Ohio FOIA Laws

Ohio Open Meetings Law

The Ohio Open Meetings Law legislates the method by which public meetings are conducted. A meeting is defined as any prearranged discussion of public business by a quorum of the public body. If violated, a court may void any action taken during a meeting in violation and assess fines of up to $500 and attorney fees. Violations of court-issued injunction to prevent violation of law can result in removal from office.

Open Meetings Law Ohio Rev. Code sec. 121.22 etseq.

Closed: Real estate transactions; certain personnel matters; certain law enforcement meetings; Adult Parole Authority; and certain medical board meetings.

Ohio Open Records Law

The Ohio Open Records Law, first enacted in 1963,  is contained in Section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code. The law describes what records are available, what agencies are covered, what fees can be charged, who can ask for records, etc. Records include all records kept by any public office as well as records of both non-profit and for-profit private schools.

Anyone may request public records and no statement of purpose is required. In fact records requests need not even be submitted in writing and can be made anonymously. There are no restrictions to the use of records and the Ohio Open Records Law does not specify a time limit on open records request.

Open Records Law Ohio Rev. Code sec. 149.43 etseq.

Exempt: Personal bank records; medical records; adoption records; probation and parole records; and certain law enforcement investigative records.

Links to Publications:

About Public Records and Meetings

Sunshine Laws homepage

Sunshine Laws Publications, including manual, appendices, model policy, etc.

2013 Sunshine Laws Manual page and link to PDF of same.

Visit Ohio Sample FOIA Request to view sample FOIA request for the state.