other matter related to such a district other than litigation involving the district. As used in division (B)(1)(c) of this section, "court of jurisdiction" has the same meaning as "court" in section 6115.01 of the Revised Code.
(2) "Meeting" means any prearranged discussion of the public business of the public body by a majority of its members.
(3) "Regulated individual" means either of the following:
(a) A student in a state or local public educational institution;
(b) A person who is, voluntarily or involuntarily, an inmate, patient, or resident of a state or local institution because of criminal behavior, mental illness or retardation, disease, disability, age, or other condition requiring custodial care.
(4) "Public office" has the same meaning as in section 149.011 of the Revised Code.
(C) All meetings of any public body are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times. A member of a public body shall be present in person at a meeting open to the public to be considered present or to vote at the meeting and for purposes of determining whether a quorum is present at the meeting.
The minutes of a regular or special meeting of any public body shall be promptly prepared, filed, and maintained and shall be open to public inspection. The minutes need only reflect the general subject matter of discussions in executive sessions authorized under division (G) or (J) of this section.
(D) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) A grand jury;
(2) An audit conference conducted by the auditor of state or independent certified public accountants with officials of the public office that is the subject of the audit;
(3) The adult parole authority when its hearings are conducted at a correctional institution for the sole purpose of interviewing inmates to determine parole or pardon;
(4) The organized crime investigations commission established under section 177.01 of the Revised Code;
(5) Meetings of a child fatality review board established under section 307.621 of the Revised Code and meetings conducted pursuant to sections 5153.171 to 5153.173 of the Revised Code;
(6) The state medical board when determining whether to suspend a certificate without a prior hearing pursuant to division (G) of either section 4730.25 or 4731.22 of the Revised Code;
(7) The board of nursing when determining whether to suspend a license or certificate without a prior hearing pursuant to division (B) of section 4723.281 of the Revised Code;
(8) The state board of pharmacy when determining whether to suspend a license without a prior hearing pursuant to division (D) of section 4729.16 of the Revised Code;
(9) The state chiropractic board when determining whether to suspend a license without a hearing pursuant to section 4734.37 of the Revised Code.
(10) The executive committee of the emergency response commission when determining whether to issue an enforcement order or request that a civil action, civil penalty action, or criminal action be brought to enforce Chapter 3750. of the Revised Code.
(E) The controlling board, the development financing advisory council, the industrial technology and enterprise advisory council, the tax credit authority, or the minority development financing advisory board, when meeting to consider granting assistance pursuant to Chapter 122. or 166. of the Revised Code, in order to protect the interest of the applicant or the possible investment of public funds, by unanimous vote of all board, council, or authority members present, may close the meeting during consideration of the following information confidentially received by the authority, council, or board from the applicant:
(1) Marketing plans;
(2) Specific business strategy;
(3) Production techniques and trade secrets;
(4) Financial projections;
(5) Personal financial statements of the applicant or members of the applicant's immediate family, including, but not limited to, tax records or other similar information not open to public inspection.
The vote by the authority, council, or board to accept or reject the application, as well as all proceedings of the authority, council, or board not subject to this division, shall be open to the public and governed by this section.
(F) Every public body, by rule, shall establish a reasonable method whereby any person may determine the time and place of all regularly scheduled meetings and the time, place, and purpose of all special meetings. A public body shall not hold a special meeting unless it gives at least twenty-four hours' advance notice to the news media that have requested notification, except in the event of an emergency requiring immediate official action. In the event of an emergency, the member or members calling the meeting shall notify the news media that have requested notification immediately of the time, place, and purpose of the meeting.
The rule shall provide that any person, upon request and payment of a reasonable fee, may obtain reasonable advance notification of all meetings at which any specific type of public business is to be discussed. Provisions for advance notification may include, but are not limited to, mailing the agenda of meetings to all subscribers on a mailing list or mailing notices in self-addressed, stamped envelopes provided by the person.
(G) Except as provided in division (J) of this section, the members of a public body may hold an executive session only after a majority of a quorum of the public body determines, by a roll call vote, to hold an executive session and only at a regular or special meeting for the sole purpose of the consideration of any of the following matters:
(1) To consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual, unless the public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual requests a public hearing. Except as otherwise provided by law, no public body shall hold an executive session for the discipline of an elected official for conduct related to the performance of the elected official's official duties or for the elected official's removal from office. If a public body holds an executive session pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section, the motion and vote to hold that executive session shall state which one or more of the approved purposes listed in division (G)(1) of this section are the purposes for which the executive session is to be held, but need not include the name of any person to be considered at the meeting.
