A public-records primer: How to make a request

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March 15, 2013 2:29 PM

From The Columbus Dispatch:

In celebration of Sunshine Week, here’s a primer on making public-records requests in Ohio. It’s your government, your money, your records. Government merely is the custodian of the people’s records -- not the owner.

Know the law because an alarming number of government officials and employees don’t. Download a copy of the newly updated “Yellow Book” manual of Ohio Sunshine laws and familiarize yourself with the law. It can be complex.

It’s generally best to request routine records verbally. Written requests can be seen as adversarial and drag in the lawyers to delay and complicate your request. However, if your request is complex or could generate push-back, file a written request to bring clarity to the matter and document your request should trouble ensue.