Legal Brief: What do I do when my department receives a public records request?

As a state university, Kent State is subject to the Ohio Public Records Act, embodied in Ohio Rev. Code §149.43. This act imposes two primary obligations upon the university: the duty to provide prompt inspection of public records and the duty to provide copies of public records within a reasonable period of time.

If a person makes a public records request to a department, the employee should forward the request immediately to the Office of the University Counsel. Once received, the office will review the content of the request to determine whether the request complies with the Ohio Public Records Act and whether the records that are sought are, in fact, public records according to the Act.

The office will then work with the university departments to locate the records that are responsive to the request. Once located, the office can copy the records for a reasonable fee or the requestor can arrange with the office to review the records in person. Once all of the records responsive to the request are located and assembled, the office will contact the requestor.

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