Ohio Supreme Court forbids damage collection when money motivates records-destruction lawsuits | ...

Following the lead of state lawmakers, the Ohio Supreme Court has forbidden the collection of damages for illegal destruction of public records when money, rather than access to records, is the main motivation in filing lawsuits. Full Story
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the truth

Newark, OH

#22 Jul 7, 2011
many times when gov distroys records it is too cover up a money issue they did pay to play like coleman and strickland
Pogo 7

Columbus, OH

#23 Jul 7, 2011
Irrelevant wrote:
Whatever the motivation, it's irrelevant. The Court has given governmental entities free reign to destroy public records by removing financial penalities for illegal destruction in violation of record retention schedules. Guess it's up to the media to fight for the public's right to know.
TRUE-----BUT TO RELY ON TODAYS MEDIA TO ENLIGHTEN THE PUBLIC WITH THE TRUTH ,--IS LIKE ASKING THE GOVERNMENT "TO TELL THE TRUTH" .!!??...TRUTH does not come from todays " media", or our government....TODAYS MEDIA IS ONLY PRINTING THE PROPAGANDA THE GOVERNMENT WILL LET THEM PRINT...MEDIA IN THE U.S. IS SENSORED SO MUCH ANY MORE THAT IT IS A WONDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT STILL EXISTS.??!!...ovomit,hillary clinton,bill clinton ,holder and and 99% ofTHE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WANT TO SUPPRESS THE AMERICAN CITIZENS SO MUCH ,THEY CAN'T SEEM TO TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHTS FAST ENOUGH..!!!..NO,..... THE MEDIA CAN NOT NAND WILL NOT PRINT THE TRUTH BECAUSE THIS administration OWNS THEM ..!!!
Math Whiz

Columbus, OH

#24 Jul 7, 2011
Irrelevant wrote:
Whatever the motivation, it's irrelevant. The Court has given governmental entities free reign to destroy public records by removing financial penalities for illegal destruction in violation of record retention schedules. Guess it's up to the media to fight for the public's right to know.
If there is an issue that the public needs to know and the governmental entity cannot produce the record, then it is a violation. Treasure Hunters asking for records that they have no intent to listen to has nothing to do with the public's "right to know." There is no right to steal taxpayer dollars.
Math Whiz

Columbus, OH

#25 Jul 7, 2011
Hayduke wrote:
<quoted text>
Anyone should be able to access Public Records....No reason should be needed....
Two most patriotic acts of every citizen...
....Vote...
....Question the government....
what question does someone have about 1995, let alone 1975!?!? It would be one thing if the request was for records from the last couple of years, but going back 15 to 35 years ... the statute of limitations has run on almost any "criminal" act from then.
Pogo 7

Columbus, OH

#26 Jul 7, 2011
Bevo wrote:
<quoted text>God, am I thankful I don't know you as you are SO NEGATIVE. It must be depressing for your spouse if you are married.
.....

WERE YOU looking in the mirror when you were typing your reply.????? THIS ADMINISTRATION IS SO CORRUPT WITH COVER-UPS AND IGNORING THE CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS ,IT'S JUST NOT FUNNY ANY MORE..!!!!!!! ovomit,pelosi ,reid and the democrats holding office now should all be charged with treason..!!! brown IS SELLING THE CITIZENS OF OHIO DOWN THE DRAIN BY SAYING HE SUPPORTS THE UNIONS AND AT THE SAME TIME GIVING SANCTUARY TO "ILLEGAL ALIENS"AND PROMOTING LEGAL ISSUES FOR THEIR (ILLEGAL ALIENS)RIGHTS AND THEY HAVE "NO RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.???? AND YOU PEOPLE KEEP SUPPORTING HIM.???!!! IT SCARES ME THAT ovomit is in THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT ,BUT IT SCARES ME EVEN MORE THAT THERE ARE IDIOTS OUT THERE THAT MAY TRY TO KEEP HIM IN THAT OFFICE ???!!! OHIOANS NEED TO STOP THIS CRAP AND DO IT QUICK BEFORE THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS DESTROY THIS STATE OF OURS.
Math Whiz

