PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY OF
WALNUT TOWNSHIP, FAIRFIELD COUNTY, OHIO – April 2010

Download the Record Request Form

WRITTEN REQUEST
Ohio’s public records law does not mandate that a request for records be in writing, generally. Accordingly, a public office may not require a person to fill out a form before being entitled to inspect or receive copies of public records. If a person is asked to put the request in writing, the public office’s ability to identify, locate or deliver the records sought and that a writing is not mandatory and that the requestor has the right to decline.

INTRODUCTION
We are an open government. We welcome participation by our citizens. We believe openness leads to a better informed public, which leads to more transparent government and better public policy. Citizens are entitled to access government records and the Public Records Act should be interpreted liberally in favor of disclosure.

HOURS AND COSTS
You may make public records requests in Walnut Township Trustees Office during current office hours on weekdays, excluding government holidays.

For copies of public records on 8.5 x 11 one sided paper in black ink, the copy cost of five cents per page. The township may also provide if available a CD at the cost of One dollar per CD. We may require you to pay the estimated copy cost before copies are made. All other copies (photos, disk, etc.) will be provided at actual cost. If records are mailed to you, we may charge you, in advance, postage and the cost of mailing materials.

HOW TO MAKE A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST
We will provide prompt inspection of public records and copies of public records in a reasonable period of time. When you make a request, we will ask you to complete a “Public Records Request Form,” which will help us locate the records and expedite your request. You are not legally required to fill out the form, identify yourself, or give the purpose of your request. If the records cannot be provided while you wait, we will contact you when the records are available.

DEFINITION OF PUBLIC RECORDS
Under Ohio law, public records are those items that meet all of the following elements:

1.    any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an electronic record;

2.    that is created or received by, or coming under the jurisdiction of a public office; and

3.    that documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office. This does not include records kept for our administrative convenience.

You may ask for a copy of our records retention schedule, which will familiarize you with the types of records available.

RECORDS THAT WILL NOT BE RELEASED
Under Ohio law, some records that meet the above three elements will still be withheld from release because state or federal law makes the record confidential. Some commonly-requested records that are confidential include:

1.    Attorney-client privileged information and trial preparation records.
2.    Social Security numbers.
3.    Records of ongoing investigations.
4.    Medical records.
5.    BMV records.
6.    Records that a judge ordered to be sealed per a statute.

Peace Officer, firefighter, EMT, prosecutor, assistant prosecutor, children’s services workers, or corrections officer, Residential and Familial Information (R.C. 149.43 (A)(7));

LIMITATIONS
We may limit to ten the number of public records mailed to you, unless you certify in writing that you do not intend to use the records for commercial purposes.

We will not provide copies of public records that we create or receive after your original request is completed.

QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS
If you have questions or concerns about Ohio Public Records law, please contact your state legislator. You can find contact information at www.Ohio.gov