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Case CaptionCase No.Topics and IssuesAuthorCitation / CountyDecidedPostedWebCite
Hicks v. Newtown 2017-00612-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43; ambiguous; overly broad; kept; person responsible; functional equivalent; actual use; contract. Overview: Requester sought certain funding records relating to a joint venture between respondent village and a private school to construct athletic facilities on public property. Respondent claimed that any responsive records were in the possession of the private school, and thus not records of the village. The special master found that the portions of the request seeking "transparent information" regarding donors and an unidentified loan were ambiguous, and overly broad, and therefore should be dismissed as improper requests. The special master found that documents the village mayor said were presented to him as contractual assurance of the school's financial resources were utilized by the village to document its functions, decisions, procedures, and operations under the contract, and were therefore "records." The special master found that by law and the terms of the contract, the private school maintained these records for the village as a "person responsible for public records." The special master recommended that the village be ordered to provide requester with the records used by the village.Clark  11/30/2017 12/11/2017 2017-Ohio-8952
Ohio Crime Victim Justice Ctr. v. Cleveland Police Div. 2016-00872-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43; R.C. 5153.17; R.C. 2151.421; HIPAA; children services; joint investigation; privacy; sexual assault; rape; crime victim; medical; attorney-client; uncharged suspect. Overview: Requester sought complete criminal investigation files on two suspects. Respondent police department denied the request as to text relating the intimate details of alleged sexual assaults. Respondent claimed that exceptions for children services records applied to police investigative reports of the same incidents, as a "joint investigation." The special master found that the police department properly redacted the intimate details of alleged sexual assault, and that requester's unsupported claim to represent the victim did not establish waiver. The special master found that the statutory exceptions for children services reports did not apply to police department reports created for a related criminal investigation, other than content information obtained by the police department from preexisting children services reports. The special master found that none of the records were maintained in the process of medical treatment, or by a "covered entity," and therefore did not meet the definition of "medical records," or records subject to HIPAA.Clark  11/17/2017 12/11/2017 2017-Ohio-8950
Wengerd v. E. Wayne Fire Dist. 2017-00426-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43; R.C. 1333.61; kept; person responsible; trade secret; copyright; grant application; attorney-client; moot. Overview: Requester sought copies of federal grant application forms filed by respondent fire district. Respondent claimed that the contents of the applications were not "records" of the fire district, or alternatively were trade secret and copyright interests held by the fire district and a privately contracted grant writer. The special master found that the applications were public records documenting the official activities of the fire district, and that the contents did not reveal any secret trade methodology. As technical writing to answer questions in an application form, the contents involved negligible creativity as a claimed "literary work." Requester's purpose qualified as "fair use" in any case. The special master recommended a finding that the contents of the grant applications did not fall under either the Ohio uniform trade secrets act, or federal copyright law. The special master found the that respondent had properly redacted the narrative portions of requested itemized attorney billing statements.Clark  11/8/2017 12/11/2017 2017-Ohio-8951
Mentzer v. Ohio Dept. of Transp. 2016-00082 and 2016-00320-PRSummary judgment; highway hazard; negligence. The court concluded that the water main at issue was within its useful lifespan, there was some diligence exercised in performing regular analytical assessments of the water main, the water main was rated excellent and never had any problems in the past, and the water main was not deteriorated or otherwise in disrepair. The court determined that from the evidence presented reasonable minds could only conclude that the injuries suffered by plaintiffs were not proximately caused by a negligent act or omission on the part of the City of Cleveland. The City of Cleveland's motion for summary judgment was granted.McGrath  11/8/2017 12/12/2017 2017-Ohio-8958
Hamlin v. Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2014-00765Trial; negligence; notice; intentional attack; inmate; discretionary immunity; damages. The court found that ODRC was negligent in failing to follow its security and privilege classification policies with respect to a violent inmate who murdered another inmate. Further, ODRC had notice that the inmate was an extremely violent inmate, and it was foreseeable that a violent inmate, with a minimal period of good behavior before being transferred to a Level 3 prison, would commit another act of violence. The court concluded that plaintiff proved by a preponderance of the evidence that ODRC's negligence resulted in the death of plaintiff's decedent. The court awarded damages in the amount of $350,000.McGrath  11/3/2017 12/12/2017 2017-Ohio-8957
Speros v. Secy. of State 2017-00389-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; election; database; moot; drafts; format; create new record; reasonably identify; organize; policy. Overview: Requester sought Ohio voting results in machine-readable format from eight congressional elections, in a single, comprehensive file. The special master found that requester had reasonably identified the records sought. Respondent eventually provided all existing responsive data in a separate machine-readable spreadsheet file for each election, but testified that none of its database software was programmed to produce a single, comprehensive file. The special master recommended the court find that the request for the underlying data was moot, and that the demand for respondent to aggregate all responsive data into a single file was an improper request to create a new record. The special master found that the court cannot impose optional record-management policies or practices that are not required by law. Clark  10/27/2017 11/7/2017 2017-Ohio-8453
Yu v. Ohio State Univ. Med. Ctr. 2015-00001Summary judgment; Civ.R. 56; lack of informed consent; negligence. The court found that Dr. Emlich was not an employee of OSUMC, and that pursuant to R.C. 2317.54, plaintiff could not prevail on a claim of lack of informed consent against OSUMC as a matter of law. Further, plaintiff provided no evidence from which to infer that OSUMC breached any duty to plaintiff with respect to telephonic interpreter services provided to plaintiff. Defendant OSUMC's motion for summary judgment was granted.McGrath  10/27/2017 11/27/2017 2017-Ohio-8697
Tingler v. Ottawa Cty. Prosecutor's Office 2017-00248-PQCore Terms: public record; court of claims; R.C. 2743.75; R.C. 149.43(B)(8); inmate; law enforcement; investigatory records; incarceration; subsequent to request. Overview: Requester sought criminal law enforcement investigatory records maintained by respondent. Requester was on probation pursuant to criminal conviction at the time of the request, but violated probation and was incarcerated by the time the special master rendered determination. The special master recommended a finding that the requested records were excepted from disclosure by R.C. 149.43(B)(8), as the exception is one that may be based on the facts and circumstances at the time of the determination.Clark  10/20/2017 11/7/2017 2017-Ohio-8451
Johnson v. Dept. of Rehab. & Corr. 2014-00768Inmate; negligence; bifurcated; damages. The magistrate found that the greater weight of the evidence supported the finding that plaintiff's headaches and associated pain and suffering persisted up to a few months after he fell out of an upper bunk. Plaintiff was awarded damages in the amount of $8,500, and after applying the 25 percent diminishment for contributory fault determined at the liability trial, plaintiff was entitled to an award of $6,375.Van Schoyck  10/19/2017 11/27/2017 2017-Ohio-8696
Washington v. Dept. of Rehab & Corr. 2017-00029False imprisonment- Plaintiff, an inmate in defendant's custody, alleged his term of imprisonment had expired. The court found it lacked jurisdiction to review any alleged errors in plaintiff's sentencing entry. Defendant's evidence established that, at all relevant times, it confined plaintiff pursuant to a facially valid sentencing entry. The court granted summary judgment to defendant.McGrath  10/17/2017 11/7/2017 2017-Ohio-8467