Ohio Public Record Law

"The rule in Ohio is that public records are the people's records, and that the officials whose custody they happen to be are merely trustees for the people."

The Painesville Police Department, in compliance with House Bill 141, will make available all public records to any requesting individual, however, certain records may be exempted and certain redactions may occur in order to remain in compliance with House Bill 141 which took effect September 29, 2007. The following list is an example of exempted and redacting items in compliance with state laws:


Exemptions - "To specify that certain personal information is not public record."

  • Residential and familial information for peace officers, firefighters, prosecuting attorneys, assistant prosecuting attorneys, correctional employees, youth services employees, certain photographs
  • Child abuse reports
  • Criminal background
  • Records that have been sealed pursuant to statutorily authorized court order


Redactions - "To require a public office to redact certain personal information from a document that is otherwise a public record."

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Uncharged suspects
  • Juvenile victims of sexual related crimes


Ambiguous or Overly Broad Requests

  • In the event that the city receives a public record request that is determined to be overly broad or ambiguous in that it fails to reasonably identify any public records maintained by the city and after reasonable efforts to assist the requestor in gaining access or copies of public records, the city may deny the public records request.


Valid Reasons to Deny a Public Records Request

  • The requested item does not exist
  • The requested item is not a public record
  • The requested item is subject to a mandatory or discretionary exemption to the Public Records Act


Charges for Public Records

  • You may be charged a nominal fee for copies of records. This fee reflects the actual cost to make copies.