Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ohio "Public Records Access Counsel"

Commensurate with changes and “upgrades” to Ohio public records law over the past year or so, a bill’s now been introduced in the House that would create “the office of Public Access Counselor in the Court of Claims to receive complaints & issue advisory opinions concerning public records and open meeting laws..”

The public access counselor will be a licensed, practicing attorney, appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court for a term of four years, but not engaged in “any profession, business, or practice that may conflict with his/her duties.”

In addition to managing public records complaints and establishing procedures to do so, the office of the public relations counselor would also assist the attorney general in developing & providing public record training programs & seminars, and make recommendations to both the General Assembly and Supreme Court concerning ways to “improve public access to public records and ensure public attendance at public meetings.”

One perhaps more significant provision of this bill is that a person doesn’t have to file a complaint with the newly-formed office before filing a court action pursuant to public records law. Also, the procedures that would be set forth in these news sections would not “constitute an alternative remedy in the ordinary course of the law for purposes of seeking any judicial remedy authorized by the Revised Code or any rule of court.”

HB 9 (2006)
HB 9 post on Dec. 29, 2006 (Here)

HB 141 (2006)
HB 141 post on June 5, 2007

1 comment:

Marlena said...

Quite effective material, lots of thanks for the article.