March 28, 2017, 11:30 pm
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General Information About Ohio Public Records and Laws
In Ohio, public records remain available to individuals upon request. The Ohio Open Records Law, Sunshine Law, Section 149.43 provides this information. This law governs the ability of the public to access government files and records within the limitations set forth. It determines what information is public and what is not, and also notes how this information will be made accessible to the general public. As an individual searching for ancestry or property records, these documents provide valuable information.
 
What Are Ohio Public Records?
 
The laws outline what is a public record here. In short, it is any information contained by a government agency or its affiliates that contains information related to the public. This information may be in the form of a document, video, photograph, electronic version or in any other detail. It may be held, created by, created for or otherwise in the possession of the government agency. There are many types of commonly sought after public records, including vital statistics such as birth certificates, death certificates, burial records and marriage licensing. Professional licenses, property records, most government meeting minutes and other data is available for individuals to view upon request.
 
There is, however, some information that is considered non-public. This may include private information that would be a violation privacy laws. In addition, the following information is not available through Ohio public records.
 
·         Any information in regards to an ongoing or active investigation by any level of law enforcement
·         Documents and information related to the medical files of an individual
·         Details about a student's school records
·         Information regarding the identity of an undercover agent
·         Government records or data that would be considered dangerous to the public or could be used against the government or agency
·         All sealed files in a court case, including juvenile records and sensitive information
 
These types of records may remain off limits to the public's search, but most other types of government files are available. This information remains available to the individuals who need them upon request.
 
Obtaining Public Files
 
Individuals who wish to access Ohio public records must file a written request for the information or must contact the governing agency and make a formal request for the data. In some cases, this information is readily available and is easily provided. In other situations, it may be available through an online search. There are also third party resources to use to gather this information.
 
The following are some of the most sought after types of public records in the state and the agencies to get them from.
 
·         For vital records, contact the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics at the county or state level.
·         For business related information, contact the Secretary of State, Corporate Records Access.
·         Criminal records are available through the Ohio Bureau of Investigation, Civilian Background Section.
 
The Ohio public records information remains available for individual who need it. There may be a small fee for accessing this information, though.
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