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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Gannett GP Media, Inc. v. Ohio Dept. of Pub. Safety 2017-00051-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; ambiguous; overly broad; revise; constitutional; privacy; security; abatement; recede; objection; additional; evidence; strike. Procedural Posture: Requester objected to special master's determination that its request for all correspondence among respondent's employees regarding a deployment was ambiguous and overly broad. Respondent objected to special master's determination that trooper names were not exempted by security records and Fourteenth Amendment privacy exceptions once they returned from deployment. Overview: Requester newspaper sought: 1) all communications of the State Highway Patrol regarding the deployment of Ohio troopers to assist another state via an agreement under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, R.C. 5502.40, 2) the names of the troopers deployed, and, 3) the assistance agreement. The parties accepted the special master's determination that the bulk of the information in the agreement form was public. The court found that requester's request for "any and all communication" to or from any employee of the Highway Patrol "regarding the deployment of these officers" was insufficiently specific to identify particular records, and that respondent had sufficiently met its obligation to provide requester with the opportunity and information to revise this request. Noting respondent's admission that there was no evidence of violent threats or online harassment since returning from employment, the court found that the names of the troopers were no longer exempt under the Fourteenth Amendment right of privacy or statutory security records exception that applied during their deployment. Outcome: The court granted requester's motion to strike additional evidence submitted by respondent. The court overruled the objections of both requester and respondent, and adopted the special master's report and recommendation as its own.McGrath  5/30/2017 6/13/2017 2017-Ohio-4248
Foulk v. Upper Arlington 2017-00132-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; attorney; client; privilege; waive; open meeting; moot; timeliness; minutes. Overview: Requester sought portions of the city's audio recording of the open session of a public meeting of the city council, which the city denied as attorney-client privileged. The special master determined that discussions between a public body and legal counsel that take place in an open session of a public meeting conducted under R.C. 121.22 are not made "in confidence," even if no member of the public is physically present. Attorney-client privilege therefore never attached, or was waived. The special master found that the court of claims lacked jurisdiction over the requester's claim regarding incomplete minutes, which must be brought pursuant to R.C. 121.22(I). The city provided all responsive records after the complaint was filed, rendering the claim for production of records moot. The special master determined that the failure to provide the records until 88 days after the request was a violation of the R.C. 149.43(B)(1) requirement to make public records available "promptly," which entitled the requester to recover the filing fee and any other costs incurred.Clark  5/25/2017 6/13/2017 2017-Ohio-4249
Alt v. Cuyahoga Cty. Probation Dept. 2017-00175-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; standing; surrogate; request; deliver; improper; rules of superintendence; court records. Overview: The special master found that requester had standing to assert a claim under R.C. 2743.75 regarding records sought by a colleague/surrogate. However, the request was for "a complete breakdown/audit" of certain funds handled by respondent, which the special master determined to be an improper request to create new records. The special master determined that the requester also failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the request had been made to the respondent, as the request was sent to a different public office with a request to "direct this request" to respondent. The special master determined that the court of claims lacked jurisdiction under R.C. 2743.75 over those portions of the request that sought court records from cases commenced after July 1, 2009, as requests for such records are governed by Ohio Rules of Superintendence of the Courts, Rules 44-47. The special master recommended that the requester's claim be dismissed for failure to state a claim. Civ.R. 12(B)(6).Clark  5/16/2017 6/13/2017 2017-Ohio-4250
Louscher v. Univ. of Akron 2015-00212Summary judgment; Civ.R. 56; defamation; intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court concluded that defendant's employee's statements were made subject to a qualified privilege, and plaintiff did not produce evidence to show that they were made with actual malice. Further, comments made by this employee did not rise to the level of extreme and outrageous conduct required for a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendant's motion for summary judgment was granted.McGrath  5/15/2017 6/16/2017 2017-Ohio-4316