(2) To consider the purchase of property for public purposes, or for the sale of property at competitive bidding, if premature disclosure of information would give an unfair competitive or bargaining advantage to a person whose personal, private interest is adverse to the general public interest. No member of a public body shall use division (G)(2) of this section as a subterfuge for providing covert information to prospective buyers or sellers. A purchase or sale of public property is void if the seller or buyer of the public property has received covert information from a member of a public body that has not been disclosed to the general public in sufficient time for other prospective buyers and sellers to prepare and submit offers.
If the minutes of the public body show that all meetings and deliberations of the public body have been conducted in compliance with this section, any instrument executed by the public body purporting to convey, lease, or otherwise dispose of any right, title, or interest in any public property shall be conclusively presumed to have been executed in compliance with this section insofar as title or other interest of any bona fide purchasers, lessees, or transferees of the property is concerned.
(3) Conferences with an attorney for the public body concerning disputes involving the public body that are the subject of pending or imminent court action;
(4) Preparing for, conducting, or reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and conditions of their employment;
(5) Matters required to be kept confidential by federal law or regulations or state statutes;
(6) Details relative to the security arrangements and emergency response protocols for a public body or a public office, if disclosure of the matters discussed could reasonably be expected to jeopardize the security of the public body or public office;
(7) In the case of a county hospital operated pursuant to Chapter 339. of the Revised Code, a joint township hospital operated pursuant to Chapter 513. of the Revised Code, or a municipal hospital operated pursuant to Chapter 749. of the Revised Code, to consider trade secrets, as defined in section 1333.61 of the Revised Code.
If a public body holds an executive session to consider any of the matters listed in divisions (G)(2) to (7) of this section, the motion and vote to hold that executive session shall state which one or more of the approved matters listed in those divisions are to be considered at the executive session.
A public body specified in division (B)(1)(c) of this section shall not hold an executive session when meeting for the purposes specified in that division.
(H) A resolution, rule, or formal action of any kind is invalid unless adopted in an open meeting of the public body. A resolution, rule, or formal action adopted in an open meeting that results from deliberations in a meeting not open to the public is invalid unless the deliberations were for a purpose specifically authorized in division (G) or (J) of this section and conducted at an executive session held in compliance with this section. A resolution, rule, or formal action adopted in an open meeting is invalid if the public body that adopted the resolution, rule, or formal action violated division (F) of this section.
(I)(1) Any person may bring an action to enforce this section. An action under division (I)(1) of this section shall be brought within two years after the date of the alleged violation or threatened violation. Upon proof of a violation or threatened violation of this section in an action brought by any person, the court of common pleas shall issue an injunction to compel the members of the public body to comply with its provisions.
(2)(a) If the court of common pleas issues an injunction pursuant to division (I)(1) of this section, the court shall order the public body that it enjoins to pay a civil forfeiture of five hundred dollars to the party that sought the injunction and shall award to that party all court costs and, subject to reduction as described in division (I)(2) of this section, reasonable attorney's fees. The court, in its discretion, may reduce an award of attorney's fees to the party that sought the injunction or not award attorney's fees to that party if the court determines both of the following:
(i) That, based on the ordinary application of statutory law and case law as it existed at the time of violation or threatened violation that was the basis of the injunction, a well-informed public body reasonably would believe that the public body was not violating or threatening to violate this section;
(ii) That a well-informed public body reasonably would believe that the conduct or threatened conduct that was the basis of the injunction would serve the public policy that underlies the authority that is asserted as permitting that conduct or threatened conduct.
(b) If the court of common pleas does not issue an injunction pursuant to division (I)(1) of this section and the court determines at that time that the bringing of the action was frivolous conduct, as defined in division (A) of section 2323.51 of the Revised Code, the court shall award to the public body all court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, as determined by the court.
(3) Irreparable harm and prejudice to the party that sought the injunction shall be conclusively and irrebuttably presumed upon proof of a violation or threatened violation of this section.
