The Ohio Supreme Court denied a writ of mandamus in a public records case to compel a county engineer to provide an electronic database from which maps and aerial photographs are created because the county engineer did not have the capability to separate the requested electronic database from software that the Public Records Act exempts from disclosure. The Ohio Supreme Court also noted, however, that the requester may obtain the content of the electronic database by paying the private contractor’s fee for extracting the requested data and the cost of the hardware on which it would be stored, both of which are a "cost," under section 149.43(B)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code, of providing the requested public records that public entities may charge. State ex rel. Gambill v. Opperman, 2013-Ohio-761 (Ohio Supreme Court).
The Ohio Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus to compel a board of elections to place a tax levy on the ballot where (i) the township’s email transmission of the required documents met the deadline, (ii) a subsequent hand-delivery of the required documents was delivered two minutes past the deadline, (iii) neither the board of elections nor the statute specifies how the documents are to be delivered and (iv) the township stated that the fire department’s ability to do its work would be compromised without the levy. State ex rel. Orange Twp. Bd. of Trustees v. Delaware Cty. Bd. of Elections, 2013-Ohio-36 (Ohio Supreme Court).
The court issued a writ of mandamus to compel a city to initiate an eminent domain proceeding under section 2731.07 of the Ohio Revised Code to compensate the property owners for partial taking of their easement after the city changed drainage tile, which resulted in flooding on an easement over the property owners’ property. State ex rel. Wasserman v. Fremont, 2013-Ohio-762 (Ohio App. 6th Dist.).
A blogger was entitled to damages for the township’s failure to provide requested public records in a reasonable amount of time, because the blogger satisfied the requirement of showing that the release of the records, which were to be made available to interested citizens on a blog site, would “provide a public benefit that is greater than the benefit to the [blogger].” State ex rel. Hartkemeyer v.Fairfield Twp., 2012-Ohio-5842 (Ohio App. 12th Dist.).
A political subdivision that receives forfeited real property under section 5723.01 of the Ohio Revised Code must apply under section 5715.27 of the Ohio Revised Code to have the property placed on the list of real property exempted from taxation. The right of a former owner of real property to redeem property terminates when the court entry ordering the forfeiture of real property to a political subdivision is certified. This opinion also addresses when a political subdivision is obligated to pay taxes and assessments on forfeited real property and the continuation of the lien of the assessment. 2013 Op. Att’y General No. 2013-001.
In determining whether section 1901.31(A)(1)(h) of the Ohio Revised Code or a city’s charter governs the manner in which a person is nominated as a candidate for the office of the clerk of a municipal court that has jurisdiction beyond the city’s boundaries, the Attorney General held that the Ohio Revised Code governs because a city charter provision may not have extraterritorial effect under the Home Rule Amendment to the Ohio Constitution. 2013 Op. Att’y General No. 2013-009.