Andes v. Ohio Atty. Gen.'s Office 2017-00144-PQCore Terms: public records; court of claims; mootness; timeliness; investigative; seized; unused. Overview: The special master determined that the Attorney General's Office provided all requested investigation records after the R.C. 2743.75 complaint was filed, rendering the claim for production of records moot. The special master concluded that the unused contents of storage devices seized in a criminal investigation are not "records" of the agency as defined in R.C. 149.011(G). The special master determined that the failure to provide the records until 103 days after the request was a violation of the R.C. 149.43(B)(1) requirement to make records available "promptly," which entitled the requester to recover the filing fee and any other costs incurred.Clark  5/10/2017 6/13/2017 2017-Ohio-4251
Acre v. Ohio Parole Bd. 2016-00844Summary judgment; Civ.R. 56; inmate; false imprisonment. Court determined that defendant, in revoking and subsequently denying plaintiff's parole, made a decision involving a high degree of discretion over which the court lacked jurisdiction. Further, the court found that there did not appear to be any indication that plaintiff's sentencing entry was facially invalid or contained any irregularities. Defendant was legally justified to confine plaintiff at all relevant times, and defendant's motion for summary judgment was granted.McGrath  5/10/2017 6/16/2017 2017-Ohio-4318
Trimble v. Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2016-00170Inmate; bifurcated; negligence. Court determined that plaintiff failed to prove that defendant had any notice, actual or constructive, of any defect in the water mixing valve or that the water temperature was too hot, resulting in burns to plaintiff. Judgment recommended in favor of defendant. Chang  5/1/2017 6/16/2017 2017-Ohio-4317
Gannett GP Media, Inc. v. Ohio Dept. of Pub. Safety 2017-00051-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; ambiguous; overly broad; revise; constitutional; privacy; security record; abatement; recede. Overview: Requester newspaper sought: 1) all communications of the State Highway Patrol regarding the deployment of Ohio troopers to assist another state via an agreement under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, R.C. 5502.40, 2) the names of the troopers deployed, and, 3) the assistance agreement. The special master determined that respondent properly denied the request for any and all employee communication regarding the deployment of the officers as an ambiguous and overly broad request. The special master determined that respondent properly applied the constitutional right of privacy, and the security records exception in R.C. 149.433(A)(1), during the troopers' deployment to withhold the identities of troopers, initial staging area, and certain equipment provided, but should not have applied these exceptions to the remainder of the agreement document. Following the troopers' return, the special master found the evidence did not support continuing application of these exceptions to the identity of the troopers and the initial staging area. The special master determined that R.C. 149.433 permits withholding only those portions of a document that meet the definition of "security record," and not the entire document in which it is found. The special master determined that no evidence supported application of the security records exception in R.C. 149.433(A)(2) which depends on records being related to "acts of terrorism." The special master recommended that the respondent be ordered to produce all withheld records other than the identification of certain equipment.Clark  4/24/2017 6/13/2017 2017-Ohio-4247
Digiorno v. Ohio Dept. of Transp. 2015-00942Summary judgment; Civ.R. 56; R.C. 5501.42; tree removal. The court determined that the undisputed evidence showed that the trees at issue shaded a portion of SR 18, which caused premature deterioration of the asphalt roadway. Defendant's determination that the removal was justified because the proximity of the trees to the highway presented a potential hazard to motorists was consistent with the purpose of the easement. As such, reasonable minds could only conclude that the removal of the trees was related to a highway improvement which is consistent with the purposes of the easement and that plaintiffs were not entitled to compensation. Summary judgment granted in favor of defendant.McGrath  4/19/2017 5/5/2017 2017-Ohio-2698
Easley v. Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2016-00530Summary judgment; Civ.R. 56; inmate; assault; battery; negligence. The court concluded that defendant's employees used only the force necessary to control plaintiff. There was nothing to contradict the testimony put forth by defendant that plaintiff disobeyed direct order and that no excessive force was used. Finally, there was no dispute that plaintiff was not otherwise inappropriately touched as alleged in the complaint. Summary judgment granted in favor of defendant.McGrath  4/13/2017 5/5/2017 2017-Ohio-2700
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