(4) A member of a public body who knowingly violates an injunction issued pursuant to division (I)(1) of this section may be removed from office by an action brought in the court of common pleas for that purpose by the prosecuting attorney or the attorney general.
(J)(1) Pursuant to division (C) of section 5901.09 of the Revised Code, a veterans service commission shall hold an executive session for one or more of the following purposes unless an applicant requests a public hearing:
(a) Interviewing an applicant for financial assistance under sections 5901.01 to 5901.15 of the Revised Code;
(b) Discussing applications, statements, and other documents described in division (B) of section 5901.09 of the Revised Code;
(c) Reviewing matters relating to an applicant's request for financial assistance under sections 5901.01 to 5901.15 of the Revised Code.
(2) A veterans service commission shall not exclude an applicant for, recipient of, or former recipient of financial assistance under sections 5901.01 to 5901.15 of the Revised Code, and shall not exclude representatives selected by the applicant, recipient, or former recipient, from a meeting that the commission conducts as an executive session that pertains to the applicant's, recipient's, or former recipient's application for financial assistance.
(3) A veterans service commission shall vote on the grant or denial of financial assistance under sections 5901.01 to 5901.15 of the Revised Code only in an open meeting of the commission. The minutes of the meeting shall indicate the name, address, and occupation of the applicant, whether the assistance was granted or denied, the amount of the assistance if assistance is granted, and the votes for and against the granting of assistance.
(K) The meetings of the governing board of a corporation or other person that enters into a public-private partnership, as defined in division (G) of section 149.43 of the Revised Code, are public meetings subject to the requirements of this section, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary that may specifically apply to such a governing board.
Sec. 149.43.  (A) As used in this section:
(1) "Public record" means records kept by any public office, including, but not limited to, state, county, city, village, township, and school district units, and records pertaining to the delivery of educational services by an alternative school in this state kept by the nonprofit or for-profit entity operating the alternative school pursuant to section 3313.533 of the Revised Code. "Public record" does not mean any of the following:
(a) Medical records;
(b) Records pertaining to probation and parole proceedings or to proceedings related to the imposition of community control sanctions and post-release control sanctions;
(c) Records pertaining to actions under section 2151.85 and division (C) of section 2919.121 of the Revised Code and to appeals of actions arising under those sections;
(d) Records pertaining to adoption proceedings, including the contents of an adoption file maintained by the department of health under section 3705.12 of the Revised Code;
(e) Information in a record contained in the putative father registry established by section 3107.062 of the Revised Code, regardless of whether the information is held by the department of job and family services or, pursuant to section 3111.69 of the Revised Code, the office of child support in the department or a child support enforcement agency;
(f) Records listed in division (A) of section 3107.42 of the Revised Code or specified in division (A) of section 3107.52 of the Revised Code;
(g) Trial preparation records;
(h) Confidential law enforcement investigatory records;
(i) Records containing information that is confidential under section 2710.03 or 4112.05 of the Revised Code;
(j) DNA records stored in the DNA database pursuant to section 109.573 of the Revised Code;
(k) Inmate records released by the department of rehabilitation and correction to the department of youth services or a court of record pursuant to division (E) of section 5120.21 of the Revised Code;
(l) Records maintained by the department of youth services pertaining to children in its custody released by the department of youth services to the department of rehabilitation and correction pursuant to section 5139.05 of the Revised Code;
(m) Intellectual property records;
(n) Donor profile records;
(o) Records maintained by the department of job and family services pursuant to section 3121.894 of the Revised Code;
(p) Peace officer, parole officer, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation residential and familial information;
(q) In the case of a county hospital operated pursuant to Chapter 339. of the Revised Code or a municipal hospital operated pursuant to Chapter 749. of the Revised Code, information that constitutes a trade secret, as defined in section 1333.61 of the Revised Code;
(r) Information pertaining to the recreational activities of a person under the age of eighteen;
(s) Records provided to, statements made by review board members during meetings of, and all work products of a child fatality review board acting under sections 307.621 to 307.629 of the Revised Code, and child fatality review data submitted by the child fatality review board to the department of health or a national child death review database, other than the report prepared pursuant to division (A) of section 307.626 of the Revised Code;
(t) Records provided to and statements made by the executive director of a public children services agency or a prosecuting attorney acting pursuant to section 5153.171 of the Revised Code other than the information released under that section;
(u) Test materials, examinations, or evaluation tools used in an examination for licensure as a nursing home administrator that the board of examiners of nursing home administrators administers under section 4751.04 of the Revised Code or contracts under that section with a private or government entity to administer;
(v) Records the release of which is prohibited by state or federal law;
(w) Proprietary information of or relating to any person that is submitted to or compiled by the Ohio venture capital authority created under section 150.01 of the Revised Code;
(x) Information reported and evaluations conducted pursuant to section 3701.072 of the Revised Code;
(y) Financial statements and data any person submits for any purpose to the Ohio housing finance agency or the controlling board in connection with applying for, receiving, or accounting for financial assistance from the agency, and information that identifies any individual who benefits directly or indirectly from financial assistance from the agency;
(z) Records listed in section 5101.29 of the Revised Code.