Columbus, OH

#27 Jul 7, 2011
Pogo 7 wrote:
<quoted text>.....
WERE YOU looking in the mirror when you were typing your reply.????? THIS ADMINISTRATION IS SO CORRUPT WITH COVER-UPS AND IGNORING THE CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS ,IT'S JUST NOT FUNNY ANY MORE..!!!!!!! ovomit,pelosi ,reid and the democrats holding office now should all be charged with treason..!!! brown IS SELLING THE CITIZENS OF OHIO DOWN THE DRAIN BY SAYING HE SUPPORTS THE UNIONS AND AT THE SAME TIME GIVING SANCTUARY TO "ILLEGAL ALIENS"AND PROMOTING LEGAL ISSUES FOR THEIR (ILLEGAL ALIENS)RIGHTS AND THEY HAVE "NO RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.???? AND YOU PEOPLE KEEP SUPPORTING HIM.???!!! IT SCARES ME THAT ovomit is in THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT ,BUT IT SCARES ME EVEN MORE THAT THERE ARE IDIOTS OUT THERE THAT MAY TRY TO KEEP HIM IN THAT OFFICE ???!!! OHIOANS NEED TO STOP THIS CRAP AND DO IT QUICK BEFORE THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS DESTROY THIS STATE OF OURS.
For clarification, this was a decision from the Ohio Supreme Court. As Ohio does not have a President and Pelosi, Reid and Brown serve in the UNITED STATES Congress. To allege this is a cover up by any governmental entity is lunacy.
Pragmatic realist

Columbus, OH

#28 Jul 7, 2011
AnAngryAmerican wrote:
<quoted text>
Can't wait for you (or one of your loved ones) to be injured/killed by the negligence of a doctor or car driver--you will (and should be) be the first in line insisting on compensation for your injuries.
Been there. Like the legal system, I relied on what could be proven, not what I "knew" to be true. Regardless, what I thought I knew was wrong, after an objective look at all the evidence. I'm a realist, not an emotional slave or cripple. Cerainly not an angry little prick feeling self-righteous in my little, walled off cocoon of hate. That would have been a much easier path to take for me, but I'm stronger than that. Anger is weak and blinds you. Caution widens your vision and makes you hink. Try that sometime. I have faith in you, even if you need a crutch at this point. I've walked that path. Your turn, friend.
The Observer

Galloway, OH

#29 Jul 7, 2011
The lawyers and the those suing were idiots. They had to know that the Ohio Supreme Court would eventually throw them out of court. No state is going to allow itself to be taken advantage of like this. Laughable!
Common Sense

Galloway, OH

#30 Jul 7, 2011
Can anyone, besides Myself, see the Conflict ( s) of Interest that present themselves ( in this debacle)? If not, allow me to Present these Questions. Who decides when a person is seeking Money rather than Public Records Information and How is that Decided? Ohio Minds would like to Know.
Answer

Columbus, OH

#31 Jul 7, 2011
Common Sense wrote:
Can anyone, besides Myself, see the Conflict ( s) of Interest that present themselves ( in this debacle)? If not, allow me to Present these Questions. Who decides when a person is seeking Money rather than Public Records Information and How is that Decided? Ohio Minds would like to Know.
The jury made that determination. They probably did so in writing on a jury interrogatory signed by each juror. The trial judge obviously thought that if the jury made that determination, then legally speaking, the records requester was not really requesting anything but actually hoping NOT to find anything - all for the singular purpose of trying to get money. All in all, this decision is pretty practical and not nearly as conspiratorial as people think. The gov't has the burden of proving that the person requesting the records was out for anything other than purely money in making a request for records. I find it incredible that a lawyer would be so stupid as to let his/her client admit that s/he was only in it for the money, but then again, there are alot of stupid lawyers out there. I could think of alot of creative answers the plaintiff could have given, but I guess in the end he was an honest scammer after all and admitted he really didn't need even one of the 911 calls, let alone years worth of them.
Browns Fan

Westerville, OH

#32 Jul 7, 2011
TBone wrote:
I am sick of the hidden pop up ads for Quibids and the huge Chevy ad that covers half the story when the page opens. Good going Dispatch for ruining your website.
You just want to read the paper for free? How can the Dispatch stay in business if they give away their product? Ads support newspapers much more than subscriptions.

