Court rules attorney fees not mandatory

Open-government advocates are disturbed by a public-records ruling handed down by the Ohio Supreme Court last week.

The justices voted 6-1 to uphold a ruling against a South Euclid woman who was denied recovery of attorney fees in a case where the city did not turn over records she had sought until she went to court.

The woman maintained she was entitled to mandatory reimbursement of her legal fees. The court majority disagreed, ruling that a 2007 change in state law made payment of a plaintiff’s attorney fees mandatory only if a court ordered the production of records.

After ignoring the woman’s records request for two months, South Euclid finally turned over the records a couple of days after she filed a complaint in court. Continue>>>