(aa) Discharges recorded with a county recorder under section 317.24 of the Revised Code, as specified in division (B)(2) of that section.
(2) "Confidential law enforcement investigatory record" means any record that pertains to a law enforcement matter of a criminal, quasi-criminal, civil, or administrative nature, but only to the extent that the release of the record would create a high probability of disclosure of any of the following:
(a) The identity of a suspect who has not been charged with the offense to which the record pertains, or of an information source or witness to whom confidentiality has been reasonably promised;
(b) Information provided by an information source or witness to whom confidentiality has been reasonably promised, which information would reasonably tend to disclose the source's or witness's identity;
(c) Specific confidential investigatory techniques or procedures or specific investigatory work product;
(d) Information that would endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel, a crime victim, a witness, or a confidential information source.
(3) "Medical record" means any document or combination of documents, except births, deaths, and the fact of admission to or discharge from a hospital, that pertains to the medical history, diagnosis, prognosis, or medical condition of a patient and that is generated and maintained in the process of medical treatment.
(4) "Trial preparation record" means any record that contains information that is specifically compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or in defense of, a civil or criminal action or proceeding, including the independent thought processes and personal trial preparation of an attorney.
(5) "Intellectual property record" means a record, other than a financial or administrative record, that is produced or collected by or for faculty or staff of a state institution of higher learning in the conduct of or as a result of study or research on an educational, commercial, scientific, artistic, technical, or scholarly issue, regardless of whether the study or research was sponsored by the institution alone or in conjunction with a governmental body or private concern, and that has not been publicly released, published, or patented.
(6) "Donor profile record" means all records about donors or potential donors to a public institution of higher education except the names and reported addresses of the actual donors and the date, amount, and conditions of the actual donation.
(7) "Peace officer, parole officer, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation residential and familial information" means any information that discloses any of the following about a peace officer, parole officer, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation:
(a) The address of the actual personal residence of a peace officer, parole officer, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or an investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation, except for the state or political subdivision in which the peace officer, parole officer, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation resides;
(b) Information compiled from referral to or participation in an employee assistance program;
(c) The social security number, the residential telephone number, any bank account, debit card, charge card, or credit card number, or the emergency telephone number of, or any medical information pertaining to, a peace officer, parole officer, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation;
(d) The name of any beneficiary of employment benefits, including, but not limited to, life insurance benefits, provided to a peace officer, parole officer, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation by the peace officer's, parole officer's, prosecuting attorney's, assistant prosecuting attorney's, correctional employee's, youth services employee's, firefighter's, EMT's, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation's employer;
(e) The identity and amount of any charitable or employment benefit deduction made by the peace officer's, parole officer's, prosecuting attorney's, assistant prosecuting attorney's, correctional employee's, youth services employee's, firefighter's, EMT's, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation's employer from the peace officer's, parole officer's, prosecuting attorney's, assistant prosecuting attorney's, correctional employee's, youth services employee's, firefighter's, EMT's, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation's compensation unless the amount of the deduction is required by state or federal law;
(f) The name, the residential address, the name of the employer, the address of the employer, the social security number, the residential telephone number, any bank account, debit card, charge card, or credit card number, or the emergency telephone number of the spouse, a former spouse, or any child of a peace officer, parole officer, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation;
(g) A photograph of a peace officer who holds a position or has an assignment that may include undercover or plain clothes positions or assignments as determined by the peace officer's appointing authority.
