PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY
We are an open government. We welcome informed participation from our citizens. We believe in 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 (O.R.C 149.43) should be interpreted liberally in favor of disclosure.
Hours and Costs
You may make public records requests to the Columbiana County Recorder’s Office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, excluding government holidays.
While it has been established by law that the cost for copies of most public records shall be set at the amount deemed to be the actual cost of making paper copies, the recorder’s office must conform to Ohio law, which clearly outlines the amount a recorder should charge for paper copies of recorded documents.
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 317.32 a requester shall be charged $2.00 per page for a paper copy of a recorded document made by the Recorder’s Office. This statute further outlines the amount to be charged if a request is made for a certified copy of a recorded document.
The charge for paper copies of recorded documents shall be, .25 cents per page and $1 for a copy card, should the copy be made by the requester while in the Recorder’s Office. A requester may be required to pay in advance for the actual costs involved in providing the copies including costs of postage and mailing supplies.
How to Make a Public Records Request
We will provide prompt inspection of public records and copies of public records in a reasonable amount of time. If copies of the records cannot be provided while you wait, we will contact you when the records are available. Some requests will take longer than others. We are not permitted by law to conduct title searches and cannot provide copies without sufficient information to help identify the correct images needed and to prevent delays in fulfilling your request.
Definition of Public Records
Under Ohio law, public records are those items that meet all the following elements:
Any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an electronic record; that is created or received by or coming under the jurisdiction of a public office; and that documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of this 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
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 sealed per statute
7. Military DD-214 records
8. Peace officer, firefighter, EMT, prosecutor, assistant prosecutor, children’s services worker, or corrections officers, residential and familial information, and military records (R.C. 149.43(A)(7)
9. Any Record relating to R.P.C.N. or the Safe at home program
We will limit the number of public records mailed to you to 10 documents per month unless you certify that the documents or the information contained in them are not being used for commercial purposes.
We cannot email bulk requests or large amounts of documents because of the limitations of email and the amount of data it can hold. We will limit the number of public records that we will deliver in a digital format to 10 documents per month if the records are available electronically on the Recorder’s website, unless you certify that the documents or the information contained in them are not being used for commercial purposes.
We will not provide copies of public records that are created or received after your original request is completed. You will need to provide a new request for each new set of documents that you need. We do not offer account services, nor do we have the ability to.
Denial of Request
Denial of public records requested will include an explanation. If the request is in writing, the explanation for denial of the request will be provided to the requester in writing. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions are to be redacted and the rest released.
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.
The Columbiana County Recorder reserves the right to modify this policy at any time as deemed necessary.
Effective: Friday, April 15, 2022