Can't wait to hear the whiners when the only newspaper in town goes belly up.
Browns Fan

Westerville, OH

#33 Jul 7, 2011
I like doughnuts wrote:
Tape recordings, such as those the guy in the article requested, were probably very damaged by now anyway, if they came from 1975. There are plenty of good reasons to destroy old records. Things like sound recordings and magnetic tape video require particular and expensive storage to preserve them, and after a couple of decades they need to be migrated to a new medium. Migration can be extremely expensive--whether you hire someone to do it off site or invest in the equipment to do it in-house, you're looking at thousands of dollars minimum for any collection larger than your home videos. Paper records decay. Space is finite.
All I'm trying to say is that there are many fiscally responsible and necessary reasons why public records are often destroyed, especially ones made on obsolete media (whose owning agency may or may not even still have functional technology to read those media). It shocks me a bit that we have to make a new law to prevent people from stealing from public funds when their intentions are clearly just to scam.
My hope is that to go along with this, they'll redefine the deaccessioning rules for public documents to ensure that only those records that are useless and burdensome are destroyed, as opposed to those that might be deliberately destroyed for political purposes. It's a fine line to walk.
With a proper records retention policy, the agency could have disposed of this lawsuit with a motion to dismiss.
wastherethen

Columbus, OH

#36 Jul 7, 2011
Browns Fan wrote:
<quoted text>
With a proper records retention policy, the agency could have disposed of this lawsuit with a motion to dismiss.
Well, that was precisely New Philadelphia's problem - they didn't have a records retention schedule that covered the requested records.

Bad facts make bad law and that's what the Supremes did today. They turned public records law on its head to prevent one very bad result where the plaintiff had New Philly by the short hairs. Now, the reason why a citizen wants public records becomes important.

Conservatives love to complain about judicial activism. Unfortunately, that's what happened today when the Supremes re-wrote the statute.

I'm not too keen on what the General Assembly has been planning to do to address this issue but that is where the proper resolution belongs.
ALF

Tiffin, OH

#37 Jul 7, 2011
And just how is the law to be enforced ??

Since: Jan 10

Cincinnati, OH

#38 Jul 7, 2011
AnAngryAmerican wrote:
<quoted text>
You do understand that other public employees WILL destroy records, especially if they show a crime that has a more severe penalty than the slap on the wrist for destroying the incriminating records.
So basically what you are saying is that all people are inherently criminal in nature and public employees will go out of their way to destroy documents.

It might surprise you to learn, if you bothered to do any research at all, that the majority of records destroyed to prevent exposure of criminal activity are done by private/corporate businesses that do not fall under the 'Public Records Act' to begin with.

When it comes to public record destruction to prevent exposure, the simple fact that the records were destroyed is enough to show criminal intent. Perhaps the Watergate and Iran/Contra scandals slipped your mind? In both cases, the destruction of the records was more damning than anything the records originally would have presented. Careers ruined, prison sentences served, and no tax payer money given to a 'independent' third party.

Bad law from bad facts

Reynoldsburg, OH

#39 Jul 8, 2011
Now intent is the material element in a request for public records. Hmmmm, almost impossible to ascertain/prove. Even the media's base motive is money. The Supreme Court got it wrong. Beware of "laws" created from bad facts and beware of any statute that has a victim's name attached to the title.
Anon

Grove City, OH

#40 Jul 9, 2011
Pogo 7 wrote:
<quoted text>
TRUE-----BUT TO RELY ON TODAYS MEDIA TO ENLIGHTEN THE PUBLIC WITH THE TRUTH ,--IS LIKE ASKING THE GOVERNMENT "TO TELL THE TRUTH" .!!??...TRUTH does not come from todays " media", or our government....TODAYS MEDIA IS ONLY PRINTING THE PROPAGANDA THE GOVERNMENT WILL LET THEM PRINT...MEDIA IN THE U.S. IS SENSORED SO MUCH ANY MORE THAT IT IS A WONDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT STILL EXISTS.??!!...ovomit,hillary clinton,bill clinton ,holder and and 99% ofTHE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WANT TO SUPPRESS THE AMERICAN CITIZENS SO MUCH ,THEY CAN'T SEEM TO TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHTS FAST ENOUGH..!!!..NO,..... THE MEDIA CAN NOT NAND WILL NOT PRINT THE TRUTH BECAUSE THIS administration OWNS THEM ..!!!
And this is somehow different than the Bush administration when all those reporters from the LA Times got fired for investigating his military service? And lack thereof.
Another Question

Grove City, OH

#41 Jul 9, 2011
Common Sense wrote:
Can anyone, besides Myself, see the Conflict ( s) of Interest that present themselves ( in this debacle)? If not, allow me to Present these Questions. Who decides when a person is seeking Money rather than Public Records Information and How is that Decided? Ohio Minds would like to Know.
Who gets to decide which records are destroyed..and why...and when?

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