As used in divisions (A)(7) and (B)(9) of this section, "peace officer" has the same meaning as in section 109.71 of the Revised Code and also includes the superintendent and troopers of the state highway patrol; it does not include the sheriff of a county or a supervisory employee who, in the absence of the sheriff, is authorized to stand in for, exercise the authority of, and perform the duties of the sheriff.
As used in divisions (A)(7) and (B)(5) of this section, "correctional employee" means any employee of the department of rehabilitation and correction who in the course of performing the employee's job duties has or has had contact with inmates and persons under supervision.
As used in divisions (A)(7) and (B)(5) of this section, "youth services employee" means any employee of the department of youth services who in the course of performing the employee's job duties has or has had contact with children committed to the custody of the department of youth services.
As used in divisions (A)(7) and (B)(9) of this section, "firefighter" means any regular, paid or volunteer, member of a lawfully constituted fire department of a municipal corporation, township, fire district, or village.
As used in divisions (A)(7) and (B)(9) of this section, "EMT" means EMTs-basic, EMTs-I, and paramedics that provide emergency medical services for a public emergency medical service organization. "Emergency medical service organization," "EMT-basic," "EMT-I," and "paramedic" have the same meanings as in section 4765.01 of the Revised Code.
As used in divisions (A)(7) and (B)(9) of this section, "investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation" has the meaning defined in section 2903.11 of the Revised Code.
(8) "Information pertaining to the recreational activities of a person under the age of eighteen" means information that is kept in the ordinary course of business by a public office, that pertains to the recreational activities of a person under the age of eighteen years, and that discloses any of the following:
(a) The address or telephone number of a person under the age of eighteen or the address or telephone number of that person's parent, guardian, custodian, or emergency contact person;
(b) The social security number, birth date, or photographic image of a person under the age of eighteen;
(c) Any medical record, history, or information pertaining to a person under the age of eighteen;
(d) Any additional information sought or required about a person under the age of eighteen for the purpose of allowing that person to participate in any recreational activity conducted or sponsored by a public office or to use or obtain admission privileges to any recreational facility owned or operated by a public office.
(9) "Community control sanction" has the same meaning as in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.
(10) "Post-release control sanction" has the same meaning as in section 2967.01 of the Revised Code.
(11) "Redaction" means obscuring or deleting any information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or copying from an item that otherwise meets the definition of a "record" in section 149.011 of the Revised Code.
(12) "Designee" and "elected official" have the same meanings as in section 109.43 of the Revised Code.
(B)(1) Upon request and subject to division (B)(8) of this section, all public records responsive to the request shall be promptly prepared and made available for inspection to any person at all reasonable times during regular business hours. Subject to division (B)(8) of this section, upon request, a public office or person responsible for public records shall make copies of the requested public record available at cost and within a reasonable period of time. If a public record contains information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or to copy the public record, the public office or the person responsible for the public record shall make available all of the information within the public record that is not exempt. When making that public record available for public inspection or copying that public record, the public office or the person responsible for the public record shall notify the requester of any redaction or make the redaction plainly visible. A redaction shall be deemed a denial of a request to inspect or copy the redacted information, except if federal or state law authorizes or requires a public office to make the redaction.
(2) To facilitate broader access to public records, a public office or the person responsible for public records shall organize and maintain public records in a manner that they can be made available for inspection or copying in accordance with division (B) of this section. A public office also shall have available a copy of its current records retention schedule at a location readily available to the public. If a requester makes an ambiguous or overly broad request or has difficulty in making a request for copies or inspection of public records under this section such that the public office or the person responsible for the requested public record cannot reasonably identify what public records are being requested, the public office or the person responsible for the requested public record may deny the request but shall provide the requester with an opportunity to revise the request by informing the requester of the manner in which records are maintained by the public office and accessed in the ordinary course of the public office's or person's duties.
(3) If a request is ultimately denied, in part or in whole, the public office or the person responsible for the requested public record shall provide the requester with an explanation, including legal authority, setting forth why the request was denied. If the initial request was provided in writing, the explanation also shall be provided to the requester in writing. The explanation shall not preclude the public office or the person responsible for the requested public record from relying upon additional reasons or legal authority in defending an action commenced under division (C) of this section.
