Public Records Policy

The following policy applies when any individual or organization seeks to obtain copies of court records.  This policy is derived from the legal parameters applicable to court records as prescribed by the Supreme Court of Ohio.  See the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio (Sup.R.), which can be found at:


https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/LegalResources/Rules/superintendence/Superintendence.pdf  

Court records are defined as both Administrative Documents and Case Documents, subject to various exclusions and exceptions, as noted below.

Documents you may request:
 

  • Administrative Documents

A document and information in a document created, received, or maintained by a court that serves to record the administrative, fiscal, personnel, or management functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, organization, or other activities of the court.

 

  • Case Documents

If seeking these documents and all documents pertaining to specific case files, requests shall be made with the Clerk of Courts of the appropriate division.

         https://clerk.franklincountyohio.gov/publicRecords/recordsRequest


Requests that will not be processed:

  • A document or information in a document exempt from disclosure under state, federal, or the common law;
  • Local law enforcement agency records, including fingerprints, photographs, or other records related to the arrest or custody of a juvenile;
  • Sealed or expunged records;
  • Personal identifiers or forms containing personal identifiers, which include social security numbers (except for the last four digits); financial account numbers, including but not limited to debit card, charge card, and credit card numbers; employer and employee identification numbers; and a juvenile’s name in an abuse, neglect, or dependency case, except for the juvenile’s initials or a generic abbreviation such as “CV” for “child victim.”;
  • Reports and records of the probation department;
  • Any document or information in a document to which public access has been restricted by court order pursuant to Supreme Court Rule of Superintendence 45(E).
  • A juvenile’s disposition in abuse, neglect, and dependency cases, juvenile civil commitment files, post-adjudicatory residential treatment facility reports, and post-adjudicatory releases of a juvenile’s social history;
  • Notes, drafts, recommendations, advice, and research of judicial officers and court staff;
  • Health care documents, including but not limited to physical health, psychological health, psychiatric health, mental health, and counseling documents;
  • Drug and alcohol use assessments and pre-disposition treatment facility reports;
  • Guardian ad litem reports, including collateral source documents attached to or filed with the reports;
  • Home investigation reports, including collateral source documents;
  • Child custody evaluations and reports, including collateral source documents attached to or filed with the reports;
  • Domestic violence risk assessments;
  • Supervised parenting time or companionship or visitation records and reports, including exchange records and reports;
  • Financial disclosure statements regarding property, debt, taxes, income, and expenses, including collateral source documents attached to or filed with records and statements;
  • Asset appraisals and evaluations.

How to request:

  • We ask that all record requests be made using our records request form available through the Court’s Administrative Assistant OR you may fill out our online records request form found on our website at:

  • REQUESTS FOR CASE RECORDS OR FILES SHOULD BE MADE DIRECTLY TO THE CLERK OF COURTS: 
     
 
  • If you are a former employee and requesting records related to your prior employment, you may contact our HR department directly.
  • Please note, per Sup. R. 45(B)(2), records may be given upon any medium in which the court finds a document may be reasonably duplicated so as not to interrupt its normal operations.
  • The court may charge the actual cost for the records requested.
    • 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 any actual costs paid to private contractors for copying services.
    • Actual costs will be required to be paid prior to releasing records.
  • As soon as the Court receives a request for records, a response will be made within a reasonable time frame as to the request. The time in which it takes the court to respond depends on certain factors:
    • The volume of documents requested.
    • If the court must take the time to review the requested document and redact any information that is not to be released, including personal identifiers.
    • In some instances, the parties to the case may be notified of any records requested from their case, and they may have a right to a hearing if they so request.  
  • The Court may request additional information related to the request if there are questions regarding the nature of the records being requested. In these instances, a person who provides their name and contact information will receive a faster response to their request. If no name or contact information is provided, then the Court will hold its inquiry related to the request at the Administrative Reception Desk until the person requesting the information returns.