(4) Unless specifically required or authorized by state or federal law or in accordance with division (B) of this section, no public office or person responsible for public records may limit or condition the availability of public records by requiring disclosure of the requester's identity or the intended use of the requested public record. Any requirement that the requester disclose the requestor's identity or the intended use of the requested public record constitutes a denial of the request.
(5) A public office or person responsible for public records may ask a requester to make the request in writing, may ask for the requester's identity, and may inquire about the intended use of the information requested, but may do so only after disclosing to the requester that a written request is not mandatory and that the requester may decline to reveal the requester's identity or the intended use and when a written request or disclosure of the identity or intended use would benefit the requester by enhancing the ability of the public office or person responsible for public records to identify, locate, or deliver the public records sought by the requester.
(6) If any person chooses to obtain a copy of a public record in accordance with division (B) of this section, the public office or person responsible for the public record may require that person to pay in advance the cost involved in providing the copy of the public record in accordance with the choice made by the person seeking the copy under this division. The public office or the person responsible for the public record shall permit that person to choose to have the public record duplicated upon paper, upon the same medium upon which the public office or person responsible for the public record keeps it, or upon any other medium upon which the public office or person responsible for the public record determines that it reasonably can be duplicated as an integral part of the normal operations of the public office or person responsible for the public record. When the person seeking the copy makes a choice under this division, the public office or person responsible for the public record shall provide a copy of it in accordance with the choice made by the person seeking the copy. Nothing in this section requires a public office or person responsible for the public record to allow the person seeking a copy of the public record to make the copies of the public record.
(7) Upon a request made in accordance with division (B) of this section and subject to division (B)(6) of this section, a public office or person responsible for public records shall transmit a copy of a public record to any person by United States mail or by any other means of delivery or transmission within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request for the copy. The public office or person responsible for the public record may require the person making the request to pay in advance the cost of postage if the copy is transmitted by United States mail or the cost of delivery if the copy is transmitted other than by United States mail, and to pay in advance the costs incurred for other supplies used in the mailing, delivery, or transmission.
Any public office may adopt a policy and procedures that it will follow in transmitting, within a reasonable period of time after receiving a request, copies of public records by United States mail or by any other means of delivery or transmission pursuant to this division. A public office that adopts a policy and procedures under this division shall comply with them in performing its duties under this division.
In any policy and procedures adopted under this division, a public office may limit the number of records requested by a person that the office will transmit by United States mail to ten per month, unless the person certifies to the office in writing that the person does not intend to use or forward the requested records, or the information contained in them, for commercial purposes. For purposes of this division, "commercial" shall be narrowly construed and does not include reporting or gathering news, reporting or gathering information to assist citizen oversight or understanding of the operation or activities of government, or nonprofit educational research.
(8) A public office or person responsible for public records is not required to permit a person who is incarcerated pursuant to a criminal conviction or a juvenile adjudication to inspect or to obtain a copy of any public record concerning a criminal investigation or prosecution or concerning what would be a criminal investigation or prosecution if the subject of the investigation or prosecution were an adult, unless the request to inspect or to obtain a copy of the record is for the purpose of acquiring information that is subject to release as a public record under this section and the judge who imposed the sentence or made the adjudication with respect to the person, or the judge's successor in office, finds that the information sought in the public record is necessary to support what appears to be a justiciable claim of the person.
(9) Upon written request made and signed by a journalist on or after December 16, 1999, a public office, or person responsible for public records, having custody of the records of the agency employing a specified peace officer, parole officer, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall disclose to the journalist the address of the actual personal residence of the peace officer, parole officer, prosecuting attorney, assistant prosecuting attorney, correctional employee, youth services employee, firefighter, EMT, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation and, if the peace officer's, parole officer's, prosecuting attorney's, assistant prosecuting attorney's, correctional employee's, youth services employee's, firefighter's, EMT's, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation's spouse, former spouse, or child is employed by a public office, the name and address of the employer of the peace officer's, parole officer's, prosecuting attorney's, assistant prosecuting attorney's, correctional employee's, youth services employee's, firefighter's, EMT's, or investigator of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation's spouse, former spouse, or child. The request shall include the journalist's name and title and the name and address of the journalist's employer and shall state that disclosure of the information sought would be in the public interest.
As used in this division, "journalist" means a person engaged in, connected with, or employed by any news medium, including a newspaper, magazine, press association, news agency, or wire service, a radio or television station, or a similar medium, for the purpose of gathering, processing, transmitting, compiling, editing, or disseminating information for the general public.
(C)(1) If a person allegedly is aggrieved by the failure of a public office or the person responsible for public records to promptly prepare a public record and to make it available to the person for inspection in accordance with division (B) of this section or by any other failure of a public office or the person responsible for public records to comply with an obligation in accordance with division (B) of this section, the person allegedly aggrieved may commence a mandamus action to obtain a judgment that orders the public office or the person responsible for the public record to comply with division (B) of this section, that awards court costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the person that instituted the mandamus action, and, if applicable, that includes an order fixing statutory damages under division (C)(1) of this section. The mandamus action may be commenced in the court of common pleas of the county in which division (B) of this section allegedly was not complied with, in the supreme court pursuant to its original jurisdiction under Section 2 of Article IV, Ohio Constitution, or in the court of appeals for the appellate district in which division (B) of this section allegedly was not complied with pursuant to its original jurisdiction under Section 3 of Article IV, Ohio Constitution.
If a requestor transmits a written request by hand delivery or certified mail to inspect or receive copies of any public record in a manner that fairly describes the public record or class of public records to the public office or person responsible for the requested public records, except as otherwise provided in this section, the requestor shall be entitled to recover the amount of statutory damages set forth in this division if a court determines that the public office or the person responsible for public records failed to comply with an obligation in accordance with division (B) of this section.
The amount of statutory damages shall be fixed at one hundred dollars for each business day during which the public office or person responsible for the requested public records failed to comply with an obligation in accordance with division (B) of this section, beginning with the day on which the requester files a mandamus action to recover statutory damages, up to a maximum of one thousand dollars. The award of statutory damages shall not be construed as a penalty, but as compensation for injury arising from lost use of the requested information. The existence of this injury shall be conclusively presumed. The award of statutory damages shall be in addition to all other remedies authorized by this section.
The court may reduce an award of statutory damages or not award statutory damages if the court determines both of the following:
(a) That, based on the ordinary application of statutory law and case law as it existed at the time of the conduct or threatened conduct of the public office or person responsible for the requested public records that allegedly constitutes a failure to comply with an obligation in accordance with division (B) of this section and that was the basis of the mandamus action, a well-informed public office or person responsible for the requested public records reasonably would believe that the conduct or threatened conduct of the public office or person responsible for the requested public records did not constitute a failure to comply with an obligation in accordance with division (B) of this section;
(b) That a well-informed public office or person responsible for the requested public records reasonably would believe that the conduct or threatened conduct of the public office or person responsible for the requested public records would serve the public policy that underlies the authority that is asserted as permitting that conduct or threatened conduct.
(2)(a) If the court issues a writ of mandamus that orders the public office or the person responsible for the public record to comply with division (B) of this section and determines that the circumstances described in division (C)(1) of this section exist, the court shall determine and award to the relator all court costs.
(b) If the court renders a judgment that orders the public office or the person responsible for the public record to comply with division (B) of this section, the court may award reasonable attorney's fees subject to reduction as described in division (C)(2)(c) of this section. The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, subject to reduction as described in division (C)(2)(c) of this section when either of the following applies:
(i) The public office or the person responsible for the public records failed to respond affirmatively or negatively to the public records request in accordance with the time allowed under division (B) of this section.
(ii) The public office or the person responsible for the public records promised to permit the relator to inspect or receive copies of the public records requested within a specified period of time but failed to fulfill that promise within that specified period of time.
(c) Court costs and reasonable attorney's fees awarded under this section shall be construed as remedial and not punitive. Reasonable attorney's fees shall include reasonable fees incurred to produce proof of the reasonableness and amount of the fees and to otherwise litigate entitlement to the fees. The court may reduce an award of attorney's fees to the relator or not award attorney's fees to the relator if the court determines both of the following:
(i) That, based on the ordinary application of statutory law and case law as it existed at the time of the conduct or threatened conduct of the public office or person responsible for the requested public records that allegedly constitutes a failure to comply with an obligation in accordance with division (B) of this section and that was the basis of the mandamus action, a well-informed public office or person responsible for the requested public records reasonably would believe that the conduct or threatened conduct of the public office or person responsible for the requested public records did not constitute a failure to comply with an obligation in accordance with division (B) of this section;
(ii) That a well-informed public office or person responsible for the requested public records reasonably would believe that the conduct or threatened conduct of the public office or person responsible for the requested public records as described in division (C)(2)(c)(i) of this section would serve the public policy that underlies the authority that is asserted as permitting that conduct or threatened conduct.
(D) Chapter 1347. of the Revised Code does not limit the provisions of this section.
(E)(1) To ensure that all employees of public offices are appropriately educated about a public office's obligations under division (B) of this section, all elected officials or their appropriate designees shall attend training approved by the attorney general as provided in section 109.43 of the Revised Code. In addition, all public offices shall adopt a public records policy in compliance with this section for responding to public records requests. In adopting a public records policy under this division, a public office may obtain guidance from the model public records policy developed and provided to the public office by the attorney general under section 109.43 of the Revised Code. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the policy may not limit the number of public records that the public office will make available to a single person, may not limit the number of public records that it will make available during a fixed period of time, and may not establish a fixed period of time before it will respond to a request for inspection or copying of public records, unless that period is less than eight hours.
(2) The public office shall distribute the public records policy adopted by the public office under division (E)(1) of this section to the employee of the public office who is the records custodian or records manager or otherwise has custody of the records of that office. The public office shall require that employee to acknowledge receipt of the copy of the public records policy. The public office shall create a poster that describes its public records policy and shall post the poster in a conspicuous place in the public office and in all locations where the public office has branch offices. The public office may post its public records policy on the internet web site of the public office if the public office maintains an internet web site. A public office that has established a manual or handbook of its general policies and procedures for all employees of the public office shall include the public records policy of the public office in the manual or handbook.
(F)(1) The bureau of motor vehicles may adopt rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to reasonably limit the number of bulk commercial special extraction requests made by a person for the same records or for updated records during a calendar year. The rules may include provisions for charges to be made for bulk commercial special extraction requests for the actual cost of the bureau, plus special extraction costs, plus ten per cent. The bureau may charge for expenses for redacting information, the release of which is prohibited by law.
(2) As used in division (F)(1) of this section:
(a) "Actual cost" means the cost of depleted supplies, records storage media costs, actual mailing and alternative delivery costs, or other transmitting costs, and any direct equipment operating and maintenance costs, including actual costs paid to private contractors for copying services.
(b) "Bulk commercial special extraction request" means a request for copies of a record for information in a format other than the format already available, or information that cannot be extracted without examination of all items in a records series, class of records, or data base by a person who intends to use or forward the copies for surveys, marketing, solicitation, or resale for commercial purposes. "Bulk commercial special extraction request" does not include a request by a person who gives assurance to the bureau that the person making the request does not intend to use or forward the requested copies for surveys, marketing, solicitation, or resale for commercial purposes.
(c) "Commercial" means profit-seeking production, buying, or selling of any good, service, or other product.
(d) "Special extraction costs" means the cost of the time spent by the lowest paid employee competent to perform the task, the actual amount paid to outside private contractors employed by the bureau, or the actual cost incurred to create computer programs to make the special extraction. "Special extraction costs" include any charges paid to a public agency for computer or records services.
(3) For purposes of divisions (F)(1) and (2) of this section, "surveys, marketing, solicitation, or resale for commercial purposes" shall be narrowly construed and does not include reporting or gathering news, reporting or gathering information to assist citizen oversight or understanding of the operation or activities of government, or nonprofit educational research.
(G) Records of a corporation or other person that enters into a public-private partnership shall be public records for the purposes of this section, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary that may specifically apply to such a corporation or person. For the purpose of this division, "public-private partnership" means a contractual relationship between a state agency and a corporation or other person for the purpose of the corporation or person assisting the agency in the exercise of any or all of the powers, functions, or duties of the agency, including the operation and management of the agency's programs, offices, divisions, or boards.
Section 2. That existing sections 121.22 and 149.43 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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